Review Contents
Editor's Choice
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010 Projector Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010
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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 (x2), Network, USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010
LCD 3D 1080p Projector

Bill Livolsi, November 30, 2011

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010 is Epson's brand new 3D 1080p projector for home theater. Like the Home Cinema 8700 UB, the 5010 has impressive contrast and very high maximum lumen output. This allows the projector to fill large screens in dark rooms or effectively combat ambient light in living rooms and other shared spaces.

Where the Home Cinema 3010 was a bit of a departure for Epson, the 5010 is a return to form. The projector's 2.1:1 zoom lens and extensive H/V lens shift give it some of the best placement flexibility in its price class, while Frame Interpolation and Super Resolution both add subtle enhancements to an already great image. With street prices hovering around $2700, the Home Cinema 5010 is a strong contender in this year's home theater line-up.

The Viewing Experience

Even fresh out of the box, the 5010 demands attention. The projector sports a two-tone case, with white top and bottom panels and a black front grill and lens. The slick, streamlined case has some nice touches, such as a control panel that hides away behind a spring-loaded sliding panel cover and a center-mounted lens configuration that will make ceiling mounts easier.

Outwardly, the Home Cinema 5010 resembles a larger Home Cinema 3010, though the similarities are only skin deep. Set up side by side, the differences in performance and image quality are striking: the 5010 has vastly deeper black levels, higher dynamic range, better color saturation, quieter operation, a quieter auto iris, and an overall sharper image. Then again, the 3010 is designed for home entertainment while the 5010 is built for home theater, so the 5010's better performance is not entirely unexpected.

We set the 5010 up in a darkened room on a rear shelf to take full advantage of the projector's 2.1:1 zoom lens and H/V lens shift. The projector is a breeze to set up, and the lens shift wheels even have click stops indicating the halfway point in their ranges. All lens controls are manual. The 5010 takes longer to start up than previous Epson projectors by a few seconds, though previous Epson projectors lack the 5010's powered retracting lens cap. When the projector is not in use, it slides in front of the lens, protecting it from dust and damage automatically.

As far as placement goes, the Home Cinema 5010 can produce a 120" diagonal 16:9 image anywhere between 11' 8" and 25'. Lens shift is extensive as well. 2.9 picture heights of total vertical range allow you to place the image entirely above or below the centerline of the lens with room to spare for ceiling or table mounting, while 1.9 image widths of horizontal range allows for nearly 50% shift in either direction. This is more or less the best shift range available on a projector in this price class, and it allows for a wide variety of installations.

With all the lights out, Cinema mode's 827 lumens make it a perfect fit for a 130" diagonal 1.0 gain screen, or a 140" diagonal screen at 1.3 gain. Users of smaller screens can avail themselves of Eco lamp mode or the projector's generous zoom lens in order to lower light output from this point. If ambient light is a concern, several of the projector's other image modes -- namely Dynamic and Living Room -- offer light output more than double that of Cinema mode, though color and contrast are compromised as a result.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  Shootout vs AE7000 Conclusion

Reader Comments(60 comments)

Posted Sep 15, 2016 6:20:58 PM

By Paul Bize

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Do not buy this projector. While the unit has great technical views and is easy to install and works well out of he box, I have had TWO catastrophic failures in 4 years. They replaced the first unit, but after 2 years the second one failed for the same reason. I called EPSON and they said it's out of warranty and find a repair facility. Not help at all. They had the Nads to refer me to a customer loyalty site to buy another EPSON product!!! I'm NOT HAPPY and will not buy another EPSON product again.

Posted Jun 18, 2015 4:55:30 AM

By Todd

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While your experience is unfortunate.....mine is exactly the opposite. Flawless performance for the same time time period and the quality of the picture is still stunning after 1200 hours on the original bulb.

I would buy this projector over and over again.

An amazing product.....I feel sorry that you've had difficulty....but I've read your same post all over the Internet and felt that those of us with great experiences needed to respond to you.

Posted Mar 5, 2015 10:46:13 AM

By Rob Friedrichs

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I have had my 5010 for less than three years, and in that time Epson has replaced it twice due to catastrophic failure. After the second replacement unit, I knew the original warranty was about to expire so I begged Epson to extend the warranty given the problems we had already experienced. They refused, but assured me that this was a quality product and that I had just experienced "a run of bad luck". Well, that bad luck streak has continued since the projector malfunctioned again this weekend. For those keeping up with the story, that is now 3 separate units of this "quality product" that have gone out in less than three years. And since the original warranty has expired, Epson is unwilling to do anything to make it right. Almost $3,000 and three years after purchase, I now have a very expensive paperweight hanging from my ceiling. DO NOT BUY THIS PROJECTOR!!! It is obviously a lemon, and Epson will not make it right.

Posted Jul 17, 2014 1:07:54 PM

By Robert

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I've read people's comments regarding customer support, and some bad experiences. That's not my experience. I've had my 5010 since 4-12 (2 months out of warranty!). The auto shutter (lens cover) stopped working. CS was great! They sent me a firmware update. I loaded it, and machine totally shut down, going into SERVICE MODE (2 red flashing lights). I called CS, and upon me e mailing the CS rep my purchase receipt, he noted that although my unit was 3 months out of warranty he wanted to help me. He IMMEDIATELY offered to send me a replacement unit, free to me, including return shipping of my defective unit. Yes, I did shower then with kindness Yes, I was honest with him that my unit was out of warranty. Yes, I was required to give a CC hold of $2100 until they get the defective unit returned.

Maybe I was just lucky, and talked to a GREAT CS rep (many thanks Feenix!). 2 business days shipping, and return shipping prepaid by Epson. I could not be more pleased

I would like to think that being nice, talking to CS honestly, without a sense of "entitlement", and being respectful goes a LONG WAY towards getting assistance, and them actually WANTING to help.

I will update this post if any glitches occur.

I will be an Epson projector customs FOR LIFE!

Posted Aug 28, 2013 12:37:05 PM

By George

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I've had the 5010 since Christmas and it's worked extremely well.

There's 350 hours on the bulb, and last week we watched a 3D movie.

When I leave the room after watching a movie, I completely shut it down for a few minutes before watching a second movie.

I turned on the machine and it wouldn't come out of warm up mode. The cover wouldn't open.

If you run across this problem - the firmware needs to be updated. Call Epson and they'll send you all the material to accomplish this pain-in-the-butt feat.

Posted May 20, 2013 1:03:58 PM

By Ziad TAbbara

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I have purchased epson 5010e projector and fine for a week or two, I went to turn it on, and the fan came on real strong but the lamp never did come on. Then the lens cap closed and the unit turned off and the red check lamp light lit up. What does this means ? Is it the lamp is burned ! Please advice !

Posted Mar 26, 2013 12:45:17 AM

By dee604

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ive had my 5010 for 6 months now... ive put 1000 hours on the lamp... i can only say great things about it... picture is sharp , color is great ... 3d is really bright... for 2d brightness living room mode or dynamic is overkill...cinema mode is plenty bright... maybe after 4000 hours the living room mode will get some use... ive owned a few panny projectors (pt-ae700, pt-ax100, pt-ae2000) and this epson 5010 is by far the best one ive had

however yesterday my picture started flickering ... first i thought it was a faulty hdmi cable but it shows up on all inputs... am i looking at a lamp thats about to die ?? anyone else had a similar issue ??

Posted Feb 11, 2013 8:15:13 PM

By Paul H

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I chose the 5010 over the BenQ W7000 for one main reason, and that was lamp replacement cost. I'm totally happy with the Epson 5010, I've had it 8 months now, the stock lamp is at 1000 hours and I'm not noticing much in image quality degradation at all - mind you I'm running ECO mode 90% of the time. This is my first PJ purchase ever, and I'm satisfied with my choice. 3D is great, with some - but nondistracting - ghosting issues. Best bang for the buck, a great investment IMHO. Oh, and customer service was great when I requested a firmware update. Kudos to EPSON!

Posted Feb 6, 2013 7:23:16 PM

By Derreck

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I bought a 5010 in March of 2012, last year and have had nothing but problems with it since. The first projector I ordered arrived, and after watching a couple of movies on it noticed a spot being projected in the lower left hand corner. I called Epson and they were great about it. They sent a replacement, and that projector seemed to work fine for a week or two, and then one evening I went to turn it on, and the fan came on real strong but the lamp never did come on. Then the lens cap closed and the unit turned off and the red check lamp light lit up. Again, Epson sent me a new one. Fast forward to now.. I have had five projectors sent to me from Epson, all brand new ones, and all have had the same issue. I am now getting my money back from Epson. Great picture, but not so great build quality.

Posted Jan 21, 2013 1:03:38 PM

By Rajeev H

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Good picture, but bad product and poorer service.

The projector stopped working after about three weeks of usage.

After about two weeks of usage the picture started showing up lighter/duller than usual and would take a few minutes before picture became normal. Now after about three weeks of use picture does not show up at all and the red light indicating faulty blub flashes. Epson sent me a replacement bulb, but it did not make any difference. Since the product is covered under warranty, Epson will replace the product, but wants a deposit. If the problem keeps happening, I will have to bear the cost of mounting the projector to the ceiling each time (i.e until I get a different brand ).

Customer service doesn't care -

Posted Dec 31, 2012 3:28:24 PM

By tom lavoie

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Epson got me. Epson 8350 have gone through three bulbs in 2 years. Got two free replacements. Last bulb lasted 1063 hours even tho rated at 4,000. Epson this is corporate dishonesty, shame on you. I'm going to buy another projector but not an Epson because of your dishonesty.

Posted Oct 9, 2012 4:19:12 PM


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You can buy an Epson but beware of the customer support and oh by the way after two years your unit will be a boat Anchor but hey Dont listen to me and get burned Thanks EPSON

Posted Sep 4, 2012 7:34:02 PM

By Rob

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When I can watch a 144" dia in OLED for under 2k I will consider something besides a projector. A Projector is easy to move and easy to replace. How much would one of those OLED things cost and how many bulbs can I buy? If the 2k projector craps out after 5 years who cares? If the 10k OLED craps out in 5 years I would be [censored]! Anyway, I usually give the projector to one of the kids when it needs a new bulb and I get a new one. Planning on a 3d projector this year and the 5010 has caught my eye. I may actually spend more than 2k this year we will see. Before you think about a high dollar screen been using walmart tshirt material for 6 years now two different installs costs about 3$ to 5$ for a screen spent more money in thumbtacks than material.

Posted Aug 31, 2012 12:10:37 PM

By Ron Brunet

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This forum is all great but does not mention the cost of replacing the lamp bulb on the 5010 which is $300.00 after 4000hrs of use. Not sure if it would be more feasible to get a 72" OLED 3D TV instead. I heard the new ones coming out do not need 3D glasses and they can also be swithed from 2D and 3D in any mode. They are also making them less 4mm thick and are fully wireless compatible with all the techno crap and are rated past 400,000hrs.

Check out the new OLED T.V.'s We’ve seen them before with small sizes and high prices but this year OLED TVs are set to make a big splash with several reasonably priced large screen HDTVs using the technology hitting shelves this year from LG. Lets take a closer look at this exciting display technology and run down why its getting so much attention.

To start with we’ve got to differentiate between OLED and the LED displays that are already commonplace. They may sound similar, but theres a big difference. the ‘O’, which stands for ‘organic’ makes all the difference.

In LED screens you require back-lighting but in an OLED display each organic cell emits its own light so we no longer need any back-light. This means screens can be much more thin and light weight. For example, LG has a 55” OLED TV on its way to stores which is only 4mm thick! Thats about the thickness of three stacked credit cards. Whats more, the lack of back-lighting means your OLED can be nearly borderless with the picture extending almost right to the edge.

This technology isn’t just going to effect the size and shape of screens though. The responsiveness is also much quicker than your run of the mill LED TV - over a thousand times quicker. That means you’ll always get super sharp detail, even with fast motion video.

The OLED system also means better contrast control. Since each cell is its own light source, we can achieve localized dimming and extreme contrast ratios with deep blacks and vibrant whites at the same time. We can now have true black pixels.

Try taking any other TV in a dark room. See the screen when the picture is supposed to be black? It doesn’t look quite black, does it? More like dark grey. It still glows a little. If you had an OLED screen you wouldn’t see anything. Just blackness. This may sound like a little thing but it really does make a lot of difference. It means everything looks the best it can with all the sharpness and depth it deserves.

Really OLED technology is poised to improve every aspect of new TVs. Size, weight, form factor, contrast, colour and even speed. Its worth paying attention to. Chances are, once you see one of the new OLED TVs in action you won’t be able to look at your old HDTV the same way again.

So after reading this check out the new OLEDS and see if it would be more feasible than replacing $300.00 bulbs every 4000hrs. T.V. are getting better by the year. I gigure in about 5 more years technology will have quadrupled in t.v's and then these OLEDS will be out of date. Imagine a t.v. built into your entire wall as thin as tinfoil in fact your entire wall could be a t.v. and it would seem like you were looking outside. You could have billions of different color manipulations and actually see light reflect off a grain of salt. It would be so real that you could almost walk into a movie or game thinking it is and bump back from your wall. The future is coming folks and projectors will be out and nonexistent.

Posted Aug 30, 2012 11:00:40 AM

By chris morgan

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I`ve noticed when I turn the power switch off manually on my model 8100 (epson) It more then triples the life of the lamp. Yes I do still agree with u epson is not exactly the benchmark in lamp life but I got no complaints about the picture beautifull

Posted Aug 15, 2012 1:05:42 PM

By Scott S

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I built a 100% light controlled theater room to accommodate a 160” wide screen. I want to use a transparent acoustic screen (center stage XD). My guess is the loss of light due to the av screen and given the screen size will force me to operate in the “living room” mode. Does anyone know if this mode can be tweaked (using the advanced color adjustments) to achieve good color accuracy and dynamic range? I will need about 1300 lumens. I’ve had projectors that did not have good blacks and would hate to be in that position again. Also, any comments to brand of av screen would be appreciated

Posted Jul 21, 2012 7:19:53 PM

By DonF

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I purchased my 5010 a few weeks ago. I replaced a 8100 with this new projector. The picture is amazing. I also project 35mm polarized 3D at home and the 3D from the 5010 rivals the 35mm images from my 35mm projector using a 1600 watt xenon bulb. I'm very happy with the Epson 5010. Life is good!

Posted Jul 16, 2012 2:25:35 AM

By teampj

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I have this projector bulbs burn out under 800 hours. no exceptions as of yet, Epson needs to get it together they are ripping off way too many people. The first bulb burnt our at 560hours the 2nd burnt out at 473hours the third burnt out at 721hours.

Posted Jun 18, 2012 10:14:16 AM

By Joe Score

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I suggest using LCD projectors versus DLP projectors like Benq. The DLP guys say they have elimated the "rainbow" effect but I still see this on new DLP projectors using one DLP chip. Remember you may not be the only person to watch your projector. Thanks, Joe

Posted May 20, 2012 5:30:18 AM

By Jim

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Don't buy BenQ!! I spent way too much on a projector that died way too soon!

Posted Apr 22, 2012 10:57:52 PM

By Hardcore

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It is mentioned in the review that "The 5010 takes longer to start up than previous Epson projectors by a few seconds". How long are we talking here for total start-up time?

I'm considering replacing my Optoma HD33 with a 5010 largely because the HD33's 2+ min start-up time drives me nuts! It was something never mentioned in any review of that unit, so I never thought to inquire. Now, I'm making sure things like start-up time are acceptable BEFORE I buy.

Posted Apr 15, 2012 5:42:38 PM

By Mark

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I am looking at buying this projector sooner than later. Anyone have a suggestion on which type/brand of screen i should be looking at?


Posted Mar 18, 2012 9:55:10 AM

By Mike

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I am struggling between the 5010, AE7000 and the BenQ7000. The BenQ utilizes DLP tech vs. the LCD tech. My installer suggested the BenQ product, but it seems that a lot of folks are leaning toward the other two. Maybe the BenQ is too new to get a lot of the feedback I see here. It's going in a dark home theater room. Any suggestions/input?

Posted Mar 12, 2012 1:08:25 PM

By Priska Huelelr

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Hi there thanks for all the comment, my epson 5010 coming this Wednesday. I am deciding on this projector because I like the 2D-3D conversions so I can watch my 2D to 3D because 3D blu ray much expensive then 2d blu ray, that's why I choose epson 5010 and also the lens closet itself when we turn it out is also the other difference so we won't get to much dust when we don't use it. Did any body know how is turn the conversion from 2D to 3D? Thank you

Posted Mar 10, 2012 1:34:52 PM

By Norm Gregory

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What about sound? Not one word about audio in this multipage feature report.

Does the 5010 have built in speakers?

Posted Feb 13, 2012 2:42:56 PM

By Yusuf

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SupaSte, no, Epson 5010 is EH-TW8000. Lens shift: Level: ± 96% vertical: ± 47%

Posted Feb 1, 2012 8:23:29 AM

By SupaSte

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Hi, do you know what the uk or European version of this projector is, is it the Eh tw6000 and does it have any substantial differences apart from the colour. Does the euro version have lens shift and auomatic lens cover. Thanks in advance for any help.

Posted Jan 17, 2012 7:08:03 PM

By gus

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Thank you for the review. I would like to ask you if you will at some point, have a review for the runco ls5 or ls3?

Posted Jan 12, 2012 2:26:02 AM

By Triller

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I have the same question as "Sam from Canada"; hopefully, someone will answer the two of us.

I also want to fill a 140" diagonal unity-gain (1.0) white screen fm a max lens-to-screen distance of 13'. Is this possible with the 5010 and can high-fidelity color with good blacks be achieved with the 5010 at the specified distance & screen size?

My goal is to see a marked improvement over my BenQ 10000 single-chip DLP which I max out with a very satisfying picture at 110" dia.

Posted Jan 9, 2012 8:06:34 AM

By tanman1975

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Really? IS this true about the blacks not looking any blacker?

Thank you so much for your review. I just got my 3010 during Thanksgiving, and was agonizing over whether to upgrade to the 5010 to improve the blacks. Now it look like it would have been a waste of money to do so.


Posted Jan 8, 2012 5:24:37 PM

By Prakash Pati

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Hello XZOTIK, You should consider an EPSON 8530 as well. I project 175" (anamorphic wide) in the garage.

Even with my imperfect drywall (Painted regular) white the image is breath taking with a distance from screen about 17 feet. Fantastic resolution and brightness.

The downside is, image quality is not good with ambient light (I do not have a screen).

My friend has a PANASONIC 4000U in a dedicated media room with 80" elite screen, I would say EPSON beats PANASONIC in every performance.

Posted Jan 6, 2012 1:53:08 PM


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I own an Optoma H31(Ceiling Mounted) DLP a relly good projector in its day, and still is doing well in my family room(lots of sunlight).Its on an 84in Elite Hi Def Gray fixed screen 12ft away.I am looking for an upgrade and considering the fallowing projectors...what do you guys think.

1)Epson 3010 2)Optoma HD33 3)Panasonic AR100U 4)ViewSonic Pro8200

Posted Jan 3, 2012 10:50:18 AM

By Troyyap

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I purchased the 3010 then looked at these reviews. Then decided maybe for the money it would be better to get the 5010. I did so. However, I'm not sure who writes these reviews, but they are way way way off. I put the two machines side by side and saw no differences between the two. I tried to look for something, anything, but nothing. Besides the extras like 2d to 3d conversion and auto shut lens. The difference was not noticeable. 3010 has a contrast of 40,000 to 1 and 5010, 200,000 to 1. ? We could not see the difference. We are wondering who writes these reviews. Reviews are to be impartial to bias, please remember that...

Posted Dec 26, 2011 8:25:17 PM

By Big Al

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After reading for some time on both sites, isn't it obvious that PC and PR are favouring different camps ?

I will only take their critics and see how that impact your requirement. Also depending on what deals you are getting, that will greatly impact the decision. In my part of the globe, Espon is consistently 15% more expensive than Panny (HK). So it is no brainer to me.

Posted Dec 25, 2011 11:05:52 AM

By Stunko

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Wait a minute -- this Epson is rated as a 2400 ANSI lumen machine by its manufacturer, yet can "pump out" a whopping 2700 lumen of light? In other words, 300 ANSI more than the stated rating? Must be the first-ever this has happened in the world of projectors.

Posted Dec 15, 2011 6:49:56 PM

By Wish

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Where's the beat deal online for 5010e? Someone mentioned 2 free pair of glasses and rebate. Thanks in advance

Posted Dec 12, 2011 11:00:44 PM

By Sam from Canada

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I read the reviews and seriously considering the 5010. I have one final question if anyone can answer. I have a throw distance of 13 feet, would I be able to produce a screen to 140 inches diagonally?



Posted Dec 12, 2011 11:53:28 AM

By Saad B.

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I ordered a 5010e last week and hope to have it before this weekend. I was able to get 2 pairs of 3D glasses for free plus a significant rebate from an official online reseller, so I'm really happy about the deal.

How was the Wireless HD performance? You mentioned that line of sight is irrelevant but did you try it across a wall? I plan to install the projector in my HT room in the basement but expect to bring it upstairs (one floor above) in the living room when I'm having friends over to watch a game. Should I expect any issues? Some people also complained about the time it takes for the wireless HDMI to do the handshake and start displaying a picture (Up to 40 seconds), is this something you have experienced as well?


Posted Dec 11, 2011 11:34:22 AM

By sck

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why panasonic pt-ae5000/7000 does not have v-strets mode in 3d mode. Thats bad, because there are meny movies in 3d mode 2:35:1. If i wana use my anamorphig lense.

Posted Dec 9, 2011 1:32:21 PM

By MyProjectorLamps

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Fantastic review of this Epson Home Cinema projector for movie and home theater usage. We love this projector! We use it all the time for movie nights for our staff and also have an image display on a loop in our offices in Florida. This projector has a short throw range, a bright [edited by PC] lamp and is durable despite a couple bumps and one accidental two foot drop.

Posted Dec 8, 2011 5:30:13 PM

By Romel

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Thanks a million for your response, it's really appreciated. I always enjoy Projector Central's reviews, which are very informative, e.g. mentioning that the Epson was put in eco mode while the Panasonic stayed in high lamp mode to properly compare the two.

This bit of information made me realize just how much of a lumens advantage the Epson has, and how that advantage provides an extra 1000 hours of bulb life while still maintaining the same pop to its picture as the Panasonic in high lamp mode.

As far as the 5010's black level and contrast performance vs the AE7000's is concerned, I concluded "that the Epson has better midrange performance than the Panny" when you said the AE7000 had better blacks when the screen went totally black but lost that advantage when there was any light introduced to the scene. I took that as the Epson having better dynamic range.

After reading your review again, it appears your evaluation demonstrates that the Panasonic has the better auto-iris, where it can close down better than the Epson to produce better blacks, but also open enough to also have better dynamic range than the Epson 5010.

Past reviews made me realize that when a projector had blacker blacks and better contrast when there were moderate to high light content in scenes than in darker scenes, that projector had excellent dynamic range (i.e. midrange)or as I like to call it the best powerband for watching movies. That's what I want in a projector, because most content in movies are not dark scenes. A projector that does dark scenes really well with excellent black performance, but still demonstrate great dynamic range is hard to beat.

Also, I understand that "the performance of previous models in no way affects the performance of current models...). I mentioned the Epson 8700 vs the Panny AE4000 because the Epson had blacker blacks in darker scenes but the Panny had blacker blacks when light was introduced to a scene. I used this past review to simply demonstrate the contradiction in your review of the newer Epson and Panasonic when it came to dynamic range, but as I said, now I believe your review simply highlights the advantage the Panasonic has when it comes to its auto iris without specifically stating it.

I guess the Panny must have the better auto iris when you consider both projectors use the same generation D9 LCD panels. Otherwise, it would be hard for me to believe Panasonic can get better black level and contrast performance than the Epson, especially when you consider Epson created the D9 LCD panels.

Finally, a reviewer from another site posted pictures of the Epson and the Panasonic and in those pictures it was clear to me which projector had the best blacks and contrast....the Epson. I asked my wife which pictures looked the best (between the two projectors) from the posted pictures and she picked the Epson every time. Mind you that my wife had no clue why I was asking the questions about picture quality...i.e. contrast performance etc. Reading your review just confused me on how the Panasonic could have better contrast and black level performance after seeing the difference in posted pictures for myself.

I look forward to future PC reviews, especially that of the new Mits HC7800.

Posted Dec 6, 2011 2:31:08 PM

By Mojo

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When two projectors fall within a hair's bredth of each other in performance, it's time to look at other factors to help you decide which way to go.

Build quality, repair history (how often does this manufacturers' item break down?) and customer service are also important factors that, at some point, might end up being MORE important than picture quality!

Can you compare the Epson and Panasonic in these regards?

Posted Dec 6, 2011 10:56:45 AM

By BTUser

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"As a 3010 owner, I've been quite disappointed with the lag performance on that projector (60+ms)... As such a simple yet critical measure, I hope you'll take this to heart and make input lag testing a standard part of your review test array."

100% Agree! Please include the lag performance on these machines.

Posted Dec 5, 2011 3:24:51 PM

By Karamjeet

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Hello Bill

thanks for the review..could you post some screen shots of the two ..

Posted Dec 5, 2011 10:33:56 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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Thanks for your comments.

Our head-to-head testing is always performed with the two projectors' lumen outputs set as close together as possible. This allows us to evaluate dynamic range and black level without having to consider differences in light output. In this test, we were able to set the AE7000 to its Cinema mode (526 lumens) and the 5010 to its Cinema mode using the Eco lamp setting (628 lumens). The two projectors were indistinguishable from a brightness standpoint -- a 100-lumen difference under these conditions is not visible to the human eye.

At these settings, the AE7000 had deeper black levels on a pure black screen, but the two projectors' black levels were very close after that with a slight (very slight) edge to the AE7000. Why you "have to conclude that the Epson has better midrange performance than the Panny" is something I don't understand -- especially since my only claim was that "the AE7000 appears to have a slight advantage, with the picture appearing more three-dimensional in some scenes." Furthermore, the performance of previous models in no way affects the performance of current models, especially when the projectors in question have been redesigned as completely as the AE7000 and Home Cinema 5010 have been.

Both projectors are using the latest generation D9 LCD panels, so the notion that one projector's dynamic range (which is largely a function of the panels) is going to blow the other one out of the water is a little strange. Contrast differences, as I saw them, are subtle. Very few people even have theaters dark enough to truly appreciate the performance of these projectors, so a slight difference in black level should not have a significant impact on most folks' purchasing decisions.

At the end of the day, our job as reviewers is to point out the differences as we see them. We are in a position to evaluate projectors that most people have not yet seen, in an environment that lends itself to side-by-side testing. I can only account for observations that I have made and not the comments of other reviewers, but I stand by my comments. Either projector would make a wonderful addition to a home theater, and which one you choose should largely come down to which feature set you prefer. I would be proud to recommend either one.

Posted Dec 5, 2011 7:52:19 AM

By Jerry

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Bill, Thanks for the review on the 5010. I bought a 3010 about 3 weeks ago and am having two issues that are causing me to reconsider my purchase. I have a light controlled theatre enviroment and am displaying onto a 1.1 gain 120" screen from 14'. First, The 3010 has MAJOR lag while gaming, to the point that it is unuseable for that purpose. Second, the 3D picture seems too dim, wife was complaining of headaches after watching one 3D movie. You touched on the 3d brightness of the 5010 but a test of the gaming lag on the 5010 would be super helpful. That improvement alone might cause me to change projectors.

Posted Dec 3, 2011 10:32:59 PM

By dupin67

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Agreed. Romel sure to be a serious reader of both PC and PR.

Posted Dec 2, 2011 11:06:25 PM

By Brian Miller

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Bill, I'm so impressed by your comments. It's so refreshing to see how ProjectorCentral really takes its reader's feedback into account! I'm looking forward to seeing more input lag measurements, and thanks again for the 5010 review, it was excellent.

Posted Dec 2, 2011 5:17:21 PM

By Romel

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Bill, I can understand how two different reviewers of two different projector can come to two opposite conclusions concerning the projectors contrast and black level performance when the differences between the two projectors are extremely close. The reviewers differences can then be chalked up to "two sets of eyes, looking at two different sets of projectors in two different rooms" yada yada yada...

But when one reviewer states the Epson has a very visible advantage in blacklevel performance and that the Panasonics is simply no match for the Epson in this's hard to understand how the other reviewer can state the Panasonic is just as good or better in this regard. When the difference seems to be this clear, how can it then be simply chalked up as a difference in opinion? Either one projoctor is better in one area than the other or not.

Also, it's hard too understand how projector central (PC), when comparing the Epson 8700UB against the Panasonic AE4000 stated the Epson had better black level and contrast performance in darker scenes, but that the Epson lost it's advantage in the lighter scenes, and that the Epson actually wasn't as good as the Panny in scenes with significant light levels. PC basically said most scenes in movies had average to high light levels so the Panny would out perform the Epson in Blacklevel and contrast performance because of this. Basially, PC said the Panny midrange performance was better.

Now, it appears PC is stating the opposite. The Panny is said to show blacker blacks when the scene goes total black, but when a little light is added to the scene (like stars in the night) the black level performance of the two projectors are even. So, I'll have to conclude that the Epson has better midrange performance than the Panny, which will allow the Epson to show blacker blacks and better contrast when there is significat light in the scene. Basically, the Epson 5010 has the same advantage over the Panny AE7000 as the Panny AE4000 had over the Epson 8700UB, but yet, it's stated that the Panny AE7000 has better contrast and has the more depth too it's picture although its midrange isn't as strong than the that really doesn't make any sense.

Seams to me that some are biased towards the Panny and the other are biased towards the Epson....I guess some other party will have to weighin on this to make things a little clearer.

Posted Dec 2, 2011 11:47:08 AM

By DavidK442

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Bill, thanks very much for the response. I had thought that comments left on this site simply fell into a void. Nice to be proven wrong. And of course, thanks for the review. Not what I had hoped, but as you said it reconfirms that the performance of these two projectors is very similar. I hope you still have one of them hanging around for comparison when the JVC RS-45 finally rolls into town.

Posted Dec 2, 2011 11:24:05 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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Richard - As for 120Hz, I only mention it because someone always asks if I don't. And we're still getting spun up on input lag, so please be patient. I am aware that gaming is not a niche market; I am a gamer myself and fully appreciate that lots of people play video games. However, if we're going to include these measurements, we're going to do it right. If you'd like to discuss this further, shoot me an email at and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

DavidK - We're two different people with two different sets of eyes, looking at two different sets of projectors in two different rooms. The difference is exceedingly subtle. There's room for disagreement.

user - We saw a pre-production sample of the 3010, and then we also saw a full-production model. Both samples showed the same artifacts.

Bert - see my comment to David, above. Also please keep in mind the opening comment to the comparison section, wherein I state that the differences are quite subtle. You really can't go wrong either way.

Brian - please see my response to Richard, above.

DigiMagic - The 5010 has two image modes for 3D, called "3D Dynamic" and "3D Cinema." They are approximately as bright as their 2D counterparts. Lumen measurements of 3D modes are worse than useless--they are outright deceptive. They measure something that the user will never see. A lumen measurement doesn't inform the user about how much light is lost due to the glasses. Meanwhile, a measurement through the glasses doesn't tell the user about how the glasses affect the user's perception of brightness, which is a significant factor.

Posted Dec 2, 2011 3:24:19 AM

By DigiMagic

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Why is there absolutely not any single measurement of brightness in 3D mode? For any projector?

(I've bought Panny 7000 based partially on a projectorcentral's comments how it's bright in 3D mode - without any measurement, of course - and in reality it's not bright at all...)

Posted Dec 1, 2011 11:28:46 AM

By Brian Miller

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I agree with the comments about the need for input lag measurements in projector reviews. Over half (55%) the US population plays video games; that's over 170 million people. The average gamer age is 37! Gaming is not a small, niche market of youths. A critical gaming parameter such as input lag is important for a very large segment of the adult population and a great number of your readers.

Posted Dec 1, 2011 10:54:20 AM

By Bert

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I just don't understand how this review can be so drastically different from the review of the 5010. I'm really confused and perplexed in regards to purchasing either the 5010 or the AE7000.

Posted Dec 1, 2011 2:59:29 AM

By Tuin Hekje

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The equivalent European model (EH TW-9000/EH TW-9000W) does include a pair of 3D glasses!

On the other hand, the average price is significantly higher. Over $1000 difference...

Posted Nov 30, 2011 8:51:53 PM

By Javier Peters

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Richard, 120hz is relevant for video games and to an extent movies as well. For those of us running a 60 hz input (almost all of us) when connecting a PC to the projector, 60hz = 60 frames per second maximum. So no matter how many frames per second our computer is capable of outputting, the screen will only refresh at a max of 60FPS.

A lot of games feel smoother with 120hz and displays capable of receiving 120hz signals typically have less input lag, which some may argue is best aspect of a 120hz capable display.

For movies, 120 is equally divisible by 24. As most of us run our projectors at 60hz when playing movies from a computer or HTPC, and since movies are recorded at ~24 fps, 60/24=2.5 and thus we use 2:3 pulldown to round the framerate to 29.9 fps, then show that frame twice a second. This can cause judder which some people notice more than others. With 120hz you can display the same frame 5 times a second evenly, without using pulldown to convert the frame rate to a higher rate that is equally dividable by the hz.

To summarize, 120hz will help the most when you are a user who connects a PC to the projector and enjoys PC Gaming as well as watching movies without pulldown.

Unfortunately no current projector can accept a 120hz signal so I dont knock epson for not including this feature. I do wish they would have pioneered it however as there are plenty of computer monitors out now that can accept 120hz.

I do not believe that this current HDMI revision supports a 120hz signal @ 1080p. The projector would have to have a dual link DVI port or a display port input.

Posted Nov 30, 2011 7:27:55 PM

By user

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The 3010 review is way off....I own a 3010 and I dont see any flickering or ghosting in 3D

May be PC got an early unit like Art did ?

Posted Nov 30, 2011 7:20:36 PM

By DavidK442

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How can two reviewers, comparing the same projectors side by side, come to opposite conclusions on something as fundamental as black level and contrast. I was hoping this review would confirm the strengths and weaknesses of the AE7000 vs the 5010 but instead the waters are even more murky. Argh!!!

Posted Nov 30, 2011 4:48:51 PM

By Richard Slaughter

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Two comments on your review - First, you said, "The 5010 supports all of the HDMI 1.4 3D signal types (frame packing, side-by-side, and top and bottom) but does not support 120Hz from a PC source." That's technically true, however, is that relevant? I'm using a 3010 with a PC and regularly view 3d source. All the video playback software I'm familiar with is happy using side-by-side, over-under, or frame packed 3d without a problem, and my gaming software (iz3d or tridef) is the same. This all applies to PCs with ATI video cards -- I'm not 100% familiar with Nvidia's solution, but my understanding is that 3dtv play enables hdmi 1.4 solutions for video and gaming as well, so again, no 120hz support is really no loss.

Also, I'm a bit disappointed in one aspect of your review. Unless I'm overlooking it, there's no test of the projector's input lag. It's an extremely quick and simple test, but provides critical information to owners with a desire to game on the systems - which is a fairly large sgement of the population.

As a 3010 owner, I've been quite disappointed with the lag performance on that projector (60+ms), so I was watching with some interest (though admittedly low expectations) to see if Epson corrected that issue in the next step up their lineup.

As such a simple yet critical measure, I hope you'll take this to heart and make input lag testing a standard part of your review test array.

Posted Nov 30, 2011 4:33:23 PM

By Dave Nelson

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The one thing that wasn't mentioned about the 5010 was it's 'motorized pixel alignment' ability mentioned in the product sheet. What exactly does this do ? and how effective was it in use ?

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