Advice: Keep Sony HW40ES or get budget 4K? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Advice: Keep Sony HW40ES or get budget 4K?

I currently have a Sony HW40ES in a light controlled, dark painted room. I haven't had the urge to upgrade until this week, when I finally got a 4k source (Xbox One S). Now that I can do 4k HDR, I want to. Logically, I know the Sony puts out a higher contrast, better quality picture than any of the budget DLP 4k projectors. But I still know it isn't 4k HDR like it could be when using the Xbox One S. I'm tempted to get one with the knowledge there's a good chance I'll return it if the picture is much worse than the Sony. I won't be able to justify the purchase price of anything but a budget model to my wife, so spending $500 more for this or $1000 more for that isn't really an option. Any deciding factors I'm not thinking of that will definitely push one option clearly over the other? Thanks.

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post #2 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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Mate there’s no such thing as a free ride in the same way as there’s no such budget 4K that will give you the kind of quality picture you are getting from your Sony. The cheapest 4K projector that is better not only in image but contrast is the new Epson TW9400(5050) but you’ll be spending between $2.5-3k on it.

All the cheaper 4K options are DLP and whilst their image is razor sharp the contrast and black level is non existent.
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post #3 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
Mate there’s no such thing as a free ride in the same way as there’s no such budget 4K that will give you the kind of quality picture you are getting from your Sony. The cheapest 4K projector that is better not only in image but contrast is the new Epson TW9400(5050) but you’ll be spending between $2.5-3k on it.

All the cheaper 4K options are DLP and whilst their image is razor sharp the contrast and black level is non existent.
I KNOW you’re correct. But it’s nice to have another person agree I should just continue enjoying the Sony until it dies, or something better comes out in my budget. Or find a used 5040ub I guess.

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post #4 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:44 AM
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You already have a nice projector. I would stick with it for another year and see what brings us new tech.

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post #5 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I KNOW you’re correct. But it’s nice to have another person agree I should just continue enjoying the Sony until it dies, or something better comes out in my budget. Or find a used 5040ub I guess.
Having seen both a Sony HW40 and HW45ES as well as an Optoma UHD65, Luminated67 is spot on. The 4K DLPs are NOT an upgrade for your current projector. The resolution and sharpness would not offset the abysmal contrast performance vs. what you have. The Epson 5040, used Sony x60/x85 4K or a used JVC RSXXX e-shift model would all be upgrades.
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
Having seen both a Sony HW40 and HW45ES as well as an Optoma UHD65, Luminated67 is spot on. The 4K DLPs are NOT an upgrade for your current projector. The resolution and sharpness would not offset the abysmal contrast performance vs. what you have. The Epson 5040, used Sony x60/x85 4K or a used JVC RSXXX e-shift model would all be upgrades.
Thanks, I haven't seen any of the 4k models in person so I wasn't sure just how much worse the contrast and blacks would be. So having someone who's seen both tell me to keep the Sony helps with the decision a lot.

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post #7 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I currently have a Sony HW40ES in a light controlled, dark painted room. I haven't had the urge to upgrade until this week, when I finally got a 4k source (Xbox One S). Now that I can do 4k HDR, I want to. Logically, I know the Sony puts out a higher contrast, better quality picture than any of the budget DLP 4k projectors. But I still know it isn't 4k HDR like it could be when using the Xbox One S. I'm tempted to get one with the knowledge there's a good chance I'll return it if the picture is much worse than the Sony. I won't be able to justify the purchase price of anything but a budget model to my wife, so spending $500 more for this or $1000 more for that isn't really an option. Any deciding factors I'm not thinking of that will definitely push one option clearly over the other? Thanks.
I upgraded from a 40ES which I loved to a 4k eshift JVC RS66U and haven't looked back since. Although not a true 4k projector the picture and blacks are out of this world. Personally I wouldn't buy a new projector until 4k laser comes way down in price.
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post #8 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by smeg36 View Post
I KNOW you’re correct. But it’s nice to have another person agree I should just continue enjoying the Sony until it dies, or something better comes out in my budget. Or find a used 5040ub I guess.
The reason I know is I was in your shoes as my last PJ was the Sony HW45es, they are a cracking 1080P projector but for me the desire to switch to a CinemaScope screen was too much and with it you really need lens shift with memory which the Epson has. Even when I bought the Sony I demoed it side by side an Optoma UHD60 and quite frankly the Sony stole the show and remember this is one of the most expensive 4K DLP projectors at the time, no doubt about it switching to and even cheaper one would be a major backward step.

Given the option of a used Epson 5040ub or a JVC e-shifter I think the JVC would be the better option simply because it HDMI has full fat bandwidth compared to the Epson, this is the big improvement with the new one.

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post #9 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
The reason I know is I was in your shoes as my last PJ was the Sony HW45es, they are a cracking 1080P projector but for me the desire to switch to a CinemaScope screen was too much and with it you really need lens shift with memory which the Epson has. Even when I bought the Sony I demoed it side by side an Optoma UHD60 and quite frankly the Sony stole the show and remember this is one of the most expensive 4K DLP projectors at the time, no doubt about it switching to and even cheaper one would be a major backward step.

Given the option of a used Epson 5040ub or a JVC e-shifter I think the JVC would be the better option simply because it HDMI has full fat bandwidth compared to the Epson, this is the big improvement with the new one.
The JVC also has much higher contrast, better lens and the same lumen output when both are calibrated. New, the Epson 5040 is very hard to beat and is my budget 4K recommendation. If you bring used into the mix the JVC e-shift models are clearly a step above picture wise.

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post #10 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 02:09 PM
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The JVC also has much higher contrast, better lens and the same lumen output when both are calibrated. New, the Epson 5040 is very hard to beat and is my budget 4K recommendation. If you bring used into the mix the JVC e-shift models are clearly a step above picture wise.
And yet over on the AVForum there are JVC owners which have seen the new TW9400(5050) along side the N5 and x5900 who actually preferred the Epson. I’m not here claim it’s better just that when both are calibrated the differences must be significantly small to bring price into the equation and here the Epson is the clear winner.

You have to consider a Epson bulb is only £100 where as the JVC is upwards on four times this much. For me who uses my projector in a dedicated room to only watch movies I’ll only use about 250hrs per year but if a replacement for a TV then bulb price needs to be taken into account.

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post #11 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 03:04 PM
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And yet over on the AVForum there are JVC owners which have seen the new TW9400(5050) along side the N5 and x5900 who actually preferred the Epson. I’m not here claim it’s better just that when both are calibrated the differences must be significantly small to bring price into the equation and here the Epson is the clear winner.

You have to consider a Epson bulb is only £100 where as the JVC is upwards on four times this much. For me who uses my projector in a dedicated room to only watch movies I’ll only use about 250hrs per year but if a replacement for a TV then bulb price needs to be taken into account.
I'm not aware what differences there are between the 5040 and 5050. Having seen several examples of the 5040 and the JVC e-shift projectors, the JVC has a noticeably better picture for all the reasons I list above. Now if the room doesn't have decent light control or you choose to run the Epson uncalibrated for more light output, I can see the differences dwindle or preferences changing.

FWIW I had a 5040UB owner in my theater and demo'd several clips, they had nothing but praise for how much better the JVC RS520 I own looked. That's not a scientific side by side, but both are in dedicated rooms, both are calibrated and the clips shown were familiar to the owner. My screen is slightly larger, both were neutral gain (1.0). Again I don't want to diminish how nice the 5040 is for it's price, but it isn't in the same class as the e-shift JVCs or native Sony 4K units from my observations.

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post #12 of 36 Old 03-18-2019, 03:49 PM
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The rooms in question were properly light controlled and both projectors fully calibrated. I personally haven’t seen these back to back so can’t make a judge, I am only repeating what has been said by JVC owners over there. I think it speaks volumes when that owner said if it were his money the Epson would have got it.

I know one of the dealer as I bought my Epson from him but his one of better respected dealers of both brands in the UK so don’t believe the demo was designed to favour one over the other.

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post #13 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
The rooms in question were properly light controlled and both projectors fully calibrated. I personally haven’t seen these back to back so can’t make a judge, I am only repeating what has been said by JVC owners over there. I think it speaks volumes when that owner said if it were his money the Epson would have got it.

I know one of the dealer as I bought my Epson from him but his one of better respected dealers of both brands in the UK so don’t believe the demo was designed to favour one over the other.
I think it's important to note that none of the products being discussed are "bad". On the flip side I know of one person at a crawl that went with the 5040 over a JVC because he preferred the uncalibrated light output of the 5040 on his very large screen. Personally the calibration errors weren't something I'd live with, but it's an example of one size doesn't necessarily fit all.

I'm sure the comparison in question was fair. I don't doubt that different people value different things and choose different products. But before I purchased my RS520 I absolutely evaluated Sony and Epson along with the JVCs. I would encourage anyone able to, to do the same. But I stand by my conclusion that the JVC had a noticeably better picture overall and was worth the premium. But that's why it's so important to see and compare, you may not come to that same conclusion.
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post #14 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 09:10 AM
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I so needed this thread. I'm in a similar situation but might consider stretching up to around 3k. 40es has been pretty good to me.

If it weren't for bulb cost I'd be i on the JVC train despite some concerns about input lag. But my pj is an all purpose TV replacement, so the added bulb cost would really add up.
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post #15 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 09:52 AM
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I so needed this thread. I'm in a similar situation but might consider stretching up to around 3k. 40es has been pretty good to me.

If it weren't for bulb cost I'd be i on the JVC train despite some concerns about input lag. But my pj is an all purpose TV replacement, so the added bulb cost would really add up.
JVC bulb cost isn't as painful as the MSRP leads you to believe if you have a good dealer to work with. Not saying it's cheap, but it's not MSRP. Also the latest generation JVCs show good bulb stability with little loss over time. Starting with the RSx20 models JVC implemented a low latency mode. I don't game, but those who do are pleased with it. Seems as good as any other low latency mode from what I've read.

The only caveat with the Epson 5040 and gaming I've seen is that it doesn't have a full 18Gbs HDMI interface. I have seen owners use an HDFury product to trick the consoles and get it to work with a little banding. Depending on your use case this relatively cheap workaround may make the 5040 a better fit. And at the $3k price point you're looking at a used JVC vs. new Epson.

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post #16 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 11:56 AM
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I so needed this thread. I'm in a similar situation but might consider stretching up to around 3k. 40es has been pretty good to me.

If it weren't for bulb cost I'd be i on the JVC train despite some concerns about input lag. But my pj is an all purpose TV replacement, so the added bulb cost would really add up.
Personally if buying a new Epson I would wait a little longer for the 5050ub, you get all the goodies that are present on the JVC but with much cheaper bulbs, even if you are lucky enough to find a dealer to discount them. Another thing I have read is JVC aren’t the best for customer service, this is one thing Epson are rather good at so heaven forbid you have an issue you ideally want it sorted quick so you can get back to enjoying those big screen Movies.

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post #17 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 01:46 PM
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JVC bulb cost isn't as painful as the MSRP leads you to believe if you have a good dealer to work with. Not saying it's cheap, but it's not MSRP. Also the latest generation JVCs show good bulb stability with little loss over time. Starting with the RSx20 models JVC implemented a low latency mode. I don't game, but those who do are pleased with it. Seems as good as any other low latency mode from what I've read.
That's encouraging depending on what the real figures are. The challenge is finding dealers - it's like there's some sort of secret handshake or pass phrase needed to find or connect with them. Please feel free to message me, dealers! Haha. Or you helpful AVSers who are enthusiastic about your dealer of choice, please fire away.

Purelandsupply had the JVC bulbs for just over 400 which is still painfully steep compared to the <180 I'm used to.
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post #18 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
Personally if buying a new Epson I would wait a little longer for the 5050ub, you get all the goodies that are present on the JVC but with much cheaper bulbs, even if you are lucky enough to find a dealer to discount them. Another thing I have read is JVC aren’t the best for customer service, this is one thing Epson are rather good at so heaven forbid you have an issue you ideally want it sorted quick so you can get back to enjoying those big screen Movies.
Oh, I think I'd wait. The extra 1k in price is painful for what seems like modest upgrades, but 18gbps HDMI is important - gaming is important to me.
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post #19 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 01:49 PM
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There are tons and tons of people who are asking about upgrading and walking that thin line of quality right now. That is... is it worth it?

IMO, in most cases, the answer is no. Upgrades are a tough call, but DLP hasn't put out 4K and improved contrast and color saturation and lowered RBE issues. They've just put out 4K, and pretty much walked backwards in every other area that matters.

This means that to get quality 4K, you have to spend more.

To get native quality 4K, you have to spend a LOT more.

So, the BenQ HT2050a may have a comparably better overall image than any 4K model on the market. But, not as sharp as what you may see from the UHD51A (for example) when it is fed native 4K material and HDR content. But, with 90% viewing of 1080p content.... well, is is worth the upgrade?

Back to, IMO - no.

Keep your eyes open for some options. I just landed a JVC DLA-X590 for under $2,000, brand new. I'll be pretty happy for a while.

In the end, it's the Sony and JVC native 4K models that may stay as gold standards, and with the way Sony can get quite aggressive with things, you may find that they get an entry under $3,000 in the next few years.

I would hold out and keep saving my pennies.

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post #20 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 02:05 PM
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One thing I will say is 4K e-shift even on 1080P material makes a sizeable difference



Sony HW45es



Epson TW9400(5050)

Both Blurays played through my Sony UBP-X700

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post #21 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminated67 View Post
Personally if buying a new Epson I would wait a little longer for the 5050ub, you get all the goodies that are present on the JVC but with much cheaper bulbs, even if you are lucky enough to find a dealer to discount them. Another thing I have read is JVC aren’t the best for customer service, this is one thing Epson are rather good at so heaven forbid you have an issue you ideally want it sorted quick so you can get back to enjoying those big screen Movies.
I've gathered you are in the UK, so I just want to note that JVC USA is generally very good customer service wise. They will ship a replacement unit before they've received your defective one. They do QC checks on arriving units. The UK side of things seems less than stellar. All you have to do is follow Arrow-AVs comparison threads to see that JVC UK needs to up their game.

I'd have to see a 5050UB to believe they've got the same contrast. Granted the 5040 is darn good so any improvement would make it that much more enticing. But they have a ways to go before the black floor and contrast approach what JVC has. Of course the e-shift JVCs are either gone or in short supply, so the price delta between the Epson 5050 and the new 4K native NX5/RS1000 is likely to be fairly steep. Unless Epson really raises the 5050's pricing, which I doubt.

Either way an Epson 5050 is an exciting proposition. The 5040 is already the bang for the buck 4K projector IMO, so any picture improvements without any large shifts in pricing will mean an even better value. Epson really doesn't have to do a lot to make another winner that dominates this price bracket (but I hope they do).


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I've gathered you are in the UK, so I just want to note that JVC USA is generally very good customer service wise. They will ship a replacement unit before they've received your defective one. They do QC checks on arriving units. The UK side of things seems less than stellar. All you have to do is follow Arrow-AVs comparison threads to see that JVC UK needs to up their game.

I'd have to see a 5050UB to believe they've got the same contrast. Granted the 5040 is darn good so any improvement would make it that much more enticing. But they have a ways to go before the black floor and contrast approach what JVC has. Of course the e-shift JVCs are either gone or in short supply, so the price delta between the Epson 5050 and the new 4K native NX5/RS1000 is likely to be fairly steep. Unless Epson really raises the 5050's pricing, which I doubt.

Either way an Epson 5050 is an exciting proposition. The 5040 is already the bang for the buck 4K projector IMO, so any picture improvements without any large shifts in pricing will mean an even better value. Epson really doesn't have to do a lot to make another winner that dominates this price bracket (but I hope they do).
I seriously doubt in a side by side comparison the Epson will match the JVC in black levels but in isolation I think most will say the difference isn’t that great. I didn’t expect myself to return to Epson after I switched to the Sony HW45es as I felt the Sony was such a big improvement over the TW6100 I had previously but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by just how good the 9400 has been, in fact its breathed new life into 1080p Blurays that I seriously question if I need to spend the extra for 4K ones. I watched Lucy again the other day and it blew me away.

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post #23 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 03:00 PM
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I seriously doubt in a side by side comparison the Epson will match the JVC in black levels but in isolation I think most will say the difference isn’t that great. I didn’t expect myself to return to Epson after I switched to the Sony HW45es as I felt the Sony was such a big improvement over the TW6100 I had previously but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by just how good the 9400 has been, in fact its breathed new life into 1080p Blurays that I seriously question if I need to spend the extra for 4K ones. I watched Lucy again the other day and it blew me away.
And I wouldn't be shocked to hear that the differences aren't huge either. But whether they are worth it or not, is up to the buyer. I certainly found it to be and encourage comparison if your budget is able to encompass both. Contrast has a very big impact on depth, pop and perceived sharpness.

As far as 4K being worth it? Wow. I've found almost every 4K title to show some improvement. The ones that show the most absolutely blow away the 2K version. Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express to name a few. Even the original Blade Runner is far better in 4K (and I've owned that film on about every medium there is). Lucy in 4K is another stand out title video quality wise.

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^Don’t get me wrong a good 4K is always sharper and more vibrant but a good regular bluray with e-shift gets pretty close and I’m a tight arse so at every opportunity if I can save money I will.

Epson EH-TW9400 - QualGear Fixed Frame 100” - Sony x700 BRP & Panasonic 420 BRP - Sony 1080 AVR - IPL Acoustics M1TLs & IPL Acoustics AVC Pro Centre, Four KEF surrounds & 2 Sub boxes (10” Sub + 10” Passive Radiator)
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post #25 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 03:16 PM
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^Don’t get me wrong a good 4K is always sharper and more vibrant but a good regular bluray with e-shift gets pretty close and I’m a tight arse so at every opportunity if I can save money I will.
Gotcha.

Just was surprised as all of the 5040 demos I've been privileged to see used 4K UHD discs as part of the demo and looked fabulous. Granted Blu Ray -> 4K isn't the leap Blu Ray was from DVD.

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post #26 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 05:53 PM
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I also have the 40es and have been waiting for Sony to announce the successor to the 45es. I’m not sure that this will ever happen. Wasn’t the 45es introduced like 3 years ago.
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post #27 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 06:52 PM
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I think we're around 1.5 years in the 45es. It came out like 2 months after I got my 40es haha.

The 40es was active for 2.5 - 3 years
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post #28 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I think we're around 1.5 years in the 45es. It came out like 2 months after I got my 40es haha.

The 40es was active for 2.5 - 3 years
Projector Central lists the HW45ES as first shipping in June of 2016. Coming up on three years now. I got my HW40ES a bit over two years ago, after the HW45ES came out to drive the price down. I guess that’s probably what I’ll be doing for a 4K projector, waiting for a new model to drive the current models down in price.

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post #29 of 36 Old 03-19-2019, 07:06 PM
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Man, I was really off. Thanks for the info!
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post #30 of 36 Old 04-01-2019, 04:15 PM
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I so needed this thread. I'm in a similar situation but might consider stretching up to around 3k. 40es has been pretty good to me.

If it weren't for bulb cost I'd be i on the JVC train despite some concerns about input lag. But my pj is an all purpose TV replacement, so the added bulb cost would really add up.
What settings do you use for watching cable programs like the Walking Dead?
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