Posted on May 12, 2019 By Art Feierman
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.
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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.
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).
4K - No HDR: Epson Home Cinema 5050UB handling the beginning of the original Blacklist pilot! Excellent contrast, highlight detail
Karl Urban in RED - 4K/HDR/P3 from disc.
The Epson HC5050UB separates itself from the competition, thanks to the great handling of very dark scenes. Best black levels anywhere near the price. Passengers 4K/HDR/P3.
This NFL game image, as well as the next three images, are of 1080i content. The photo was taken in Epson's Bright Cinema mode, no calibration, as is the other football image here.
Also 1080i content - this time from the Victoria Secret Swimsuit special. This image was taken with the post-calibration Natural setting.
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.
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!
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