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Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB - Review Summary

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Art Feierman

Time to wrap everything up.  For those of you who have gone though all the previous pages, this could be a good bit redundant, but then we know that the first page and the summary are the most read. (Yes, not everyone reads every word I write - alas!)

Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector - The Bottom Line

Big picture time.  Although the Home Cinema 5020 UB is essentially an updated version of the older HC5010, the combination of small improvements, much to my surprise, adds up to a much improved projector.  What I'm actually saying, is that when someone asks me:  "Should I buy the older 5010 (assuming they are still available), or is the HC5020UB worth spending more?"

The answer, in my humble opinion, is: You will definitely get your money's worth with the Home Cinema 5020.  There are small improvements that really add up, in many areas, and a much bigger improvement in terms of 3D!

Epson HC5020 3D, Overall:  I'm starting here, because considering 3D considers all the individual topics such as brightness, color...

3D is better, much better than last year. Dramatically better.  I viewed the HC5010 vs. the HC5020, and no contest!

Home Cinema 5020 3D brightness is improved, noticeably.  That's not so much the projector's native brightness but improvements in 3D handling and new glasses.

Home Cinema 5020 Color in 3D.  Again, improved by virtue of the addition of the THX 3D mode.  OK it's not near as bright as 3D dynamic, but if you can deal with the lower brightness, we're looking at some very respectable color, something that has been a real problem with 3D projectors.

What really makes the Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB better in terms of 3D, though, (besides brightness and color), is drastically better black level performance.  This year Epson has allowed dynamic features - most importantly, the dynamic iris, to function in 3D.  It really makes the blacks as close to black as you could hope for in 3D.

In summary, in terms of 3D:  Better color, brighter, and dramatically better blacks!   Not bad for a projector we expected to have only minor improvements over last years.  You are definitely getting your money's worth in 3D.

I should also point out, that this is by far the brightest projector we've seen in 3D (for the home).  While the Panasonic has similar brightness in 2D, due to glasses, or other aspects, the Epson is significantly brighter in 3D.

Speaking of glasses, this year they are much lighter, more comfortable, and, they are rechargeable, rather than battery. And they are RF, not infra-red. When you look over to your friend, you won't lose the sync, and have to wait a fraction of a second for it to return when you look back to the screen.  That's a very nice touch, that makes the projector "more invisible" that is, less intrusive during your viewing experience, which, in this case, is the best yet, in 3D, when you combine all the elements.

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