Projector Reviews

BenQ W6000 Projector – Performance 1

9/21/2009 – Art Feierman

BenQ W6000 Brightness

Sunglasses please!

First, here are the default brightness and color temp measurements:

Cinema 1061 @ 5719 (866 @ 6624 w/BC off)
Dynamic 1751 @ 5790 (1061 @ 6787 w/BC off)
Standard 1008 @ 9255 (823 @ 10399 w/BC off)

(BC = Brilliant Color)

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!

Click Image to Enlarge

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.