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BenQ W10000 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Summary, Pros, Cons 3

Posted on October 7, 2006 by Art Feierman

BenQ W10000 projector vs. Optoma HD81

I'll say only a few words here, as the HD81 is due in any day, and I will get the chance to run them side by side. Historically (in my humble opinion), the BenQ projectors have produced slightly sharper images than competing Optomas. By comparison, the Optomas tended to have richer colors in dark areas. Whether this remains true between these two is a question I'll be able to answer in the HD81 review.

The Optoma HD81 is using Gennum image processing, which I regard highly (Marantz has been using Gennum for several years, in much more expensive projectors), and may have an edge in image processing (noise, artifacts, etc.) not that the BenQ has any overt issues. The Optoma also has a big advantage in handling inputs, with its outboard processor and 3 HDMI inputs, etc. By comparison, the BenQ is pretty basic - one HDMI, and two component video (or one component, one analog computer). The extra inputs may be an advantage for those who do not have a receiver that has multiple HDMI and component video inputs and switching. (That can be solved by switchers that cost, typically $250 or more.) Of note, using an outboard processor like the HD81's means everything hooks up to the processor by the rest of your gear, and only a single digital cable runs from the processor to the projector. This can save some time and money with your installation.

The Optoma also claims 200 more lumens, that of course will be measured when it arrives.

The BenQ W10000 on the other hand has a big advantage in placement flexibility. True, there is virtually no difference (and the Optoma has the slight advantage in zoom lens ratio), but the Optoma, first, lacks any lens shift, so it needs to be mounted significantly above the top of your screen, or well below the bottom. With the BenQ, the projector can go anywhere from even with the bottom to even with the top, which also makes it viable for shelf mounting.

The BenQ also has the longer warranty, and looks to be selling for about $1000 less.

I won't pick a winner just yet, here, although, placement issues aside, the HD81's going to have to be really really good, to be worth the difference.

BenQ W10000 vs. Sony Pearl VW50

I still haven't seen the Pearl outside of Sony's fully darkened theaters at trade shows. The Sony will have a pricing advantage, probably of $1500 or so, for careful shoppers. The Sony uses 3 LCOS chips (Sony markets them as SXRD), and traditionally LCOS designs have a soft looking image. I do know that other reviewers have commented that the sharpness of the Sony and the Panasonic are very similar.

The BenQ therefore, should have a big advantage in sharpness. In addition the Sony is not considered a bright projector, probably at best, as bright as the Panasonic, so the BenQ can definitely support larger screens or more ambient light.

That's about all I can say until I get a Sony in to play with.

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