Projector Reviews

BenQ W6000 – Competitors 2

W6000 vs. JVC DLA-RS10 and DLA-RS15

No, the W6000 is not expected to have blacker blacks than the RS10, and for that matter, the JVC DLA-RS15 that will shortly replace it. And of course, the JVC (unlike anyone else) accomplishes their great blacks without a dynamic iris, so dark scenes not only have the blacker blacks, but more dynamic range as well, and translates to more dynamic looking darker scenes.

The BenQ W6000, on the other hand, definitely has the sharper image. There won’t be any contest in that regard, as the JVC is very “average sharpness” and the BenQ about as sharp as it gets.

Audible noise wise, the JVC wins easily – it’s not the quietest around, but will definitely best the W6000. When it comes to colors, many may prefer the skin tones of the W6000. The RS10 lacks a full color management system, and never could muster up skin tones quite as natural as achievable by the more expensive RS20. How that aspect might change, with the new DLA-RS15 (or the HD550 version), is hard to say.

The BenQ supports an anamorphic lens, something JVC saves for the higher end RS20 and it’s replacement, the DLA-RS25 and HD950 plus the new RS35and HD990.

When it comes to sheer horsepower, the BenQ has the JVC beat, but really just barely, if you run the BenQ with Brilliant Color off (the way I favor it so far), where it has, at the most about 100 more lumens than the JVC. When you need maximum power for dealing with ambient light. The BenQ’s 1750 lumens is almost double that of the JVC’s maximum. True, the BenQ working in Native Lamp mode puts out an unattractive heavily green image, whereas the JVC’s “brightest” mode is virtually as good as its best mode. Still, the BenQ can output a pretty good looking 1250 lumens and even that is a good 40% brighter. I’d be quite a bit happier with my RS20, for example, if I could coax 1250 lumens out of it. (RS10 and RS20 are virtually identical when it comes to brightness.)

This is an interesting contest, because, except for black levels, most of the contest favors the BenQ W6000 which is half the price. I do think the W6000 will be very popular with folks that would like to own a JVC, but just can’t rationalize the much higher prices for those JVC projectors. Afterall, the BenQ wins on price, brightness, sharpness, and even has a subjective edge on overall color and image handling (except for blacks) for those that really like the DLP look and feel.

I can appreciate that, as I had gone from a BenQ DLP (the old PE8720) to the JVC RS1, a couple of years ago. And, in my mind, that’s not a not completely dissimilar move.

Afterall, I got better blacks with the JVC, but not better color, and the old BenQ had a sharper look (even being 720p, as back then there wasn’t a lot of 1080 content to play with. My old BenQ, however, didn’t have as much brightness advantage over the RS1, as the W6000 has over the RS10. In other words, when I moved to the JVC, I was most pleased overall, but definitely missed some aspects of the BenQ, where it bested the JVC.

OK, in re-reading what I wrote, it almost sounds like the BenQ is a better projector overall. That wasn’t my intent. I would definitely favor the JVC. The black level, and dark scene difference should be rather impressive. In other words, that’s a big advantage. And since brightness in “best” mode is close, the big BenQ advantage is going to be extra lumens in sports, combined with a bit more sharpness. While you are sure to appreciate the sharpness of the W6000, on movies I don’t find the difference critical. On HDTV sports, however, well, I’ll say it again. I wish my own JVC was as sharp as the BenQ. On that all digital content, one can really appreciate that extra sharpness.

JVC provides a two year warranty, to BenQ’s one year.

The BenQ makes a rather excellent low cost alternative to the RS10, and family, especially for those looking for really good color.

BenQ W6000 vs. Sony VPL-HW15

I did only a brief amount of viewing of the W6000 vs. the Sony VPL-HW15, and that was a couple of weeks ago, before CEDIA. I’m likely to take a much longer look shortly, and update this paragraph.

The Sony, simply put, is the more refined projector. It’s quieter, its dynamic iris is definitely better behaved (and, I should note improved in that regard over last year’s HW10) than the W6000’s, although most of the time they are pretty similar. In the particular scenes that the W6000 iris had trouble with, the Sony, like the Epson, did much better.

No contest though in sheer lumen output in any mode. Even at it’s brightest “best” mode, the Sony is no match for the W6000, (536 lumens vs. either 866 with BC off, or 1039, with BC on).

It’s even a bigger difference when you need lumens. The Sony’s brightest, with it’s over 10K color temp, is not quite as bad in color accuracy as BenQ’s brightest, but neither are very pretty. And that works out to brightest vs. brightest being 837 vs. 1751 lumens. Or if you want to have much better color on the BenQ, then it’s 837 vs. 1250 lumens.

Bottom line – no contest in brightness, even though, as a pure movie watching projector the Sony’s 500+ lumens are pretty good and will work for most.

The overall image of the BenQ W6000 is more dynamic looking than the the Sony. Let me put it this way, the Sony seems “reserved” the BenQ, is more pop and wow. The BenQ is, though, a little less perfect (ie. their dynamic iris isn’t as smooth as the Sony).

I do believe I had that same philosophical difference between the W5000 and the HW10 last year. My own preference is for the BenQ W6000, but overall, these are roughly comparable as competitors, different, but both of very good quality.

BenQ W6000 vs. Panasonic PT-AE3000

Both have one year warranties. The PT-AE3000 is of course 3LCD, vs. the BenQ’s Darkchip 3 DLP.

Brightness wise, in “best mode” it’s not even remotely close. At it’s best the Panasonic is in the 300 lumen range. Even in it’s best “mid” position, it’s still only in the mid-600’s and at its brighest the Panasonic is not going to get to 1000 lumens.

The Panasonic is a well behaved projector, with good, well balanced color. It is one of the “ultra-high” contrast 3LCD projectors and may slightly beat the W6000 at blacks (they both use dynamic irises), but they should be fairly comparable.

The Panasonic is strictly average when it comes to sharpness, so its no match for the W6000 in that regard.

The Panasonic, with it’s 2:1 zoom, has more placement flexibility (more lens shift too), but again, the BenQ is pretty placement versatile, so if the BenQ does work in your room, the differences become a moot point.

I’ve favored the Epson over the Panasonic, in much the same way I favor the BenQ over the Sony. I like the horsepower and dynamic “pop and wow”, and in this case, both of those favor the BenQ.

The Panasonic PT-AE3000, though, has it’s anamorphic “lens emulation” which has appeal to some who want to go with Cinemascope shaped (2.35:1) screens to have no letterboxing when viewing most movies. That’s a nice feature, and so far, they are the only folks with it.

The Panasonic’s dynamic iris is overall, a bit smoother than the BenQ’s.

Panasonic also offers very nice CFI (creative frame interpolation), which the BenQ lacks. Sports fans in particular, will like that. BenQ uses basic frame interpolation to take a 24fps source up to 48 fps, but that’s the extent of it.

Ultimately the BenQ can tackle bigger screens, provide a more dynamic look and feel, and definitely at least equal the Panasonic in color accuracy. I’ll give the BenQ the advantage in terms of natural skin tones as well.

Finally, however, the Panasonic is currently about $500 less selling price, and that will tip a fair number of potential buyers towards Panasonic, at least those looking for average to smaller screens.

No word yet, if Panasonic will introduce the PT-AE4000 to the US market (it’s announced for the EU, and if they plan to launch in the US, Panasonic should have announced by now. I’m not that familiar with the PT-AE4000, other than to say it should be a evolutionary improvement, so it wouldn’t compare much differently than the PT-AE3000.

Like the Sony HW15, the Panasonic is not a spectacular appearing projector. It does a very good job, and really has a very excellent feature set. The BenQ, however, will be more fun, for most folks.