Just compared Epson 3100 to 5040UB .... hmm, why pay 2x more???
I initially bough the Epson 3100 and was happy with it but the feeling of "hey,. you buy this thing once every 6-10 years, extra $1500 is worth it IF it's so much better".
Well, thanks to Amazon's generous return policy, I decided to test drive the Epson 5040. Note that I would not call my test scientific but I pretty much took it out of the box, adjusted screen size kept it at ECO mode like my 3100 and compared.
1) 5040 is huge. It makes my 3100 look like a cute baby, BUT, I actually like that I don't have this huge projector hanging over my head. For my taste, it's just too big.
2) Initial set up. 3100 was much easier to align. Most things are manual wheels, few turns and we're done. 5040 not only makes you use remote or buttons to adjust zoom, focus, etc but it also had a scewed box which was difficult to fix. 3100 did not have that problem.
3) Unit sound .... they are very similar to my ear. Maybe 5040 is just a tad quieter? not sure.
a. Movies that are new and already have great quality = To me, had the least difference. 3100 did great and 5040 did maybe 10% better. Not necessarily brighter but I saw a minor advantage of 5040 to produce more life like picture. Worth extra $1,500? not to me.
b. Movies like "The Family Man" ... older, not great in PQ .... this is where 5040 did better than 3100 by maybe 25%? Definitely saw more clarity. Older people's faces had more pronounced wrinkles. Worth $1,500 extra?
c. Older movies from the 80s like "Secret of my Success". So sad that quality of these movies on a 135" screen is so bad. 3100 was BAD ... I thought that 5040 would outshine it .... nope, maybe 5% better. I was surprised.
and so, my personal opinion and observation, comparing Epson 3100 ($1,100) vs Epson 5040UB ($2,500) ... for the extra $1,400 main difference was size, hi tech lens control instead of manual wheels and about 15% improvement in PQ.
I DID NOT test 4K content.
Epson 3100, STR 135" Grey Screen, Sharp LC-80LE650U 80", Denon AVR 4311ci, Ascend Sierra-1 NrT, Ascend HTM-200 (surrounds), Rythmik F12, WD TV Live Media Player, Samsung BD ES6000, Denon DVD-2910 & Sony BDP-S370 SACD/DVDa, Monster HTS 5100 MKI, Monster Z2 Biwire, Logitech Harmony One, Sennheiser HD600, Schiit Modi/Vali