CEDIA, Our Annual Best Home Theater Projectors Report, Are On Deck

Greetings projector fans. I had hoped to publish our annual report last week but only got a small part of it done before leaving on a family vacation. I’m back on Sunday, and will be hard at work on the report.I hope to have it up on the first day of CEDIA, but that’s later than usual.

Of course there will be new projectors launched at CEDIA, some of which I’m aware of, but am under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) until the day the show starts.

I will likely publish our list of awards, a number of  typical overviews on different projectors in the report on the 17th.

I have two interesting comparison articles ready for you as part of this years Best Home Theater Projectors report, which will be up at the same time.  One compares the Epson 5040UB with the JVC RS400U, and the other, the RS400U with the Sony VPL-VW365ES, which I have reviewed, and have started writing up, but who’s publication will have to wait until post CEDIA.  Also in the queue, is one of Acer’s home entertainment projectors.  I should have both published before month end.

We didn’t find many new home projectors to review this past year.  With most manufacturers now going to 2 or 3 year product cycles, the days of us reviewing upward of 20-25 home entertainment and home theater projectors a year seem behind us.  Wish there were more to review.

Stay tuned for the awards, info on the new projectors from CEDIA, etc.  I may do a FaceTime live, or 3, from the show floor.

Thanks! -art

News and Comments

  • Erich

    Looking forward to the RS400 / 5040 comparison, as that seems to be the talk of the internet town. Two questions for you though: Is your comparison based on a 5040 production model or the pre-production unit you reviewed previously? Lastly, can you comment on the fan noise of the 5040 when it is in high altitude mode? Thanks in advance!

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi Erich, The comparison is written. It will go live in a couple of days as part of the annual report. I must apologize, in that I never think to listen to High Altitude mode, but I’m sure it’s pretty noisy. But, at least it should be quieter than older UBs as overall, the 5040UB is quieter than the 5030UB.

      The comparison is based on the pre production sample we received in July, but that shouldn’t make much difference. First, I’ve been told just two weeks ago, that Epson did not make changes to the color tables. As to brightness, both projectors are similar enough overall, that it wouldn’t be a significant difference. (Although I found it interesting that Projector Central measured their sample at just breaking 3000 lumens.) -art

      • Erich

        I am looking to pick up either the RS400 or the 5040 in October (pending what else may come out of CEDIA). Brightness / contrast is not really an issue for me. I have an ambient light rejection screen (draper high performance xs850e) and it does really well at lowering the black levels while keeping the overal brightness. Fan noise probably would’nt be an issue, however I live in Colorado Springs which sits around 6,500 ft, and my current PJ (Vivitek H5080), sounds similar to a low pitch hair/blow dryer. I currently have that PJ behind the wall (I can still hear it somewhat). Granted, DLPs generally are noisy… But I am hoping the RS400 or the 5040 will be a little quieter. I will have to wait and see if a Best Buy or other dealer in the area has the models to test/check out. Thanks for the response! Can’t wait to see what comes out of CEDIA

        • Tesxhana King

          I had my mind made up on the RS400. Then heard about JVC’s input lag which is a deal braker for me hence the reason I have a 5040 in my theater room.

          • Erich

            Tesxhana King, If it is not an inconvenience I would like to ask a favor of you. Could please run your 5040 in high altitude mode for a few moments, and then let me know your opinion on the fan noise. I would be greatful for your insight. Thanks!

          • ProjectorReviews.com

            Hi Tesxhana, quick question for our readers – how’s the 5040UB’s input lag working out for your gaming? -art

          • Tesxhana King

            26ms response. Absolutely love it.

        • ProjectorReviews.com

          Erich – Colorado Springs! Nice place. The JVC is inherently a bit quieter than the 5040UB, but not as much as when compared to the older Epsons which are a good bit noisier than the 5040UB. High Altitude though is a different story, and unfortunately, I never get around to checking those out. Perhaps a quick call into the two companies might yield a db rating (but unlikely). On the bright side, yes, the Vivitek is likely noisier than either by at least a noticeable amount. -art

  • Kelvin1000

    Really looking forward to this comparison!
    I myself have spent some time with both of these projectors and I find that the Epson has a real advantage in “perceived” resolution, sharpness and image detail when the sources and viewing areas are less than optimal.
    For example, Football via Comcast in 1080p looks much better with the Epson processing. However, feed them a 4K Blu-ray and they will both produce similarly outstanding images with the contrast edge going to the JVC.

  • Chuck North

    There’s discussion on the forums that Epson only put a 10.2gb capable HDMI input in their new projectors; 4040, 5040 and 6040. This is why the current 4k blu-ray players and Xbox One S console will only send a 8 bit rec.709 signal. It will not except a 4k 10 bit 4:2:0 or 4:4:4 signal or engage the BT 2020 expanded color and HDR. Have you heard anything about this and if not, are you able to talk with any Epson technical reps at the show to confirm this and why they would not use the latest 18gb HDMI standards? Thanks. This could be a deal killer for some people.

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Epson has two different HDMI’s on their 5040UB and 6040UB (and I assume the 4040). One is more capable than the other. I can’t speak for the specifics of 4:2:0 or 4:4:4, but I doubt 4:4:4, not sure who is fully supporting that (or if there’s any content. Keep in mind that these new standards are designed to incorporate future advances. For example, everyone (4K, or Faux-K) says they support BT2020, but there are no displays at this time, not even OLED that can come close to the full color gamut that BT2020 encompasses, its dramatically larger than P3 used by Cinema projectors, which is already a big step up fro REC709.

      I had no problem feeding 4K UHD at 4K to the 6040UB. The projector acknowledged the resolution. HDR itself, is at minimum 10 bit, so if you can accept HDR, you must be able to handle 10 bit. While I’m not engineering technical, I did speak with a couple of heavy hitters in the calibration field at a Samsung sponsored session on calibrating HDR. One of speakers specifically mentioned how impressed he was with the 6040UB’s abilities especially considering the price. So, I suspect, that what you have heard relates to the lesser of the two HDMI circuits. I will learn more though. Personally, I had already questioned only having one fully tricked out HDMI, which I also mentioned in our review somewhere, and int he videos coming out next week based on that review. -art

      • Chuck North

        Thanks for your reply. I also heard that the 4040, 5040 and 6040 had 2 HDMI inputs bring different. One at 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 compliant and the other one HDMI 1.4. But when using the correct HDMI input (input 1) the Samsung K8500 or Xbox One S, both 4K players are used with a UHD disc, the projector’s signal reads HDR 2 and rec. 709 at 8 bit. The Philips player when used, reads 12 bit BT2020 at HDR 2. Speculation is that because of the 10.2gbs maximum prevents the 4k sources to engage correctly and down grades the signal so we’re not getting the full color spectrum. I’m not that technical when it comes to this kind of stuff, but hoping you are or have proper sources to figure this out? Thanks again.

        • ProjectorReviews.com

          Hi Chuck, I too am not the most technical guy, but am, like many calibrators I’ve been talking with, I’m trying to sort this all out. (I took in a session for calibrating HDR while at CEDIA). Some Epsons (5030UB, etc.) have had 1 HDMI 2.0 (needed for Blu-ray 3D) and 1 HDMI 1.4…

          …But the newer ones have two different HDMI 2.0’s I believe. With the 6040UB/5040UB, etc, and I think the new LS10500, both are HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, but only one of them supports HDR. I mentioned in the forthcoming videos, and in the review that I’m not thrilled about that, as we get more sources besides Blu-ray UHD that support HDR. I suggested that they really needed 2 HDR compatible ones, even if they provided one that isn’t.

          I suspect that it will result in some of us needing either a switcher, or a new AV receiver to handle the switching of multiple HDR devices. Of course, I am rather skeptical about the quality of streamed 4K. The compression has to be massively damaging to dark scenes. After all, I can barely tolerate any 1080p streaming on a good projector handing a great movie’s dark scenes. -art!

  • Kelvin1000

    Any updates on when the comparisons between the Epson and JVC will be available?
    Many of us are anxiously waiting since the 17th for it.
    Thank you!

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Trying. I wanted to publish them in the full report, which is only half written at this point. I’ll get them up Thursday, with or without the rest. -art

      • Kelvin1000

        Outstanding!
        I have a big financial decision pending your review…
        Can’t wait!!!