Epson 5050UB vs 5040UB 4K Projectors
The differences between the Epson 5050UB vs 5040UB should offer a picture of what you can expect while we wait on getting an actual unit in-house to test. We reviewed the capable Epson 4040 4K projector, making us curious as to what the new model offers DIY projector enthusiasts.
As it turns out, the differences are small—but they hit right where you want. Epson bumps the brightness and enhances their pixel shift technology. Let’s look at the two primary areas of difference:
Increase in Lumen Output
The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB (and also the wireless Home Cinema 5050UBe) offer the same 4K enhanced output. The new Epson 5050UB projector, however, squeaks out another 100 lumens of brightness, bringing it to 2,600 lumens of equal color and white brightness.
Epson measures color light output in accordance with IDMS 15.4 and white light output in accordance with ISO 21118. Compare this to RCA’s false lumen claims.
4K PRO-UHD Improvements
Epson has also improved its 4K PRO-UHD enhancement system to the second generation. The individual pixel plate now comes in a lighter package with tighter tolerances. The result increases the angle of the leading and trailing edges of the electronic shift pulse. It serves to shorten the delay between the trough and crest of the pixel shift changes. The result is less downtime—yielding more light output and a faster signal. Essentially, you get better accuracy, more output, and higher speed. If you wondered where the additional 100 lumens came from above, this plays a role.
Improved HDR Support
SDR, HDR10, and HLG are automatically detected—allowing adjustment from the menu system when active. Epson allows real-time HDR curve adjustment with 16 steps of control. This lets you fine-tune HDR performance regardless of the content. The remote control also now features a direct button for HDR control.
3-Axis Motorized Lens Improvement
Epson has a great motorized lens system already—we debuted it in our 4040 review. It always had a high amount of lag, however. Now, they’ve reduced electrical noise in the control system—making it smoother and easier to adjust for zero-edge screens. We happen to have one of those, so we look forward to testing this out first-hand. Additionally, Epson added an auto-centering control that activates when you press the “LENS” button for 3 seconds.
Enhanced HDMI 2.0 Support
While the Epson 5040UB supported HDMI 2.0, the new 5050UB and 5050UBe do so with 18Gbps bandwidth. That means full support for 4K at 60Hz. The Epson 5050UB now supports 4:4:4 in 8-bit, 4:2:2 in 8/10/12 bit, and 4:2:0 in 8/10/12 bit at 60Hz. In 24Hz it supports both 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 in 8/10/12 bit resolution.
If you have a PS4, XBox One X, AppleTV, or new Roku box, you have everything you need for the best possible color image.
What Hasn’t Changed
This projector continues to use HDR10 and Epson UltraBlack technology. It produces full 10-bit color output, using dedicated processors for PRO-UHD 4Ke resolution enhancement, HDR, and image processing.
The Epson 5050UB and wireless 5050UBe support full 4K HDR content at 60Hz. The dynamic contrast ratio matches the 5040UB (up to 1,000,000:1). It also continues to support a wide color gamut that can display the whole DCI-P3 color space while in Digital Cinema Mode.
The hardware is nearly identical on the major components. The chassis matches the existing line of projectors (meaning you don’t need more room or different mounts either). Epson uses the same proprietary 15-element glass projection lens.
Like several prior models, Epson continues to offer huge flexibility during installation. The projector supports a maximum of ±96 percent vertical lens shift and ±47 percent horizontal lens shift. Both extremes are not simultaneously possible, of course.
Epson includes a CalMAN pattern generator calibration tool for dialing these models in precisely for your home theater.
Full Home Cinema 5050UB and 5050UBe Feature List:
- 4K PRO-UHD Projection Technology – A new type of 4K home theater experience utilizing advanced processing technologies for resolution enhancement, color, and image processing – resulting in an exceptional 4K home theater experience
- True 3-Chip Projector Design – Advanced 3LCD technology displays 100 percent of the RGB color signal for every frame. This ensures outstanding color gamut while maintaining excellent brightness, without any “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues typical of other projector technologies
- Pixel-Shift Processor – Advanced pixel-shifting processor precisely controls three individual high-definition LCD chips. This new type of resolution enhancement technology results in an exceptionally sharp 4K visual experience
- HDR Processor – Full 10-bit HDR4 color processing accepts 100 percent of the HDR source information to faithfully reproduce HDR content for an exceptional visual performance
- Digital Imaging Processor – Real-time 12-bit analog-to-digital video processing for smooth tonal transitions, while helping to eliminate banding, blocking, and other compression artifacts from the final visual performance. This powerful processor faithfully reproduces the source material the way it was intended to be shown
- Outstanding Brightness – Capable of displaying 4K content at an incredible 2,600 lumens for both color and white brightness3. This not only provides for a wider performance envelope but allows for an exceptional HDR performance
- Epson UltraBlack Technology – Epson created a Proprietary Compensation Filter that is designed to control the polarization of light itself. This allows Epson to suppress any light leakage within the signal, producing an outstanding Dynamic Contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1
- Precision HDR Adjustment – Real-time HDR curve adjustment allowing for 16-steps of control to fine-tune the HDR performance – regardless of the content
- Extreme Color Gamut – One of the first commercially available home theater projectors capable of displaying the full three-dimensional DCI-P35 color space. This extreme color performance is 50 percent wider than typical Rec. 709 projectors and allows for a truly professional-level of color accuracy
- Epson Precision Lens Technology – Designed for zero-light-leakage, all Epson Precision Lenses utilize a proprietary 15-element precision glass structure for outstanding image clarity and edge-to-edge focus uniformity
- 3-Axis Motorized Lens – After installation, you can shift the lens up to 96 percent up or down on the vertical axis and up to 47 percent left or right on the horizontal axis. You can also set the zoom and focus, then store all the settings in one of ten lens memory presets
- HDMI 2.0 Support – Fully compatible with virtually all color formats, depths, and spaces while simultaneously supporting 4K HDR content at a full 60 Hz. This allows for outstanding compatibility with the latest 4K HDR content and next-generation gaming hardware
- WirelessHD Option – Available only with the Home Cinema 5050UBe model, you get an additional Epson WirelessHD transmitter with 4 HMDI inputs, allowing you to wirelessly transmit 4K content up to 30 frames-per-second. This allows for a simple solution versus running longer HDMI cables through your walls
Price and Availability
The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB retails for $2,999. The wireless Epson 5050UBe retails for $3,299. You can pick them up immediately from select e-tailers or the Epson online store. The Home Cinema 5050UBe and 5050UB include a two-year limited warranty. They also include toll-free access to Epson’s PrivateLine priority support, 90-day limited lamp warranty, and free two-business-day exchange with Extra Care Home Service. For more information, please visit Epson.