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DIY Home Theater
Epson Home Cinema 5040UB Projector Epson Home Cinema 5040UB
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2500 Lumens
Full HD 3D
$2,374 Street Price
$2,299 MSRP

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB

M. David Stone, April 21, 2017


Brightness. Recently we've seen a number of Epson projectors coming in with lumen performance that exceeds their published specs. The 5040UB outdoes expectations even for Epson. It is rated at 2500 lumens, but we measured it in Dynamic mode at 3527 lumens, a whopping 41% above spec. As a welcome surprise, that leaves Bright Cinema, with its better color fidelity, close to the published rating, at 2401 lumens.

ANSI Lumens for High, Medium, and Eco power, were measured with the zoom lens at its widest angle setting.

Epson Home Cinema 5040UB
ANSI Lumens

Bright Cinema
B&W Cinema
Digital Cinema

Note that the factory default settings for lamp power vary from one color mode to the next. Bright Cinema, for example, is set to Medium power by default and Cinema is set to Eco.

Video Optimized Lumens. Our pick for Video Optimized mode is a slightly tweaked Bright Cinema. At 2400 lumens, it's bright enough for a 225" diagonal 16:9 image in a dark theater room by the usual rules for SDR. With HDR content, and its lower overall image brightness, you will likely want to go with a smaller image. The ideal image size will depend on factors such as which HDR mode you use and screen gain.

Presentation Optimized Lumens. Should you need to use the 5040UB for presentations, it delivers vibrant, saturated color for data and graphics even at top brightness in Dynamic mode. The 3527 lumens is bright enough for a 150" 16:9 image in moderate ambient light.

Low Lamp Modes. The 5040UB offers two reduced power modes: Medium, which is 23% lower than High lamp mode, and Eco, which is 25% lower than High mode.


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Zoom Lens Effect. The 2.1x zoom lens offers excellent flexibility for positioning the 5040UB. At the full telephoto setting, however, the lens curtails light by about 33% compared with the wide-angle setting. In most cases you'll want to put the projector as close to the screen as possible to maximize brightness.

Brightness uniformity. At a measured 93%, the brightness uniformity is close to perfect as far as the human eye is concerned. The subjective impression is that there's no visible difference.

Input Lag. Input lag varies, depending on the settings for 4K enhancement and FI. Surprisingly, the setting for Fine and Fast mode makes no difference. With 4K enhancement on, FI is not available, and the lag is 28 ms. With 4K enhancement off, the lag varies with the FI setting, from 29 ms with FI Off, to 68 ms for Low, to 104 ms for Normal or High.

Fan noise. Epson rates High power mode at 31 db, which is enough to be noticeable in most home theater-size rooms during quiet moments. It helps that it is a constant medium-pitch white noise rather than varying in volume or pitch, but it's not as quiet as you'd ideally like for a home theater, particularly if you're sensitive to fan noise. In Eco mode, the rating is an extremely low 20 dB. Medium isn't noticeably higher. Either one is hard to hear in a quiet room even you're listening for it.

Epson recommends High Altitude mode for 4920 feet and above. Fan noise is louder for each power setting in this mode, but both Eco and Medium with High Altitude Mode on are quieter than High mode with it off. Most users will likely want to stay with Eco or Medium modes with High Altitude operation.

Lamp life. Epson rates the 5040UB's lamp at 3500 hours in High mode, 4000 in Medium, and 5000 hours in Eco. Replacements are $299.99.

Warranty. The price includes a two-year warranty for the projector and a 90-day warranty for the lamp.

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Comments (5) Post a Comment
Peter Posted Oct 4, 2017 8:22 AM PST
Very interesting review and impressive projector for the price. I am considering replacing my Panasonic AE4000u with the Epson 5040UB as a result of the great reviews it's gotten and the higher lumen output, not to mention the 4K Enhancement technology. It would have been of additional interest to comment on the 5040UB's black levels and how good/bad they are compared to other projectors, especially since based on your tests the 5040UB seems to put out higher lumens than is actually stated in its specs. Otherwise, I am looking forward to purchasing this projector real soon.
Duane Adam Posted Nov 1, 2017 10:08 AM PST
Had I not owned a JVC I would have thought the Epson blacks were superb. They're not as good as the best of the best, but they're very good and quite acceptable.

I am confused by the comments here and elsewhere on this site regarding fan noise being not noticeable. I don't know if I have a bad fan or I'm just more critical but mine is very noticeable even in eco mode. It also seems to wander so the pitch changes making it harder to get used to. Appreciate hearing comments from anyone else owning this projector.
Tyler Posted Dec 23, 2018 9:22 AM PST
I have read a lot of reviews stating the projector is great, but the power is consistently failing. The units suddenly refuse to come on at all. Are you aware of this issue, and do you know if it's been fixed? I was ready to buy but now am hesitant. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 23, 2018 11:07 AM PST
Tyler, I'm aware of this issue and recently reached out to Epson about it. The same issue applied to what appears to be a smaller number of HC 4000 samples as well, if you read the reviews on Amazon. Epson's official response to my query is below.

"Epson has identified and addressed an issue in select projector models that may cause a small percentage of units to not power on. The issue has already been addressed in models shipping from Epson, but there is a possibility of a small fraction of units still in channel inventory that may be affected. Epson places the highest priority on product quality and customer satisfaction. For customers in need of a replacement unit, please contact Epson customer support at 1-800-788-0336. We will handle each occurrence on a case-by-case basis consistent with our warranty."

One thing I would add is that, given that Epson had a significant number of product failures on this chassis that they had to deal with after the fact, we can probably feel confident that the new updated models built on the same chassis -- the HC 4010 and the successor to the HC 5040 that is currently expected soon -- will not suffer the same issues.
Dan Lindberg Posted Apr 15, 2019 11:58 PM PST
Yeah...I’m going onto my third replacement, warranty ends in 2 months for the 5040ub. Wish I kept my 5030 as the one I bought is still running strong and like new and never have needed a replacement.

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