Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector – Review Update

Greetings one and all.  It’s time for me to share some more tidbits about the Home Cinema 5010 now that I’ve run it side by side with the Panasonic PT-AE7000 for a few hours,  and also the Optoma HD8300.

Mostly I’ve got great news so far, but also a disapointment or two, but the news is mostly good.

Black levels are really good.  I actually haven’t run it against the 8700UB, but I did put it up against the PT-AE7000 that’s here, and I’d have to say, there’s at least as big an advantage with the Epson Home Cinema 5010 when compared to the PT-AE7000, as “last year’s” Home Cinema 8700UB had against the older PT-AE4000.

In 2D, based on what I consider most important, Looks like the Epson has the picture quality advantage over the Panny.  The Panny of course has a cool feature set, and the Epson jazzes its up with side by side picture viewing, etc.

But I’ll save all that for the review.

I’ve got no issues with the Epson doing 2D.  It closely resembles the 8700UB, but with a healthy boost of lumens under the hood.  Black levels are still about the best this side of a higher end projector like my RS20, or the newer version, the roughly $7500 RS45.   That’s a lot more change to further improve black levels which are pretty darn good.

My complaint, if any, is with 3D.   Oh, let’s be clear, I love the reasonable 3D brightness with Dynamic mode, and even 3D Cinema mode, is as bright or almost as bright as a couple LCoS projectors in their brightest 3D modes.  I also found the color to be slightly better than the Panny when they are both doing their brightest efforts.

What bothers me, is that we are denied, I believe, all of the dynamic features – definitely no CFI, and no Dynamic iris, and for that matter, their dynamic sharpening – Super-Res, when in 3D on this pre-production projector.    I’m awaiting confirmation whether these might be implemented on full production projectors.  I’ve already contacted them and pointed out that most competitors do have such features active in 3D.

Now, I love my blacks, and want great blacks in 3D too.   At least I can settle for the fact that 3D is never especially bright, so overall black levels are well below what 2D would look like with the dynamic iris turned off.

Still, I did shoot the Epson vs. the Panasonic and Optoma, and both easily beat it at 3D blacks.

Now from my take, the Epson advantage in 2D, is more important than, say the Panasonic advantage in 3D.  That’s not in measured difference, but do the lower brightness levels used for 3D viewing, lowering the blacks as well.  IN the old days, many of us bought HC gray screens just to lower the overall black level.

As always, great placement flexibility.  And warranty.  An interesting feature I haven’t played with much relates to pixel alignment.  it’s an auto feature, and and haven’t figured it out yet, but I suspect it’s digital, and softens a bit.   It could even be doing something like JVC does to call some of their projectors 4k, which is to double projector, with some shift.   I’ll get back to you all on this, in the full review.

Tomorrow will be my first serious test of the Split Screen feature.  It’s not that I don’t have other displays here, but I will put up an NFL game from HDMI while feeding computer signal to the other window.  Do some Fantasy football, side by side with the game.  (And each will still be larger than my friends 50″ LCDTVs.)

BTW, in doing the photo shoot against the Panasonic and the Optoma HD8300, I should note that the HD8300 was in the middle regarding black level performance, but it was definitely closer to the Epson, than the Panasonic, which is to say, that the HD8300 has slightly better blacks than the Panny.

OK, that’s it, gotta blog the Acer, right now, then start writing up the Acer H9500BD, full review.

Hey folks the Acer turns out to be a pleasant surprise, so check out the next blog, and the Acer’s review.  It’s priced down there with the lower priced Epsons and the Optoma HD33, etc.

BTW, the Epson Home Cinema 3010 – the $1599 Epson, will be on the way to Pete for his gaming projector blog.  He’ll let everyone know about lag, and how well it plays.

OK, off to do that Acer -art

News and Comments

  • Kevin


    Have you had a chance to look at the 6010 again and if so can you give some input about the THX verses not having it on the 5010.

    Basically what I’d like to know is if it’s worth the investment to purchase the 6010 because of the THX along with the mount and glasses you get with the it.

    • Kevin, Other than the math (cost of projectors, mount and lamp, it’s pretty straight forward:

      1. The Natural (normal?) mode is very close to the REC 709 that is the basis for THX, etc. (color gamut) But that mode isn’t as well tuned in terms of grayscale as a THX mode would be.

      2. The solution, is to have the 5010 calibrated, vs running the 6010 in THX. If you would calibrate the 6010, no point in having the THX mode.

      3. Therefore, it comes down to a couple/few hundred to calibrate the Epson 5010, vs the additional costs.

      4. REmember you get a 3rd year warranty (and replacement program) with the 6010 as well.

      5. So, it’s down to the combination of $$$dollars, warranty, and calibration. Unless you are also debating an anamorphic lens in the future, in which case the Pro Cinema 5010 supports one, and the 5010 does not.

  • Tom

    Can any of the new 1080 3d projectors work with nvidia 3d hardware. Computer gaming very important for some. Was greatly dissappointed the Epson doesn’t, do any of the others?

    • Problem seems that even when companies do want to support nvidia 3d, it basically requires a driver, and that can take months. My gaming blogger pc platform only- has been very frustrated, as we couldn’t for example get the Optoma hd33 to work, even though their gaming pjs do…

  • andy

    Why is the 5010 only half as bright as the 3010?

    • Hi Andy,

      Er, what? the two projectors are almost identical in brightness, despite the 5010 officially being slightly brighter. Did I let through an old paragraph from an old projector review or comment somewhere, that left you with the impression that there is a real difference?

  • andy

    Dynamic= 1819 @ 7111
    Living Room= 1375 @ 7983
    Natural= 635 @ 6969, 455 in Eco lamp mode (default)
    Cinema= 635 @ 6924, 455 in Eco lamp mode (default)

    The 5010 specs in the review are wrong then.