Posted on July 10, 2014 By Lori Feierman
VPL-HW40ES Full Review >>
VPL-HW40ES Spec Sheet >>
Thank you for the excellent review, Art! It’s a shame that this review posted so late. A couple of online and brick and mortar retailers are offering $500.00 off MSRP on this projector until July 12 (Today!) so the window to save is pretty short….Unless Sony decides to extend the deal, of course.
Ah, rebates come and go. Sometimes they are constantly renewed, in the attempt to create a continuous sense of urgency. Some manufacturers over the years have had offers such as free extended warranties, or cash rebates, that are published expiring in a month, but every month are renewed. On the other hand, some manufacturers put nice rebates on projectors when they first launch them (usually with short expirations) to try to get sales off to a good start. As an example, seems that Panasonic has almost always launched new AE series home projectors with an extra year of warranty.
Since price does matter, any major discounts such as a $500 rebate do affect people’s decisions. But to try to write assuming a given rebate or special, means having to update reviews and comparisons constantly. Thus we leave it up to you to figure out when a rebate is big enough to tip your decision from one projector to another. Certainly the Sony is a better value if it’s got a rebate, than without. BTW the other things that has to be taken into consideration that affect value are: included “stuff” such as 3D glasses, or longer warranties, or spare lamps, or ceiling mounts, wireless HDMI, etc. -art
Thank you for all impressive review ,,, I need help ,,
i have panasonic ae7000 and i want to upgrade my HT projector ,, are you think i should buy HW40es or ae8000 ?? Which is better
in black level and 3d picture ?? i know ae8000 480 hz and hw40es 240 hz ………… i hope you help me 🙂
Hello Art .. for sports games with fast moving is there and judder or proplem with this sony ,, cause as i understand there is no CFi .. and im a soccer fan .. thanks alot for ur review ..
Hi, judder shouldn’t be a problem since your HDTV feed is likely 1080i at 60fps. That said, CFI does “smooth things out.” Personally I’m not a huge fan of CFI, I really only use it for sports, and typically on whatever Low setting a projector has. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with soccer without it, but that’s a personal call. Regardless of the projector I’m using, even for sports, I tend to turn on CFI less than half the time (probably because I don’t think about it.
Hope that helps. BTW I wouldn’t consider soccer to be fast moving (compared to say tennis, table tennis, or hockey, or even pitching in baseball). I don’t watch much soccer, but from my experience, most of the camera shots are from a distance, so moving across the screen far slower than if a close up. -art
Would you recommend this Screen for this projector?, http://www.eastcoasttvs.com/92-Motorized-Projector-Screen-16-9-p/scr92m.htm I don’t want to buy a low quality screen for this great projector. Thanks.
Tthe specs tell me little from a performance standpoint (is the screen an accurate reflector of light or does it have a slight shift to red, blue, or something). All screens have at least some tiny amount of color shifting, of course.
Nothing in those specs tells me anything about the fineness of the screen texture. For example: Is the surface smooth enough that it imparts nothing to a 1080p image? (Now we’re starting to have higher end companies touting 4K screens that are even smoother in texture than today’s 1080p, and today’s screens are smoother than those of a decade ago.
But, all that not withstanding, there is one issue I can comment on:
Generally for a pull-down or motorized screen, you want one with some form of tensioning so that when the screen is extended (down), it stays as close to perfectly flat as possible. Typically lower cost (and expensive) motorized and pull down screens after some time, end up less than perfectly flat.
Now if you are showing business functions like viewing a powerpoint presentation or a spreadsheet, a little warping is going to be barely, if at all, noticeable. But, just the slightest wave (uneveness) in the flatness of a screen becomes fairly obvious when the video is panning a scene, which, of course, happens all the time.
So, without any other considerations, I would say the lack of any tensioning would make this screen not a good choice.
On the other hand they just might have a tensioned version for another $100 give or take. I do know that Elite (some of the least expensive screens from a recognized brand) offers motorized screens in both tensioned, and non-tensions. So do Da-Lite and Draper, but those two screens are more expensive. My own Studiotek 130 (a very expensive Stewart screen, is tensioned as was my Firehawk G3 before it. I do not recommend non-tensioned motorized screens. Mind you some things can be done without the traditional down the sides tensioning. One such thing might be to have a bar at the bottom of the screen, that’s very heavy to help keep the surface tight and flat, but that isn’t as good as tensioning, to the best of my knowledge. -art
Thanks a lot for the Info. I will look for a smooth tensioned screen.
Hi Art, I have been looking at Elite Screens, I am between their CineWhite, Spectra White and MaxWhite, they seem very similar in paper, but their prices vary a lot, can you help me out?, also would you consider a non tensioned motorized screen with Fiber Glass backing? Regards.
Hi Ed, I’m afraid I can’t help you out with either. I’d suggest you give Elite a call. I’m sure they could at least explain the primary differences between them. I’d have to do the same research.
As to the non-tensioned with fibreglass backing, there you’ve got me really stumped. I’m not familiar with any motorized screens with fibreglass backing. I honestly don’t pay too close attention to screens. I just go by the old theory, which is that motorized screens without tensioning ultimately get waves in them which are very obvious after a while.
If a fibreglass backing keeps a non-tensioned screen flat for years of going up and down, then that’s great, but, again, I’m not familiar at all. Good luck. -art
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Thanks a lot for such informative review but I still don’t no how to choose a right one screen for this projector. Can I get some advices or guideline about this ? Google+ Facebook Twitter
The trick is to match the screen to three things:
1. The room 2. What you watch – and when 3. The projector
We’ll consider the HW40ES – 1700 lumens, which, at least by Sony’s “intent” is their projector geared for less of a home theater (dark walls and other surfaces, very good lighting control), than for a living room, media room, bonus room, family room…basically less ideal rooms. (Their more expensive HW55ES is better matched for a true home theater/cave.) These other rooms typically are without the ability to block out all outside light during the daytime The darker the surfaces in your room, the better. In a previous home of mine, I took near white walls and ceilings and darkened the ceilings (same off white shade) by several shades. They still appeared to be “off-white” because they were still the brightest surfaces in the room. I also took the walls from an off-white” to a rust color. Oh what a huge difference it made. For that room I used a Stewart Firehawk, which is pretty good at rejecting side ambient light.
I’ve had projectors set up in such rooms. One can get those rooms dark enough tor casual viewing – sports, most HDTV in general, but too bright to really be ideal for viewing movies.
You’ll have to decide if movie viewing will be reserved for when you can keep the room pretty dark. That would affect your screen decision.
If you have one of the latter types of rooms, and you are planning to watch a mix of general HDTV and movies, then you’ll want a screen that can “help out” with dealing with ambient light. That’s typically what are known as High Contrast gray screens. (Gains from 0.5 to 1.3). They can reject a fair amount of side ambient light, providing a much better picture. Still, movie viewing will be best at night, when you have full lighting control even with the right screen, if your room has a fair amount of ambient light (I’m not talking bright, I’m talking modest amounts – ie light leaking in around dark window shades…
If your room is more theater like, with full lighting control, then you don’t need to worry so much about side ambient light (unless, say you want lighting sconces on the sides that you have on low while watching movies (like some movie theaters). In that case, you go with a standard gain white screens from gains of 1 to 1.4 for widest viewing areas.
I created videos that you may find helpful, check them out on our Projector Reviews TV tab on our website. The good news is that the HW40ES is one of the brighter high quality projectors around.
Your budget also comes into play. The higher tech screens – my old Firehawk was very good, but not “state of the art” – can almost work wonders. I just installed a Screen Innovations Slate in a very bright living room, so I could test projectors in a near “awful” room. That’s a pricey screen – motorized, it’s around double the Sony HW40’s price. ($4000+ for 100” diagonal – motorized). I think about half that for fixed wall. The Firehawk G3 (or G4) isn’t much less. Screen Innovations Black Diamond series, say their 1.4 gain, is even more money, but the best around for handling ambient light, at least in my experience.
If you don’t need a great light rejecting/absorbling screen, then fixed wall screens start at under $400 (brands like Elite Screens) and even the premium brands are around $2000, but many big names ie. Da-Lite, fall in the $500 to $1000 range. Those brands typically have motorized screens from $500 to $2000 depending on brand and size.
If your room is theater/cave like, then just decide your budget, and score an Elite if it’s low, or maybe a Carada (I use their Brilliant White 1.4 gain in my testing room). Otherwise look to screens like the Da-lite Cinemavision, and Da-Mat.
Again, check out the video, and perhaps an article I’ve written. There are shots of projectors performing in different room conditions. -art
Many thank you for this comment! You provide enough options for me and very clearly) Now I decided to focus on light control in my room and not to spend more than $700 for the screen. Thanks again!
Hello, I have been following your reviews and i must say they give a wonderful insight and they really help a lot to understand the performance of the projectors. I am planning to setup my HT in a dedicated room of size 26*19 and would place the screen on the 19feet side. I was thinking to go with 150-160inch diagonal screen for my room and it would really help me decide if you could suggest me if Sony HW40ES would be good enough for a screen of such size. Thank you.
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