Best in Class – $2,000 - $5,000 Performance Home Theater: Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

September 4, 2019 / By Jennifer Stringfellow
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The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is simply an excellent projector that checks off just about all the boxes one could hope for in a $3,000 serious home theater projector, that is also comfortable out in the wild. That is: in family rooms, living rooms, media rooms, or other common rooms with some halfway-decent lighting control. Pair this Epson with a proper screen for those brighter rooms, and you will have a viewing experience that is definitely not common.

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Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Overview

Okay, now that I have the hype out of the way, there are two main areas where this Epson excels. One is on the hardware side, offering almost unmatched placement flexibility and Lens Memory to make it easy for us movie enthusiasts to choose to go with a widescreen. Translated, the Epson has a 2.10:1 zoom lens (that’s as much zoom range as you will find) – fully motorized – plus a massive amount of lens shift, both vertical and horizontal.

This will allow you to place your Epson on a tabletop, ceiling mount it, or even place it on a high shelf in the back of your room. That pretty much covers all the options for a non-ultra short throw projector. Well, that is, except for rear projection, which this Epson also supports, although few people will ever do that. The Home Cinema 5050UB really has the hardware side nailed, with everything you need for viewing movies, TV, and sports.

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Moving to the picture quality, once again we have an Epson UB series projector that simply has, overall, the deepest blacks at or below its price. This makes the very dark scenes in movies and other content pop, in a way that very few other projectors can accomplish – and, all of those I can think of cost of at least a good bit more.

To accomplish this, Epson has long used a Dynamic Iris, a fast one, and they’ve got it figured out. The end result is just excellent black levels and great dark scenes. If you want better, you will have to spring for the much more expensive Sony and JVC native 4K projectors to do so.

That brings us to the Epson’s color. Right out of the box – extremely impressive. Not as “on the money” as Sony's projectors, but pretty close. Its brightest mode, Dynamic – although it has a green cast – it’s not all that bad. More to the point, this option has a lot of lumens, and delivering well over 3,000 when Eric, our ISF calibrator, measured it. Even calibrated, this projector is a light cannon.

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True, you need lots of lumens for HDR, and the Epson can offer you that. We have calibrated two modes for HDR viewing. One with real movie theater color, known as P3. Achieving P3 gobbles a lot of brightness, so the second calibrated mode uses standard REC709 color, the same as on Blu-ray discs, to deliver really good color, but with almost 2,000 lumens available.

This is Epson’s second-generation of UB projectors to support HDR, and this one adds the other common type of HDR support. This type of HDR is called HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, which is used in broadcast content. This is in addition to HDR10, which is the type of HDR used on Blu-Ray discs and other sources. The HC5050UB does HDR better than last year’s Epson UB.

Also big for this Epson is its gaming abilities. Its 27 ms input lag qualifies it to be called a very good gaming projector. Nikki, one of our reviewers, and a couple of other serious gamers I know confirm that. AKA: “This Epson HC5050UB’s got game!” Warranty is two years parts and labor. If you have a warranty problem in that timeframe, Epson will ship you a replacement unit, normally the same or next business day. Hard to beat that.

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The Bottom Line

All things considered, the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB does just about everything really well, and it provides truly impressive performance for a very reasonable price. This is what made it a clear choice for our Performance Home Theater Award in this year’s report.

Pair this Epson with an ALR screen and put it in your favorite “common room,” or create for it a suitable home theater or cave – this Epson is a great choice for either. Sports viewing will knock your socks off! The picture will be dynamic the colors rich and accurate.

If anything, movies are even better, although you’re likely to use a less bright, calibrated mode, rather than one suited for handling a fair amount of ambient light, as you would for sports afternoons and evenings.

We have published a direct comparison of the Epson HC5050UB and the BenQ HT5550 simultaneously with the publishing of this report:

Read the BenQ HT5550 Vs. Epson Home Cinema 5050UB Comparison Review

Get the Epson HC5050UB on Amazon!

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Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

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