Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe 4K PRO-UHD 3LCD Projector Review
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB/UBe Connections
Connection panel inputs are listed below. Both wired HDMI connections are HDMI 2.0b with 18 Gbps bandwidth, which can carry 3840 x 2160 signals at 60 Hz with HDR (4:4:4 up to 8-bit, 4:2:2 up to 12-bit).
The wireless HDMI transmitter provided with the 5050UBe and its companion receiver built into the projector are based on the WirelessHD (WiHD) 4K standard developed by Silicon Image and licensed through the WirelessHD Consortium. The transmitter accepts up to four switchable HDMI sources (three on the rear, one on the side), and a dedicated button on the remote calls up an on-screen menu that lets you select any of the four inputs.
WirelessHD is a well-regarded in-room solution, and in my limited tests with UHD HDR Blu-rays played back at 24 Hz, the system never displayed any artifacts, dropouts or latency issues. However, potential buyers of the HC 5050UBe should know of a couple of significant limitations.
First, the reception pattern for the projector's internal HDMI receiver is strictly in front of it. If your source components or A/V receiver are at the rear of your room or anywhere behind the projector, as might easily happen with a ceiling mounted unit, placing the transmitter in that location will result in no signal lock. Even moving the transmitter just two or three feet behind the projector broke the connection in my tests. I gather that purchasing the base HC 5050UB and a standalone WirelessHD kit, such as the DVDO Air 4K, could provide the flexibility in receiver and transmitter location and orientation to get around this issue—but at the sacrifice of the on-screen integration and input changing allowed with the 5050UBe kit.
More critical for many is that the WiHD 4K technology's inherent bandwidth limitations and HDMI 1.4a connections restrict it to sending and receiving 4K/30 Hz signals. This currently prevents the streaming of HDR/wide gamut content, or in some cases even UHD resolution, from the major streaming services. This is no fault of Epson's; it is wrought from the combination of the WiHD system's inherent bandwidth and how the individual streaming services currently handle signal delivery when they see a device on the receiving end that won't accept UHD/60Hz HDR signals. This varies by service, with some (like VUDU) allowing the passage of 4K resolution without HDR or wide gamut, while others (Netflix and Amazon) automatically downscale the stream to 1080p. You can read more about both the performance of the WirelessHD system and our tests with the streaming services in our review of the DVDO 4K Air system based on the same technology.
- (2) HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2
- (4) Wireless HDMI 1.4a, HDCP 2.2 (available only on HC 5050UBe)
- (1) USB Type A (for optical HDMI cable 300 mA max. power supply only)
- (1) USB (for wireless and firmware)
- (1) Mini USB (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. Lumen measurements for every color mode were taken with the lamp power mode set to High and with the lens at the widest zoom position. However, the factory defaults for lamp power vary based on mode, with Dynamic at High, Cinema at the lowest ECO setting, and all other non-3D modes at Medium. Users therefore have some flexibility in tuning brightness to their individual needs. The projector is also equipped with a manual fixed iris for setting baseline brightness in any mode or power setting. Compared with the High power setting, I measured about a 22% drop in brightness to the Medium power setting, and just over a 27% drop in the ECO setting (this should hold for any color mode).
The Dynamic mode provided just over the rated 2,600 lumen (ISO 21118) specification but has an obvious green bias. All other modes delivered more balanced color but produced considerably less output, especially Cinema and Digital Cinema, which engage the projector's DCI-P3 color filter.
The Natural and Bright Cinema modes measured nearly identically at just short of 2,000 lumens and provided the best color for ambient light viewing. However, Natural with my calibrated settings for dark room SDR viewing (Eco power mode, manual iris turned down to -11 from its default 0 setting) delivered only about 500 lumens on peak white—a surprisingly low number given the measured 21 ft-L reflected off my 92-inch, 1.3 gain screen. The Digital Cinema mode, optimized for dark room viewing of HDR in its default Medium power mode, delivered 680 lumens—good for about 30 ft-L off my screen prior to any tuning of the HDR brightness control to customize the image for specific content. Of course, the projector had extra horsepower in either of those modes to accommodate a larger screen or high ambient light.
Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe ANSI Lumens
Zoom Lens Light Loss. Going from the widest to the full telephoto setting on the 2.1x zoom lens resulted in a little more than 28% loss of light in any given color mode. However, most setups are not likely to require full telephoto capacity, which would allow placement of the projector as far away as 20.5 feet for a 100-inch image. (You can check our Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe calculator to determine throw distance range for you specific screen size.)
Brightness Uniformity. With the zoom at its widest position, brightness uniformity was 84.2%. This dropped to 78.8% at the longest zoom. Both numbers are acceptable results. Measurements revealed that the brightness dropped off slightly in the bottom-right quadrant of an otherwise uniform image, but the difference was so gradual as to not be visible on either a 100% white test pattern or in any real content.
Fan Noise. Epson rates fan noise as a range from 20 decibels in ECO power setting to a max of 31 dB in High Power setting. Both the intake and exhaust vents are on the front of the projector. From a 5 foot distance below and in front of the projector (approximately simulating an 8-foot ceiling mount above and somewhat behind the viewer), Mid and ECO fan noise were barely audible in a quiet room and not perceptible over typical soundtracks. The High setting raised the volume and also the pitch, making it harder to mask and obvious in quiet moments. The High Altitude mode, which Epson recommends above 5,000 feet elevation, adds perhaps 2 to 3 dB to any given setting. If it's required along with the High Power mode, consider options for mounting the projector further away from viewers or isolating it.
Lamp Life. The supplied 250w UHE lamp is rated for up to 3,500 hours in High power, 4,000 hours in Mid, and 5,000 hrs in ECO. A replacement lamp (model ELPLP89) costs $300.
Input Lag. The best results for input lag with 2160p/60 signals, as measured with a Bodnar 4K lag meter, was a fairly low 22.5 milliseconds in Dynamic mode. Results were about the same (around 23.5 ms) in the Natural, Bright Cinema, and B&W Cinema modes, and got as high as 28.5 milliseconds in the Cinema and Digital Cinema modes. With 1080p/60 signals, as measured on a Bodnar 1080p lag meter, all color modes measured between 28 and 29 ms. Though these results are still a ways off from the 16 ms or even quicker lag times found on some of the fastest projectors, they are still very good—particularly at the low end of the range—and should be suitable for all but the most serious gamers.
|Review Contents:||Introduction, Features||Performance, Conclusion||Connections, Measurements|
You support ProjectorCentral when you buy
the Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe from these
by email direct from Epson dealers
Get an E-Z Quote