If you guys have 3 or 4 grand to spend, and a dedicated, light controller home theater room with black paint, you should really be looking at the JVC RS-540 over the Epson 5050UB. (If my refurb RS-5040 is a valid meterstick.)
I had a JVC RS-600 in my room as a demo unit in 2017. It would make my jaw drop to the floor with the quality of the image regularly. It had inky blacks, looked like it actually threw black on the screen. It was amazing, but I couldn’t personally justify dropping $6k on a projector(especially that had a few nuances (like long signal lock times and poor input lag for gaming) —- but it showed me clearly what a fantastic image a projector could throw. It looked like a giant OLED! This Epson 5040UB I bought is good, but not making the same awestruck impression on me - by any means. It isn’t like a giant OLED at all. The blacks are more grey and you can definitely tell if the projector is on or off (in my light controlled home theater room) on a black image because there is no true black.
I’ve heard the RS-540 (which if you shop around can be found for mid/high $3000 range) should look slightly better than the RS-600 I demoed. So unless the 5050UB does something mind blowingly different with its contrast level, it’s still not going to rival a modern JVC.
The beauty of this Epson 5040UB is the tremendous value/features you are getting for the price and it does throw a really nice sharp picture, but it’s not competitive with the newer JVC projectors in image quality IMO. (Again if my current refurb sample is a fair reference).
has a lot of experience with various projectors. Is that a fair assessment? I’ve only spent a lot of time around a couple equitable newer JVCs and likewise a couple equitable newer Epsons, so I’d admit I don’t have a huge sample size. A couple of my friends have similar. One a RS-520, another a 5040UB, another a 5030UB.
My refurb 5040UB is quite sharp, quite bright, and has perfect focus uniformity on a XLS spreadsheet test on PC, so I can’t complain about the particular unit I got. but it’s black levels just can’t compare to what I recall on that JVC RS-600. I was hoping they’d be closer. I’ve not seen anything yet on the Epson in my demoing time that floors me, like I regularly experienced with the JVC, which leaves me vetting if I should resell or return this Epson and just bite the bullet to buy a JVC RS-540.
Alternately, I use this Epson for a couple years until the HDR dust settles and HDMI 2.1 comes into play. (Which is probably the path I’ll take, because it’s hard for me to financially justify a $3-$4k e-shift projector that I’ll want to upgrade to true 4k again in 3-4 years. This Epson 5040UB is a tick better than my current Panasonic AE8000U, but feels a couple ticks under the JVC true blacks experience.
It still represent a stellar value. Don’t let my post dissuade you from buying this refurb at this price. I’m all in on that — just pointing out that if you have $4k to spend, and a dedicated light controlled room you should be buying a JVC and likely not an Epson.