Posted on November 15, 2019 By Art Feierman
Epson’s flagship home theater projector is this new, 4K capable, Pro Cinema 6050UB. Epson’s UB series (Ultra Black) projectors, uses special high contrast 3LCD panels that aren’t used in any of Epson’s other home, or commercial projectors, except the near-identical Home Cinema 5050UB. The UB series itself is now 12 years old, and thanks to the often improved ultra high contrast panels, black level performance and overall picture quality continues to improve.
The Pro Cinema 6050UB (and the less expensive Home Cinema 5050UB are pixel shifting projectors, for greater detail. The Pro Cinema 6050UB offers an improvement over the previous models – the HC 5040UB and PC 6040UB – in terms of improved in pixel shifting but more significantly improved HDR handling. Of course, there are a number of other areas where the new models outperform the previous UB’s. Epson calls their latest iteration on handling 4K with pixel shifting and image processing as Pro-UHD. Epson advertises that the Pro Cinema 6050UB (as well as the HC5050UB and two similar Epson’s using the lower contrast 3LCD panels – the HC4010 and PC4050) – as having a wider color gamut and reaching the full 100% of the P3/BT.2020 color range.
That’ a claim that’s been echoed by several other manufacturers since CEDIA 2018, but as yet has not been delivered upon. Well, if this PC6050UB and HC5050UB don’t fully get to P3 color, they sure get very close. Our calibrator found all the primary and secondary colors achieved at least 95% of P3, with no other lamp-based projectors that we’ve reviewed to date, even coming close.
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Epson’s new Pro Cinema 6050UB is a bright, 4K Capable – 2,600 lumen –fully featured projector that started shipping early summer. I apologize for the delay, but I’ve had to wait months for this review unit, because, as Epson puts it, the Pro Cinema 6050UB has vastly outsold its expectations, with the projectors heavily backordered. The Pro Cinema 6050UB – aka PC6050UB, comes only in a black case (with a nice gold trim ring). (The Home Cinema version is in white.) I’ll get into the other differences throughout this review.
The Pro Cinema 6050’s list price is $3,999 but includes a bundle of gear and a longer warranty, The PC050UB’s warranty is Epson’s three-year warranty with three years of Rapid Replacement, which they provide for their Pro Cinema projectors (Home Cinema series gets two years of both. The Pro Cinema series is sold only by local integrator dealers, and some big box houses, such as Best Buy’s Magnolia stores. Along with Epson’s $3999 price you get not just the projector and the best warranty around, but also a spare lamp, a ceiling mount, and a cable cover (to keep things neat).
I should mention now, that while the change from the PC6040UB to the PC6050UB is definitely evolutionary, not revolutionary, there are some areas of improvement which will be very important to a lot of folks.
I have put well over 100 hours total on the Pro Cinema 6050UB by the time I started writing, and before measuring. Epson has agreed to lend this PC6050UB to me for an extended period to use as a reference projector (replacing the old HC5040UB). That lets me compare all other models I review to it, which in turn let’s be more precisely describe the differences between other projectors and this Epson, but also between other projectors. For example, if the dark scene handling is much better on the Epson than the XYZ projector, but only slightly better than on the ABC projector, we can conclude that the ABC projector does better dark scenes than the XYZ model. (Yep learned that stuff in a good old college level Logic course, several decades ago! After having compared the PC5050UB with the HC5040UB (or PC6040UB) predecessors, I was already appreciating a number of improvements.
This 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-$5000 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 the very least, some really good out of the box color and skin tones. Not that there aren’t some others that look great to start, as well.
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). Typically those controls need almost no, or no adjustment. Interestingly with the launch of these new UB’s, Epson solves the briefly, slightly embarrassing situation of having better performance in some ways, in its step down models over the 40UBs until the 50UB series started shipping. The less expensive HC4010 and PC4050 came out a year ago, with some improvements not found on the earlier UB’s. Now they are all updated, so the new UB’s are the best at everything in their lineup. (Epson’s LS10500 laser projector seems to have been phased out quietly, making the PC6050UB their flagship for the time being.
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 Pro Cinema 6050UB, with some help from our HC5050UB review.
This and the next 3 images are 6050UB, 4K UHD content, HDR/P3 (from Passengers, Fifth Element, and "South Pacific". The others are 5050UB images.
The first of four HDTV images (1080/SDR/REC709 color). Excellent. (These from the HC5050UB).
Our favorite model from Victoria Secret's SwimSuit Special on HDTV used to demo skin tone quality.
The Epson's brightness and color (and perceived sharpness) make it a great projector for sports viewing.
A scene from the Victoria Secret show. The Epson serves up rich colors, lots of pop, and very good color accuracy.
Another 1080i HDTV image (DirecTv) shot projected from the 5050UB.
Blacklist 4K, from Netflix, no HDR. The Epson does a great job of not crushing blacks or near whites. A good bit better than most.
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