Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Review – An Extremely 4K Capable Home Theater Projector

The new Epson 4K capable Home Cinema 5050UB projector is their latest and best projector in Epson’s now 12 year old UB series – aka “Ultra-Black” shifting projectors, offering an improvement over the previous HC 5040UB/PC 6040UB home theater projectors in pixel shifting and HDR, as well as in a number of other areas. 

Epson calls their latest implementations and improvements Pro-UHD (a registered mark), and advertises the Home Cinema 5050UB (as well as the HC4010 and PC4050), as having a wider color gamut and reaching the full 100% of the P3/BT.2020 color range; a claim that’s been echoed by several others since CEDIA 2018, but as yet has not been delivered upon – we’ll see if the HC5050UB/PC4050 can actually pull it off! (The HC4010 and PC4050).  See Eric’s comments on the calibration pages.

View Full Specifications Here >>
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Specs
Price$2999
Technology3LCD
Native Resolution1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2600
Contrast1,000,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio2.10:1
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life3500 hours
Weight24.7 lbs.
Warranty2 years

Overview

Epson’s new Home Cinema 5050UB is a bright, 4K Capable – 2,600 lumen –fully featured projector.  The Home Cinema 5050UB – aka HC5050UB, comes only in a white case (with a nice gold trim ring).

The Home Cinema 5050’s list price is $2,999, The HC5050UB’s warranty is Epson’s standard two year warranty with two years of Rapid Replacement.  While the change from the HC5040UB to the HC5050UB is definitely evolutionary, not revolutionary, there are some areas of improvement which will be very important to a lot of folks.

wireless hdmi device
Wireless HDMI transmitter comes with the HC5050UBe version

 

As usual, there is a second new projector in the UB line-up, the Home Cinema 5050UBe, which launched at the same time in April and sells for $300 more. That Epson physically looks identical but has built-in Wireless HDMI and comes with an HDMI transmitter, that handles three HDMI inputs on the back, plus one on the side.  It also outputs wired HDMI and Digital Optical audio!  BTW $300 for that ability is typically a good bit less than third-party wireless HDMI choices.

Also of note, since I started writing up this review, Epson just launched the Home Cinema 5050UB’s almost identical twin – the Pro Cinema 6050UB.  Other than the black case, it looks just like the 5050UB but touts slightly better performance – which will be discussed in its review.  Just know that the Pro Cinema 6050UB is $1000 more, for which you get a slight bump in performance (including contrast for better blacks), along with hardware goodies:  Free spare lamp, cable cover and ceiling mount.  Don’t forget the 3rd year of warranty and replacement program (vs the HC5050UB’s two years of each).

I put on well more than 50 hours of watching the projector (ok, I’m not paying close attention all the time), before Eric came by to collect it, and take it for calibration.  He brought it back a week or so ago, calibrated and I helped him unmount the 5040UB and replace it with the Home Cinema 5050UB in my theater.  (Eric is tall, I’m not!)  Even before I gave it to him I was already appreciating a number of improvements.  I even took a pretty large number of my usual photos, pre-calibration because the Epson has several really good looking Picture modes, which may not be “calibration” accurate, but most will be quite thrilled with the “out of the box” settings.  

HC5050UB spiderman image
A fun, animated 4K/HDR/P3 image from Spiderman - Spider-verse.

Not many sub-$3000 projector brands do as well,  Along with Epson, Sony (especially good) and BenQ, are the brands that come first to mind for consistently having at least really good out of the box color and skin tones – there are a couple of others though.  I normally adjust the Brightness and Contrast by eyeball, when I first start viewing (that’s really easy to do, no gear of software needed).

Interestingly with the launch of the 5050UB, Epson solves that slightly embarrassing situation of having better performance in some ways, in a step down model.  Let’s take a quick look at this new Epson’s major highlights, features, and benefits.  From there, we will tackle Special Features, Hardware, Picture Quality and Performance, before wrapping it up with a Summary page, where we will also discuss this Epson’s competitors.  Time to explore the Home Cinema 5050UB!

HC5050ub on shelf
The 2.1:1 motorized zoom lens with massive amounts of lens shift, gives the HC5050UB excellent placement flexibility" Ceiling, Rear shelf, or Table top placement. Very few projectors will work on a rear shelf.

Highlights

  • 4k Capable
    • Supports HDR
      • HDR10 (i.e. 4K Blu-ray UHD)
      • HLG – Hybrid Log-Gamma – for broadcast and streaming
    • Supports better color space BT2020/P3 in best modes
    • New tone mapping for brighter, better image
  • 2,600 lumens – up 100 lumens from previous, suitable for:
    • Theaters, media rooms, other rooms with good lighting control
  • Pixel shifting used to enhance detail
    • New pixel shifting hardware design for a brighter image
  • CFI for smooth motion – upgraded
    • Now CFI works with 1080 content using 4K enhancement
  • 3D Support (1080p – there are no 4K 3D standards)
  • Backlit remote with HDMI-link
  • HDMI is 18Ghz – supports full 2.0
    • Allows for 4K 60hz HDR/P3 content
    • Previous UB models could not do 4K 60hz with HDR
  • Really good gaming projector <30ms input lag
  • Maximum placement flexibility with 2.1:1 zoom
    • with massive lens shift (vertical and horizontal
  • Three power modes: High (a bit noisy), Medium, and Eco.
  • Wired networking standard
  • The $300 extra Home Cinema 5050UBe is identical but for the addition of wireless HDMI

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