Meet the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB – This New Ultra Black Projector Raises the Bar

HC5050ub on shelf

The new Epson Home Cinema 5050UB launched last month, is almost certainly the most anticipated new home theater projector from Epson in over two years, and certainly one of the most anticipated projectors from any projector manufacturers.

“I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it…”  – The Pointer Sisters.   Regulars have long known that I have considered most of the UB projectors (over the years) to hold the honor of being the best value among the relatively affordable serious home theater projector that isn’t ridiculously expensive.  Basically, we’re talking $1500 – $5000 range.

Epson’s Home Cinema 5050UB is about many things, especially:

Great black level performance, especially considering the price

Great in a dedicated home theater or “cave,”  yet also happy (thanks to 2600 max lumens) to work well in media rooms, living rooms, dens, family rooms, etc. as long as you have some reasonable lighting control. Expansive and capable eature set, there are few projectors anywhere near the price that can take on this Epson, feature for feature.

The great thing about my getting to write this Advertorial with Epson is that I get to drop in my opinions, instead of it being all manufacturer’s usual marketing.  Put another way: although I am most enthusiastic about the HC5050UB, I get to downplay some of the usual hype that goes into manufacturers own advertorials.

Projector Reviews full, in-depth review of the HC5050UB is in the works.

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

 

I had previously written that the model below this 5050UB – the HC4010, launched last fall – was selling so well that there were significant back orders.  (good for Epson)  Days ago I was speaking with Epson folks, discussing this new model, and learned that the Home Cinema 5050UB is off to an even hotter start in sales than the HC4010 was.  Not that I was surprised.

The Home Cinema 5050UB – aka HC5050UB – replaces the earlier HC5040UB, which has been shipping for over 2.5 years!  Many expected this projector to be launched last fall, at CEDIA and IFA, along with the Home Cinema 4010 and Pro Cinema 4050, which were launched just a few weeks apart).

That is the traditional time for Epson to launch home theater projectors, although sometimes they have launched lower end home entertainment models at CES or other times.

Epson tells me that while the step down HC4010 and PC4050, have many improvements, there were a few new features and capabilities that were just not ready in time for a near year-end launch of a new UB projector.  We’ll be discussing those in a minute.

The HC5050UB started shipping on April 9th (we already did a “First Look” short review).

Here are the basics – Epson Home Cinema 5050UB:

  • MSRP:  $2999
  • Brightness: 2600 lumens
  • Motorized Lens features
    • Zoom
    • Focus
    • Lens shift
    • Lens Memory – to support owning wide screens
  • Faster (18Ghz) HDMI than all previous Epsons allows for
    • Low input lag for hardcore gamers
    • Full support of 4K up to HDR/60fps/P3 color
  • Two ways to do HDR and color
    • “Best” – Digital Cinema mode for 4K HDR with P3 color
    • “Brightest” – Cinema or Natural mode for 4K HDR with REC709 color
  • Choose “Best” for the best color
  • Or about twice as bright: Choose “Digital Cinema ” for a big jump in brightness, but not quite as good color
    • Use that “best” for movies in a properly darkened room
    • Use that “brightest” combination for sports or some lights on
  • Two-year warranty with two years of a rapid replacement program
    • Usually overnight (1 business day)

Now, let’s talk about where the  Home Cinema 5050UB positions in “home theater space.” I’ll start with a little background.

It’s been over a decade since the first “UB” series projector.  When that one launched in 2007,  (the HC1080UB), it was a game changer.  The selling prices were similar back then, but those older model UBs were no match in features. The original UB sold for about what this 5050UB will over its life.this new UB has lots of big-time new capabilities and improved picture quality:  Now you get motorized lens features, 3D, 4K capabilities including HDR and P3 color, etc. Still, what set that first UB apart from everything else near or below its price, was truly superior black level performance.  To do better, you would have had to spend way more on a JVC.

Both companies launched their first projectors with great black levels in 2007.  Not exactly the same price.  The old Epson was under $3000, while the JVC RS1 was $6295!

To this day, Epson remains the leader in more affordable projectors with excellent black level performance.

Epson sells this new Home Cinema projector online, find them at top online projector resellers as well as at Amazon. The HC5050UB is also available at your local big box houses including Best Buy, and Walmart!

Or, many of you will choose to purchase from smaller local dealers, most of them are full-fledged integrators that can provide the projector all the accessories, and, if you choose, do a professional installation in your home.

Epson’s Home Cinema 5050UB like many great Epson projectors before it, blend technology expertise with performance, a great feature set, and legendary support.  Providing value, it seems, is one of Epson’s key strengths. With that in mind, there should be little surprise that Epson is by far (no one close), the largest seller of projectors in North America.

Again, as a disclosure:  This is an advertorial contracted by Epson, primarily written by me, aka Art Feierman (they get to do minor edits – if I approve of them).  Works for me! -art

Why, and How, the 5050UB outperforms its predecessor, including 4K PRO-UHD

One real breakthrough in improving on the older Epson is new dedicated hardware processing, most of it also on the HC4010 and PC4050 as well as this HC5050UB. Epson engineers have developed three proprietary hardware processors. One for Resolution Enhancement, one for HDR, and one for Image Processing. The result? Three dedicated processors working in parallel to deliver one of the best 4K HDR visual performances ever from a projector, and in this case, with great handling of the darkest scenes.

And, not only can the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB handle 4K with HDR, but thanks to the newer dedicated 4K pixel-shifting processor tech, they deliver more critical brightness – both color and white lumens – than the competition, while still delivering improved detail.  For the technically minded – faster response times when pixel shifting. Speed response charts look more like square waves than the same measurements on the 5040UB.

The HC5050UB produces very dark blacks and good detail on this bright scene where its iris isn't effective!

“This new-generation of resolution enhancement projectors from Epson have impressive advanced image processing and detail enhancement. Further, with the HC5050UB, you get deep blacks for stunning dark scenes.  As a result, when viewing 4K content, don’t be surprised if Epson’s new 4K PRO-UHD TM capable projectors are perceived to be as sharp, or even a touch sharper, than native 4K projectors that start selling at over twice the price!” – Art Feierman, Editor, ProjectorReviews.com

Epson vs the Competition

EpsonSony
Model NameHome Cinema 5050UBVPL-VW295ES
Street Price$2999$4,999.99
Resolution4K PRO-UHD (Pixel Shifting)Native 4K
Color Lumens Bright26001,500
White Lumens Bright26001,500
Achieves DCI-P3 Color SpaceYesNot Published
Dynamic Iris for superior dark scene handlingYesNo
Lens MemoryYesNo
Works with Wide ScreensYesYes
Motorized Zoom, Focus, ShiftYesYes
Warranty2 Years P&L3 Years P&L
Warranty Rapid Replacement Program2 YearsNo
Epson Pro Cinema 4050 Lifestyle Shot

Epson’s price performance on the HC5050UB is impressive. It may not be native 4K, but it certainly competes with Sony’s VPL_VW295ES, their more expensive, entry-level native 4K projector.  Check out the comparison chart.

Enthusiasts have long appreciated that Epson projectors have some pretty great color right out of the box. The HC5050UB is no exception when it comes to delivering some really fine color.  If you have been reading projector reviews, you know a lot of projectors aren’t all that great, without adjustment.

The Epson  Home Cinema 5050 UB offers capabilities rivaling many much higher-priced competitors. And, they offer dramatically more capabilities than any 4K capable projectors currently listing less than $3,000.

Key Product Features

4K PRO-UHD Projection Technology – A new approach to 4K home theater projection utilizing dedicated hardware processing for resolution enhancement, HDR, and image processing – resulting in an exceptional 4K home theater experience.
True 3-Chip Projector Design – Advanced 3LCD technology ensures 100% of the RGB color signal is displayed for every frame. This ensures outstanding color gamut while maintaining excellent brightness, without any bothersome “rainbow effect” nor “color brightness” issues typical of single chip projectors.
Dedicated 4K Pixel-Shift Processor – Advanced 4K pixel-shifting hardware precisely controls three-individual high-definition LCD chips to parallel process up to 12 million pixels of information. This breakthrough in resolution enhancement technology results in an exceptional 4K visual experience – surpassing virtually all other forms of 4K home theater projection.
Dedicated HDR Processor – Full 10-bit HDR color processing accepting 100% of the HDR source information to faithfully reproduce HDR content for an exceptional visual performance.

Dedicated Digital Imaging Processor – Real-time 12-bit analog-to-digital video processing ensuring smooth tonal transitions, while eliminating banding, blocking, and other compression artifacts from the final visual performance.  This powerful processor faithfully reproduces the source material the way it was intended to be shown.
Extreme Color Gamut – One of the first commercially available home theater projectors capable of displaying the full three-dimensional DCI-P3 color space. This extreme color performance is 50% wider than typical 1-Chip Rec. 709 projectors and allows for a truly professional-level of color accuracy.
Epson Precision Lens – Designed for zero-light-leakage, all Epson Precision Lenses utilize a proprietary 15-element precision glass structure for outstanding image clarity and edge-to-edge focus uniformity.
3-Axis Motorized Lens – For maximum placement flexibility. You can shift the lens up to 96% on the horizontal axis and up to 47% on the vertical axis. You can also set the zoom and focus, then store all the settings in one of ten presets.  The lens’es 2.1:1 zoom range provides maximum placement flexibility.

Summary

Epson-Pro-Cinema-4050-Advertorial_Lifestyle-3

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB as well as the and Home Cinema 4010 and Pro Cinema 4050: 4K PRO-UHD projectors with a new type of 4K home theater projection technology from Epson.

These Epson projectors are great examples of getting the biggest bang for your buck. Razor sharp 4K content, stunning P3 color, the wow factor from HDR, and a-nothing-comes-close feature set, that truly sets these two new Epsons apart from all competitors!

With proprietary dedicated processors for resolution enhancement, HDR, and image processing – the result is incredible brightness, color accuracy, and image detail – faithfully displaying all your favorite content from the classics to the latest blockbusters.

If you’ve been looking for the best possible 4K home theater experience for an affordable price, the HC5050UB just may be the one!

For more information on the new Epson Home Cinema 5050UB just click!

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