Epson's new Home Cinema 5020UB Projector
OK, around here we know all about the Epson models that the Home Cinema 5020UB and Home Cinema 5020UBe will replace. The older 5010 has been a major favorite of ours.
So, what's going to make the Home Cinema 5020UB worth the wait?
Here are a few tidbits, best I can confirm: First, the new 5020 projectors look exactly like the older projectors they replace. No cosmetics upgrade! Still mostly off white, with a center mounted 2.1:1 zoom lens, but with much of the front trim dark gray.
Look for the 5020 to be the same 2400 lumens brightness, which should see the new Home Cinema 5020UB and 5020UBE continue to hold the title for brightest home theater projectors under $5000. Note, the "e" version comes with wireless HDMI.
But, also look for an improvement in contrast and
black levels! Nothing like great becoming even better, so I can't wait to get one in my theater to review.
Epson it seems has "fixed" a couple of things, that weren't necessarily broken: Notably the 3D glasses. It would seem that the new glasses are very light (extremely light for active glasses), and will be rechargeable.
Now this is cool: If I understand this correctly; let's say you want to sit down with friends and put on some 3D content. Great, wait, no, one of the new 5020's glasses is out of charge! Do you call it quits and do something else (like watch 2D)?
Gamers: I can't confirm this in any way, but rumor has it that the lag times have been improved. Older Epson's it seems were a bit slow for playing high speed games like FPS (first person shooters). No idea how much improvement, but it wouldn't take too much to get the projector from last year's "not quick enough" to at least "hardly the fastest, but fast enough to satisfy most gamers". We shall see. At least one of my gaming bloggers will get a shot at the 5020 when it comes in for review sometime post CEDIA show.
Not a chance. rumor has it that if the glasses need a charge, 3 minutes of charging will give a pair enough to get you through a 3 hour movie. See, that is pretty cool! They should last about 40 hours on a full charge!
Wireless - this is easy info from IFA, etc. Epson has offered the 5010e which came with wireless HDMI. I used it, I liked it, but I found it wanting for people with room setups like mine - not using a switching AV receiver.
Why? Because the older projector's wireless had 2 HDMI inputs and no Digital Audio input. The new projectors' transmitter though has 5, yes count them, 5, HDMI inputs, and also a Digital Audio input.
What else? I'm running out of basic things I can tell you, but there is still split screen.
Ah! I almost forgot!!!
Here are the last two gems!
THX is back. In two previous series, Epson UB's offered a THX mode, but last year, the 5010 was without, even while the 6010 offered it. This year the 5020UB and 5020UBE will both have THX modes, a feature we really like seeing.
Here's a big one: That is, this fixes a complaint of mine when we reviewed the 5010 last year:
The Epson Home Cinema 5020 allows some or all of the dynamic features to operate in 3D mode!
Last year, for example, the dynamic iris didn't work in 3D modes (still not bad blacks, but why did they do it that way?)
This year's Home Cinema 5020UB and 5020UBe's dynamic iris is definitely usable in 3D. It should make a "dynamic" difference. The same is also true, for example, with CFI - smooth motion - I believe.
I'm not completely sure about the CFI, but it would be nice. I'll confirm when I know for sure.
That folks is about it, except that this year both Epson Home Cinema 5020 projectors come standard with two pair of 3D glasses, instead of the glasses being optional!
This past year's Epson 5010 won our 2012 Best In Class award for $2000 - $3500 projectors. It certainly looks like the new 5020 projectors will at least be contenders for the Best In Class when we publish the next annual report in Q1.
Hang in there. I leave for CEDIA on Sept 5. I will be "spreaking" (audio podcasts over twitter), and blogging from CEDIA. Hopefully fairly frequently, with info on a great many new projectors and other important products.
Hang in there -art
PS. Next: Epson Home Cinema 3020, 3020e