BenQ W6000 Projector - Performance
9/21/2009 - Art Feierman
BenQ W6000 Brightness
First, here are the default brightness and color temp measurements (BC = Brilliant Color):
Cinema = 1061 @ 5719 (866 @ 6624 w/BC off)
Dynamic = 1751 @ 5790 (1061 @ 6787 w/BC off)
Standard = 1008 @ 9255 (823 @ 10399 w/BC off)
I have two different brightness measurements to report for "best mode". The first (which I prefer), has Brilliant Color turned off, and is based on Cinema mode. That setup measures a very bright (for "best mode") 866 lumens. I don't recall any other projector reviewed in the last 18 months, except the Optoma HD806 that has more lumens, and that Optoma was a crossover projector - business and home theater, and overall, not a great home theater projector - very weak black level performance, but with the lumens to do a nice job in a sports bar). Previously, only the far more expensive Optoma LV projectors could do better. Other than those two, the next closest in brightness of the projectors we've reviewed are the JVC's RS10 and RS20, with 740 and 775 lumens measured, and both are far more expensive.
With those 866 lumens you can light up a very large screen, rather nicely. My 128" diagonal Firehawk G3 is effortlessly filled by the W6000 for movie viewing, even with Brilliant Color off.
And it gets better!
Turn on Brilliant Color (and use the settings published on the calibration page of this projector review), and now you get a dazzling 1039 lumens! Remember this is still a "best mode." By comparison, of the 25 1080p projectors considered in our spring '09 comparison report, only eight were brighter in their "brightest modes".
In other words, you've got a really great setup with more than 1000 lumens for best movie viewing! Can anyone say: 150" diagonal screen? It can do it.
As mentioned, the W6000's brightest mode is heavy on green, and not what I'd call very watchable, but it does crank out over 1750 lumens if needed. You can muster up about 1250 lumens with a calibrated Standard, the BenQ 1 gamma, Brilliant Color On, a little more than "ideal" contrast, and, finally, Color Temp on Normal (or a similar calibrated color temp). While 1250 or so, isn't as dazzling as 1750 lumens, it sure worked great for sports. The measured grayscale with this type of combination averages around 7500 (but Mike didn't measure the individual IREs).
In summary, a calibrated Cinema, with/without Brilliant color, make for great movie viewing. To get out an extra 20 - 40% more lumens go to a cooler color temp (Normal), and Standard, and while not as good for movie viewing, it will serve very nicely for sports viewing. Finally, if you need every lumen, and can put up with the fairly heavy greens, and cool overall color, Dynamic (using Native Lamp). Save this one for "brightness emergencies". This is not wholly different from the Epson competition where their Dynamic mode also exhibits far too much green. The Epson though, let's you calibrate it a bit more, or rather, their LivingRoom mode, can deliver almost 1500 lumens with pretty good color (about comparable to the BenQ doing its 1250 lumens).
Switching to low lamp, brightness drops only 16% so 726 lumens or our "best" mode with Brilliant Color off, or 873 lumens with BC on.
The 1.5:1 zoom lens has enough zoom range to impact brightness, though significantly less than those projectors sporting 2:1 zooms. The small amount of change tends to indicate very good optical design.
Based on the 1061 lumens (pre calibration) of the W6000 in Cinema mode with Brilliant Color on, and the lens in mid zoom position, using full wide angle increases brightness to 1127 lumens. Going to full telephoto (placing the projector as far back as possible for a given screen size), reduces brightness to 1008 lumens. That's only a range of about 12%, less than a number of projectors with only 1.2:1 zooms. Very nice!
Pre-calibration we measured these color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range.
|Cinema, Warm, BC off||Cinema, Normal, BC on|
|30 IRE =||6470||6293|
|50 IRE =||6603||6464|
|80 IRE =||6672||6466|
|100 IRE =||6624||6416|
BenQ W6000 Sharpness
No surprises here, the BenQ is extremely sharp, about as good as an under $10,000 projector gets. This has been a BenQ trait for many years. Good optics and single chip design really do the trick. Watching high quality 1080i off of HDTV, such as Discovery-HD channel, or your favorite sports, provides a razor sharp image. The same is true for any all digital content coming off of Blu-ray disk.
Note regarding our sharpness images. Many of you are used to "studying" the DTS logo as a sharpness test (as seen in the thumbnails below). I've been using that original DTS test disc for about 3 years now. Unfortunately, it's been abused enough, that it rarely loads on one of my PS3's and never, on the other. This was the first time I wasn't able to coax it to load. So, you won't see that enlarged DTS logo below. I have, instead photographed the dts logo and part of menu, from DTS's newer disc. Over time, that will replace the logo on black. I've been trying at trade shows for more than a year, to find someone at DTS who knows where they might find me another of what was a pre-release test disc, but, with no luck. Unfortunately, without a replacement, you also won't be seeing several other images from that disc, including the "Color Castle", "bazaar" image, and the island/ocean photo. I'll miss those excellent images.
Top left: BenQ W6000, Top Center, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Top right: Sony HW15
2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE3000, middle: Optoma HD8200, right: Vivitek H9080FD (pricey LED source DLP projector)
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right: W6000, Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, Sony VPL-HW15, and Sharp XV-Z15000. I haven't seen any projector do better than the BenQ when it comes to trying to read the type on the on screen menus in this scene. There may be other comparable, but I haven't seen better. (Some much higher end projectors, which have optics that cost more than this projector, may well beat this BenQ.)
BenQ W6000: Bottom Line Sharpness
Sharpness is a major strength. Let me put it this way: My JVC RS20 is well over twice the price, and I'd be so happy if it was as sharp as the W6000!
Light leakage is not a problem with the W6000. A small amount of light leaks out of the front vent but off to the right side (looking from the rear), Any light coming out there would hit the side wall, not the front, but, even with that said, the amount of light leakages very minor.
There is also just a touch of extraneous light leakage outside the image area, coming through the lens, notably when using maximum or near maximum lens shift. Again, the amount is very little, and really only noticeable if you have a black image projected. This is much better than a number of projectors (including the InFocus IN83 I've raved so much about, and some Optomas), that leak a lot of light out the lens (even if rarely visible with anything that's not a fully black frame, being projected).
DLP projectors - for whatever reason (perhaps the richness of their colors) tend to have slightly more visible noise than other technologies. In this regard, the BenQ W6000 is typical, and not considered a problem. Overall, the W6000 does well in terms of motion artifacts, and other noise types. This is no surprise as they are using Silicon Optix HQV processing (we use the HQV test disk to determine noise issues).
It must be true: BenQ claims 32db at full power, and 29 in eco-mode. I say it must be true, because those are fairly high (noisy) numbers. My initial impression was that it was fairly quiet for a DLP, but the longer I watched it, the less I felt that way. Not a quiet projector, but not one of the very noisiest either. Personally, since I do most of my extended viewing, with the projector I'm reviewing just about 3 feet behind me, I would have guessed it was slightly quieter than those numbers reflect. I really didn't have a problem with the fan noise, but at full power, it might bother some. Of course you can use low power mode (eco mode) to get the W6000 quieter, and only give up 16% of brightness, still leaving you with one of the brightest projectors around.
Part of the noise component is the dynamic iris, when in use. It's lower pitched and I wouldn't think it would bother very many people, but I assumed the same for the Epson 6500UB's dynamic iris, and I have heard that some folks notice theirs.
Bottom line - definitely not a stellar performer when it comes to audible noise.