Epson is following up last year's Editors' Choice-winning 5020 projector with the new PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB.
The 5020 was an excellent projector and our main concern -- poorer black levels compared with what we got from similarly priced rivals -- has been addressed in 2013. The main improvement over the previous model is an almost doubling in contrast with the new Ultra Black image system. The contrast ratio has increased from 320,000:1 to 600,000:1, while the light output remains constant at 2,400 lumens.
As with all other Epson projectors, the 5030 is based on 3LCD 3-chip technology, and it comes with a Fujinon lens with a 2.1x zoom.
The 2013 models now feature a mode called Classic Black-and-White Cinema, which is designed to improve shades of gray on old movies without introducing false colors.
The projector comes with two HDMI ports as well as component, PC, and composite inputs. As with the 5020, the 5030 projector also comes in an "e" version, which adds a five-port wireless HDMI module.
Other features of the projector are THX certification for an easier setup process and 3D playback with two sets of RF glasses in the box.
The Home Cinema 5030UB and 5030UBe will be available for $2,599 and $2,899, respectively, online and through dealers in mid-October. Look out for a CNET review in the coming months.