Epson 2040 vs. 3500 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Epson 2040 vs. 3500

Hi All,

I am in the process of refinishing my basement after some water damage and I have decided this is the time to move to a projector for the family movie / entertainment room. Right now I am using a Visio 46" 3D TV but it is way too small to give a great experience. The room is 25 x 15 and the seating is such that the projector will be shooting in the 15 foot direction. This room has good light control but NOT home theater room type of control so I am looking more for a home entertainment projector as opposed to a home theater model.

I want to go with a LCD projector. The two on my list right now are the Epson 2040 and the Epson 3500. The 3500 isn't much more money if I go refurbished. Honestly right now I feel like the 2040 might be the better fit, but after so many hours of research I am sort of "locked up" in my decision making process. This projector will mainly be used for family movie nights as well as sports and general HDTV usage. I am looking at a 110" screen.

I see the following as pros for the 2040:

- it has frame interpolation which would help for sports
- lighter and thus perhaps easier to mount
- cheap bulb replacement

The 3500's pros seem to be:

- better contrast
- brighter
- lens shift

Am I crazy for leaning towards the cheaper projector? I would like for this to be my sports watching / TV room / family movie room. It seems like the 2040 might actually be better for that purpose unless I am missing something.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 08:40 AM
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The 3500 is a noticeable increase in picture quality. I would go with it if it is in your budget. The specs rarely tell the whole story.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 09:26 AM
 
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I strongly suggest going for the Epson HC-3500.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 11:53 AM
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I have the HC2000 and to be honest some content looks like crap due to the poor contrast level of the 2000-2045.

Why I haven't upgraded (I have 2 of the HC2000s and a ViewSonic)?

It comes down to the fact that at the price point it is a disposable projector if it dies two months from now. I have 23 months on my oldest 2000 and 3838 hours on the lamp, so I've got my money's worth out of it. I like having a projector that I can turn on and leave on all day without having to worry about a lamp blowing with a replacement cost of $250 up.

It is small and lightweight. Don't notice it or the fan noise. If I move up, the projectors seem to increase in size and my next stop would be the HC5025.

I don't notice motion issues and football/sports/movies/TV all look good and sharp enough for us.

The major con is the contrast/black level. On some content, it becomes very noticeable.

I included my photos of my poor setup (169 inch 16:9) and the best video that explains the weakness of the entry level lcd contrast. (start at the 4:50 mark)

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Last edited by steve1106; 10-17-2015 at 12:04 PM. Reason: adding info
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 08:07 PM
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I believe the 3500 also has FrameInterpolation as well as a lot more lens-shift and zoom-range which together with its relatively light weight makes it very easy to mount.

The contrast advantage of the 3500 is also pretty large.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-17-2015, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
I believe the 3500 also has FrameInterpolation as well as a lot more lens-shift and zoom-range which together with its relatively light weight makes it very easy to mount.

The contrast advantage of the 3500 is also pretty large.
While I believe the statement (and member reviews), this from soundandvision.com, is odd (maybe inconsistent testing):

With the 3500’s auto iris and power consumption set to Normal, in Natural mode at default settings on StudioTek 130 G3, 100” diagonal 1.3 gain, contrast ratio was 1380:1. With auto iris off, contrast ratio measured 295:1. Maximum brightness in Dynamic mode was 90.98 at 8” from the lens and 51.94 off the screen (with 100 IRE raster pattern).

On the FireHawk G3, things fared quite differently. At 122” diagonal with 1.1 gain, the contrast ratio dropped to 789:1with the iris at Normal. With auto iris off, measured contrast ratio plummeted to 74.02:1.

Read more at http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...d36fxHvXUMj.99

While the HC2030 (very similar but inferior to the 2040/45):

the full-on/full-off contrast ratio was 325:1. The auto iris was noisy, but so enabled, the dynamic contrast ratio averages 1,072:1. In the Normal lamp mode, peak white is 42.12 with a black level of 0.036 (1,170:1). In the ECO mode, those numbers are 28.24/0.029 (974:1).
Read more at http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...TgqT6cjB75y.99
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-18-2015, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
The 3500 is a noticeable increase in picture quality. I would go with it if it is in your budget. The specs rarely tell the whole story.

Any source with the comparison? i believe its just the black levels an contrast....picture sharpness it's the same right?
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-18-2015, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, you have given me plenty to think about.

Still toying with the idea of the BenQ 1075 as well, just not sure about rainbow effects and light leakage. I have a feeling I could be happy with any of the projectors in this price range I just need to stop researching and start buying.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-18-2015, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveStl View Post
Thanks everyone, you have given me plenty to think about.

Still toying with the idea of the BenQ 1075 as well, just not sure about rainbow effects and light leakage. I have a feeling I could be happy with any of the projectors in this price range I just need to stop researching and start buying.
The researching will never stop no matter what you get once the projector fever hooks you. Yesterday I subjected my family to a hour of watching me jump between studio 1&2 sampling the Epson HC5030 (1) and the Sony HW40 (2) only to walk out without buying either. For my application which is not a cave the HC2000 offers a better all around (day/night) picture, but every few months I have to remind myself by viewing the better projectors in the poor BB studios.

At the end of the day the BenQ 1070/1075 will have the sharpest image and the better blacks followed by the Epson 2040 as a close second with the Epsons only advantages being in lamp cost and 2 year warranty.

From what members say it is a toss up for the most part between the HC3500 and the Bens.

Good luck.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-18-2015, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I ordered the 3500 today. Finally, a decision! As a family we like 3D, so it seems like the Epsons are a little better there. The lens shift sort of sealed the deal.
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-19-2015, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuwarrior View Post
Any source with the comparison? i believe its just the black levels an contrast....picture sharpness it's the same right?

For sources I usually use Blu-ray and some recorded TV with both sports and regular TV. To answer your questions on sharpness the answer is: Yes and no. Technically with everything the same and similar optics the sharpness will be similar. However, perceptually a brighter image will appear sharper and more contrast in the image will appear sharper. Similar to comparing similar speakers and playing one louder than the other, most will pick the louder speaker.


With these two projectors the 3500 is brighter and has better contrast. Lens quality is more difficult to judge because if you have a lesser zoom and no lens shift the cost of the lens can be lower and still maintain good quality. The 3500 simply puts out a noticeably better looking picture. In the under $1500 MSRP price range I generally prefer DLP. Above $1500 and I like LCD better overall until you hit the next price point where LCOS comes into the mix.


Every projector has its tradeoffs. The 3500 does everything very well in this price range but if you are looking for something specific than I might suggest something else.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-31-2016, 08:19 PM
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I know this thread hasn't been active in a bit, but I have both of these projectors at the moment and wanted to give some comparison.

The 3500 definitely has better blacks and contrast, especially at night with minimal light, it's obvious.The 2040's blacks look dark grey, the 3500 seems to be real black - not void black, but black

The 3500 is about as bright in medium as the 2040 is in high. The 2040 only has eco and normal, while the 3500 has eco, medium, and high. Both projectors are pretty noisy on high/normal. Medium is slightly noisy, but really not audible even with soft volume coming though your speakers. The 3500's high adds extra pop (10% more in high) on top when it's really needed.

The 3500 doesn't have frame interpolation. However I don't think the frame interpolation is very good on the 2040: it jumps every bunch of frame, and even on low has a very soap opera look - I think on low it should really just smooth panning scenes but not really alter the movie "feel"

The fine vs fast mode on both projectors does decrease the lag, and the picture gets a bit more sharp and jaggy in fast, but during gameplay, it's very hard to notice. Lag is noticeable (barely) on the 3500 in fine. The 2040 has no lag I can detect in either mode.

The 2040's detail enhancement is niceish. The 3500's super resolution is better - really makes detail stand out - although I wish it had more than 5 options.

3D on both of these projectors is great and bright. Edge to the 3500 because it can get brighter. Both have very minimal crosstalk when there are bright white small images on a black/dark background. To me it seems the 3500 has a bit less - but both are minimal.

The 3500 has panel alignment which is great, and more placement flexibility with larger zoom and true lens shift which is great too.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-01-2016, 06:50 PM
 
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But for the 600$ price difference is there huge improvement in picture quality and black levels?
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-03-2016, 03:19 AM
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Will the 3500 be updated this fall?
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-03-2016, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluered Leaves View Post
I know this thread hasn't been active in a bit, but I have both of these projectors at the moment and wanted to give some comparison.

The 3500 definitely has better blacks and contrast, especially at night with minimal light, it's obvious.The 2040's blacks look dark grey, the 3500 seems to be real black - not void black, but black

The 3500 is about as bright in medium as the 2040 is in high. The 2040 only has eco and normal, while the 3500 has eco, medium, and high. Both projectors are pretty noisy on high/normal. Medium is slightly noisy, but really not audible even with soft volume coming though your speakers. The 3500's high adds extra pop (10% more in high) on top when it's really needed.

The 3500 doesn't have frame interpolation. However I don't think the frame interpolation is very good on the 2040: it jumps every bunch of frame, and even on low has a very soap opera look - I think on low it should really just smooth panning scenes but not really alter the movie "feel"

The fine vs fast mode on both projectors does decrease the lag, and the picture gets a bit more sharp and jaggy in fast, but during gameplay, it's very hard to notice. Lag is noticeable (barely) on the 3500 in fine. The 2040 has no lag I can detect in either mode.

The 2040's detail enhancement is niceish. The 3500's super resolution is better - really makes detail stand out - although I wish it had more than 5 options.

3D on both of these projectors is great and bright. Edge to the 3500 because it can get brighter. Both have very minimal crosstalk when there are bright white small images on a black/dark background. To me it seems the 3500 has a bit less - but both are minimal.

The 3500 has panel alignment which is great, and more placement flexibility with larger zoom and true lens shift which is great too.
Please. Can you take some side by side pictures or maybe a side bs side video?

Thank you
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-11-2016, 07:33 AM
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I've been looking to get a projector for awhile now and I've got it boiled down to these two. only thing holding me back from the 3500 is the price but I found a user selling it on amazing for a low price. just curious if this is totally bogus or a chance the projector is in bad condition.
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