Just compared Epson 3100 to 5040UB .... hmm, why pay 2x more??? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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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.

Results:

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.
4) Picture:
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.
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post
I DID NOT test 4K content.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xiaNaix View Post
That bad huh? :-)

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 08:09 PM
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Not everyone is going to appreciate the finer differences of a higher quality projector. Nothing at all wrong with that. Some people can really appreciate expensive fine wine yet I don't taste much difference from good mid-level wine. The alcohol in both have the same effect on me.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for the comparison.

You pretty much summed up my reasoning when I picked up a HC3700 over a HC4000 earlier this month. Add in: the HC3700 sale price of $1,125, the lack of 4K content (for me), it is faux 4K with the 4000/5040, the fact that what my cable company calls HD now is an insult to HD, occasional peak time issues with getting HD via Netflix/Amazon even with a usually fast internet, and the fact that I never purchase more than 2 or 3 blu-rays a month out of 300 plus hours of projector use.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-30-2017, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post
Thanks for the comparison.

You pretty much summed up my reasoning when I picked up a HC3700 over a HC4000 earlier this month. Add in: the HC3700 sale price of $1,125, the lack of 4K content (for me), it is faux 4K with the 4000/5040, the fact that what my cable company calls HD now is an insult to HD, occasional peak time issues with getting HD via Netflix/Amazon even with a usually fast internet, and the fact that I never purchase more than 2 or 3 blu-rays a month out of 300 plus hours of projector use.
Aaaa, so you're the lucky one who bought 3700 when it was just $30 more than 3100. I snoozed on that one but it's OK, bought 3100 at $1099 and now it's $1,299.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-01-2017, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post
That bad huh? :-)
No, I agree since I own the 3100 myself. Didn't see the need to go 4k yet, since most UHD discs are from 2k masters and I prefer older movies anyway. It's an amazing projector and I'm surprised there isn't more chatter about it than there is. My best guess is that the other 3100/3700 owners, like us, are too buy enjoying our projectors.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-01-2017, 04:09 PM
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depending on your room/screen, there can be a difference too.

i felt my jvc x35 was in a totally different class when i bought it, looked like my plasma. i've since moved, and in the new room, with a new screen(AT spandex) it's really not able to show off it's abilities anymore. when i bought it, i thought it was the smartest 3grand i ever spent on av gear. i feel like if i did that now, i wouldn't be nearly as impressed with its value.

i imagine the 5040UB can give you better blacks and better contrast, but you'd only see that in the right rooms. this is why i wish it was easier to test projectors in home. it's nearly impossible to figure out what will look best, or where to draw the line unless you can view them all at home, back to back.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-01-2017, 10:43 PM
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I think a big factor not mentioned in the test is the room conditions. The black floor is one of the biggest gains from the better projectors. If there is no 4K content to consider, then the Sony HW45ES is the model I would be going to in a good room. If 4K was included, I would likely be thinking long and hard about Epson or JVC. But, in a less than perfect room, then the 3100 and BenQ HT2050 are strong recommendations.

So, what is your room like? Dark walls, dark ceiling, optimized for premiere black levels where the 5040 can shine? Or, light walls, light carpet, and a white ceiling?
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-02-2017, 06:39 AM
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The main difference between the two is Epson's 4k eshift. So yes, if you did not try to view 4k content there won't be much of a benefit. Compare it to a 4k HDR movie and see if it's only 10% better lol.
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-02-2017, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I think a big factor not mentioned in the test is the room conditions. The black floor is one of the biggest gains from the better projectors. If there is no 4K content to consider, then the Sony HW45ES is the model I would be going to in a good room. If 4K was included, I would likely be thinking long and hard about Epson or JVC. But, in a less than perfect room, then the 3100 and BenQ HT2050 are strong recommendations.

So, what is your room like? Dark walls, dark ceiling, optimized for premiere black levels where the 5040 can shine? Or, light walls, light carpet, and a white ceiling?
Yep, light carpet, white ceiling and light grey walls.
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post #12 of 16 Old 10-03-2017, 07:23 AM
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Yep, light carpet, white ceiling and light grey walls.
I appreciate the response, and really want you to take into consideration that in this type of room, the main benefits of the 5040, beyond 4K support, is black levels, which can't be realized in a room like this. Same with a projector like the Sony HW45ES.

With dark movies, with a lot of shadow detail and heavily dark content, that is where these projectors will shine over models like the 3100. While the 3100 shines in a more 'typical' family room type of environment. One is more in the 'home entertainment' class of projectors, while the others are 'home theater' projectors. Then you get into more powerhouse black level models like the JVC projectors, which reach even darker levels.

The room becomes more and more critical as more money is spent on the projectors and it really isn't fair to draw such a conclusion without all the facts.

That said, in a weaker room, like yours, it is a very valid point to ask "Why pay more?" - and something that I agree with completely. If you aren't 4K heavy, or have no desire to be, then the 3100 and 3700 models may be exactly what you are looking for. Perhaps reaching for the Sony if you want/prefer what LCoS offers. But, you will miss out on the deeper black levels that the Sony can offer, and certainly don't gain a lot, if any, visible improvement.

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post #13 of 16 Old 10-03-2017, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianist718 View Post
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.

Results:

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.
4) Picture:
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.
Thanks for the comparison. I was thinking long and hard about the 5040UB but it would have cost me $3500 CDN out the door and there seems to be several limitations with regards to 4K and HDR. I ended up buying a refurbished 3100 direct from Epson with 2 year warranty for $1000 CDN delivered to my door.

It is already quite a bit bigger than my old Optoma HD33 so I can only imagine how huge the 5040 would be. I don't have a great room either with quite a bit of reflection from walls etc and the black levels aren't much better than the HD33 but damn is it way brighter and the picture quality is definitely a step up although not a mind blowing difference. It is also a little bit louder than I hoped in eco mode but I've gotten used to it. Waiting for some 3D glasses to arrive so I can try it out. Excited about the option to do 2D to 3D conversion through the projector and hope to be using it a lot.

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-03-2017, 01:15 PM
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Seeing this makes me happy with my 3100 purchase lol.

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-05-2017, 01:32 PM
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I own both the UHD60 and the 3700. Sitting 15 feet back, playing 4k blu-ray, I barely see any difference. Contrast and color brightness makes more of an impact than resolution.
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-05-2017, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lysoleverywhere View Post
I own both the UHD60 and the 3700. Sitting 15 feet back, playing 4k blu-ray, I barely see any difference. Contrast and color brightness makes more of an impact than resolution.
Sitting 15 feet back from what size screen? Just curious how close you need to get to that screen before the finer detail of the UHD60 becomes evident.
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