Four Home Theater Projector Comparison

3D Performance

The BenQ comes with one pair of DLP-Link 3D glasses.  The Optoma HD91 comes with an external RF emitter, and one pair of RF 3D glasses.  We prefer RF over DLP-link for a number of reasons that we won’t elaborate on here.  Both projectors are, as expected – since they are DLP designs – do not add any crosstalk to the image.  In other words, both produce very nicely clean 3D.   The Optoma may have the advantage of the better glasses design, but it does, in all fairness, suffer in terms of brightness.  The HD91 simply is not bright enough to be serious about 3D.  In watching at my smallest screen size in my theater – which is a fraction shy of 100” diagonal, was always too dim for my taste.  Generally for handling a typical 1.3 gain 100” screen, I’m looking for at least about 1200 lumens for a 3D picture that would not be called bright, but rather for a pretty minimally acceptable image brightness.

On the right: The Optoma HD91′s 3D glasses.

Click Image to Enlarge

So, for the HD91, consider 3D mostly to be something to play around with.  If you think you are going to be serious about 3D like I am, you probably need a typical screen size around 80” diagonal to have anything reasonable in terms of brightness.

On the other hand, with the W7500, I have watched 3D at my maximum screen size of 124” diagonal and was reasonably happy with brightness.   Well, having almost three times the brightness, is about what you need for 124” to be as bright as 80”!

Third party DLP-Link, and RF glasses are available for lower costs than the manufacturer’s branded glasses.

Black Level Performance

This is interesting.  The HD91 is capable of slightly blacker blacks than the BenQ W7500, but that means running their Dynamic Black lamp dimming scheme either in setting 3 (the maximum) or 2.   The problem is, their lamp dimming, which is there to accomplish what most projectors use a dynamic iris for, is slow.  As a result, in those two modes, it’s not uncommon to be able to easily see the dimming action.  I find it distracting, as I do a sloppy slow dynamic iris.  Dynamic Black 1 is definitely better, but still occasionally visible.  I find the BenQ W7500’s iris to be at least as unnoticeable as Dynamic Black 1.

The W7500 with its iris engaged definitely does deeper blacks on dark scenes than the HD91.  Overall, therefore, unless you are oblivious to the dimming action of the Optoma lamp, the advantage on black levels belongs to the BenQ!

Watch the comparison!

This video shows the Optoma and BenQ side-by-side and compares their black level performance using a favorite image of ours, The Fifth Element starship.

For our subscribers only: Click here to see the other video comparisons that show how the Optoma and BenQ stack up in terms of brightness, overall picture quality, detail enhancement, and black levels.

Sharpness and Detail Enhancement

Sharpness – Both projectors have the advantage of being single chip DLP projectors.  Both seem to have reasonably good optics, and both produce a nicely sharp overall image.

Both projectors also offer their own forms of dynamic detail enhancement.  Of the two I think the HD91 is a little more ambitious, and seems to accomplish more, without significant issues developing.  The affect of theW7500’s settings at max is less different compared to not using it, than for the HD91.

I’ve got no issues with the sharpness of either projector. Nothing stands out to be a problem.  Neither stays fully in focus from center to the corners, but they aren’t expected to.

Image Noise

Image noise on both projectors is typical DLP, which almost always seems to have more background noise than other technologies.  I didn’t notice that one of these projectors was visibly worse than the other.

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