Projector Reviews

2018 Best Home Theater Projectors Report – Non-Winners $2500-$5000 Class

This page contains comments on projectors that were considered in this year’s Best Home Theater Projectors Report, but did not win awards.

Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB

Epson UB projector

The Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB’s white-clad twin, the 5040UB, took top honors in the $1000-$2500 Class for the second year running. The main differences between the two projectors come in the extras offered with the 6040UB, that are not offered with the 5040UB. For an extra $1,000, you get a spare lamp, ceiling mount, and cable cover, plus an extra year of warranty and Rapid Replacement, bringing it to three years each instead of the 5040UB’s two years. Basic features: 2500 lumens, 2.1:1 zoom, Lens Memory, 3D, CFI, Picture in Picture… For more information on it, see our dual review of the PC6040UB and the HC5040UB.

Epson Pro Cinema 4040UB

Epson Pro Cinema 4040UB Front

This will be short. Except for the black case and the included cable cover, spare lamp, and ceiling mount, it is the same as the HC4000, best I can tell. The slight difference in specs, I expect is more marketing than any real difference. That means 4K content capable including HDR and BT.2020 color, as 1080p resolution with pixel shifting.

The PC4040’s twin, the HC4000, won the Best Value award in the lower class in our 2017 report, as it just made the cut, selling for $1,999. You can draw conclusions from that.

The price of this projector is $2,499 including those goodies, I figure the lamp sells for $199, it’s a good ceiling mount, that’s $100+ and the cable cover – perhaps $100 max.  So that creates a street price that instead puts the PC4040 up against others in this price range. Personally, for the extra money, I would urge the Epson HC5040UB.

Sony VPL-HW65ES

The Sony VPL-HW65ES projector

The Sony VPL-HW65ES is a $3,995 projector with 1080p resolution, and no 4K capabilities. It is a solid projector otherwise. The HW65ES has great black level credentials, about even with the Epson UB projectors, (though I think I’d give Epson the slight edge, not one enough to care about), thanks to the addition of a Dynamic Iris.

The HW65ES has great color, right out of the box, as is typical with Sonys – so good that we don’t even recommend professional calibration. They always have some excellent looking modes, even if they aren’t dead on target, and wouldn’t benefit much from calibration. The basics: 1800 lumens, 1.6:1 zoom, lots of lens shift, CFI…

Epson LS100

ViewSonic PJD7835HD

The Epson LS100 Home Theater projector, with its 4,000 lumens, would really be more at home in your media room, living room, basement, or even summer outdoor party (at night), rather than a dedicated home theater. The Home Cinema LS100 works great in pretty much any room, as long as you pair it with a proper screen designed for working with ultra short throw projectors.

This Epson is an ultra short throw projector with 1080p resolution and a laser light engine. Price tag – $2999 list price. It did not win an award this year because its competition just had way more going for it than the LS100. For some, this projector will be the one, while others will go with, perhaps, one of those winners.