4K Enhancement vs. Frame Interpolation and Noise Reduction. The 5040UB doesn't let you use 4K enhancement and FI at the same time. With a 2160p input signal, which turns on 4K Enhancement automatically, you can't use noise reduction either. However, you can use both Noise Reduction features if the signal is 1080p and you turn on 4K-Enhancement manually.
No Point in Fast Mode. The usual reason for having Fine and Fast mode is that Fine mode offer better picture quality, while Fast mode cuts down on input lag. With the 5040UB, Fine mode will give you better quality but Fast mode doesn't change the input lag. We see no reason to use it.
HDR Compatibility. HDR signals differ in frame rate, bit depth, and chroma sub-sampling. The 5040UB isn't compatible with all combinations, which means it's compatible with some, but not all, HDR sources. We discuss these issues in more detail in our HDR compatibility survey.
Auto Iris. The Normal mode for the Auto Iris works fine, but High Speed has problems switching from a black screen or dark scene to an image with much higher average brightness. The iris can often take a full second to adjust and does the adjustment in two or three increments. You can avoid this issue by setting the Auto Iris to Off or Normal.
At $2,699, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB occupies a unique position in today's market, delivering image quality that rivals far more expensive native 4K models for not much more than the price of a top quality, standard 1080p model. Beyond the image quality and 4K compatibility, it is far brighter than expected based on the 2500 ANSI lumen rating, which gives it some additional versatility for use in ambient light (think Super Bowl parties) that most home theater projectors don't have.
Though it gets much of its attention from its 4K compatibility, pixel-shift technology, HDR, and wide color gamut, its performance on conventional parameters such as contrast and a stellar 93% brightness uniformity make it outstanding even among conventional 1080p projectors. Beyond this, one of the most compelling features is its automated Lens Memory -- essential for CIH installation without an A-lens if you are interested in that option.
In the end this is a highly unique set of features that exists nowhere else in this price range. The only other models under $3,000 that have both 4K-enhancement and powered Lens Memory are the Epson 5040UBe, which is a wireless version of the 5040UB, and the Epson Pro 4040. Due to outstanding performance and an impressive array of features, ProjectorCentral is pleased to give the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB our top honor, the Editor's Choice Award.
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