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post #1 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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4k Projector Worth it?

I'm looking to upgrade to either the NX5 or Sony 295ES in the Fall after Cedia. This is the max I'm willing to spend with my budget. I currently have a Sony 45es and I've been really happy with it, but I own 50+ 4k UHD Blu Rays and the Oppo 203, and I feel like I could be getting more out of my home theater.

Here's the dilemma. Whenever I demo a 4k projector with 4k content, it's slightly impressive, but it's really hard to see the improvements compared to my current Sony 45es. It's obviously better, but I'm not seeing $3k worth better, if it makes sense. I even ask if the PJs are actually showing 4k content. I've demoed the Sony 995es, 295es, and JVC NX9 (No NX5 was available) at Best Buy and Starpower Home Theater here in Dallas. While they all look decent, the difference isn't as dramatic as going from my 1080p to 4k TV. I don't know if it was just the settings or if my expectations were too high. But reading comments on this forum and going on Youtube, everyone states that the difference should be very noticeable. Anyone else experience this when demoing, but then at home the viewing was way better? Not sure if it will help, but I've included a picture of my home theater in case there are suggestions on which PJ in my budget would give me noticeable a upgrade.

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post #2 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
I'm looking to upgrade to either the NX5 or Sony 295ES in the Fall after Cedia. This is the max I'm willing to spend with my budget. I currently have a Sony 45es and I've been really happy with it, but I own 50+ 4k UHD Blu Rays and the Oppo 203, and I feel like I could be getting more out of my home theater.

Here's the dilemma. Whenever I demo a 4k projector with 4k content, it's slightly impressive, but it's really hard to see the improvements compared to my current Sony 45es. It's obviously better, but I'm not seeing $3k worth better, if it makes sense. I even ask if the PJs are actually showing 4k content. I've demoed the Sony 995es, 295es, and JVC NX9 (No NX5 was available) at Best Buy and Starpower Home Theater here in Dallas. While they all look decent, the difference isn't as dramatic as going from my 1080p to 4k TV. I don't know if it was just the settings or if my expectations were too high. But reading comments on this forum and going on Youtube, everyone states that the difference should be very noticeable. Anyone else experience this when demoing, but then at home the viewing was way better? Not sure if it will help, but I've included a picture of my home theater in case there are suggestions on which PJ in my budget would give me noticeable a upgrade.
Well Blu Ray to 4K UHD isn't leap DVD to Blu Ray was, but I can say with a well mastered UHD disc and a well setup projector the difference can be pretty stunning (my current and last projector both handled 4K). Of the two mentioned I would lean towards the NX5. There was a comparison some of our AVS folks did in Denver a few weeks ago between the current Sony offerings and the new JVC lineup. All projectors calibrated properly. Same room, same screen and the JVCs came out ahead. The JVC's had better optics at the $10K and lower price points, tone mapping was better, they are brighter and contrast/black floor was better.

I don't know why it's hard to find a good demonstration of projectors, but it really seems to be. Good luck!
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post #3 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
Well Blu Ray to 4K UHD isn't leap DVD to Blu Ray was, but I can say with a well mastered UHD disc and a well setup projector the difference can be pretty stunning. Of the two mentioned I would lean towards the NX5. There was a comparison some of our AVS folks did in Denver a few weeks ago between the current Sony offerings and the new JVC lineup. All projectors calibrated properly. Same room, same screen and the JVCs came out ahead. The JVC's had better optics at the $10K and lower price points, tone mapping was better, they are brighter and contrast/black floor was better.

I don't know why it's hard to find a good demonstration of projectors, but it really seems to be. Good luck!
Totally agree. I've demoed the Sony 295es a few times. Most recently this past weekend at Best Buy. Wonder Woman was playing in 4k. It looked worse than when I watched it at home. I honestly don't even think they bothered tweaking the settings.
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post #4 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
Whenever I demo a 4k projector with 4k content, it's slightly impressive, but it's really hard to see the improvements compared to my current Sony 45es.
If you're confident in this assessment, it seems like you've answered your own question regarding "is it worth it." OTOH, I sense that you might think that the conditions under which you've seen 4k projectors (e.g., set up at BB) are not optimal, or that you've haven't been able to do a side-by-side comparison with your projector and that you're just going on memory of what your projector looks like when you see a new 4k unit. Is it the latter?

I will say that my new 4k projector (I have the NX7) is significantly better than my previous JVC 1080p projector, even with non-4k material. I think the resolution of the new projectors and the contrast is astounding, whether you're watching 1080p or 4k material.

So if I were in your situation, I would upgrade, especially owning so many 4k UHD DVD's. But maybe you're not as particular as me or some others in terms of PQ, or perhaps the value proposition (i.e., how much $$ for how much improvement) would be different for you and me.

I'm not sure this helps. Bottom line is that the new 4k projectors throw a really nice image, but only you can decide whether it's "worth it."
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post #5 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smitty View Post
If you're confident in this assessment, it seems like you've answered your own question regarding "is it worth it." OTOH, I sense that you might think that the conditions under which you've seen 4k projectors (e.g., set up at BB) are not optimal, or that you've haven't been able to do a side-by-side comparison with your projector and that you're just going on memory of what your projector looks like when you see a new 4k unit. Is it the latter?

I will say that my new 4k projector (I have the NX7) is significantly better than my previous JVC 1080p projector, even with non-4k material. I think the resolution of the new projectors and the contrast is astounding, whether you're watching 1080p or 4k material.

So if I were in your situation, I would upgrade, especially owning so many 4k UHD DVD's. But maybe you're not as particular as me or some others in terms of PQ, or perhaps the value proposition (i.e., how much $$ for how much improvement) would be different for you and me.

I'm not sure this helps. Bottom line is that the new 4k projectors throw a really nice image, but only you can decide whether it's "worth it."
To be honest, I'm looking for any excuse to upgrade lol. It's just that so far I haven't been wowed. But I totally agree with you in that I'm leaning more towards the conditions not being optimal as the main reason. So far I've received great home theater advice from this site, so I'm hoping the trend continues with this.
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post #6 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
To be honest, I'm looking for any excuse to upgrade lol. It's just that so far I haven't been wowed. But I totally agree with you in that I'm leaning more towards the conditions not being optimal as the main reason. So far I've received great home theater advice from this site, so I'm hoping the trend continues with this.
I've also found that when you get a projector in your own home environment and set it up the way you like, you'll tend to like what you see more so than in a showroom. I don't think it is really the placebo effect. It just seems to me that quite a few places don't set up their projectors optimally or the way you would set them up, and the conditions for viewing and making a judgment are often not ideal. I went and looked at a Sony 695 a few months back at a higher end A/V dealer, and if I had to decide to upgrade based on what I saw, I would have stayed with my old projector. But I know if I had that 695 in my home, it would have looked much better.
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post #7 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
To be honest, I'm looking for any excuse to upgrade lol. It's just that so far I haven't been wowed. But I totally agree with you in that I'm leaning more towards the conditions not being optimal as the main reason. So far I've received great home theater advice from this site, so I'm hoping the trend continues with this.
I am with you on this, certainly it is a better pic than my 1080p but tweaked and calibrated my 1080p projector is still great and price wise its not worth it to me, even all the cgi is not native so I put the money into sound, installed 4 atmos speakers and a new receiver to 7.2.4. Soooo happy with atmos. 4k upgrade will be the last thing I do although my receiver and blu ray are 4k for the sound, I will still hold out.

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post #8 of 86 Old 05-30-2019, 05:32 PM
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I can tell you that you will see the difference in your home setup with a newer 4K projector. I went from a 1080p Optoma to a 4K Optoma eShifter and I was floored with the sharpness and contrast improvements. Then, I upgraded to a Sony 695ES and was floored by the overall improvement in terms of sharpness, black levels, contrast and the wider array of colors. Just a beautiful image, but takes some tweaking to get it just right, which you probably wouldn’t get in a store setup.
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post #9 of 86 Old 05-31-2019, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
I'm looking to upgrade to either the NX5 or Sony 295ES in the Fall after Cedia. This is the max I'm willing to spend with my budget. I currently have a Sony 45es and I've been really happy with it, but I own 50+ 4k UHD Blu Rays and the Oppo 203, and I feel like I could be getting more out of my home theater.



Here's the dilemma. Whenever I demo a 4k projector with 4k content, it's slightly impressive, but it's really hard to see the improvements compared to my current Sony 45es. It's obviously better, but I'm not seeing $3k worth better, if it makes sense. I even ask if the PJs are actually showing 4k content. I've demoed the Sony 995es, 295es, and JVC NX9 (No NX5 was available) at Best Buy and Starpower Home Theater here in Dallas. While they all look decent, the difference isn't as dramatic as going from my 1080p to 4k TV. I don't know if it was just the settings or if my expectations were too high. But reading comments on this forum and going on Youtube, everyone states that the difference should be very noticeable. Anyone else experience this when demoing, but then at home the viewing was way better? Not sure if it will help, but I've included a picture of my home theater in case there are suggestions on which PJ in my budget would give me noticeable a upgrade.



What is your screen size and what is your seeting distance?
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post #10 of 86 Old 05-31-2019, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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What is your screen size and what is your seeting distance?
Screen size is 120" and I usually sit on the first row, which is about 10 feet from the screen.
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post #11 of 86 Old 05-31-2019, 10:02 AM
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Screen size is 120" and I usually sit on the first row, which is about 10 feet from the screen.
That puts you well into the benefits of 4k.
Having owned an 40es and now a rs420 I think the basic problem is the 45es is a pretty darn fine projector. As simple as that. When i upgraded the benefits were more brightness and far better blacks. I am kind of outside of 4k true benefits but even closer up the shift4k faux is kind of meh for movies vs 1080. Imo brightness and blacks and contrast trump resolution any day. Better contrast often leads to subjective better sharpness anyway when the movie plays. Your room looks pretty good to me so I would go for the blacks. If you are not irritated by the es45 blacks I wouldn't change. Wait 3 years. Lol.
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post #12 of 86 Old 05-31-2019, 10:02 AM
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I can also say for sure, native 4K definitely gives you a sharper, clearer, calmer image than eshift panels. How much of course will depend on how far you sit and how big your screen is but there is no missing the fact that it is native 4K.
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post #13 of 86 Old 06-01-2019, 12:00 PM
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I can also say for sure, native 4K definitely gives you a sharper, clearer, calmer image than eshift panels. How much of course will depend on how far you sit and how big your screen is but there is no missing the fact that it is native 4K.
Ditto. If you're happy with the contrast of the Sony, then don't. The last Sony I had was either the VW85 or the HW30, neither of them match my JVC RS45.
However, the only major downside I see is the HDMI synch time which is like 10-15 seconds. In terms of contrast, you don't know what you're
missing until you see the end credits rolling; it was dramatic even though I had gone thru 6 previous models, ending up now with a RS500.
Despite it's shortcomings, I'll take it over the Sony.
BTW, I buy very few 4k ultra BR disks.
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If 4k is worth it is indeed a legit question. There's more data on a UHD disk so those disks will always look better. I'm fairly confident that a UHD disk with good tone mapping when outputed on a great 1080p projector would look fairly similar to a real native 4k projectors in most setups unless you're really close to the screen.

*quick edit : but of course newer projectors are better and most are native 4k, therefore they're going to look better most of the time due to it being newer tech.
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post #15 of 86 Old 06-02-2019, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
Screen size is 120" and I usually sit on the first row, which is about 10 feet from the screen.

I'm in your same situation. Going from a Epson 8700UB and thinking about getting a NX5 or NX7. I also have a 120" screen and sit 10 feet away.


What I'm going to do is get a new projector from one of the dealers that offers a return up to two weeks. That way I can simply send it back if the difference doesn't blow me away. As mentioned, it's almost pointless going to a Magnolia Center to test demo. Their setup is usually awful.
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I'm in your same situation. Going from a Epson 8700UB and thinking about getting a NX5 or NX7. I also have a 120" screen and sit 10 feet away.


What I'm going to do is get a new projector from one of the dealers that offers a return up to two weeks. That way I can simply send it back if the difference doesn't blow me away. As mentioned, it's almost pointless going to a Magnolia Center to test demo. Their setup is usually awful.
Pretty good way to do it, be sure to post your comparison once finished.

Even super high-end custom places often have questionable settings, but some will setup stuff for you in advance for a comparison if you call ahead. However, you will be pressured to buy something on the spot usually, depending on the personality of the person showing you. You cannot really blame them though since you are taking their time up...

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post #17 of 86 Old 06-03-2019, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by entropy02 View Post
If 4k is worth it is indeed a legit question. There's more data on a UHD disk so those disks will always look better. I'm fairly confident that a UHD disk with good tone mapping when outputed on a great 1080p projector would look fairly similar to a real native 4k projectors in most setups unless you're really close to the screen.

*quick edit : but of course newer projectors are better and most are native 4k, therefore they're going to look better most of the time due to it being newer tech.
They don't. The expanded color (and to a lesser extent the range) are lost. Resolution wise you can see a difference on a good disc from a reasonable seating distance.

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post #18 of 86 Old 06-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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I am upgrading my room and went through this same projector dilemma. I went with the JVC RS-540, thanks Chris, for it's brightness, contrast and the fact that my seating position is far enough back that I don't think I would really benefit from true 4K, over the Eshift5. I was never able to see this projector in person and went for it based on faith of the reviews and comments on this forum. If I am ever able to get my room finished, upgraded the sound to atmos also, I will finally be able to see if I made the correct choice.

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post #19 of 86 Old 06-03-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by entropy02 View Post
If 4k is worth it is indeed a legit question. There's more data on a UHD disk so those disks will always look better. I'm fairly confident that a UHD disk with good tone mapping when outputed on a great 1080p projector would look fairly similar to a real native 4k projectors in most setups unless you're really close to the screen.

*quick edit : but of course newer projectors are better and most are native 4k, therefore they're going to look better most of the time due to it being newer tech.
People can go to the movie theater to see 4k projectors these days, I know harder to judge, but if you try to sit at the same seating distance as your HT, gives you an idea.
Otherwise, the second testing method is to step back a couple feet from your normal seating position in your HT and see if the sharpness improves a lot, if it does the benefit is there.

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Most ditgital intermediates are mastered a 2K 12 bits uncompressed on JPEG2000 files. They have a resolution of 2K not 4k and most of those movies look flawless at recommended seating distances for cinema. And btw 4K at 4:2:0 is actually the same as 1080p at 4:4:4. I would be really curious to see if there's any difference when downscaling a UHD disc to 2k with no subsampling compression.
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post #21 of 86 Old 06-04-2019, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by fr8flyr View Post
I am upgrading my room and went through this same projector dilemma. I went with the JVC RS-540, thanks Chris, for it's brightness, contrast and the fact that my seating position is far enough back that I don't think I would really benefit from true 4K, over the Eshift5. I was never able to see this projector in person and went for it based on faith of the reviews and comments on this forum. If I am ever able to get my room finished, upgraded the sound to atmos also, I will finally be able to see if I made the correct choice.
As someone who had an RS520 (basically the same projector) you will see a resolution bump on good UHD material. Most are the rare 4K end to end discs, but some are really good 2K DI. The Martian is an example where looking at the Blu Ray and the 4K there were places more detail was evident despite the 2K intermediate. Of course the expanded color and range will definitely be evident on any 4K disc.

E-shift vs. true 4K, e-shift holds up fairly well. I can certainly see more detail on the NX7, but it's not a huge leap. You should be really happy with that RS540 for a long time.
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post #22 of 86 Old 06-04-2019, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by entropy02 View Post
Most ditgital intermediates are mastered a 2K 12 bits uncompressed on JPEG2000 files. They have a resolution of 2K not 4k and most of those movies look flawless at recommended seating distances for cinema. And btw 4K at 4:2:0 is actually the same as 1080p at 4:4:4. I would be really curious to see if there's any difference when downscaling a UHD disc to 2k with no subsampling compression.
When I had my Sony VPL-VW90ES with a Panasonic UB900, downscaling 4k UHDs to 1080p with the extra colour depth, the improvement over a standard bluray was immediately noticeable.

So much so that I started buying UHDs instead of blurays as even downscaled there was extra detail and colour.

The extra definition given by a 4K display is definitely a step up once you upgrade, but depending on the individual, it can be mind blowing or just 'better'.
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post #23 of 86 Old 06-05-2019, 06:58 PM
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once you get used to a 4k projector, you won't ever go back, especially with the HDR. Yes it's worth buying even a cheap 3-4k projector.
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post #24 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 03:42 AM
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Totally agree. I've demoed the Sony 295es a few times. Most recently this past weekend at Best Buy. Wonder Woman was playing in 4k. It looked worse than when I watched it at home. I honestly don't even think they bothered tweaking the settings.
Same thing here.. my jvc at best buy looks like total dog crap and I doubt that anyone can be motivated enough to ever buy one after going to best buy.
My jvc at home looks about 80 percent better than what they show you on their rooms. The two Best Buy's that I've gone to didn't even have them connected to 4k player.
Pathetic way to impress a costumer thank god I already had mines at home and was just curious to see how they were being displayed at the retail..

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post #25 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirk504 View Post
I'm looking to upgrade to either the NX5 or Sony 295ES in the Fall after Cedia. This is the max I'm willing to spend with my budget. I currently have a Sony 45es and I've been really happy with it, but I own 50+ 4k UHD Blu Rays and the Oppo 203, and I feel like I could be getting more out of my home theater.



Here's the dilemma. Whenever I demo a 4k projector with 4k content, it's slightly impressive, but it's really hard to see the improvements compared to my current Sony 45es. It's obviously better, but I'm not seeing $3k worth better, if it makes sense. I even ask if the PJs are actually showing 4k content. I've demoed the Sony 995es, 295es, and JVC NX9 (No NX5 was available) at Best Buy and Starpower Home Theater here in Dallas. While they all look decent, the difference isn't as dramatic as going from my 1080p to 4k TV. I don't know if it was just the settings or if my expectations were too high. But reading comments on this forum and going on Youtube, everyone states that the difference should be very noticeable. Anyone else experience this when demoing, but then at home the viewing was way better? Not sure if it will help, but I've included a picture of my home theater in case there are suggestions on which PJ in my budget would give me noticeable a upgrade.



The difference is pretty dramatic.. in order I would say hdr colors, blacks and res..
Put it this way. I had an optoma 3 or 4 years and I've bought 3 jvcs almost 4 ever since.. rs400 rs520.. Sold my 520 to pre ordered the nx7 but when the nx7 got delayed I bought a 640 to replace the 520. I was hooked on crack for a while there.. lol


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post #26 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 04:25 AM
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As always, people on this forum just want you to upgrade and spend all your money.
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post #27 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 04:54 AM
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Resolution calculators are a great tool to answer this question. At most projector seating distances, there is going to be very little, if any, improvement from 4k vs 1080p resolution. 4k looks very impressive up close, but as one moves back the eye can't discern resolution. The true test would be finding a 4k projector that had the exact specs as your previous projector. At that point, it is an apples to apples comparison. I have no doubt people see an improvement when they upgrade, but much of this if from it being a brand new bulb, higher lumen output, improved contrast, deeper blacks, etc. The projector is just better as a whole from advancements in technology. Any newer projector is going to be an upgrade. To me, HDR would be the biggest reason to upgrade. I will make the jump, but I am waiting another year or two as tech improves and prices drop.
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post #28 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
Resolution calculators are a great tool to answer this question. At most projector seating distances, there is going to be very little, if any, improvement from 4k vs 1080p resolution. 4k looks very impressive up close, but as one moves back the eye can't discern resolution. The true test would be finding a 4k projector that had the exact specs as your previous projector. At that point, it is an apples to apples comparison. I have no doubt people see an improvement when they upgrade, but much of this if from it being a brand new bulb, higher lumen output, improved contrast, deeper blacks, etc. The projector is just better as a whole from advancements in technology. Any newer projector is going to be an upgrade. To me, HDR would be the biggest reason to upgrade. I will make the jump, but I am waiting another year or two as tech improves and prices drop.
I agree I have a newer samsung tv I have seen many beautiful 4k sony tv's and my 1080p panasonic tweaked and calibrated to perfection still looks fantastic to me. I can tell the eyes might not be as sharp and glossy as something new but it's so minor. My picture holds up to any larger tv's I see so I am staying with 1080p and enjoying the atmos sound upgrades I made. Sometimes someone makes a comment about it being night and day or 4K destroys 1080p but when you gut sees all this stuff and says "I can appreciate it but I don't see the value yet" ...staying the course

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post #29 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 06:28 AM
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That puts you well into the benefits of 4k.
Having owned an 40es and now a rs420 I think the basic problem is the 45es is a pretty darn fine projector. As simple as that. When i upgraded the benefits were more brightness and far better blacks. I am kind of outside of 4k true benefits but even closer up the shift4k faux is kind of meh for movies vs 1080. Imo brightness and blacks and contrast trump resolution any day. Better contrast often leads to subjective better sharpness anyway when the movie plays. Your room looks pretty good to me so I would go for the blacks. If you are not irritated by the es45 blacks I wouldn't change. Wait 3 years. Lol.
I agree with @krumme, after also owning a 40 ES and going to a JVC RS420, and having it calibrated, and using a Panny UB 820, the picture is just stunning. If you get a deal, then maybe you take the plunge. Upgraditus is a horrible disease.
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post #30 of 86 Old 06-06-2019, 06:53 AM
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So I’m on the budget end of the spectrum (went from benq 1070 to UHD50) but imho the answer is no.

The only time I definitely notice 4k is when there is text on screen. A proper blu ray disc still looks great 99% of the time.

Now you can definitely find content that is authored to really show off 4k and it certainly does show off and look amazing in those videos. But 95% of movies aren’t made with showing off 4k in mind.


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