Good to hear.
I haven't had the time to watch that much since I got my HW45ES in December, but so far I like it. I was actually ready to pull the trigger on the 5040UB until I compared the lumen output of it and the 45ES on ProjectorReviews (not counting modes like dynamic which I will never use for serious watching). Once I realized the Sony is actually pretty close (if not brighter) than the 5040, I pulled the trigger. I'll probably upgrade to a 4k projector when I get a dedicated room and 4k HDR brightness gets better (and hopefully laser).
Projected on my white wall, I was very impressed with the brightness, but obviously the contrast wasn't that great. I actually just put up a Dark Energy .9 gain screen, but it's a tad too dark during colorful scenes and experiences some mild hot-spotting (not an overly bright center, but a bit dim on the edges). I will say that the black levels and light rejection properties of the screen are very good
. If it weren't for brightness decay due to bulb use, I would probably keep it. Last night I compared it with some Cinegrey 3D / 5D samples and the black levels take a slight hit, but the brightness is an improvement enough to make me want to switch to Cinegrey 3D. I'll probably make the purchase in the next day or two, get it assembled, and do a side-by-side comparison with the DEA screen before I decide which one to return.
Here's a comparison of the DEA screen with a Cinegrey 3D sample:
Ignore parts where it looks like there's a huge difference in brightness. The beginning with the sky and the vertical pan with the trees around the 30s mark I would say is the most accurate depiction of the brightness difference.
Now that I think about it, if I'm experiencing some mild hot-spotting with my current .9 gain screen, would a higher gain screen increase the likelihood of more severe hot-spotting? Is there a chance that the Cinegrey 3D would actually have less of a chance of hot-spotting due to some other difference? I really want as bright a picture I can get without dimness on the edges, so if that means moving to 100" instead of 110" I'm willing to make the sacrifice.