Epson 5030UBe 3D LCD Projector Test Bench

Test Bench

Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 16,850:1

For the picture settings plus additional details on calibration and video processing tests for this review, go to soundandvision.com.

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Pre-calibration measurements were made with the THX mode left at its default settings. Post-calibration measurements were made in the same mode. With the 5030UBe’s auto iris and power consumption both set to Normal, its contrast ratio was 16,850:1. With auto iris turned off, its contrast ratio measured 4,518:1. Maximum brightness in Dynamic mode was 60.13 ft-L. (Because the 80-inch-wide Stewart GrayHawk screen I used for my review is a gray screen spec’d for 0.9 gain, my contrast-ratio measurements, which were taken directly off the screen with a Minolta LS-100 luminance meter, might appear a bit boosted compared with a white screen like Stewart’s StudioTek 130, which would likely have yielded higher black levels.)

The average Delta E of the Epson’s pre-cal gray scale averaged out to 6.6; calibration improved that average to 2.7, with a spike up to 6.0 at 100% brightness. (Delta E is a figure of merit that indicates how closely a display adheres to the Rec. 709 HD color standard. Experts generally agree that levels below 3 are visibly indistinguishable from perfect color tracking.)

The Delta E of the Epson’s color points in the default settings averaged 4.8. After making adjustments in the projector’s color management system menu, that average improved to 1.2.

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Epson’s default 0 gamma preset in THX mode measured 2.4—perfect for the dark room viewing environment that projectors require.

I saw no screen uniformity issues with the 5030UBe, and its Panel Alignment control allowed me to dial in a crisp positioning of the projector’s red, green, and blue LCD panels, which are prone to drift slightly during shipping.

The Epson passed most of our video processing tests with the exception of 2:2 SD/HD. Lots of displays that we test trip up on those, though, so the 5030UBe is in good company. This is rarely an issue in real program material.—AG

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