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post #751 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 12:48 AM
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Chirpie's Review going from a Sanyo Z4 to the Sony VPL-HW40ES

Chirpie's Review going from a Sanyo Z4 to the Sony VPL-HW40ES

OK, so this puppy finally showed up today. I knew it was going to be bigger than my Z4. But I got a chuckle at just how much bigger. It's also the coolest LOOKING projector I've seen in a while. Imagine the original FAT 32 Sony Playstation 3, and you'll get an idea of the black plastic finish. (And you'll know how easy it fingerprints.) Very cool looking regardless.





A friendly note that I guess I never realized... the power and inputs to this thing go in from the side, not the back. It makes access for me a little trickier but no big deal.

I played with this and the older Sanyo Z4 for about 5 hours this evening. I've always been pretty happy with the picture I squeezed out of the Z4. And it's still trucking. About 650 hours on the current bulb that's in it. (I changed the previous bulb around 1,300 hours because I had the spare and was worried I'd never get around to using it before I replaced it. :-P)

So I tried a few settings that other people posted here and I ended up going with a slightly different version of my own. (THIS IS FROM MEMORY, I'LL double check tomorrow night.)

Picture mode: Reference

Reality Creation – OFF
Lamp power – Low

Motionflow – OFF
Contrast – 80
Brightness – 55
Color – 58

Hue – 51

Colour temp – Custom 5 - D65 - see gain and bias below.
Sharpness – 30

NR – Off

MPEG NR – Off

Film mode – Auto 1
Contrast enhancer – Off
Gamma Correction – 2.4
XV Color – Off
Color space – BT.709

Color Temp (custom 5):
Gains: R15, G-30, B-26
Bias: R-5, G0, B-2

All of this projected on an SMX 106" acoustically transparent screen. The projector is about 10.5' back. This picture is older and is with the Z4 in place, but it gives you an idea where the projector is in the room. My front row is now about 9.5' feet away from the screen, so it feels pretty big.



I can't quite remember if the color temp is right, but the others should be. It made for an ever so slightly punchier picture (white and color wise) but still pretty close to some other settings.

First off, the color accuracy really is as impressive as everyone says it is. I could never quite get that last 10% on the previous projector and this scratches that itch nicely. This was a moderate improvement over the Z4.

Secondly, if you're super sensitive to screen door, this projector is on the list of ones that you will not be able to see it. Seriously, you could be standing 4 feet away and there's no having it. This was a big improvement over the Z4.

Third, I did have to panel align. Roughly -4 Red horizontal, and -4 Blue Vertical. Turning it on and off, extremely thin white lines on black back grounds got ever so slightly whiter with no edges of color from misalignment.

Fourth, yes, it's a very quiet machine. The Z4 was no slouch in their area as well, so no blow out on that one.

Fifth, it IS bright. I must have checked 10 times to see if the lamp was set to high, and every time I smiled seeing low on there. (Note: It's hiding under a setting that's not very intuitive, "cinema black pro")

As for the blacks, I can see why it's not listed as a strong point. It's definitely better than the Z4, don't get me wrong, but it's not night and day, more like a 30% improvement if you want a number put to it. The Z4 had an iris, and I was always noticing it, even if I had the setting turned way down, so I'm happy to see it gone.

I said I'd post some pics comparing them. I haven't done the over exposed ones yet, but here's a few to get things started.

Let's start with these TOY STORY 2 pics. I think they're a friendly reminder that you CAN'T completely trust a camera's picture. For starters... Z4's blacks simply aren't this good. LOL This happens because these are just properly exposed photos. Here's an important note, it took a 2 F-stop adjustment to get comparative exposure out of the two projectors, a friendly reminder at just how many more lumens the Sony puts out. You'll also note that as good as the Z4 looks... the 40ES is that much better. And the crop shows just how much more detail is there for the viewer. Plus, check out how the two smaller shoulder robots on the Z4 are slightly different in color! (Greyscale isn't uniform!)






MORE TO COME...
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Last edited by chirpie; 08-07-2014 at 12:20 PM.
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post #752 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 12:48 AM
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A lot of people talked about the color accuracy, and yeah, this thing shines here. This is taken from the Disney WOW disc under the color test. It's a good skin tone test, as well as showing nice smooth gradients on the food the lady is holding. Again, not just the extra resolution, but basically zero gap between pixels makes the image loose any feeling of digital projection. This picture makes the Sony come out a little too yellow vs how the projector performed in reality, which was better, so there's your caveat.







Speaking of extra resolution, image my surprise when I found out this test pattern had color in it. The Z4 couldn't even resolve the pattern detail well enough to make it show up. This test pattern also highlights the lack of uniformity in the temperature of white on the Z4. (It shifts from reddish to bluish/greenish from left to right.






Now some people said that this projector exasperates them because it looks grainy. I can see how that would be on some material. In fact, I was somewhat disappointed with the projector at first when I put in some older Blu-rays like Curse of the Golden Flower. As it turned out, it was a combination of less than great source material (Flower isn't as good a transfer as I recall) and a few settings tweaks. I killed Reality Creation as it just makes the noise in the background of some films too grainy. I only put just a little sharpness in it's place, but otherwise left it alone. Films like Transformers 3 that have moderate levels of grain in some scenes were good, and it really felt almost like projected film rather than injected digital noise.




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Last edited by chirpie; 08-06-2014 at 10:35 PM.
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post #753 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 01:15 AM
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OK, last but not least for now... shadow detail and vertical resolution capability. Below you'll find some crops of DELIBERATELY over exposed images that more easily show the extra detail hiding in the dark. It's this detail that really makes the picture feel less digital and more smooth and better resolved overall.










So overall, I'm pleased. A lot of my files I had saved and compressed through my iTunes library will probably have to be re-ripped as they just aren't up to snuff and the extra compression only makes some films even more grainy.

Some will notice I didn't go over 3D. I only briefly tried it out. So far it was underwhelming, but I'm tired and didn't have time to adjust much yet on that.

That's all folks!
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Last edited by chirpie; 08-06-2014 at 08:05 AM.
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post #754 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 04:32 AM
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I think I have to scratch this off my list of my next projector. The blacks are just not what I am looking for. I need at leat Epson 5030ub blacks.
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post #755 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 05:23 AM
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Awesome review Chirpie.

I'm curious, what is your seating distance from that 106" screen? Also, you mentioned the grain on less than ideal sources. I'd be curious how you find the picture on non-Blu's, just some regular TV shows or sports? That is where I am having the biggest problem and where it would be used probably 60% of the time. Is the picture actual decently sharp and defined on those, or soft and "smeary" like it is for me?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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post #756 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 07:57 AM
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Thank you for the Fantastic review Chirpie.

That is a beautiful machine.
Wow - no screen door - hooray !
I wonder what sony did to get rid of it ?
When I demoed the PJ, I got 6" away from the screen and could not see any pixels.

How is your white balance ?
When you have some time, could you post a pic of your grey scale ?

Last edited by Bachiano; 08-06-2014 at 08:07 AM.
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post #757 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcramer View Post
Awesome review Chirpie.

I'm curious, what is your seating distance from that 106" screen? Also, you mentioned the grain on less than ideal sources. I'd be curious how you find the picture on non-Blu's, just some regular TV shows or sports? That is where I am having the biggest problem and where it would be used probably 60% of the time. Is the picture actual decently sharp and defined on those, or soft and "smeary" like it is for me?

Thanks for your thoughts!
I just updated the post with the info. My front seating is 9.5 feet away. Let's say that out loud, 9.5 feet from 106 inches. That just begs for one to be able to see each and every flaw. lol

I didn't get a chance to run "everyday" material through it yet. I'll try to do that tonight. I DID watch a few scenes from TV shows from Netflix and they frankly looked better than some of my older Blu-rays. :-)

Sports like Basketball and Football in my experience macroblock like crazy, (bandwidth starved) but it doesn't sound like that's what you're seeing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachiano View Post
Thank you for the Fantastic review Chirpie.

How is your white balance ?
When you have some time, could you post a pic of your grey scale ?
Sure. The only catch is, you set white balance on camera to shoot for the environment, so you could really change the grayscale to whatever you wanted. I'll do my best to capture what I'm seeing in person though.

Last edited by chirpie; 08-06-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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post #758 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tcramer View Post
I'd be curious to hear more from daggerNC.

As I mentioned, I have through the weekend to return it. It's starting to look like that may be the best option.
Haven't gotten around to doing any pictures yet. My son has a Nikon camera so I'm going see if that can capture some good images.

My projector too is not at the limits of the vertical or horizontal or zoom ranges. RC turned on truely adds noise (not enhanced grain) and is easily seen. I have sharpness set to "min" as with a test pattern even turning up to only 1 or 2 I can start to faintly see ringing on the line patterns.

With the exact same source chain, my old JVC RS10 had less "noise" and banding and seemingly more clarity in non high quality Bluray source video. I know Netflix quality can vary based on the ISPs truly are impacting the bandwidth, but on the same show (love House of Cards), my older Samsung 50" plasma TV consistently gives a clearer overall picture than the HW40ES.

chirpie - any chance you can do some testing on your unit with non Bluray sourced video?

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post #759 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by hotpepper007 View Post
I think I have to scratch this off my list of my next projector. The blacks are just not what I am looking for. I need at leat Epson 5030ub blacks.
So what would you get then? If you get the Epson 5030 then you'll have screen door effect, horrible lag etc. Just wondering if you have something in mind that would be better than this as a whole package?
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post #760 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 10:22 AM
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So what would you get then? If you get the Epson 5030 then you'll have screen door effect, horrible lag etc. Just wondering if you have something in mind that would be better than this as a whole package?

Nice review. The HW40 is definitely a good projector for the money. You have to decide what tradeoffs are important to you. Or, spend a lot more money - which is in itself just another tradeoff !!

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post #761 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpepper007 View Post
I think I have to scratch this off my list of my next projector. The blacks are just not what I am looking for. I need at leat Epson 5030ub blacks.
I'm a plasma junkie and this PJ does better and more uniform blacks than ANY LED and LCD tv I've seen, if the black levels are really not enough with a hands on experience, then you need to go up to the JVC because the epson won't suffice them either. I wanted the JVC but the lag and the 50% more expensive price tag didn't make sense to me.

Good luck.
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post #762 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpepper007 View Post
I think I have to scratch this off my list of my next projector. The blacks are just not what I am looking for. I need at leat Epson 5030ub blacks.
As Craig says, it's down to what you classify as an acceptable compromise.

ProjectorReviews actually stated the same thing about the black levels being a little higher than expected (in an otherwise high-praise review). They did note the 5030 to be better in this regard; but there'll be some other compromises instead.

If your budget allows, Sony's next step up (the Sony HW55ES) might be closer to what you're looking for. A little pricey, though: I'm not sure if it's ever gone on sale (or if there're plans for the next HW40ES sale to also include the HW55ES).

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post #763 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post
As Craig says, it's down to what you classify as an acceptable compromise.

ProjectorReviews actually stated the same thing about the black levels being a little higher than expected (in an otherwise high-praise review). They did note the 5030 to be better in this regard; but there'll be some other compromises instead.

If your budget allows, Sony's next step up (the Sony HW55ES) might be closer to what you're looking for. A little pricey, though: I'm not sure if it's ever gone on sale (or if there're plans for the next HW40ES sale to also include the HW55ES).

You guys can always call us for the latest deals. The HW55 is a better projector - and it's only " a little pricey " because you are in the under $ 3000 section. In the over $ 3000 section - it's the inexpensive quality value leader. Everything is relative !!
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post #764 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlg View Post
I'm a plasma junkie and this PJ does better and more uniform blacks than ANY LED and LCD tv I've seen, if the black levels are really not enough with a hands on experience, then you need to go up to the JVC because the epson won't suffice them either. I wanted the JVC but the lag and the 50% more expensive price tag didn't make sense to me.

Good luck.
I'd have to agree with the sentiment that the Epson isn't really appreciably better in blacks. It's fairly minor. I've seen that Epson out in the wild, and I remember having a similar reaction to the blacks on it that I did with this projector. That doesn't mean the blacks are BAD. I'm no longer thinking charcoal grey when I look at dark scenes, so that much has improved. Take what I say with a grain of salt... I'm picky! LOL.
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post #765 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 02:12 PM
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Chirpie:

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have had my HW40 for about a month now but haven't played with the settings outside of Reference mode. One of the first things I did was 're-watch' The Dark Knight just to get a feel for the black levels. I was impressed with the image right out of the box.

My first row is also about 9+ feet from a 104" screen (Non-AT).

Nice to see another HW40 owner in Olathe, KS!

Larry
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post #766 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 03:30 PM
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Glad to see some new reviews in here

I just returned from the Middle East. Got back last night after the 10+ hour straight flight from Germany on a C17 :/


So I got to take a good look at the basement. The pictures my girlfriend sent me were very deceiving and I am working with a very limited space. It is a half finished basement and I have some very limited options. It is a rental so a couple of my options are kind of... well... extreme since I am not the home owner. But... I could just leave him the screen and mount so he has a dedicated movie theater when he wants his house back

Anyways, viewing is going to be on a 74" x 153" wall with a maximum screen size of 135" diagonal (66"x118")... But I feel that may interfere with seating and viewing so I may drop down to 125". Now... the tricky part of this is that the ceiling isnt in fact a ceiling. It is a weird particle board/compressed board that just covers the typical look of a basement ceiling (ill post pictures in a bit). So ceiling mounted is officially gone since if I cannot find a mounting solution. But... there is hope. I can cut a hole in the back wall and mount a hutch where the 40ES can shoot through to the screen. This also allows me to route the receiver and all my other stuff to the little door thingy to hide is all away and then just run wires out. Pretty neat idea.... but it involves cutting a piece of the wall out and then creating a trap door so it can be shut when not in use. Not sure how that will boil over but it will literally be large 4x3 square with a hinge on it.

More to come. I'll post pictures here in a bit

The tiny stairs down to the man cave



The bottom of the stair case facing the viewing wall



Viewing wall



This is the nonsense the ceiling is made of...



This is where the room divides from finished to unfinished. you can see the shelves where i can mount the PJ, cut a hole, and shoot through all stealth like



Now... I can either use the shelves and put the receiver and stuff right here so its hidden but still have direct access to it or I can put it inside the little door but not have access to it.







Its going to be fun setting up. I'll post more once I get fully set up.

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post #767 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 05:10 PM
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Their has to be studs in your ceiling somewhere that the ceiling panel is nailed to. If you want to ceiling mount I bet their is a way.
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post #768 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 05:16 PM
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as stupid as it sounds, it would be really great if they offered an option to have the cable inputs on the other side. The right side is the worst for my setup.
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post #769 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post
A lot of people talked about the color accuracy, and yeah, this thing shines here... The Sony comes out a hair too yellow vs what I see in reality.





...

Nice review, thanks for sharing. I like your room, too. Very nice indeed.

I am a bit concerned about that yellow tint (or is it hue; I really don't know the proper term). It's pretty noticeable on my monitor. Is there anything that can be done, short of profe$$ional calibration?

I also noticed a Youtube video of the 5th Element someone posted here: this Sony vs the Panny 8000:


I apologize if I butchered any links; I'm a noob

The in the 5th Element clip the Girl's face seems a tad pink to me on my monitor. Buildings may be, too.

I guess I'm asking these questions because I'm a tad confused about all the talk about how accurate the color is on this projector. This will be my first projector, but...does the yellowish face and the pink/purple tint in the other still qualify as what one can expect from an "accurate" color projector?

I mean no offense, but I am really confused at this point.

Any clarification by anyone would be much appreciated.
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post #770 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 08:17 PM
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i should be getting the 40es delivered this week and i'm a bit worried after looking at the images: not liking the yellow color in the images. Is this what others noted too? I also read about the grainy image which does not sound appealing thought the image quality above looks great.
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post #771 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 09:48 PM
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If you've ever taken a photo and realized it doesn't look exactly like what your eyes are seeing..that's part of what you're seeing when the pictures or videos look weird. VERY few people actually set white-balance perfectly for their cameras (some don't even have the option) and even if it is set, it's no guarantee that everything else will take the image perfectly.

The colors on this projector in its most accurate setting are still going to be more correct than many others (and TVs/monitors), though every unit can be a little different from another. It does make you wonder how consistently accurate they are if the tint is a widespread complaint for presets that are supposed to be very dead-on.

When you read about folks complaining about grain, make sure they have "reality creation" OFF and sharpness set low enough so there are ZERO artifacts..otherwise the complaint means very little because ALL displays will accentuate grain when sharpness (or enhancement settings) are too high. Also, a good/accurate display is only as good as the source material and a sharp, large display may have you noticing flaws within movies you couldn't even see before.
Sitting 3'-4' from a TV can help show what sort of image problems the projector has to deal with..
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post #772 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor_Zaius View Post
This will be my first projector, but...does the yellowish face and the pink/purple tint in the other still qualify as what one can expect from an "accurate" color projector?

I mean no offense, but I am really confused at this point.

Any clarification by anyone would be much appreciated.
Don't worry about the yellow you see in that photo.

1. As I mentioned, the photo came out much more yellow vs what I saw in reality. I'll edit the wording to make this point more clear. The inaccuracy is in the capturing device, not the projector itself.

2. Even if it was looking a little yellow, that's something that can EASILY be tweaked. Don't give that particular concern a second thought. :-)


In other news, I have a few more thoughts after mucking with it again tonight, but I'm a bit tired and need to get to sleep before 4am today. I can't do two late nighters in a row very well these days.
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post #773 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:11 PM
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Oh ok thanks, all the lines are white so I guess i'm ok than.
The lines will look white at regular viewing distance. You have to get up close (about a foot away) and look for color fringes at the edge of the white lines.
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post #774 of 1243 Old 08-06-2014, 11:17 PM
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You guys can always call us for the latest deals. The HW55 is a better projector - and it's only " a little pricey " because you are in the under $ 3000 section. In the over $ 3000 section - it's the inexpensive quality value leader. Everything is relative !!
Just saw the HW55 on sale on amazon.com for well under $3k...
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post #775 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 04:33 AM
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So what would you get then? If you get the Epson 5030 then you'll have screen door effect, horrible lag etc. Just wondering if you have something in mind that would be better than this as a whole package?

Hi dr bass' I do not see screen door on my 8350. Never have. Horrible lag has no effect on me also. I only use my Projector for movies in a Super dark HT room. I been told even the Sony HW 40 would be a sideways move over my Epson 8350. So I might have to look at the Jvc line or Sony 55. Thanks
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post #776 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronxkid View Post
i should be getting the 40es delivered this week and i'm a bit worried after looking at the images: not liking the yellow color in the images. Is this what others noted too? I also read about the grainy image which does not sound appealing thought the image quality above looks great.
Don't be. In person, this screen looks amazing. Looks nicer than my Sharp Aquos 70" in my living room (minus blacks). That monitor actualy turns off pixels so black...is well a pure black.

You will not be disappointed.

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post #777 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 05:35 AM
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I'm coming from a Sony G70 CRT and was worried about the hw40’s black performance.
I still have my G70 in a bat cave and of course, CRT blacks are as black as it gets, so I have a point of reference.

When I demoed the hw40 I did not feel it was lacking in Blacks and was very relieved.
Specially since I’ve resisted moving to digital for so long do to their bad, screen door, input lag, motion and low black levels.

As soon as I demoed this pj my worries disappeared.
I’m very happy that digitals have made great strides forward in IQ and now at an affordable price.
It took them a long time to get here though.

Sony G70 vs Sony HW40

Shadow detail - hw40 wins
Sharpness - hw40 wins
Brightness - hw40 wins
Color accuracy - hw40 wins but only because my G70 is getting old like me.
White balance - hw40 wins
Resolution - hw40 wins

Blacks - blacks are plenty good but - G70 wins
Low input lag - not as low as my CRT but good enough - G70 wins
Motion handling - not as good as my CRT but good enough - G70 wins

I considered the hw55 and still might but, I wanted:
No iris - low input lag and higher lumens, as this is going in a living room.

“Everything is relative !!” ;-)

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post #778 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hotpepper007 View Post
Hi dr bass' I do not see screen door on my 8350. Never have. Horrible lag has no effect on me also. I only use my Projector for movies in a Super dark HT room. I been told even the Sony HW 40 would be a sideways move over my Epson 8350. So I might have to look at the Jvc line or Sony 55. Thanks
Ah ok. Well the point I was making was that even if you went with an Epson 5030 you would have other trade offs that this projector doesn't have such as lcd screen door, and the incredibly slow response time of over 100ms. But if you were just saying "deeper blacks" as an example, that makes sense. Indeed you would have to go JVC or Sony 55 to reach that it seems.
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post #779 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 09:37 AM
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Just saw the HW55 on sale on amazon.com for well under $3k...
" Crawfords is not a Sony Authorized Retailer " - from Sony's mouth to your ears.


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post #780 of 1243 Old 08-07-2014, 10:56 AM
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" Crawfords is not a Sony Authorized Retailer " - from Sony's mouth to your ears.


Beware of buying from un - authorized dealers. AV Science is an authorized Sony dealer.
Authorized, meaning selling for the price Sony is enforcing? I don't really know but to me it smells a bit like a price cartel.
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