Posted on March 16, 2017 By Art Feierman
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Pro Cinema 4040 Spec Sheet >>
Gotta say, disagree with you one some points. I’ve got the EH-TW7300 and EH-TW9300 (European models for respectively the 4040 & the 5040 (no 6040 in the EU)) in our showroom, and the difference between the two projectors is quite striking even on ‘lighter’ scenes.
Three factors are the most important:
– Difference in contrast in darker scenes (as you’ve noted);
– Difference in light output – feels more like 25-35% in Cinema! Bright Cinema mode might feel closer to 5-10% difference, but in Cinema on Medium lamp setting the difference is highly noticeable. This is fairly unfortunate, because it means that you can’t say that the EH-TW9300 is for darker rooms and the EH-TW7300 for less-light-controlled rooms. The EH-TW9300 will perform alot better in both rooms.
A while back we also had the EH-TW9200 and the EH-TW7200, and the same difference applied. The 7000-series seems to miss a little ‘pop’ in the image if it’s not on High mode (and seriously: the sound it makes on High is unacceptable for an expensive HC-projector).
– Movement! Not so much the sharpness in movement, but judder. The Frame Interpolation engine on both the 9300 and the 7300 is incredibly buggy, and the EH-TW7300 is native not that great at movement. The 9300 is alot better – not yet as good as the HW45/LCoS panels, but very decent.
All of that said, it’s a really nice projector for the price (about €2.400,- including 21% VAT in the Netherlands). I just wouldn’t suggest going larger than 90″-100″ in a not-light-controlled room. Also, you shouldn’t be too sensitive to movement-instability.
Greetings Floris, I don’t think we disagree on points quite as much as how we prioritize them. But let’s discuss a couple of your points.
Yes, the native contrast is better on the higher end (9300/5040UB) than the 4400/3700, and yes you can see it in average and brighter scenes as well, but while on those scenes you can spot the difference, it’s dramatic on very dark scenes.
No question – the 3700/4040 is definitely a real compromise relative to the 5040UB/9300, but then you are saving close to $1000 here in the US (if you assume a good mount, lamp and cable cover are worth $400 – $500.
The real value of the 4040/3700 lies in being by far, the least expensive projector that can “play” with 4K content and HDR. I’d take the Sony HW45 for overall picture over the Epson for 1080 content, but I’d buy the 4040 over the VW45 to get my hands on 4K content, etc. That, however, becomes an individual choice.
Brightness – as noted I didn’t do a full range of measurements on the 4040. Not sure why you are seeing a bigger range in drop off on the 4040 relative to the 5040UB. I can’t explain that. I concur, that by definition the 4040/3700 is technically more suited for more ambient light in that it lacks the better black levels. But it is the less bright. So, again, the rationale has to consider price. With the 5040UB worth roughly 50% more here in the US, they aren’t direct competitors – rather the 4040 is a compromise for those who can’t afford a 5040UB, or the 5040UB is a step up in performance projector for those who can afford the extra money. At the same price, obviously there is no competition between the two models.
As to the ambient light conversation, I wouldn’t worry too much about the Cinema mode, when ambient light is present – after all, that’s where you give up some color accuracy by bypassing the color filter, which is what happens in Bright Cinema mode. Thus, Bright Cinema mode is the one you are more likely to use when any real ambient light is present. With most projectors a “Bright Cinema” is just a tweaked, ususally higher saturation, higher contrast version of a Cinema mode, but with these Epson’s there’s that Cinema filter that eats up a good 50% of brightness in exchange for slightly more perfect colors. -art
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