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Epson 3800 vs 5050ub

4860 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  vinay60
I have a completely dark basement HT, a 120 Da-Lite high power screen and the ability to ceiling mount wherever I want. I use an Nvidia shield to feed YouTube and Plex (movies, tv etc.) daily. My Epson 8350 is more than ten years old and on its third bulb, and I'm STILL wrestling with selecting a replacement. While the Epson 3800 vs BenQ HT 3550 debate can drive you mad, with opinions swinging every which way, I think I've come down on the Epson side of the fence, at least for now. That said, I see many urging a refurb 5050ub when looking in the $2k-ish price range, but I'm not comfortable with a refurb at this kind of price, and new the 5050ub is more than double the price of the 3800.

So, assuming I'm not sophisticated enough to properly calibrate the thing and will just use the Cinema setting on either, and don't care about motorized lens etc., is the jump to the 5050ub worth it (subjective I know, but any thoughts appreciated).
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You will hate yourself if you use the 3800 and the Da-Lite HP together in a completely dark HT. In another thread right now I'm discussing a very similar issue with the 3800 and a white 110" screen. The 3800 measures 1200 lumens in its dimmest setting. The Da-Lite is HP is a 2.8 gain screen, right? If you are in that narrow cone that it is actually 2.8 gain then the 3800 will pump out.....78fL. 馃く

Dude, that's just insane.

No way no how would I use the Da-Lite HP with the 3800. If you are down with selling it and getting a grey screen then I think you should entertain the 3800. It isn't really a dark room projector for screens of this size. It's black levels are too high because of how bright it is. If you slap that thing in there right now, even with a 1.0 gain screen, you will most likely think the dark scenes are washed out.

Now the 5050 and the Da-Lite HP is an interesting proposition. The 5050 can get pretty bright itself but it has a manual iris that you can really throttle down and control the light. This subsequently increases contrast. With such a high gain screen you could theoretically use the 5050 in Eco and use the manual iris as well, resulting in really good black levels/contrast. Not only does this allow you to keep your existing screen, it will maximize the abilities of the 5050. You could easily use the color filter for HDR as well which a lot of people can't because they need more lumens to light up their screen.

So, just with these factors you are looking at replacing the screen to get the best out of the 3800 for your room. Or, using your existing screen and maximizing the 5050 with it.

Not only this but the 5050 is sharper, doesn't have focus uniformity issues, and has a lot better color gamut coverage. I also have a hard time justifying the 2x cost increase from the 3800 to the 5050 but in your case I really think it is the right choice since you have a dedicated dark theater. Just to be clear though, how do you define dark basement HT? Do you have dark colored walls, ceiling, and floor?
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I just read your other thread after I posted this, that is a lot of light. The basement is basically dark brown throughout, carpet is beige but on the dark side.

I wonder whether this pushes the needle more towards the Benq HT3550 which is much less bright but with good detail etc.
Remember that the D-Lite HiPower has a gain cone where it bounces the majority of light back towards the source so if ceiling mounted and using lens shift you will not be getting that full 2.8 gain at a seated viewing position.

With that said, I completely agree with Andy (PixelPusher15) in that the 5050ub (with manual iris clamping) would be a far better match with the HP screen vs the HC3800 (I have owned all three... first gen HP screen, HC3800 and currently have a 5050ub).

The HP screen is amazing in the right install but with modern high lumen projectors it requires more planning/setup (I honestly wish I still had my HP screen to mess around with).

- Jason
I just read your other thread after I posted this, that is a lot of light. The basement is basically dark brown throughout, carpet is beige but on the dark side.

I wonder whether this pushes the needle more towards the Benq HT3550 which is much less bright but with good detail etc.
Nope, the 3550 does not have a solid black floor to begin with and the HP screen will only elevate it.

- Jason
I know you are opposed to a refurb but check out this deal: Epson 5050 Refurbished - $2400 from Amazon

It's from Amazon but refurbished by Epson. Epson doesn't have a perfect track record for refurbs so I get the hesitancy but since it is sold by Amazon you get 90 days to return it and the 2-year warranty from Epson.
Nope, the 3550 does not have a solid black floor to begin with and the HP screen will only elevate it.

- Jason
I agree but it does have the WCG filter that most can't use because the projector isn't bright enough. With the HP screen he may actually be able to use it for HDR. I'd say the HP screen would bring the best out of the HT3550. The caveat is that cone of reflectance you mentioned with the HP screen. You can't really mount the HT3550 to take advantage of the 2.8 gain. Any of the Epson's would allow you to place it directly over your head.
I went from a 3700 to a 6050 and the difference is worth every penny I paid.
You will kick yourself for not getting the 5050 and you鈥檒l be kicking yourself again for not getting it properly calibrated.
I agree but it does have the WCG filter that most can't use because the projector isn't bright enough. With the HP screen he may actually be able to use it for HDR. I'd say the HP screen would bring the best out of the HT3550. The caveat is that cone of reflectance you mentioned with the HP screen. You can't really mount the HT3550 to take advantage of the 2.8 gain. Any of the Epson's would allow you to place it directly over your head.

I have also owned the HT3550 and even with the WCG filter it still has pretty poor black level/contrast, the HP would brighten it up for sure but then the black floor is lifted.

The WCG colors would POP on that HP screen though.

- Jason
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Both great projectors but made for different types of rooms. My 3800 on a 300 dollar silver ticket matte white screen is fantastic.

Then again, it is not a light controlled room with daylight and lights on much of the time. I keep it on medium power/natural setting which is in the middle... it can get much dimmer/brighter. I have black velvet on the front wall but the rest of the walls/ceiling are white.

I guess I just like a bright popping image. I'm not even sure I really understand the concept of "too bright" for a projector image as long as the blacks are black. "Too dim" I have seen plenty. The colors of the 3800 just pop and are very enjoyable. Had it for a long time now and I still every now and then just randomly find myself thinking wow what an amazing image.

I think you will get used to whatever you choose and in a very dark room the 5050 may be the way to go... but consider that the 3800 bulbs are 100 dollars and the 5050 bulbs are 300 last I looked into it. To me that is part of the deal.
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I'd agree with the others... refurb 5050ub (whether Epson and play the lottery or Amazon and use the return period if necessary) mounted as low as you can get away with and Cinema Filter engaged would be a phenomenal combination with your current screen.

Too bright is a thing. My Epson 4000 (no Cinema Filter) on a Silver Ticket 1.0 White WVS, even zoomed for 2.35:1, can very occasionally be too bright. It reared its head with Black Widow in HDR during the outdoor portion of the prison escape (almost entirely white snow) and, to a lesser degree, during the falling sequence (almost entirely white/light blue sky)... especially the snow scenes were bright to the point of nearly causing a headache, even with little-if-any white clipping. I really can't imagine these scenes with 2-3x the FL.

If cost is a big issue, consider the 4000/4040 or 4010/4050 refurbs. They have most of the same benefits of the 5050ub (cinema filter but no manual iris), and still notably better contrast than the 3800... you just have to feed them with the right source to get 4K HDR (any UHD BD player, AppleTV 4K, Shield TV, Chromecast Google TV). A refurb 4040 from Epson, Chromecast GTV, and ISF Calibration would still come in around $900-$1000 less than the 5050ub and be a BIG step up from the 3800. The only scenario I wouldn't even consider this option is if you're looking to do a good chunk of 4K HDR gaming, at which point there's no good workaround for the HDMI input's bandwidth limitation.
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I am figuring this out right now too and bumped into this thread. Describing my situation below - would you recommend Epson 5050UB or 3800?
  • Currently using an Optoma HD141X on a textured wall in the living room. Upgrading to 4k pj as 141x is having issues.
  • The living room has windows and patio doors etc. i can use window treatment to tame the light and darken the room quite a bit but it will never be blacked out during the day time. Having said, plan to use mostly during the night and occasionally during the day. So while night time experience is most important, I want to be able to watch during the day.
  • Living room has white ceilings and grey/beige walls (Simply White Sherwin Williams). Can鈥檛 change ceiling and walls. But I am open to getting a screen or painting the projected wall (if I don鈥檛 have to deal with removing texture etc.).
  • I should mention that I was pretty happy with the current setup even tho the wall is textured and pj is HD.That probably speaks to my eye for perfection, LoL! Figured I consider wall/screen upgrade if I am moving to a 4k pj.
Given above, what pj/set up do you recommend? Will
I benefit from getting 5050UB or should I just get 3800? Also, any screen pairing recommendations?
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