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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm looking to choose a projector to mainly watch movies/tv shows (40/50 %) and occasional gaming (10 %) in a dark basement room (easy to control the light).
The screen size I am targeting is 100" but could be longer if I go for a 21:9 screen. I can either paint the wall, or install a permanent screen; all options are possible.
The viewing distance will be about 10'. The projector would be mounted on the ceiling.

The options I'm looking at are:
  • Epson HC 4010 (premium features, but concerned about lack of HDMI 2.0 and 4k/60Hz/HDR)
  • Epson HC 3800 (has HDMI 2.0, but less features and no FI in 4K)
  • ViewSonic PX727-4K (HDMI 2.0, less expensive, but reviews seem to say picture quality not as good as Epson)
  • Optoma UHD 50 (HDMI 2.0 least expensive, but not the best for movie watching?)
  • BenQ HT3550 (HDMI 2.0, image quality for movies in dark room not as good?)
I read the "10 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Projector", and I did not see any of these projectors in the sub 3K budget (maybe that list is outdated)

The only reason I'm hesitant about the Epson HC 4010 is the lack of 4k/60Hz/HDR but it is not clear to me what exactly I'd be missing? I would mainly watch Netflix, the occasional Blu-ray (though I don't have a 4K BD player yet), but might also do some Wii and PC gaming.

Any suggestions on which projector would best fit this application?
 

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I'd start by watching some videos:




Some streaming devices and services insist on streaming 4K HDR @ 60Hz so that can be an issue.

I'd paint the entire screen wall and experiment with image size, as you may find, like I do, that a bigger screen is better.
 

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You will get a lot of opinions and welcome to the forum.

I will start you out with my thoughts and I have been doing front projection as my main TV, Movie, Sports etc for close to 20 years now and I have yet to move up to 4k yet. Like you most if not all my content is 1080p or lower. I’m not as sold on HDR with dark room projection as most here.

I have enjoyed the 1080p dark chip3 dlp with the larger dmd chip .65” and a rgbrgb color wheel for a long time now watching anything that comes my way about 6 hours a day. All I have for a screen is a drywall wall finished very smooth and painted a dark .5 gain neutral gray floor to ceiling wall to wall stealth screen. I sit 8’ from a 110” max screen area 16:9 and the PQ is great.
I’m a fan of Viewsonic my last 2 DLP projectors and current is the Pro7827hd no longer made. The other brands you mentioned are also all great machines. If I had to jump to 4k I would likely try the PX727-4k but I also have been watching the X100-4k coming soon as I like the new tech but early reports are saying its CR is not stealer. If my projector died today I would likely order a BenQ HT2050A. I know it is old tried and true technology and I don’t ever remember one negative comment on it. Then I would keep waiting for the RGB LED DLPs to get stronger in a couple years.

now back to your normal 4k program. :giggle:
 

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There are a number of 1080p HDR (they downscale 4K HDR to 1080P HDR) projectors available now as well. I am impressed with the GT1090HDR laser projector:


This video is probably worth watching as well:

 

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A 100" screen is fairly small these days and most new 4K projectors have lots of lumens and will handle even bigger screens easily in dim light. What is the most important to you--pure blacks (just do not exist in $3000 or less), 3D (some of the newer 4K Optoma and BenQ are really really great), sharpness, and viewing a lot of 4K bluray, HDR--many available. There are a lot of choices here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I watched all the videos.

Indeed there are a few choices here and I found that seeing images side-by-side is better than just reading long reviews :)

I think I am a bit disappointed by the Epson projectors. I could tell the difference in sharpness and resolutions even when seeing 2 or 3 projector images at the same time on my computer screen. The Optoma projectors have the clearer images.

The first video was most dramatic; you basically lose a lot of details in the rendering of the planet on the dark sky with stars.

In the comparison between Optoma UHD50 and BenQ HT3550, the Optoma image is much better and I doubt I'd use the extra brightness from the BenQ.

I am not sure about the GT1090HDR laser projector. It seems like a niche option. I haven't considered limiting to 1080p when I found out what a good job 4k projectors do at up-scaling 1080p content.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I looked up some more videos and found on that showcases the Epson HC 5040UB, HC 4010, Optoma UHD60, and the Viewsonic PX-747 projectors at the same time in a dark room setup playing a Sony 4k video sampler:


What I see is that the Epson projectors have the best image overall often better than the Optoma, while the Viewsonic falls back considerably out of favor.

The Optoma UHD60 is more expensive than the Epson HC 4010 and I think the UHD50 would under-perform either in this video test.

While the Optoma UHD65 had better image than the Epson 4040 and 5040, it is way more expensive.

I still haven't found a conclusive UHD50 vs HC 4010 video comparison...
 

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Thanks for the replies. I watched all the videos.

Indeed there are a few choices here and I found that seeing images side-by-side is better than just reading long reviews :)

I think I am a bit disappointed by the Epson projectors. I could tell the difference in sharpness and resolutions even when seeing 2 or 3 projector images at the same time on my computer screen. The Optoma projectors have the clearer images.

The first video was most dramatic; you basically lose a lot of details in the rendering of the planet on the dark sky with stars.

In the comparison between Optoma UHD50 and BenQ HT3550, the Optoma image is much better and I doubt I'd use the extra brightness from the BenQ.

I am not sure about the GT1090HDR laser projector. It seems like a niche option. I haven't considered limiting to 1080p when I found out what a good job 4k projectors do at up-scaling 1080p content.
If you don't need 3D then the UHD60 might be worth a look as well.

The UHD50 comparison was between the UHD50 and the HT2550 (now discontinued). The HT3550 is a much different projector (as per the video in post #4 and would be closer to the UHD50 in IQ, and probably better than the UHD50 in most respects. I would look very carefully at it as it might meet your needs in most respects.

I have a UHD50 and I am very happy with it on my 145in grey painted screen. It is a good combination of brightness, colour accuracy and sharpness, combined with low operating noise and long lamp life in Dynamic Black mode. It can be used for 1080P gaming at 120hz (undocumented feature) and has fairly low lag for 4K/60hz gaming, and this is one area where it is probably better than the HT3550. The UHD50 also supports Blu-ray 3D now, through a firmware upgrade. I would recommend the UB420 4K BD player because of it's excellent HDR capabilities which extend to 4K HDR streaming from Netflix and Primevideo.
 

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I looked up some more videos and found on that showcases the Epson HC 5040UB, HC 4010, Optoma UHD60, and the Viewsonic PX-747 projectors at the same time in a dark room setup playing a Sony 4k video sampler:


What I see is that the Epson projectors have the best image overall often better than the Optoma, while the Viewsonic falls back considerably out of favor.

The Optoma UHD60 is more expensive than the Epson HC 4010 and I think the UHD50 would under-perform either in this video test.

While the Optoma UHD65 had better image than the Epson 4040 and 5040, it is way more expensive.

I still haven't found a conclusive UHD50 vs HC 4010 video comparison...
I think that video is a bit too simplistic and I don't think it was completely fair to PX747-4k because he didn't seem to put it into movie mode (I viewed the same videos with my PX-747-4K and that was my conclusion), but also it's not really comparable, where the PX727-4K might have showed better. Also most people will use an appropriate ceiling mount to avoid having to use any keystone adjustment because that will cause a loss of sharpness.


As an aside, I am watching the video in 4K on my UHD50 and the sharpness is incredible.


I reviewed a PX-747-4K in this thread:

Viewsonic 4k PX747 - $750

on page two I present a number of screen shots.
 

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Hi,
I'm looking to choose a projector to mainly watch movies/tv shows (40/50 %) and occasional gaming (10 %) in a dark basement room (easy to control the light).
The screen size I am targeting is 100" but could be longer if I go for a 21:9 screen. I can either paint the wall, or install a permanent screen; all options are possible.
The viewing distance will be about 10'. The projector would be mounted on the ceiling.

The options I'm looking at are:
  • Epson HC 4010 (premium features, but concerned about lack of HDMI 2.0 and 4k/60Hz/HDR)
  • Epson HC 3800 (has HDMI 2.0, but less features and no FI in 4K)
  • ViewSonic PX727-4K (HDMI 2.0, less expensive, but reviews seem to say picture quality not as good as Epson)
  • Optoma UHD 50 (HDMI 2.0 least expensive, but not the best for movie watching?)
  • BenQ HT3550 (HDMI 2.0, image quality for movies in dark room not as good?)
I read the "10 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Projector", and I did not see any of these projectors in the sub 3K budget (maybe that list is outdated)

The only reason I'm hesitant about the Epson HC 4010 is the lack of 4k/60Hz/HDR but it is not clear to me what exactly I'd be missing? I would mainly watch Netflix, the occasional Blu-ray (though I don't have a 4K BD player yet), but might also do some Wii and PC gaming.

Any suggestions on which projector would best fit this application?
There's no perfect model with everything.

Screen size should be chosen after using the projector for a while on the wall.

Can the room be treated?

What is the source?

UHD50x is at least as bright as the HT3550. The fact that the Benq shows up as brighter and looks worst says everything you need to know about that review (HT3550 is better).

There is no issue with sharpness with Epson projectors from regular seating distances. The reviews you're reading get up in close.
Read these two posts and the video after with Epson with 4K enhancer on:



 

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You will get a lot of opinions and welcome to the forum.

I will start you out with my thoughts and I have been doing front projection as my main TV, Movie, Sports etc for close to 20 years now and I have yet to move up to 4k yet. Like you most if not all my content is 1080p or lower. I’m not as sold on HDR with dark room projection as most here.

I have enjoyed the 1080p dark chip3 dlp with the larger dmd chip .65” and a rgbrgb color wheel for a long time now watching anything that comes my way about 6 hours a day. All I have for a screen is a drywall wall finished very smooth and painted a dark .5 gain neutral gray floor to ceiling wall to wall stealth screen. I sit 8’ from a 110” max screen area 16:9 and the PQ is great.
I’m a fan of Viewsonic my last 2 DLP projectors and current is the Pro7827hd no longer made. The other brands you mentioned are also all great machines. If I had to jump to 4k I would likely try the PX727-4k but I also have been watching the X100-4k coming soon as I like the new tech but early reports are saying its CR is not stealer. If my projector died today I would likely order a BenQ HT2050A. I know it is old tried and true technology and I don’t ever remember one negative comment on it. Then I would keep waiting for the RGB LED DLPs to get stronger in a couple years.

now back to your normal 4k program. :giggle:
I loved my viewsonic - lasted 12 years, but apparently the X100 has terrible black levels, I'm looking at the BenQ ht3550, and the Optoma UHD50x
 

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Hi,
I'm looking to choose a projector to mainly watch movies/tv shows (40/50 %) and occasional gaming (10 %) in a dark basement room (easy to control the light).
The screen size I am targeting is 100" but could be longer if I go for a 21:9 screen. I can either paint the wall, or install a permanent screen; all options are possible.
The viewing distance will be about 10'. The projector would be mounted on the ceiling.

The options I'm looking at are:
  • Epson HC 4010 (premium features, but concerned about lack of HDMI 2.0 and 4k/60Hz/HDR)
  • Epson HC 3800 (has HDMI 2.0, but less features and no FI in 4K)
  • ViewSonic PX727-4K (HDMI 2.0, less expensive, but reviews seem to say picture quality not as good as Epson)
  • Optoma UHD 50 (HDMI 2.0 least expensive, but not the best for movie watching?)
  • BenQ HT3550 (HDMI 2.0, image quality for movies in dark room not as good?)
I read the "10 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Projector", and I did not see any of these projectors in the sub 3K budget (maybe that list is outdated)

The only reason I'm hesitant about the Epson HC 4010 is the lack of 4k/60Hz/HDR but it is not clear to me what exactly I'd be missing? I would mainly watch Netflix, the occasional Blu-ray (though I don't have a 4K BD player yet), but might also do some Wii and PC gaming.

Any suggestions on which projector would best fit this application?
I'm in the same boat, I'm looking at the BenQ ht3550, and the Optoma UHD50x..... Epson lacks sharpness, Viewsonic lacking in the black levels....
 

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I loved my viewsonic - lasted 12 years, but apparently the X100 has terrible black levels, I'm looking at the BenQ ht3550, and the Optoma UHD50x
The X100-4K would still work well in a room with some ambient light, but on the whole I would prefer the HT3550. If you can still find one the UHD50 (not the UHD50X) is a very nice projector with roughly similar gaming lag at 4K/60hz (~50ms). The only downside to the HT3550 is increased gaming lag.
 

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I'm in the same boat, I'm looking at the BenQ ht3550, and the Optoma UHD50x..... Epson lacks sharpness, Viewsonic lacking in the black levels....
**UHD50x lacking in the black levels.
As someone who has compared that to both Epson and Viewsonic...
Yeah the 50X is about as low as contrast gets without buying one of those fancy new X100s that have a native 250:1
It doesn't even have a dynamic iris like the benq so it's not even in the same movie watching league.
It's like the PX747 except $500 more and half of the features don't work as advertised... I'd buy an Epson or Benq for that money.
 

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It’s a certified Acer V7850 on eBay right now with 2 year warranty. I would take that over any .47” 4K DLP projector out right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks a lot guys for the feedback.

My shortlist has now become:
  • Epson 4010 - the sharpness in the post with Gandalf is great, but the video in the first reply shows the 4040 not displaying quite that much contrast and sharpness at minute 10:00 (the stars in the background are not visible and the nebula in the lower-left corner is less sharp). I don't understand why that is.
  • I confused the BenQ in the first post, I thought it was HT3550 as that was on my shortlist, I'll revisit that one
  • I haven't yet found a good video showing how great the Viewsonic is side-by-side with the others on my list
The UHD50 and UHD50X are very different projectors.
So which is the better one for Movies? I gather the UHD50?

As an aside, I am watching the video in 4K on my UHD50 and the sharpness is incredible.

I reviewed a PX-747-4K in this thread:

Viewsonic 4k PX747 - $750

on page two I present a number of screen shots.
So I gather you own both the Viewsonic PX747 and the UHD50, but not the PX727 which would be better for watching movies in a dark room?


...
Screen size should be chosen after using the projector for a while on the wall.

Can the room be treated?

What is the source?

UHD50x is at least as bright as the HT3550. The fact that the Benq shows up as brighter and looks worst says everything you need to know about that review (HT3550 is better).

There is no issue with sharpness with Epson projectors from regular seating distances. The reviews you're reading get up in close.
Read these two posts and the video after with Epson with 4K enhancer on:
...
  • I don't see why the room couldn't be treated? That Facebook clip shows only the end-result. What does "treating" actually imply?
  • I get that the BenQ HT3550 si better for movies compared to UHD50X. How about compared to UHD50, is it still better?
  • That picture with Gandalf is very sharp indeed. I still don't get why in the first clip, where we have both the Epson 4040 and the Optoma UHD65 the epson sharpness is so low at minute 10.
It’s a certified Acer V7850 on eBay right now with 2 year warranty. I would take that over any .47” 4K DLP projector out right now.
I couldn't find it... :(
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I find the huge flexibility in the lens position on the Epson very intriguing. Apparently it can do something called CIH (Constant image height), which I gather would allow better immersion between 16:9 TV Shows and 2.35:1 Movies.
So I decided to look into what the Epson 4010 limitation actually is and I found that the only HDR signal it can accept is 4K/24p(24 Hz) 4:2:2 10-bit. Is this an concern? Isn't 4:2:0 the "industry standard"? Epson 4010 manual says such a signal does not exist, so I am confused:Epson Home Cinema 4010 | Cinema Series | Projectors | Support | Epson Canada
 

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Thanks a lot guys for the feedback.

My shortlist has now become:
  • Epson 4010 - the sharpness in the post with Gandalf is great, but the video in the first reply shows the 4040 not displaying quite that much contrast and sharpness at minute 10:00 (the stars in the background are not visible and the nebula in the lower-left corner is less sharp). I don't understand why that is.
  • I confused the BenQ in the first post, I thought it was HT3550 as that was on my shortlist, I'll revisit that one
  • I haven't yet found a good video showing how great the Viewsonic is side-by-side with the others on my list

So which is the better one for Movies? I gather the UHD50?



So I gather you own both the Viewsonic PX747 and the UHD50, but not the PX727 which would be better for watching movies in a dark room?




  • I don't see why the room couldn't be treated? That Facebook clip shows only the end-result. What does "treating" actually imply?
  • I get that the BenQ HT3550 si better for movies compared to UHD50X. How about compared to UHD50, is it still better?
  • That picture with Gandalf is very sharp indeed. I still don't get why in the first clip, where we have both the Epson 4040 and the Optoma UHD65 the epson sharpness is so low at minute 10.

I couldn't find it... :(
I would suggest that the HC380O would be better than the HC4010 because of it's 18gbps HDMI bandwidth.

The reason for the better UHD65 image over the HC4040 at ~10:00 is the combination of higher ANSI contrast and true 4K resolution on the UHD65. ANSI contrast is the ability of the projector to display a very bright object next to a very dark object. The Gandalf image is 1080P upscaled to Epson Faux K. When I look at the some image stream from Netflix 1080P, upscaled it looks somewhat sharper on my UHD50, but these kinds of comparisons are always a bit apples to oranges. Here's a 4K shot of the same image on a HT5550 and a UB6050:

http://cine4home.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Vergleich.jpg (open in a new tab for full res)
Original image from the camera on top, BenQ on the bottom left, Epson bottom right.

Yes, see the video in post #4.

I owned a refurb PX-747-4K but returned it due to a minor flaw in the lens and I now own the UHD50. The PX-727-4K would be very similar to the HT2550, but it has no 3D capability.
I think the UHD50 would, in general, be better than UHD50X for movies, just as in general, the UHD50 is better than the PX-747-4K. However, there are always exceptions, and certain scenes with lots of high intensity whites may appear better on the UHD50X/PX-747 than the UHD50, as least on my 145in grey screen.
I'm guessing the UHD50 would be very similar to the HT3550, but the HT3550 will probably have an edge in most areas. For the price, though in Canada, the UHD50 is hard to beat, IMHO and it is one of the quietest projectors available being somewhat quieter than most, including the HT3550.

Treating the room is darkening the walls and ceiling. A simple way to darken the walls is to add curtain rods and hang black drapes, that can be closed when watching movies. I do this in my condo living room.
 
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