The $1,999 Epson Home Cinema 4010 and $2,999 Epson Home Cinema 5050UB have a lot in common. Both offer native 1920 x 1080 resolution; both use pixel shifting to deliver two sets of pixels for each frame; and the sharpness and visible detail each produces makes their images essentially indistinguishable from images with full 4K resolution. Both are also built around 3LCD technology, which gives them equal color and white brightness as well as immunity to rainbow artifacts.

The nearly identical-looking Epson Home Cinema 5050UB (left) and Epson Home Cinema 4010. A gold ring around the lens on the 5050 allows their easy identification.

Beyond that, they share a nearly identical physical design, with the same 24.7-pound weight, matching width and depth, and only a small difference in height. Only a minor cosmetic detail—a gold ring around the lens on the HC 5050—makes them easy to tell apart. They also offer identical lenses and lens control mechanisms according to Epson, with specs that include a 2.1x zoom and large lens shifts—at +/- 96% vertical and +/- 47% horizontal. In both cases also, the powered zoom, lens shift, and focus combines with 10 lens memory positions to allow the simple recall of settings for constant height image setups on a 2:4.1 screen without the need for an anamorphic lens.

They even both have doppelgangers that demand mention. Except for the color, the white 4010 is a twin to the black Epson Pro Cinema 4050, which Epson sells though the integrator market. The 5050UB is a near twin to both the Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe and the Epson Pro Cinema 6050UB.

The 5050UBe is identical to the 5050UB except for the addition of integrated wireless HDMI, using WirelessHD technology. As with the 4050, the black-encased 6050UB is sold through the integrator market. It doesn't offer WirelessHD, but it adds some features of its own, including a slight boost in contrast ratio and an extra display setting for use with an anamorphic lens.

You can find more details on the 5050UB/5050UBe and 6050UB in our 5050UBe standalone review, and you can also find more details on the 4010 our 4010 standalone review. The key point here is that all the comments in this shootout about the 4010 also apply to the 4050, while all of the comments about the 5050UB also apply to the 5050UBe and 6050UB.

Despite the similarities between the 4010 and 5050UB, there are also important differences—most notably in higher contrast for the 5050UB, which makes a significant difference for darker scenes when viewing in a dark room. Here's a look at the key differences in specs and features, followed by comments from a side-by-side comparison of image quality.

Key Specs & Features Compared: Epson HC5050UB vs. Epson HC4010

Contrast Ratio. The UB in the 5050UB name refers to Epson's UltraBlack technology, which uses a series of proprietary polarizing filters in the light path to significantly reduce stray light. The result is a lower, darker black level and increased contrast. Rated contrast ratio for the 5050UB is 1,000,000:1, compared with 200,000:1 for the 4010.

Brightness. The 5050UB has a slightly higher rated brightness than the 4010, at 2,600 lumens compared to 2,400 lumens. We measured both at nearly the same brightness in their brightest modes. However, because the two projectors share the same set of color modes and power settings, you should also keep in mind that the 5050UB was just a tad brighter than the 4010 in almost every matching combination of settings other than the brightest. Also note that, unlike the 4010, the 5050UB and its variants have a manual iris control (in addition to a dynamic iris) that allows its overall brightness to be trimmed back in any viewing mode.

Epson HC 5050UB

High Dynamic Range. Both projectors support HDR10. The 5050UB also supports HLG, the emerging standard for broadcast TV and streaming sources.

HDR Adjustments. The 4010 offers four HDR settings that adjust the overall brightness of the image. The 5050UB offers a more advanced 16-step slider. Not only does it deliver much more control for fine tuning the tone map for the HDR content you're watching at the moment, it's easy to call up and adjust while watching, thanks to a dedicated button on the remote. (See the 5050UBe standalone review for details on the slider control.)

HDMI Bandwidth. The 5050UB offers two 18Gbps, HDMI 2.0b ports with support for HDCP 2.2 copyright management, which is required for most 4K content. The 4010's two HDMI 1.4 ports are limited to 10.2 Gbps bandwidth, and only one supports HDCP 2.2. This manifests in the 4010 primarily in its inability to play UHD content with HDR at a 60 Hz frame rate, which is important for some videogame players. (See Color Depth, below.)

Color Depth. The 5050UB's higher bandwidth allows 12-bit color depth for both SDR and HDR content. The 4010 also supports up to 12-bit color depth for SDR, but only 10-bits for HDR. More precisely, for SDR both support 4K/60 Hz with up to 12-bit, 4:4:4 color processing. But only the 5050UB supports HDR at 4K/60 Hz (4:4:4 up to 8-bit, 4:2:2 up to 12-bit). The 4010 HDR support is limited to a maximum of 4K/24 Hz signals with 10-bit, 4:2:2 color processing.

Input Lag. The measured input lag at 1080p was roughly the same for both projectors, at 28 to 29 ms. At 4K, the 5050UB's lag dropped to roughly 22 to 23 ms depending on the color mode. We couldn't measure the 4010 lag at 4K, because the Bodnar 4K lag tester requires an 18 Gbps bandwidth for the HDMI port.

LAN control. Both the 4010 and 5050UB support Control4 and AMX. The 5050UB also supports PJLink.

Image Comparisons: Epson HC5050UB vs. Epson HC4010

1080p/SDR Viewing. After calibrating both projectors separately, I compared them side-by-side using a splitter. For 1080p SDR content, the two delivered almost identical image quality except in particularly dark scenes, where the 5050UB's darker black gave it a notable advantage.

In almost all cases where the image included a large black area, the 5050UB delivered an obviously darker black, making the already dark black of the 4010 look gray by comparison. This didn't translate into a dramatic increase it shadow detail, but the better contrast—and, more specifically, the greater separation of dark levels—made the details easier to see.

In the opening scenes under the credits in Batman v Superman, for example, the bats in the cave that's destined to become the Batcave were all individually visible with both projectors, but I had to look a little harder to see some of the individual bats in the 4010's image. The same was true for the dark woods along a lit road in a night scene in La La Land. I could see all the same tree trunks and branches, but with the 4010's picture, I had to consciously look for some to be sure I could see them.

More significant for visual impact is that the darker black for the 5050UB gave dark scenes a far richer, more three-dimensional look. Viewed by itself, the 40140 delivered a satisfying black and good three-dimensionality in dark scenes. Viewed side-by-side with the 5050UB, it looked washed out in comparison. That said, note that the advantage for the 5050UB in dark scenes all but disappeared with even low levels of ambient light. If you set the projector up in your family room to watch with the lights on, you won't see a difference. It will only come into play in a dark room.

For scenes dominated by midtones and highlights—which is to say, for everything except particularly dark scenes—the two are essentially equal for contrast and sense of three-dimensionality. One or the other did slightly better on one or both measures on a few scenes. But each one bested the other a roughly equal number of times, and the difference was barely noticeable in every case where it happened. Most scenes showed no visible difference between the two on either score.

Both projectors also delivered solid color accuracy. Most colors in most scenes—from skin tones, to the natural environment of a beach seascape and trees in Batman v Superman and Casio Royale, to the vibrant colors that pepper La La Land—looked identical between the two images, and for scenes I'm familiar with, they matched what I know they should look like. For the few colors that were different between the two, the difference was hard to see. When called for, colors are bright, nicely saturated, and vibrant on both projectors.

With pixel-shifting 4K Enhancement on and the associated Image Preset modes set to the same levels, both projectors offered virtually identical image sharpness and detail. In a shootout between the 4010 and the BenQ HT3550—which generates a full UHD-resolution image on screen through pixel shifting of a DLP XPR chip—I pointed out that the 4010 did the better job resolving detail with only half as many pixels. The same statement applies to the 5050UB.

For this comparison, I tried all five levels of the Image Enhancement Preset modes for both projectors side by side. The sharpness and level of detail matched at each step. In a scene in Casio Royale in a library room, the binders on a shelf full of books nearly merged together with the Image Preset mode off, turned into visibly individual books at Image Preset 1, and the edges of each binder increased in sharpness at each step up the scale. With either projector, you'll need to adjust this setting to taste. The higher steps can introduce artifacts on some content, although I didn't see any in my tests.

Epson Home Cinema 4010 4K Enhanced Projector
Epson HC 4010

Both projectors offer frame interpolation (FI) with three levels, but with limitations that make it almost pointless to have. With 1080p/24 Hz input, you can use FI with or without 4K Enhancement on. But many find FI annoying for movies because of the digital video effect, so you may prefer to leave it off. On the other hand, for sports or other live video from a 1080p/60 or 1080i/60 Hz source, where you're most likely to want to use FI, you have to choose between FI and 4K Enhancement. You can't have both, and between the two, I found 4K Enhancement the better choice.

In addition, neither projector's FI is available with 4K input. In the most likely real-world scenario, where you leave your 4K Blu-ray player's resolution setting at auto, it will negotiate a 4K connection in all cases, upscale your 1080p discs to 4K, and FI won't be available for either 4K or 1080p content.

4K UHD/HDR viewing. For 4K HDR content, I followed essentially the same procedure as with 1080p, first calibrating each projector separately, then comparing them side-by-side using a splitter. I also took the additional step while viewing side by side of adjusting the HDR brightness settings for both to give comparable overall brightness to the image. This step has to be done separately for each movie, since the best setting is strictly a judgment call and can vary from one movie to the next, as well as vary depending on the whether you're in a dark room or one with ambient light.

Choosing comparable HDR settings is also a little tricky in this case, because one of the advantages of the 5050UB is its 16-step slider adjustment to give finer control over the HDR brightness setting than the 4010 offers with its four HDR modes. I dealt with that by first picking the setting for 4010 for each movie, finding a setting for the 5050UB that gave as close a visual match as possible for overall brightness, then fine tuning the 5050UB to further improve the balance of brightness, contrast, three dimensionality, black level, and shadow detail.

The comparison results for 4K UHD HDR content are similar to the results for 1080p SDR content, but not identical. The 5050UB achieved darker black levels, which was obvious when looking at title screens with black backgrounds and white lettering, for example, or a star field in deep space with a pitch-black background, as you'll see in some SciFi material and space documentaries. With a star field in The Martian, for example, there was no comparison between the two. The 5050UB delivered both a much darker black and brighter points of starlight. However, the difference is most dark scenes is far less dramatic.

In the cave scene in Batman v Superman, with dozens—maybe hundreds—of bats with glowing eyes hanging upside down in the dark, the difference in side-by-side viewing was about the same with HDR as with SDR content. The 5050UB offered more shadow detail, better contrast, and a greater sense of three dimensionality than the 4010, but not dramatically more. The same comment applies to somewhat brighter overall, but still dark, scenes like the one in La La Land with a dark woods along a lighted road. As when viewing the scene on the SDR version of the disc, the 5050UB didn't show any more detail than the 4010 in the dark areas, but the detail was easier to see.

The relative strength of the two projectors for contrast and three-dimensionality in scenes dominated by midtones was a little different for HDR material than it was for SDR. As with SDR, the two were fairly close on both scores with HDR, but where they differed it was in the 5050UB's favor in every case. Note also that, as with SDR, once you turn some lights on in a family room, the advantage for the 5050UB for contrast, black level, and sense of three-dimensionality is largely or entirely washed away, depending on the light level.

The comments about color accuracy for SDR content largely apply to HDR content also. After calibration, most colors matched in most scenes, or could be made to match with a little additional tweaking, and the few that were different weren't far apart. All of the comments about sharpness and Image Preset levels for SDR content apply just as well to HDR content. Both projectors offer equally sharp pictures with equal ability to resolve detail and the same Image Preset modes to boost sharpness.

3D Viewing. The Epson 3LCD projectors that include Full HD 3D support routinely offer much brighter 3D modes relative to their brightest 2D mode than is typical for single-chip DLP projectors. Both the 4010 and 5050 are true to form on this score, with satisfyingly bright 3D images.

Both projectors offer two 3D modes—3D Cinema, which sacrifices a little brightness for better color accuracy, and 3D Dynamic, which sacrifices a little color accuracy for higher brightness. My subjective impression from the side-by-side 3D comparison is that both projectors offered similar brightness and color accuracy for each mode, and the color accuracy was good enough for most people to consider acceptable even in the brighter mode, especially after a little tweaking.

As a point of reference, our standalone 4010 review found that 3D Dynamic mode delivered suitable brightness for a 100-inch, 1.3-gain screen in a dark room. Note too that Frame Interpolation is available for Full HD 3D, and turning it on even at the Low setting noticeably smoothed the typical 3D motion artifacts.


Choosing between the 4010 and 5050UB is surprisingly straightforward thanks to their sharing so many features. Setup considerations are virtually identical for both. They deliver similar brightness for both 2D and 3D, so they can both light up essentially the same range of screen sizes in any given level of ambient light. They offer similar size and identical weight plus the same specs for zoom, lens shift, and the lens itself, so there's no difference in how you can position them. And although the 5050UB supports one additional choice for control over a network—PJLink—that's not relevant for a home theater. A more critical consideration would be in the case of a user intent on employing an anamorphic lens, where the Pro Cinema 6050, the HC5050UB's sister projector, would be the only option that provides the appropriate viewing mode.

Serious gamers will likely be unhappy with either the 4010's or 5050's 1080p input lag, which is roughly the same for both, at 28 to 29 ms. The 22 to 23 ms we measured for the 5050UB's 4K input lag is closer to the desireable 16 ms or lower level. Unfortunately, we couldn't measure the 4010's input lag at 4K, due to the Bodnar 4K lag tester limitations. The similarities between the two projectors suggest it's likely to be the same but if gaming is important to you, the 5050UB is the safer choice. An even more compelling reason to choose it for 4K gamming is that it's the only one of the two that supports HDR at 4K/60 Hz.

For home theater use, the key issues for making your choice are price and how often you'll use the projector in ambient light versus a dark room. The only important image quality differences between the two are thanks to Epson's UltraBlack technology in the 5050UB, which is responsible for its darker blacks, higher contrast ratio, better separation of dark levels in shadow detail, and better contrast and sense of three-dimensionality with both HDR and SDR on dark scenes. Add some ambient light to wash out the blacks, and the advantage disappears.

If you want a projector for your family room, and don't expect to watch in the dark at any time, you won't get any benefit from the 5050UB's UltraBlack technology, so there's no reason to spend the extra money. And even in a dark room, the 4010 will give you an excellent picture for the price. But if you expect to turn off the lights occasionally and want the best possible picture when you do, or you expect to always watch in a dark room, the 5050UB, with it's lower black levels and boost in contrast—plus extras like finer control over the HDR tone-map and support for HLG—is the one you really want. Its boost in image quality is well worth the extra cost.


The Epson HC 4010 and HC 5050UB share the same physical attributes and connection panel as shown in the image below, with the only difference being the HDMI input version types (and therefore their labeling).

Epson Home Cinema 4010 and Home Cinema 5050UB connections:

  • (2) HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2 (HC 5050UB only)
  • (2) HDMI 1.4, one with HDCP 2.2 (HC 4010 only)
  • (1) USB Type A (for optical HDMI cable 300 mA max. power supply only)
  • (1) USB Type A (for wireless and firmware)
  • (1) Mini USB Type B (service only)
  • (1) LAN (RJ-45)
  • (1) Computer/D-sub 15 pin
  • (1) RS-232c (D-sub 9-pin)
  • (1) Trigger out (3.5 mm mini-jack) 12 V DC, 200 mA maximum



Brightness. Both projectors offer three power modes—High, Medium, and ECO—and both offer the same set of color mode names. Both also offer nearly identical brightness in their brightest color modes, with the 5050UBe the slightly brighter of the two at most power levels for each matching color mode name. The measured ANSI lumens, using the full wide angle setting for the lens, was as follows for each combination of color mode and power level for each projector:

Epson Home Cinema 4010 ANSI Lumens

MODE High Medium ECO
Dynamic 2621 2088 1703
Bright Cinema 1704 1356 1108
Natural 1787 1422 1162
Cinema 904 723 588
B&W Cinema 1539 1225 1000
Digital Cinema 928 742 603

Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe ANSI Lumens

MODE High Medium ECO
Dynamic 2635 2061 1916
Bright Cinema 1972 1542 1435
Natural 1979 1547 1438
Cinema 1016 795 739
B&W Cinema 1749 1368 1272
Digital Cinema 1058 828 770

Other key measurements for each projector (as taken from our standalone reviews) were as follows:

Measurement Epson
HC 5050UBe
HC 4010
Zoom Lens Light Loss 28% 26%
Brightness Uniformity (Wide Zoom) 84% 81%
Brightness Uniformity (Full Telephoto) 79% 81%
Lowered Measured Input Lag (4K) 22.5-23.5 ms Not Available
Lowered Measured Input Lag (1080p) 28-29 ms 28.4 ms

Note that the 4010 did not work with the Bodnar 4K lag tester's signal in our tests due to the limited bandwidth of 4010's HDMI inputs.

Fan Noise. Epson rates the fan noise for both models at 31 dB in High Power mode and 20 dB in ECO. Not surprisingly, the same description of fan noise applies to both. The noise in High power mode was loud enough to hear from anywhere in a small room in quiet moments, while the Mid and Eco modes were barely audible in a quiet room.

Epson recommends using High Altitude mode with either projector at roughly 5,000 feet and above. If you need to use both High Altitude mode and High power mode, you might want to consider some form of acoustic isolation. Alternatively, if the room is large enough, you may want to take advantage of the 2.1x zoom lens on either model to mount the projector farther away from viewers.

Comments (35) Post a Comment
Tommy Posted Dec 10, 2019 11:42 AM PST
Thanks for this. I ordered the 4010 a few days ago and started regretting that I may have opted for the 5050, but it was $850 more than my 4010's sale price. I can view in dark but my room has white walls and ceiling so I had thought maybe the 5050 wouldn't have it's full capability.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 13, 2019 8:28 AM PST
Tommy,if you can view in a dark room you'll find you get excellent performance with the 4010. The 5050UB is indeed in another league with ultimate black level and contrast on overall dark scenes, and probably a difference you'd have still scene even with reflective walls and ceilings nearby, though you are correct that it would have been at least slightly short-changed. But an $850 difference is a lot extra to pay for that performance boost if you can't fully use it, and I think you will rest easy when you see the image you get for the price of the 4010. Enjoy your new projector.
Jeremy Posted Feb 1, 2020 9:13 AM PST
Hello Rob! Would you recommend the 5040 over the 4010? I have a small room that I can get nearly light-tight. From what I've read, the 5040 would do better than the 4010 (obviously, the 5050 would beat them all...I just don't have that in the budget!). Thanks1
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 1, 2020 9:22 AM PST
Jeremy, if you plan to do a lot of dark-room viewing you'll enjoy the benefit of the extra depth of black that the 5040's UB technology can provide. One potential caveat to flag for you: I know that 5040s are available at an attractive price these days and at steep discount to the 5050, but be advised that this is now an outdated model built on a platform that saw a lot of ongoing power supply failures during its run. Epson said they addressed the issue and has stood by its customers under warranty with swaps as needed, but there are reports around the internet of folks having had to replace more than one of these. The problem cost Epson a lot of money and good will it's an issue that we can all assume was addressed from the ground up in the new 4010 and 5050UB. I'll just mention that the other significant benefits found in the 5050UB for the extra money are full 18 Gbps HDMI inputs that allow 4K/HDR at 60 Hz frame rate if that's desired (mostly a gaming thing), and perhaps more critically, Epson's late generation 16-point slider control for HDR brightness. That said, black levels and brightness on both projectors will be about the same, and the HDR on the 5040 and 4010 (which share the same 4 step HDR brightness options) is still excellent and likely based on similar tone-mapping criteria and judgements. Assuming you feel comfortable jumping on the 5040, you're not passing up very much vs the 5050 and you'll get noticeably better dark scene performance vs the 4010.
Jeremyr Posted Feb 2, 2020 8:02 AM PST
Thanks so much for all of the advice, Rob! The 5040 in question was sent back from the factory within a few months ago with a small warranty, so I am hoping they have already addressed the power supply in that unit.

Also, you had suggested looking at the BenQ TK850. Comparing it to the 5040, the 5040's contrast beats the BenQ’s but the BenQ is true 4K. I’m only concerned about watching movies in my 12’X13’ almost light-tight room. Comparing the two, should I worry about having true 4K + 500 lumens of brightness (BenQ) by sacrificing all of that 5040 contrast? Resolution is important to me, but will I really notice the difference of true 4K versus interpolation?

Would you still recommend the 5050 over the TK850?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 8, 2020 12:57 PM PST
Other things aside, your experience of detail with the 5040 at normal viewing distances should be about equal with the full 4K with DLP XPR at this level of projector budget.
Mel Carlton Posted Apr 26, 2020 6:10 PM PST
I'm curious about the comparison of the 5050UB compared to more expensive native 4k projectors. How much more would have to be spent to appreciate the difference? For example Sony or JVC...
Gurvir Sahota Posted Jun 5, 2020 9:41 AM PST
Hey Rob Sabin. The 5040 and 4050 pro are said to be the same projectors with different housing and a few extras that come with the pro. Does the 4050 pro also have the same power issues as the 5040?
Jeff Posted Jun 10, 2020 8:36 PM PST
I’m in the process of finishing my basement and I’m planning to install a projector to bring the WOW factor to viewing sports (top priority) and movie nights. I’ve done quite a bit of research already and I’m currently leaning towards either the Epson Home Cinema 4010 or the Sony VPL-HW45ES. I would increase the budget up to $3k if the value was there, but most of the benefits I’ve read about in that range really only deepen the blacks in a completely dark room which doesn’t feel like good value for how I’ll primarily use it – I’m not watching sports in pitch black. Couple notes on my basement: Room size is roughly 20’ x 20’ Some natural light, but not a lot Moving forward with 120” screen from Screen Innovations – Slate AT 1.2 gain Looking at standard throw projectors only Have I narrowed the field down to the right two? If so, which way would you suggest I lean given my situation? Any model I’m you’re recommend that I’m not considering? The Sony is very intriguing given what I read about their processors, but it’s been in the market for quite a long time, and I wonder if they have a replacement coming soon. Any projector I choose I’d like to ensure is future-proofed for ~3yrs for any new tech/content. Thanks in advance.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jun 14, 2020 12:16 PM PST
No, Jeff -- at this point in time you should not even be considering a 1080p projector from 2016 like the outdated Sony HW45ES that does not handle UHD HDR content. The Epson HC4010 is both a more solidly built projector with a more advanced motorized lens, and does an excellent job with with UHD HDR. It sacrifices some black level compared to the more expensive Epson HC5050 UB but if you're not watching in a dark theater you definitely won't miss that, and the Slate 1.2 screen should really give you a nice punchy picture and good contrast in darkness or moderate ambient light.

Some other options to consider here that may be rated a little brighter -- though I'm not sure you'll need the extra lumens -- are the Optoma UHD52ALV and BenQ TK850 and new TK810 (which adds some wirless capabilities), and the Epson HC3800, which is an excellent bright room projector, again with excellent UHD/HDR capabilities and good sharpness despite using 1080p imagers with Epson's pixel-shift technology to render UHD images.
Dante Posted Jul 7, 2020 8:28 AM PST
Thank you Rob for the review! I am actually debating 4010 vs Benq tk800m. I am planning to do 40% movies, 40% sports and 20% gaming (not planning on doing online FPS with pj) The room has some ambient light and light leaks from the window. So I am wondering is 4010 going to be bright enough to handle?right now I see that Benq tk800m is on sale for $999. Should I pull the trigger or wait for 4010 or 5050 to be on sale?
Dante Posted Jul 7, 2020 8:29 AM PST
Thank you Rob for the review! I am actually debating 4010 vs Benq tk800m. I am planning to do 40% movies, 40% sports and 20% gaming (not planning on doing online FPS with pj) The room has some ambient light and light leaks from the window. So I am wondering is 4010 going to be bright enough to handle?right now I see that Benq tk800m is on sale for $999. Should I pull the trigger or wait for 4010 or 5050 to be on sale?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jul 7, 2020 8:47 AM PST
Dante, these are good questions given your somewhat mixed use and the intent to use the projector in a less than fully light-controlled environment. The reality is that you will likely be okay with the 4010's brightness, but would probably benefit from the extra brightness of the TK800 or another projector in that 3,000 lumen class. That said, while we didn't review the TK800 (now replaced by the new TK810--hence the sale price)we have tested the TK850 sister model and did find the input lag to be kind of on the high side (around 80 ms), and the lumens measurement to be a bit below the rated spec (around 2,600 vs the rated 3,000). That said, it sound's like a great deal at $1,000 at this moment. Two more expensive models I'd recommend for your situation are the the Epson HC3800 ($1,700) and HC3200 ($1499). We tested the 3800, which had input lag below 30 ms and as low as 21 ms for 4k signals (which is very good for any projector not being touted for gaming) and which hit its full 3,000 lumen spec for brightness in our test (which the Epson's typically do). But I don't think these will bring you $500 or $700 more performance. Unless you're really looking for a much better dark-room theater experience for movies that might come with 4010 or especially the 5050UB, it's not worth waiting in my opinion.
Art Posted Aug 17, 2020 9:55 AM PST
Thanks for the awesome comparison! I am really torn between the 4010 and the 5050ub. I am putting in an 84" screen(unfortunately, my space won't accommodate larger) in a completely dark room. I'll be sitting 7-8 feet away and I'll have to put the projector on a shelf at the back of the room about 12-13 feet away. The Epson's seem to be my best option over other brands, as they give me the largest zoom, better lens shift, and seem to be quieter.(I would probably keep on Mid) I will be watching 3D blu-ray, blu-ray, and the occasional streamed 4K movies. I don't have UHD blu-ray yet but will probably get a PS5 in the next year or so. I'm not a serious gamer but do play a few popular single player games.

For obvious reasons, the 5050ub would be ideal in my setting, however I am afraid it might just be a little out of my price range. I like the 4010 and almost pulled the trigger when it went on sale last week. However the black/contrast levels and the 4K60 on the 5050ub, made me hesitate. Do you think it would be a big enough difference to where I should wait and save up for the 5050ub? Are there any other variables I should be considering? This is my first projector setup and I'm going from a 51" Samsung 3D Plasma that is about 8 years old.

Thanks again for the great analysis!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 17, 2020 11:07 AM PST
Art, in a dark room you will notice the 5050UB's deeper blacks--perhaps only with dark content--and it sounds like the the HDMI 2.0 found in the 5050 and its ability to handle UHD content at 60 Hz may have some bearing for you. The 5050UB also has a more sophisticated and granular control for on-the-fly adjustment of HDR content to optimize the picture, which you may also appreciate. The only thing I can say about the 4010 is that it is really an amazing value at the price, and it still delivers very good contrast despite not being anywhere near the blacks/contrast of the 5050UB. The 5050UB is also an outstanding value, but in terms of what you get for your much fewer bucks, the 4010 is a bargain.
Spiel Posted Sep 11, 2020 2:13 AM PST
Hi Good day, do you have Side by Side comparison for HC4010 and HC5050UB? thank you so much.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 11, 2020 7:16 AM PST
If you would like to see the specs compared side by side use our Find a Projector database or the search engine to call up the database page of both projectors one at a time and add them to the Compare function.
Sofia Posted Sep 15, 2020 7:31 PM PST
Hi Rob I‘m debating to go for the 5050UB or the 4010 4k we want to use it for daytime and also night Watch games and movies no gamers over here The projector will me mounted in our porch Which would you recommed Thanks for your help
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 15, 2020 7:47 PM PST
Sofia, unless you can really darken the porch space to cave-like status, you may not see the extra black level/contrast that the 5050UB offers. It has only marginal extra brightness compared to the 4010. So you can probably save some money in this instance and sacrifice a bit of contrast.
Jeff Whitford Posted Jan 3, 2021 12:20 PM PST
I currently have a Epson 8350 that has a bad color filter issue and I have decided to go to a 4k capable projector. I'm wondering if the 4010 or the 5050 would have comparable contrast/blacks to what I have or are they better?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 3, 2021 6:35 PM PST
Jeff, it's no contest: Either the 4010 or 5050 will net you significantly improved contrast black level over the now outdated 8350. If you watch mostly in a dark room, it's worth considering the extra premium for the 5050UB.
Umair Nazir Posted Jan 10, 2021 8:39 PM PST
Hey Rob, firstly thank you so much for conducting a structured and controlled test. As like many other I also have a unique use case and wanted your expert opinion on helping me choose.

My heart desires the UB5050 as the heart of any kid when growing up desires a fast super car however my reality is more restrictive.

Here’s my use case. I have bought a ps5 to be able to play formula 1 fifa and maybe a couple other racing or competitive games online with my friends. This activity will be once a week for a total of 3 hours each time from 1030pm to 130am.

2 days out of the weekday it’ll be used to stream movies via plex viewing whatever the best stream quality is available.

1 day on the weekend it’ll be used to watch a movie with the kids.

1 day it’ll be used to watch a show worth 2 episodes each 45min long.

The lighting conditions can be mixed and I’m not too worried about having the blackest of blacks however more of having an enjoyable relaxing pleasure experience while I’m in entertainment mode.

The sound system that will be hooked up to this will be a 7.2 SONOS surround sound connected via some hdmi matrix that supports earc.

I have bought already the Sony 85inch Bravia x90ch from Costco however I wish to jump up to 120 inch.

What fixed wall mounted screen should I use with the projector of your recommendation?

Thank you once again for all your hard work and for sharing valuable knowledge with the community.

Regards, Umair
Juan J. Stromsdorfer Posted Feb 19, 2021 12:01 PM PST
Rob, Thank you very much for your detailed review/test of these units. I think I have read all of them and all the comments. I had an Epson Home Cinema 3600e, image was excellent. 16:9 120", AcousticPro 1080P3 screen. We loved it. Although on 2.35:1 source material created the gray bars on top and bottom which were distracting (never liked these, and no matter what I did they were always there and were not completely black). A few days ago our 3600 died - auto iris message of death. According to Epson is a hardware failure. They don't support this kind of projector anymore, and therefore no fix. So here I am learning everything I can about new projectors.

As my budget is <$2K, I was considering an Epson 3800, Epson 4010, the Optoma UHD 50X, and the BenQ HT3550. We have our theater room in our basement, there is some ambient light due to windows, but my main viewing time is at night, when is dark. What is important to me? Black level, Color reproduction, HDR, increase sharpness/res of 4K. 3D would be nice, as I still have several 3D discs in my collection. Gaming is bottom of the line, kids can use our TV for that.

What do you recommend me? I have been over countless reviews on all these projectors and cannot arrive at a decision. Some testing have shown that the Optima UHD 50 has better color reproduction than BenQ's offering; that the new .47" DLP471TE DMD chip eliminates the glow/border around an image, which is important to me with a 16:9 screen and 2.35:1 material; How a 3-LCD chip design has higher brightness in color, etc, etc.

Is there a projector I am not considering in my comparison? Would love the Epson UB series, but they are beyond my budget. What would you recommend in my situation?

Thank you,
Steve Johnson Posted Sep 5, 2021 9:52 PM PST
I'm looking to replace a 6500UB. After more than ten years of use it's starting to be a little noisier with the fans and auto-iris and every so often I get an over-heating warning. Since the current lamp is nearing the end of it's life expectancy it's time to start looking for a replacement. At this point it's between the 4010 and the 5050UB. I've been really pleased with the performance of my 6500UB and if I could get the exact same performance but with 4k and 3D as a bonus I'd be perfectly happy. What I'm wondering is if the performance of the 4050 would be a big improvement on the 6500UB. Have they improved enough over the years that even the 3800 would have better contrast and black levels? It would be installed in a family room, so most viewing (sports/network programming/hgtv etc) is with ambient light, and then when watching movies all lights are off and there is little to no ambient light.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 6, 2021 10:48 AM PST
The new models are greatly improved through the years, but I would replace your UB model with another UB model.
Ryan S Posted Sep 7, 2021 9:51 AM PST
Rob, Looking at the Epson 4010 vs 5050UB. Will watch day time sports/tv and movies in our basement. Movies would be watched at nigh in the dark. Morning/afternoon sports games would have ambient light to deal with as we have windows and a patio door in our basement. I'm more concerned with getting a great picture for the movies at night and a tolerable picture during the day. I don't want the day time picture to be so washed out that you can't stand it. Which projector is best value option for this scenario and what screen should it be paired with? Was looking at the Screen Innovations series.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 14, 2021 6:34 AM PST
Ryan, the 4010 provides the higher value in this instance but I think you'll really appreciate having both the slight extra light output of the 5050UB and more critically it's deeper blacks if you'll be viewing movies at night. It still gets plenty bright for daytime viewing so long as you don't totally wash out the screen.

The decision to use an ALR screen vs a matte white, maybe one with a little gain like a 1.3, is more considered. ALR screens like the SI Slate and Black Diamond series are pretty great at rejecting ambient light but they can have some detectable texture that a decent (and typically less pricey) matte white screen won't have. But if you think your room will be fairly light flooded for your sports viewing, however, this may be the best option. You also haven't said how large your screen will be; if it's much over 120 inches or so you'll end up with less bright image and may really need the assistance from an ALR screen. Keep in mind, too, that you can easily spend near as much on a top ALR screen as the cost of the projector, so you might consider other options such as the ALR screens from Elite.
Andy Posted Sep 19, 2021 9:28 AM PST
So, I'm currently using the amazing Epson Pro Cinema 6010. Would the 4010 be a noticeable upgrade?? I would love the 5050, but the price is out of my league. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 19, 2021 9:48 AM PST
Andy, it's a bit of a tough call, but I'd say yes. The rated brightness and contrast for both models is the same, but I suspect you'll enjoy improved image processing, color accuracy, and of course the benefits of 4K with 10-bit HDR.
Boris Peinaud Posted Nov 21, 2021 4:58 AM PST
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the detailed article really helpful. I had my eyes on the 5050 for some time and decided to pair it with a Celexon ALR 120 inches screen for my living room. Mostly watching content at night but usually with some ambient light and family room has white walls. Simple question for you: does the ALR screen give the 5050 a significant advantage on black levels/contrast over the 4010 in that set up or shall I just go with the 4010? Mostly watching movies and some series.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 26, 2021 8:28 AM PST
It's an interesting question, Boris. Either projector would presumably benefit equally in terms of contrast/blacks from the addition of the same ALR screen, though the 5050 has the benefit of a bit of extra brightness to help with ambient light viewing. The 5050 also has a mechanical iris to dial back brightness for dark room viewing. But I can't say without looking if the advantage in this instance where you'll be typically viewing in some ambient light would be worth the extra expense. The contrast difference between the two projectors is signficant in a totally light controlled theater but is lost quickly with the introduction of ambient light.
Brian Posted Jun 28, 2022 10:16 AM PST
Very well-written and thorough comparison, this was exactly the article I was looking for! I am ready to pull the trigger on the 5050UB for a basement media room. My concern is that the unit has now been on the market for over three years - are you aware of any new, even more advanced models that may be on the horizon?

I'm slightly worried about investing in a unit now if something better is right around the corner. Thanks so much!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jun 28, 2022 10:38 AM PST
Epson is still selling the 5050UB at the $3000 price point but has released the LS12000 and LS11000 laser projectors at $5,000 and $4,000 respectively. Our review of the LS12000 is here:

patricia Posted Nov 22, 2023 2:55 PM PST
So we are looking for a new projector for our church! Mostly daytime viewing with 99" drop down white screen, lots of light do to windows, was looking at the 5050 UB 4k with HDMI or VGA connections, What would you recommend for this, used twice a day on Sunday's approximately 4hrs total. Thank you in advanced for your help. Also do you ship to Canada Ontario? Patsy
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 22, 2023 3:20 PM PST
This would be a poor choice for a church with high ambient light. I and any integrator would recommend a high output laser projector targeting around 5,000 ANSI or ISO21118 lumens. Something like the Epson PowerLite L260F ( would be suitable and cost less while eliminating the need for lamp replacements. You can also use our Find a Projector database to target alternatives.

Post a comment

Enter the numbers as they appear to the left