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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBe Projector Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBe
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 18.0 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:3 LCD
Lens:2.1x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:4,000 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI (x5), USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

Epson Home Cinema 5020 & 5020e
3D Home Theater Projectors

Bill Livolsi, November 1, 2012


Manual focus. The 5020UBe has manual lens adjustments. It's not uncommon for projectors to have manual lens shift, and it's even fairly common for projectors to have manual zoom and focus. But on a projector like the 5020UBe, with its extensive zoom range, it becomes difficult to nail perfect focus as the distance between projector and screen increases. You end up walking up to the screen to check focus, then walking back to the projector to make a small adjustment, et cetera. It helps to have a friend around to check your adjustments.

3D Limitations. Unfortunately, some things don't change. The 5020UBe's 3D modes still force the projector into high lamp mode with its own preset color calibrations. Frame Interpolation does not work while watching 3D content. These limitations were also present on the 5010. On the upside, iris control has now been returned to the user.

No Anamorphic. High-end theaters may opt for anamorphic lenses to create an ultra-wide 2.4:1 constant image height setup. However, for that to work, the projector needs to be able to take 2.4:1 content and vertically stretch it to fit the 16:9 native frame. The 5020UBe cannot do this. If you like the 5020UBe and want this capability, you'll need to step up to the 6020UBe, which is nearly identical in terms of capabilities but comes with an extra year of warranty, a ceiling mount, an extra lamp, and anamorphic capability.

Input Lag. Last year, we measured 92ms of lag on the Epson 5010, which was about the worst performance we saw that year. On a 60Hz signal (what you get from most PCs and gaming systems), that is 5.5 frames of delay.

This year, a series of input lag measurements reveals that the 5020UBe is faster than its predecessor in several areas. If you are serious about games, you can get a 50 millisecond delay out of the 5020UBe by changing the amount of processing the projector does to the signal. Go to Signal>Advanced>Image Processing and switch from "Fine" to "Fast." Using Cinema mode with Frame Interpolation off, that gets you 50ms (3 frames) of input lag, the fastest time the 5020UBe is capable of.

The 5020UBe's other modes are not quite as responsive, so gamers should probably skip them. In a typical mode of operation for home theater -- Cinema mode, iris enabled, Frame Interpolation Low -- the 5020UBe had a whopping 118 milliseconds (7 frames) of input lag. Frame Interpolation almost always slows down a projector's response time, so gamers are going to turn it off. In this case (Cinema, iris on, FI off) our test unit measured 67ms (4 frames) of delay.

One interesting quirk found during testing is that the 5020UBe has less input lag with its iris enabled than with its iris disabled. For example, if you use Dynamic mode, Fine processing, and no Frame Interpolation, the projector measures 83 milliseconds of delay with the iris off and 67 milliseconds of delay with the iris on. Note that this does not have any further improvement once Fast processing has been turned on; 50ms appears to be the fastest time the 5020UBe can muster.

The short version: if you are going to play games on the 5020UBe, use Fast processing and no Frame Interpolation. Super Resolution, lamp power, and image mode have zero effect on input lag, so feel free to use whatever you like. Also note that using WirelessHD does not add to input lag, as far as we can tell. Tests of the same modes over HDMI and WirelessHD link returned results within a few milliseconds of one another.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations

Reader Comments(28 comments)

Posted Oct 30, 2013 7:06 PM

By Jon

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After 500 hours everything seems to be going great. Swapped out the Marantz for a Yamaha and the wireless connection lag has all but disapeared. Havent had any issues with image quality from DVDs like one gentleman had mentioned. I'd venture a guess that either his DVD player isn't upconverting or he got a bad unit.

I ran one optimization disc but not terribly impressed with the results over the standard settings. Currently debating whether it's worth having it professionally calibrated. For the most part I watch movies and video games in Cinema/Eco.

Still very happy with the.purchase.

Posted Sep 26, 2013 10:58 PM

By Mike

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All projectors that I know of including this one now have a setting to allow for inversion of the image to allow for ceiling mount.

Posted Jul 7, 2013 2:47 PM

By gprangers

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Not Happy Just bought this projector after reading all the rave reviews on different web site and Home Theather Mag. SO DISAPOINTED On sharpness and clarity my old Mits HC 5000 blew it away on my old dvds. They looked very good on the mits HC 5000 and very clear. The new Epson is grainy on the old dvds. Yes it is more bright and the colors pop, but all the reviews said it really shines on STANDARD 2D. Both look great on Blue Ray, what does'nt now days. But on standard dvd its is a step backwards for sure. Not sure if its because the HQV in the Mits was that much better. Again the Mits was RAZOR SHARP and this EPSON is clearly lacking in that department. Longing for my Mits HC 5000 back, but I sold it. Not Happy

Posted Mar 30, 2013 3:37 PM

By Dodgey

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I'm very interested in purchasing this projector for my home theater. Having never bought a projector before, I was curious about ceiling mounting. Can anyone confirm this projector mounts upside down or right side up? What's the setting to flip the image if it's an upside down mount?

Also, can anyone recommend a good ceiling mount that's still somewhat inexpensive?


Posted Feb 28, 2013 10:10 AM

By Jon

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I have to thank Projector Central for bringing this model to my attention. After waiting a month and a half my 5020 was finally delivered yesterday and I have to say it was definitely worth the wait. I haven't had the chance to run any level of calibration on the unit yet but it has a very impressive picture right out of the box, especially considering that I cheaped out on the screen (Elite Screens - Manual - 100").

The only negative thing I have to say about it so far is the wireless can be finicky. It took a few minutes to get it setup initially and it seems to work fine now. That said, it will drop the connection when transitioning from the PS3 menu to the bluray menu and even sometimes going between menus on the disc. If you get impatient and start playing around with the buttons and trying to force it to reconnect it'll only take more time. As it is, these little episodes only last about 10-15 seconds if you leave it alone. I think I've avoided some of the issues others have had as I have all of sources using HDMI that's routed through my receiver (Marantz NR 1603) so I don't need to switch inputs on the wireless.

Any hint of buyers remorse ($2900 for a projector is a bit of a stretch for some (many) of us) was quickly eliminated after watching the first 30 minutes of Prometheus.

Posted Jan 16, 2013 9:36 AM

By Abe

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I read one buyer review noting that wireless HDMI will only work if transmitter is front/forward of the projector; his transmitter is on the side and is not working out for him-he is upset about that. anyone buying the wireless model should review the wireless beam path Epson pointed out in the spec. to make sure they are ok with it first. the high frequency that these transmitters operates on (60 GHZ) is much more selective.

Posted Jan 15, 2013 1:17 PM

By Han Solo

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regarding Wireless HD 3D streaming. I was reading the Owner manual for 5020Ube and the closest thing I found that talks about wireless 3D connectivity is on Page 81 which talks about "3D CONTENT ISSUES" Here is the text: "If your video device is connected to the WirelessHD Transmitter (PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBe only), see page 85. " Then I went to page 85 and there is nothing there that talks about 3D streaming. Basically there is no direct disclosure that it cant support HD 3D wireless streaming. But again standard rev 1.0 does not support it and 5020e is 1.0 standard. Can the Epson Wireless Transmitter be software updated with the 1.1 standard or that a hardware thing.

So... idecided toemailed Epson and they responded same day:

Here is the response from Epson rep Matt S. @ Epson: Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBe.

The wireless HD supports 3D or I may say when watching 3D movies and running through the wireless HD. The projector supports Frame packing, Side by side and top and bottom 3D format. As long you are streaming these type of 3D format to the wireless HD to the projector should not have any issue.

Posted Jan 11, 2013 3:22 PM

By Clif Brittain

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I find the wireless transmission to be very difficult to use. I must have two separate inputs, one for cable, the other for DVD. There is no easy way to switch between them. It requires at least a minute and in one direction, five separate manual inputs. I have been unable to program the protocol into a universal remote. The result is that I am the only person in the household that knows how to use this device.

Posted Jan 9, 2013 3:37 AM

By roger

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Chris' question was never addressed. Many people are dying to know more about the 5020e and its wireless capabilities but nobody will comment. WILL the wireless (replacing HDMI) provide as good a signal as Epson claims when we're talking FULL HD and 3D??? I need to know if I need to make swiss cheese out of my ceiling or not. Has anyone really tested to see if the wireless picture is equally as good?

Posted Jan 2, 2013 1:44 PM

By bbobbo

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chris asked:

"Does this also go for a fullHD 3d movie streamed over wireless hdmi?"

according to the epson's specs, the 5020ube supports version 1.0b of the wirelesshd standard:

however, streaming of 3d content doesn't seem to be supported until version 1.1 of the standard:

therefore, it seems that the 5020ube doesn't support streaming of 3d content.

Posted Dec 29, 2012 5:23 PM

By Clark

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Could this fit a 150 inch Diagonal with 1080p picture?

Posted Dec 13, 2012 8:54 PM

By Bin

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I have got a Epson TW9000 – equivalent model of 5010e. Does anyone know if I can get the new 5 in 1 wireless transmitter designed for 5020ube somewhere so that I can use it on mine?


Posted Dec 12, 2012 5:47 AM

By Chris

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In your review you are very positive about the wireless capabilities (you say performance/quality are almost similar to hdmi).

Does this also go for a fullHD 3d movie streamed over wireless hdmi?

In your review you don't clearly specify this.

Posted Dec 11, 2012 6:22 PM

By Tommykaroutsos

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Hi,I'm looking to buy a new projector and I am looking at this one and the sony Val-hw30es.Which one in your opinion is better and why? Thank you.

Posted Dec 7, 2012 5:39 AM

By David Collister

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Hi, advice please, my Mitsubishi hc2000 bulb has gone and I have had the projector for 6 years anyway, so a new piece of kit is required. However I have a 100" diagonal screen and the projector housing is 5.5 mtrs away(19ft) also it is set horizontal with the top of the screen. I want 3d as I have upgraded all my kit to 3d, but 6 months ago I was told by a retailer there are no 3d projectors that throw out 19ft thus I have held off buying, does the new Epson do the job or do I understand correctly that I will lose all the brightness because of the distance in throw. My room is total blackout if required. Thx for any advice

Posted Dec 4, 2012 11:53 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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Thanks to everyone for their comments.

Lahoree - Screenshots aren't a helpful measure of relative performance, so we don't include them. In many cases, either due to camera settings or a user's monitor settings, they can actually be misleading. Never base your purchasing decisions on screenshots. As for the comparison, I hope you've read our comparison piece, available from the homepage.

Erik - Yes, it is available from the homepage.

JNo - thanks, we will!

Silverfox - You're right, the 5020UB is a massive upgrade from the Sanyo Z5. Hope you enjoy it. Fan noise kicks up quite a bit in 3D, but overall we didn't find it objectionable.

Jason - We wrote up a comparison with the AE8000; go check it out!

Siddhant - I'm not sure what you mean. Any short-throw add-on lens would be a third-party product and therefore not projector-specific. And no, anamorphic stretch mode is not supported; for that feature you need to upgrade to the 6020UB.

James - Having not tested the 5020UB against the HD1, I can't say.

terraformer - Glad you enjoy the projector, and glad you found our review helpful!

Hops - Living Room mode is great in ambient light, and lens shift will make your life much easier. I'd recommend the 5020UB.

Posted Dec 1, 2012 7:46 AM

By Hops

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I'm debating putting à projector in basement but not habijt dedicated theater room. I was looking Epson 3020 or 5020. There is à soffit above my screen, so i was concerned about the pack of lense shift on 3020. THE soffit is about 13 inches. If i don't want THE projector hanging down 15 inches off ceiling, is THE 5020 THE way too go?

I know the site has 5020 as home theater projector vs home video, any thoughts on how it handles ambient light.

Posted Nov 21, 2012 1:35 PM

By terraformer

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Just bought and installed this projector to replace my aging Panny AE900U. What a difference! Inky blacks, quiet fan in Eco mode, and amazing clarity. I've got it ceiling mounted @ 15ft onto a 104" screen. Very pleased so far. The wireless HDMI is really great, as when I bought this house the previous owner had only run component cables behind the walls and ceiling. I didn't need to buy a new receiver either as the optical out from the wireless box sends all HDMI sound from whatever is plugged into it to the receiver.

Posted Nov 13, 2012 3:04 AM

By James

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Please make also a comparison between Panasonic PT AE8000 and Epson HC 5020. Which has better blacks? JVC HD1 or Epson HC 5020? Thanks

Posted Nov 12, 2012 9:14 PM

By Siddhant Gupta

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Does epson 5020 have a ready feature supporting an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 Thanks

Posted Nov 12, 2012 8:57 PM

By Siddhant Gupta

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I wanted to buy a short throw lens for this projector. So i wanted to know how much it would cost and where it would be available? Thank you

Posted Nov 7, 2012 6:12 PM

By russell mclaughlin

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Noone else has been able to reproduce your input lag time of 50 msec, and you provided no photo. Everyone else is getting 62msec. Please retest and post photo.

Posted Nov 7, 2012 10:25 AM

By Jason

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Would love to see a comparison of the Epson 5020, Optoma HD33, Panasonic PT-AE8000, and Mistubishi HC-8000D. Would be very very helpful.

Thanks ProjectorCentral!! JD

Posted Nov 3, 2012 8:41 PM

By Silverfox

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Forgot to ask but could you please comment on the Fan noise in the brightest modes since it was not mentioned in your review ?


Posted Nov 3, 2012 8:37 PM

By Silverfox

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Thanks very much for your informative review. Needing to upgrade from a Sanyo PLV-Z5 with a throw of 19` to a 120" 1.2 gain, 16:9, so it appears IMO that this Epson will be a huge upgrade in eye candy and specifically brightness. Glad i waited for the latest and passed on the 5010.


Posted Nov 2, 2012 5:17 PM

By JNo

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Thanks for the input lag analysis - absolutely brilliant!

And it sets your reviews apart so keep 'em coming!


Posted Nov 1, 2012 3:43 PM

By Erik

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Will there be a comparison with the Panasonic PT-AE8000?

Posted Nov 1, 2012 3:19 PM

By Lahoree

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Great review but would love to see screenshot comparisons with other projectors in the same price range and how it compares to Panasonic's AE-8000 :)


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