Sony HW45ES vs Epson 3100
I’ve been doing a lot of research and have come down to either the Sony HW45ES or Epson 3100. I think 4K is more than I need at this point but am interested in a quality projector with good contrast and brightness.
It’s going in a basement with great light control. Mostly for movies at night with little to no ambient light. Kids may use it some during the day while in the basement playing but likely won’t mind a slightly washed out image. I’ve gotten tentative approval to paint the walls dark gray to minimize reflection etc.
Initially I wanted to do a 120” painted screen at roughly 12 feet away but am considering moving up to a 150” AT screen. I have installed in wall surround and am using an older Sony AVR for 5.1 surround.
The Sony seems to be $1800 while the Epson is discounted to $700. I realize the Sony is “nicer” but is it $1100 nicer? Would I be better off with the Epson and spending $600 on a dedicated screen. I realize the ultimate is probably the Sony with a screen but I don’t want to spend money if I’m really not going to see a huge difference. Am I at the point of diminishing returns?
I realize it is likely just a matter of preference. I may decide that I want to upgrade to 4K sooner than I had planned so keeping cost down is a plus, but on the other hand I’m happy to spend a little more to get a quality projector that will look nice enough I don’t feel the need to upgrade. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Not sure what the exact room dimensions are,but the Sony can't do 150" from 12'.
If the Sony could possibly be placed backwards for an 150" screen, it would probably be too dim. If the AT screen has a negative gain, that would make it even dimmer.
The HC3100/3700 can power an 150" screen.
For brightness estimates use this website:
For screen to distance measurements use the projectorcentral link above, other projectors can be selected.
If you live in the US, there is a deal for a refurbished 5040UB.
Link and thread:
The one without the wireless is out of stock now, and you have to keep an eye on it since they are sold very quickly.
The 5040UB has good blacks, motorized lens shift with memory, 4K, is bright enough for an 150" screen, etc.
Thanks for the reply. I should clarify that the seating distance is 12 feet (could be 10 - 14 feet) but I have the space to move the projector back as far as 20 feet although 14 ish is ideal for my electrical wiring etc. The basement is long and I’m using roughly half of it for the HT setup. The back half is kid zone with toys etc.
Thanks for the links. I have been all over Projector Central and have used it extensively to figure out distances etc. I also found a source to calculate screen dimensions for a 16:9 layout.
I am leaning towards the 3100 for it’s flexibility to use in ambient light. It sounds like eco mode/ low brightness will put me near the ideal level of 15-20 fl for HT viewing. I think the Sony would likely be better in the dark, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $1100 difference.
I’ve looked into the 5040 and 5050 and was very tempted. The Epson I am sure isn’t in the same league, and at $1200 may not be a great deal, but for $700 ($1100 less than the Sony) it seems like a nice way to go for an initial foray into the projector universe.
I’ve almost talked myself into the Epson, but will wait for a few more people to weigh in here since I could still really go either way. I’ll use it for a few days/weeks on a bare white wall but I have a feeling I’ll quickly upgrade to an actual screen.
Wow, on second thought the 5040 seems hard to pass up. Are the refurbs reliable coming from Epson? I’m a little worried about not being able to return it or have a warranty.
That seems to do everything I’m looking for plus has some future proof features too. My luck it will be gone once I make a decision
They are about as bright as the HC3100.
The refurbs are coming from Epson and have warranty. Some users, as can be seen on the thread, have received less than ideal units. However, they can be sent back until a good one arrives. There was also something about a extra lamp, but I'm not familiar with what Epson's offering is.
All in all, it's a very good price for what it offers.
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