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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e 3LCD Video Projector - Review

3D The Bright Way

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo 0f Front View with Included Accessories

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo 0f Front View with Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
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The PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e is a video projector from Epson that utilizes 3LCD technology, has 1080p native resolution, a maximum light output 2,400 Lumens, and up 5,000 hours lamp life.

The 5010e has the connections you would expect (HDMI, Component, VGA), but also has a built-in WirelessHD receiver (transmitter also provided) that allows connection of an HDMI source component (such as Blu-ray Disc player) to be connected wirelessly to the projector. In addition, the 5010e also incorporates 3D display capability. To better support 3D viewing, the 5010e can up the brightness level to compensate for the light loss when viewing through 3D glasses.

To find out more about the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e, proceed with the rest of this review. After reading this review, be sure to also check out my supplementary Photo Profile and Video Performance Tests.

Product Overview

Features of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e include the following:

1. 3LCD Video Projector with 1080p native pixel resolution, 16x9, 4x3, and 2.35:1 aspect ratio compatible.

2. Light output: Maximum 2,400 Lumens, Contrast Ratio (Dynamic with Auto Iris On): up to 200,000:1.

3. Lens: Center-mounted Fujinon Lens F=2.0–3.17. Focal length 22.5 mm–47.2 mm

4. Optical zoom ratio: 1:2.1, Lens Shift: Vertical: ±96.3 degrees, Horizontal: ±47.1 degrees.

5. Projected Image Size Range: 30 to 300 inches.

6. Fan Noise: 32db in Normal mode and 22db in ECO mode.

7. NTSC/PAL/480p/720p/1080i/1080p60/1080p24 input compatible.

8. 3D display capable using Active Shutter LCD system (3D glasses require optional purchase). 2D-to-3D conversion provided for HDMI sources. Compatible with Frame Packing, Side-by-Side and Top-and-Bottom 3D signal input sources.

9. Inputs: 2 HDMI, Composite, Component, VGA.

10. WirelessHD connectivity built-in (transmitter provided).

11. Lamp: Ultra High Efficiency (UHE) E-TORL, 230 Watts power consumption, user replaceable. Lamp life: Up to 4,000 hours (normal mode) - 5,000 hours (ECO mode).

12. Unit dimensions: 17.6(W) x 15.6(D) x 6.3(H) inches; Weight: 18.4 lbs.

13. Wireless remote control included.

14. Suggested Price: $3,299.99.

Additional Components Used In This Review

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo of Onboard Controls

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo of Onboard Controls

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705 (used in 5.1 channel mode)

Blu-ray Disc Player (Both 2D and 3D compatible): OPPO BDP-93

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell, Interconnect cables. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used. High Speed HDMI Cables provided by Atlona for this review.

Projection Screens: SMX Cine-Weave 100² screen and Epson Accolade Duet ELPSC80 Portable Screen.

3D Glasses: Epson V12H483001 Active Shutter 3D Glasses and XpanD X103 Universal 3D Glasses.

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs (3D): Adventures of Tintin, Drive Angry, Hugo, Immortals, Puss in Boots, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Blu-ray Discs (2D): Art of Flight,Ben Hur,Cowboys and Aliens, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

Setup and Installation

Projector Placement: To set up the PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e, you first need to install a screen (size of your choosing) or locate a white wall surface to project on. Next, position the unit at the optimal distance from the screen (you can use the Epson's screen distance calculator as a guide or just eyeball it). The 5010e can be configured so that can be placed on a table/rack or on the ceiling, either in front or rear of the screen. For review purposes, I placed the projector on a mobile rack in front of the screen.

Connecting Sources: The 5010e provides wired connectivity (HDMI, component, composite, VGA) for most sources, but also provides an additional wireless connectivity option for one HDMI source. To use the WirelessHD connection option, plug the provided WirelessHD transmitter to power using its provided AC adapter, connect your source (such as Blu-ray disc player) to the HDMI input on the WirelessHD transmitter.

Also, plug in your other source component(s) to one of the other provided connections.

Next, turn on the component that you plan to use - If using the WirelessHD option, also turn on your source and the WirelessHD transmitter. The 5010e will then automatically search for the active input source. You can also access the source manually via the remote control or use the onboard controls located on the side of the projector.

Adjusting the Projected Image: At this point, you will see the screen light up, and the first image you will see it is the Epson logo, followed by an message that the projector is searching an active input source.

To fit the image onto the screen, raise or lower the front of the projector using the adjustable feet. You further adjust can also adjust the horizontal and vertical image placement using the provided Lens Shift controls (located behind the zoom/focus controls on the top of the projector) and Keystone Correction function via the onscreen menu system.

Next, use the manual Zoom control located above and behind the lens to get the image to fill the screen properly. Once all the above procedures have been done, use the manual Focus control to fine tune the image appearance and also select the Aspect Ratio you desire.

Epson includes a Quick Start Guide that also illustrates some of the set-up process.

Video Performance

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo of Lens Controls

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo of Lens Controls

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e looks great right out the box. Starting off with a look at its 2D video performance, color was very good, flesh tones were consistent, black level was deep, and mostly clear shadow detail provided a good viewing experience.

One additional thing I was impressed with is how well the 5010e can perform in a room that may have some ambient light present, which is often encountered in a typical living room. Although black level and contrast does suffer somewhat, the 5010e does have the ability to display an acceptable image in such an environment that does not look overly washed out. Of course, keep in mind that as the amount of light present in the room increases, the image will wash out at certain point.

On the other hand, if you have a room that can be made completely dark (which is most desirable for home theater viewing), running the 5010e in ECO mode (for 2D viewing) still projects plenty of light to produce an excellent cinema-like on fairly large screen sizes (my main screen was 100-inches).

Deinterlacing and Upscaling of Standard Definition Material

To further check the 5010e's performance, tests were conducted using Silicon Optix (IDT) HQV Benchmark DVD (ver 1.4) in order to assess the ability of the projector to process and upscale standard resolution video sources.

Here the 5010e also did well handling most deinterlacing and scaling tasks, as well as minimizing video noise. However, the 5010e did not do as well with detecting some of the less common frame cadences, and detail enhancement was not well executed with sources connected via the composite video input.

For a more detailed look at the video performance of the Epson 5010e when faced with standard definition source signals, refer to my Video Performance Report.

Proceed to Page 2: 3D Video Performance, WirelessHD, Pros/Cons, Final Take

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