Home Theater Projector
For $1999 the Sony VPL-HW45ES is a stand out performer for both dedicated home theater and less formal home entertainment and video gaming in low ambient light. It is bright enough in its video optimized mode for up to a 120" diagonal image with moderate ambient light or up to a 190" image in theater-dark lighting. It delivers vibrant color, dark blacks, and the full range of subtle gradations to give 2D images a three dimensional look; it offers a long list of video processing features to let you adjust the image to taste; it's quiet enough to make fan noise a non-issue; it supports full HD 3D; and its 22 ms lag time is very fast compared to most home theater projectors.
If you can stretch your budget to $2,699, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB will be easy for many videophiles to cost justify, with its 4K compatibility and image resolution enhancement, its brighter and incrementally higher contrast image, and its power lens features.
If you don't want to spend more than $2000 and you need extra brightness to stand up to ambient light in your viewing room, the extra lumen muscle of the Epson 3900 may be enough to make it your preferred choice. If so, see the review of the Epson Home Cinema 3100 or the review of the Epson 3700. These two models are very similar to the 3900 in performance, but much less expensive. Our review of the Epson 3900 discusses the key differences.
That said, if you don't need extra lumen power to combat ambient light, the Sony VPL-HW45ES continues to stand out as a state of art dedicated home theater projector for under two thousand bucks. And that makes it is easy to recommend.
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