Projector Reviews

BenQ W6000 Projector – Image Quality 4

The dynamic iris, with almost all projectors (JVC excepted, as they manage great black levels without a dynamic iris), of course, is a key to excellent black levels. I figure this is as good a time to comment on the iris’s impact on viewing. Below are two images from the beginning of one of the Star Trek movies (The Wrath of Kahn) shot at the exact same exposure! Notice how much brighter the background is on the first image, as the iris is forced to open for the bright credit. (Both images are intentionally overexposed.) A few frames before, without the credit, the scene is just stars, and the iris closes down a good amount. You must concede, the difference is significant. Of course, when you have bright areas on an image, you are a little less likely to notice the blacks, but in a case like this, you can easily notice the difference as the iris opens and closes each time a credit appears over the star field.

Shadow Detail Performance

Shadow detail of the W6000 is really very good. I compared against the Epson 6500UB and the Sony VPL-HW15 side by side. The BenQ easily offered a bit more dark shadow detail than the Epson, which isn’t surprising, since we’ve reported that the Epson is a little weaker in that area, than other good projectors.

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(Epson combines really excellent black levels with “not quite as good as the competition” shadow detail). Side by side, the W6000 had the slightest adantage over the Sony projector as well, but you really had to be studying the projected images to be certain of that, and probably the slightest change to the the Brightness setting might reverse that difference. That said, I will “officially” give the BenQ, that tiny advantage over the Sony.

Here’s a side-by-side dark scene from The Space Cowboys with the The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB on the left, BenQ W6000 on the right (the Epson you will note, is a again brighter on this photo, the result of the different iris actions, and having to use a mid-brightness mode with the Epson so that the BenQ doesn’t appear drastically brighter, and make the comparison useless):

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The next set of comparison images, continues with a shot of Clint Eastwood from Space Cowboys. This is a very dark scene with Clint Eastwood, on Blu-ray disc. The photos are intentionally way overexposed. Look for the blacks in the shades, and the details in those shades in the form of the white trim. (At this level of overexposure, don’t even worry about the skin tones, as in these type of photos they always look terrible, and way oversaturated/too high contrast).

First image is the BenQ W6000 followed by the VPL-HW15, next are: Sharp XV-Z15000, Optoma HD8200, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, the older Sony VPL-HW10, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000U.

The VPL-HW15 does extremely well in shadow detail on our Clint Eastwood dark scene from Space Cowboys:

Comparision

BenQ W6000
VPL-HW15
Sharp XV-Z15000
Optoma HD8200
Sanyo PLV-Z3000
Sony VPL-HW10
Panasonic PT-AE3000U

The following images are both the same frame, from Space Cowboys. The first one is slightly overexposed, and the second one, dramatically so. Look in the brown area of the satellite on the left (and elsewhere). The VPL-HW15 does a very good job. The third image is the same from on the Sony VPL-HW15.

Note in the images below – W6000 vs. HW15, it appears (look to the brightest parts of the satellite, or the pause button in the lower left) that the Sony a touch more overexposed, yet the blacks are a touch better on the BenQ.

Comparision

BenQ W6000
BenQ W6000
Sony VPL-HW15