Epson’s 5040ub and 5050ub are their mid-to-high-end home theater projectors. Both models deliver immersive, large-screen viewing with deep blacks and bright, cinematic image quality.
The 5040ub and 5050ub share many similarities but also have key differences in their contrast performance, connectivity, convenience features and more. In this detailed comparison guide, we’ll examine how these two projectors stack up to help you decide which is better for your home cinema needs.
Resolution and Brightness
The 5040ub and 5050ub have identical 1920 x 1080 Full HD native resolution and equal white and color brightness of 2,500 lumens. This high brightness rating combined with Epson’s proprietary 3LCD engine allows both projectors to produce vivid, true-to-life images even in rooms with some ambient light.
A major difference is contrast performance. The 5040ub offers a 50,000:1 contrast ratio while the newer 5050ub has been enhanced to reach 100,000:1 thanks to its Dynamic Contrast feature. This results in noticeably deeper blacks and inkier shadow details.
Both projectors support HDR10 high dynamic range content. This expands the color gamut for greater realism. While their equal brightness means they have identical nits ratings for HDR, the 5050ub’s superior contrast provides more apparent depth and detail.
Lens and Projection
The 5040ub and 5050ub use the same high quality optical lens system with a 2.1x zoom ratio. This allows flexible positioning and screen sizes from 45″ to 300″ inches. They have powered horizontal and vertical lens shift for easy image adjustment.
Panel Refresh Rate
These Epson models both have a 120Hz native refresh rate paired with a 240Hz drive speed. This eliminates motion blur and judder during fast action scenes for a smooth, clear picture.
In addition to HDR support, both the 5040ub and 5050ub offer useful preset viewing modes and calibration options for optimizing movies, TV, sports, gaming and more. Their processing includes Epson’s Super Resolution technology for enhanced image detail.
Winner: Epson 5050ub
While identical in most image quality aspects, the 5050ub takes the lead with its significantly higher 100,000:1 contrast ratio and resulting inkier blacks. This creates a more immersive, cinema-like picture.
Connectivity and Convenience
Both models provide two HDMI inputs to connect A/V sources like Blu-ray players, streaming devices and game consoles. The 5050ub adds an additional HDMI port for a total of three. Both have two USB ports and RS-232 control.
Home Automation and Control
The 5050ub includes HDMI-CEC functionality to let your devices interact and turn on/off together. It also adds a 12V trigger output to control screens, lighting and more. The 5040ub lacks these particular automation features.
Where the 5040ub only has wired LAN connectivity, the 5050ub adds built-in dual-band WiFi and wireless screen mirroring. This provides greater flexibility for video streaming.
Epson offers the 5040ub “Pro Cinema LS10500B” bundle that includes an extra lamp, mount, cables and calibration software. The 5050ub “Pro Cinema LS10500W” bundle further adds wireless HDMI.
You get a 2 year limited warranty on parts and labor for both projector models. The 5050ub gives added peace of mind with a 2 year warranty covering the LCD panels.
Winner: Epson 5050ub
With extra HDMI, automation features, wireless connectivity and an extended panel warranty, the 5050ub clearly bests the 5040ub for connectivity and convenience.
Performance and Image Enhancements
Beyond their differences in contrast, both the 5040ub and 5050ub benefit from Epson’s proprietary technologies to enhance image accuracy and clarity. This includes their 3LCD engine, Super Resolution processing and advanced iris diaphragm.
For gaming, the 5050ub adds a dedicated low latency Enhanced Gaming Mode. This optimizes input lag to under 30ms for responsive, lag-free gaming action. The 5040ub lacks a distinct gaming mode.
Another advantage of the 5050ub is its incorporated multi-point uniformity correction. This minimizes brightness and color variations across different zones of the image for consistently uniform display quality.
Both projectors feature precision pixel alignment for accurate color convergence without fringing or distortion. This is maintained even as components age for the long-term.
In addition to refresh rates up to 240Hz, both models include useful motion features. This includes Epson’s PureMotion backlight scanning and Cinema Filter 3D color filter technology for smooth, clear video free of “rainbow” artifacts.
Winner: Epson 5050ub
With the addition of an Enhanced Gaming Mode, multi-point uniformity correction and higher native contrast, the 5050ub takes the performance category as well.
Build Quality and Design
The 5040ub and 5050ub share a similar chassis design with a black finish, minimalist styling and front-facing exhaust vent. Both weigh around 20 pounds. The 5050ub gains a dark silver trim accent.
Lens Cover and Rigging
Each model has a detachable lens cover to protect the optics when not in use. They also include mounting holes on the top and bottom for optional ceiling or table mounting.
Both projectors feature an easily accessible side air filter to trap dust and lint particles before they can enter the optics path. This safeguards image clarity.
You get up to 4,000 hours in normal mode and up to 20,000 hours in ECO mode before needing to replace the lamp in either the 5040ub or 5050ub. Lamps cost around $250 and are user replaceable after a simple cover removal.
With their efficient cooling systems, both projectors maintain low noise levels. In normal mode they produce 37dB of fan noise. This drops to a very quiet 20dB in ECO mode.
The 5040ub and 5050ub have no major differences when it comes to their well-designed chassis, build quality, filters, lamps and noise levels. This results in a tie.
Experience the pinnacle of home entertainment with the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 3LCD Home Theater Projector. Immerse yourself in lifelike visuals with its PRO UHD 4K Enhancement Technology, which enhances both 4K UHD and non-4K content. Unlike traditional projectors, the advanced 3 Chip, 3LCD Design eliminates color wheels, white segments, and rainbow effects for an unparalleled cinematic experience.
Experience the pinnacle of home entertainment with the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD 3-Chip Projector. This advanced projector brings a new dimension to 4K home theater, thanks to its cutting-edge processing that enhances resolution, color, and image quality. Every frame is a masterpiece as the True 3-Chip Projector Design displays 100% of the RGB color signal, resulting in an unparalleled color gamut without any “rainbowing” or “color brightness” issues found in other projectors.
As mentioned above in the connectivity section, the 5050ub includes a 2 year LCD panel warranty while the 5040ub only covers internal parts. Both have 2 year limited warranties on parts and labor. Defective units can also be replaced under Epson’s Fast Exchange program.
The newer 5050ub carries a moderately higher MSRP of $2,999 compared to $2,499 for the older model 5040ub. Both can be commonly found on sale in the $1,500 – $2,200 range, with the 5050ub commanding a $200 – $500 premium over the 5040ub in most cases.
While the Epson Home Cinema 5040ub and upgraded 5050ub share many similarities, the newer 5050ub has some key advantages in contrast, connectivity, convenience features and image processing. These enhancements justify its moderately higher price tag, making it the better choice if you don’t need 3D or can extend your budget.
However, the older model 5040ub remains an excellent high performance projector in its own right. If you don’t require the latest wireless compatibility or multi-point contrast improvements, the 5040ub delivers outstanding cinema-like picture quality for hundreds less.
Considering your particular needs and budget constraints will determine which of these superb Epson projectors is the better fit. Either model will reward you with beautiful, immersive projected images for movies, TV, sports and gaming in your home theater.