Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Hardware 1

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K Home Theater Projector Review – Hardware 1:  Overview, Inputs and Connectors, Lens

Overview of Epson HC5050UB Hardware

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB (HC5050UB) is the latest from Epson.  Externally, there are no real differences compared to either the older HC5040UB or the new lower end HC4010/PC4050.  The HC5050UB comes in an off white case.  If you want black, you’ll need to go with the near identical PC6050UB.

The lens is recessed. The projector weighs just over 20 pounds.  It has the usual ceiling mount holes on the bottom that will work with most universal ceiling mounts.

The remote control has been around for a while.  It is shared with the other recent Epsons, and the 5040UB and it’s contemporaries before this projector arrived.

In our hardware tour, we’ll start with the front of the projector.  The Epson HC5050UB’s front is where we find the 2.1:1 motorized zoom lens recessed into the case.  A mechanical lens cover automatically opens when powered on, and closes when powered off, to protect the lens from dust and damage. Epson says it continues to make minor improvements to both the lens and the light path, from generation to generation.

Facing the projector, the hot air exhaust vent is found on the left side of the lens and the cool room air intake is found on right side of the lens – while they stand out on the white case of the Home Cinema model, they are not as noticeable on the black Pro Cinema model. The front of the unit also houses the IR (infra-red) sensor for the remote control.  The front corners offer a pair of adjustable, screw type feet for better positioning if shelf mounted – but as most of you will likely be favoring a ceiling mount, there are the  usual four threaded holes for accepting universal ceiling mounting hardware.

The projector’s right side is featureless, while the right side houses a small, mostly concealed control panel.  The rear of the projector is where we find all the inputs and connectors this projector has to offer.  The top is where we find three indicator lights for Status, Lamp and Temperature, as well as an access door for lamp changes.

Inputs and Connectors

input panel on HC5050UB
A nicely endowed "back panel." Including 2 HDMIs, networking, screen trigger...

This Home Cinema/Pro Cinema projector is designed for just that – home theater.  As such, there are a fairly limited number of connections but that is to be expected, and not a hindrance in use.  The power connector is located dead-center at the bottom. 

The source inputs and connectors are arranged in a single row.  Running left to right, we see an Opt.HDMI (300mA) port, HDMI1 and HDMI2, both of which are now HDMI 2.0 (the older UB had one HDMI 1.4, and one HDMI 2.0).  As noted previously, these are newer HDMIs supporting the full 18Ghz speed.  Next: We have a USB-A type port for optional wireless LAN dongle and for firmware upgrades.  To the right is a service port, followed by an RJ-45 wired LAN connection.  Next is a PC port (VGA), followed by the obligatory RS-232C port for command and control. 

The final port is the 12V Trigger, with a 12V DC max output of 200 mA.  We also find a security slot lock beneath the HDMI ports.

The Lens

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB (aka HC5050UB) projector: 4K capable, loaded with features and abilities!

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB features the same 15 all glass element, 2.1:1 motorized zoom lens found on the Home Cinema 5040UB (with some minor improvements to lens and lightpath) and Pro Cinema 6040UB models.  We discussed lens memory on the Special Features page, but we’ll touch on it again here.  Most home theaters run with a 16:9 screen, but some of us (as much as 10%, possibly) have chosen to go the Cinemascope route. 

If the HC5050UB didn’t offer lens memory, the zoom and lens shift would need to be adjusted every time one switches from HDTV to widescreen content, or back.  Doable, no problem, but Lens memory once set up, is a one button thing, rather than a minute or so adjusting zoom and lens shift (more than once) to get everything right, when changing to match the aspect ratio of the content.

Lens memory is a major enhancement to the experience for some of us.  The HC5050UB can save up to 10 different Lens Memory settings, with the first two saved settings being accessible from their own buttons (Lens1 and Lens2) on the remote control!  That way, I can switch from HDTV to a widescreen movie within seconds, with literally the touch of a single button.

If you have a widescreen – I do! – you’ll simply love Lens Memory – I do!

Mind you, I also am a big sports fan. But, when is all considered I want my largest image when viewing great movies.  I’ll settle for a mere 100″ diagonal for my 16:9 HDTV sports, vs my 124″ widescreen for movies. At my previous house (almost 9 years ago) I had a 128″ 16:9 screen, but always thought my movies were too small!