Projectors

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBE 3D LCD Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBE 3D LCD Projector On The Bench

The 5020UBE was installed right-side-up eleven feet from a Carada Brilliant White screen; which has a gain of 1.4. Readings were taken with an X-Rite i1Pro spectrophotometer off the screen at a distance of 10 feet. Patterns were provided in both 2D and 3D by an Accupel DVG-5000 signal generator and everything was controlled by CalMAN 5.0. Luminance measurements were taken by an X-Rite CA-6X tri-stimulus colorimeter controlled by Progressive Labs software.

The best starting point for 2D calibration is the Natural picture mode. This mode has the closest-to-accurate color gamut, flat gamma tracking and a grayscale that only needs a little bit of work. THX mode is pretty good too, and fully adjustable. In fact, both modes are nearly identical. For all tests, the lamp was set to its low Eco mode.

Color and Grayscale Performance-

The best part about the stock settings grayscale chart is the super-flat gamma tracking. It's great to see this because all you have to do is increase the gamma setting to nail it right on 2.2. The 5020UBE does have a multi-point gamma control but you won't have to use it. Grayscale tracking is also pretty flat with the only flaw being a deficiency of green, which is easy to correct. DeltaE values are all above three so the error is visible.

You'll notice below we're going right to the saturation sweep. The eight-point CIE chart is redundant so I'm leaving it out for the sake of efficiency.

The 5020UBE looks pretty good at its stock settings. All colors and all saturation levels are pretty close to the mark. Luminances aren't too bad either. Red blue and magenta rise gradually as the saturation increases. The green, yellow and cyan part of the gamut is much better. DeltaE averages 3.73, which is quite good for an un-calibrated display. You can see the error decreases as the saturation level rises.

Raising the gamma preset to 2.3 and making minor adjustments to the RGB controls produced the following graph.

This is perfection for all intents and purposes. Perfect grayscale, and perfect gamma. It doesn't get better than this.

The CMS didn't need much work here. I only adjusted the luminance controls and the red hue. The saturation sliders had little to no effect but since the primaries and secondaries were already pretty close, it wasn't an issue. The improvement in the CIE chart is mainly due to the grayscale calibration.

The saturation sweep is greatly improved by simply working the color luminance controls. The average DeltaE error is now 0.68 which is extremely low. Again, this is essentially perfect. This level of accuracy in a sub $3000 projector is simply astounding!

3D Performance-

In 3D there are three picture modes available with the most accurate one being 3D THX. I copied the CMS settings over from 2D Natural and found the same excellent results when I measured through the glasses. Color DeltaE average was 1.55, an excellent result. Grayscale was a little cool so I redid it from scratch. The calibrated result was an average DeltaE of 2.02 with the same perfect gamma tracking I saw in 2D.

Putting up the crosstalk pattern revealed superb performance with a super-low value of 0.17 percent. This level is completely invisible to the naked eye. I never saw even the slightest hint of crosstalk in actual content. If you experiment with the 3D Depth control, you'll find that setting it above zero will cause minor ghosting. It isn't necessary to do this though. All the 3D content I viewed looked great without help from this option.

Contrast Performance-

The 5020UBE is an exceptionally bright projector. In Natural mode, at stock settings, the max output was over 26 foot-Lamberts. After calibration the number was a more eye-friendly 20.52 fL. It was necessary to drop the contrast 7 clicks to avoid clipping blue. Therefore, 20 fL is the sweet spot for this display. The black level was immeasurable whether the iris was used or not. To my eye, the black level was almost as deep as my reference Anthem LTX-500. The difference is extremely small.

In 3D, the peak light level was a bright 11.468 fL. This is the highest 3D measurement I've observed to date. I did adjust the 3D brightness in the 3D setup menu to its highest setting. You can never have too much light in 3D! The black level was once again immeasurable.

Video Processing-

The 5020UBE's video processing is superb, earning a perfect score in our tests. An RGB signal provides the best resolution, if your player supports this output. 4:2:2 was able to pass the 1-pixel chroma burst pattern but only barely. 4:4:4 looked nearly identical to RGB in this test. All the cadence, jaggie, and mixed content tests passed with flying colors. To pass the above white signals, you'll need to turn on the Super White option in the Image/Advanced menu. It's off by default except in the THX modes.