Epson Pro Cinema 4050 First Look Review – 4K UHD with HDR

Epson Pro Cinema 4050 Lifestyle

At CEDIA 2018, Epson announced their new Pro Cinema 4050 home theater projector. This exciting new projector offers improved pixel shifting from their previous models, such as the Epson Home Cinema 4000 and 5040UB, made possible by utilizing the new PRO-UHD 3LCD chip. Epson advertises this model as having a wider color gamut, reaching 100% of P3/BT.2020, HDR with balanced color brightness for that extra pop and wow factor. Being 3LCD, the projector delivers the same brightness across all colors, which allows it to combat ambient light better than its DLP counterparts. In this First Look Review, we will explore the hardware and features of the Epson Pro Cinema 4050 and discover just what this new addition to Epson’s home theater lineup has to offer.

Before we get started, you may be asking “Just what is a First Look Review?” Well, a First Look Review is a simple one-page review where we take a close look at the specifications of the projector, along with its features and our thoughts based on what the manufacturer has claimed. This all takes place before our reviewers actually get their hands on this projector. Therefore, these First Look Reviews are a mix of insight and common sense. Of course, we won’t know if the Pro Cinema 4050 will meet our expectations until we actually get it in for testing, but given what we know about similar Epson projectors, we can make some fairly safe assumptions. Let’s start with our First Look Review of the Epson Pro Cinema 4050 home theater projector!

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Epson 4050 Specs
Price$2,399
Technology3LCD
Native Resolution1920x1080x2
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2400
Contrast200000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio2.10:1
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life3,500 Hours
Weight24.3 lbs
Warranty2 Years

Overview

The Epson Pro Cinema 4050 is a $2,399 home theater projector with advanced pixel-shifting technology, thanks to the new 4K PRO-UHD chip offered by Epson, with a 1920 x 1080 x2 resolution. That’s a pretty good price for a 3LCD projector offering 4K video, an included ceiling mount and an extra lamp, especially when you consider the Home Cinema 5040UB is a couple hundred more without those extras! While pixel shifters have been around for a while, what is exciting about the 4050 is the previously mentioned enhanced PRO-UHD 3LCD chip, which makes its debut with this new projector and the similarly spec’d HC4010.

As a 3LCD projector, color is accurate, vivid and as bright as white light; 3LCD projectors offer the same number of lumens for colors as they do white ones. The new Epson Pro Cinema 4050 has a brightness claim of 2,400 lumens, which is nicely bright for a home theater projector, and is a good fit dedicated home theaters or living rooms with at least some good control over ambient light. This 4K capable projector also supports HDR10, which provides more vivid color than projectors without HDR.

Epson claims a lamp life of up to 5,000 hours in ECO Mode, which is enough potential life for more than two years between lamp changes with a viewing schedule of 6 hours a day, every day. In High Mode, the lifespan of the lamp is reduced to 3,500 hours, which is still respectable – most projectors have a lamp life claim of between 3,000 and 8,000 hours, with the higher end of that spectrum being ECO Mode claims.

Epson Pro Cinema 4050 Lifestyle Shot
Photo provided curtesy of Epson, from their Advertorial (see link at bottom of page)

While DLP projectors typically offer better black levels than 3LCD, the contrast ratio claim here is 200,000:1. With a claim like that, I would expect black levels to be better than entry level. In Art’s reviews of the 4K UHD DLP projectors, he’s been saying that most of them have merely entry level black level performance. With Epson’s improved technology, we can at least hope that the black levels of the Pro Cinema 4050 will be at least as good as the HC4000’s, if not as good as the HC5040UB’s. Like I said, we can hope, but a final determination on that will have to wait until we actually get to review one and see for ourselves.

The Pro Cinema 4050 is a sizeable 24.3 lbs, and measures in at 7.6 inches tall, 20.5 inches wide and 17.7 inches deep; right about the same size as the Home Cinema 5040UB. Other than the new PRO-UHD chip, there are a few other key features which we will get into in the Special Features section of this page, which follows the Highlights section below.

Highlights

  • $2,399 List Price
  • Native 1920 x 1080 x2 Resolution – With 4K PRO-UHD Pixel Shifting Technology
  • 2,400 White Lumens and 2,400 Color Lumens – Bright Enough to Handle Modest Ambient Light
  • 3LCD Technology
  • Lamp Life of 5,000 Hours (ECO Mode)
  • 200,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • HDR10 – Full 10-bit Color Output
  • 15-Element Glass Lens
  • Creative Frame Interpolation
  • No Color Wheel – No Rainbow Effect
  • Full HD 3D
  • Lens Memory
  • Picture-in-Picture
  • Dual HDMI inputs
  • 2 Year Warranty with Free, Next-Day Exchange with Extra Care Home Service

Special Features

The Epson Pro Cinema 4050 offers 1080p resolution with pixel shifting up to a 4K UHD image resolution.    The 15-element glass lens features Lens Memory, allowing quick switching between your regular HDTV, 16:9 content to widescreen viewing for movies. This is great for those home theater fanatics who, like Art, own a wide screen. In addition to Lens Memory, the Pro Cinema 4050 has motorized lens functions such as powered zoom and focus, which is a major plus.

Epson’s new 4K PRO-UHD technology is built into the Home Pro Cinema 4050. This new chipset is comprised of three hardware processors for Resolution Enhancement, HDR10, and Image Processing.  This means there are three dedicated processors working in parallel to display an amazing 4K HDR image, possibly among the best seen from any projector currently on the market. Epson’s new dedicated pixel-shifting technology delivers more sharpness than the older models, which greatly improves the detail of the image. Again, we won’t know how improved until Art posts his review of the PC4050/HC4010, which should be within the next month.

Hardware

The Epson Pro Cinema 4050 is intended for home theater use and, as such, has very few connections and inputs. There are two HDMI inputs (one HDCP 2.2 for 4K content, and one regular 1.4), a powered Type A USB, a standard USB for an optional wireless dongle and firmware upgrade, a Mini USB for service only, a standard RJ-45 Ethernet port for wired networking, a VGA input for computer connection, a RS-232c for legacy command and control, and a 12 V trigger.

The Bottom Line

The Epson Pro Cinema 4050 should offer a stunning 4K image with its new PRO-UHD technology and dedicated pixel shifting processor. Its list price of $2,399 will make it an exceptional value for those shopping for a dedicated home theater projector. With the color quality we have come to expect from Epson, combined with its new chip, its 100% of P3/BT.2020 claim, and support of HDR10, I think we’re in for a treat when Art gets to take a look at one in action. Epson has provided us with an advertorial for this projector – click here to check it out!