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Epson Home Cinema 6500UB - Competitors-2

Posted on June 28, 2008 by Art Feierman

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. Sanyo PLV-Z700

As with the Mitsubishi HC5500 discussed immediately above, the Sanyo PLV-Z700 is really not a direct competitor. The reason for including it here, is to provide a little clarity for folks on a budget, who need to decide - to I spend the minimum amount for a 1080p projector, or raid the piggy bank for the 6500UB, which is definitely a better overall performer.

No comparison in black level performance, the Epson is a real step up. Brightness, same is pretty much true, with the Sanyo dynamic iris fully engaged is not much more than half the brightness of the Epson. However, fix the iris (further reduces black level performance), and it is, in Creative Cinema mode, about the same brightness as the Epson. Once again, Epson is king in "brightest mode" with it's approximate 2000 lumens in Dynamic mode effortlessly trumping the 1300 lumens we were able to measure for the PLV-Z700 in its brightest configuration.

In terms of sharpness, both are sharper than average, so any difference between them is so small as to be a non-issue.

Sanyo offers a three year warranty compared to the Epson's two years (but with replacement program).

Price is the other really big difference, with the Sanyo selling well under $2000 while the Epson is not far below $3000. Let's say the Sanyo is less than 2/3 the price, so, as I said above, the question between these two projectors is "should I spend the extra 50% for a "top of the line" 3LCD projector, compared to an entry level one. It's a good question that each of you with somewhat limited budgets, may need to consider.

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. BenQ W5000, W20000

Ahh, I wish I still had the W20000 here so that I could do a side by side. Certainly neither BenQ has creative frame interpolation or high framerate output. Nor do either of them have a dynamic iris.

The big strengths, though, of the BenQ's are as follows: Like the Epson, a very sharp image, then there's the overall film-like character that DLP projectors are known for, a less visible pixel structure (though that really isn't a significant issue with 1080p resolution projectors), and brightness!

The BenQ W2000 is about a 100 lumens brighter than the Epson in "best mode" which with the BenQ, I define as also having Brilliant Color (a DLP feature) turned off. Brilliant Color adds punch but definitely moves this projector away from "flim-like". When you need maximum lumens, however, Brilliant Color is a very good thing, and really helps. With a measured 1730 lumens in brightest mode, with Brilliant color engaged, the BenQ is only slightly less bright than the Epson. Overall, therefore, brightness, is not likely to be a deciding factore between the W20000 and the Epson. Interestingly, the W5000 we meaured, was about the same brightness as the Epson in "best" modes but a little further short in brightnest modes (more like 1300 lumens).

For the most part, the primary differences between the two BenQs are different DLP chips and price. These days the W5000 is a lot less than the 6500UB. By comparison, the BenQ W20000 costs more than the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB.

Warranties: The W5000 comes with one year, the Epson, with two, and the W20000 with three.

I'm an old BenQ owner, their projectors are very sharp, and overall have an excellent picture quality. In a sense, the BenQs, particularly the W20000 is more of a "purist's" projector than the Epson is. Consider: 3LCD projectors use lots of gimmicks - to get their performance - relying on dynamic irises, frame interpolation, contrast enhancement, etc. Of course dynamic irises are appearing in many DLP projectors these days as well.

he BenQs are typical DLP projectors in that they have very limited zoom lenses (1.2:1), but they are also the exception in that both BenQ's offer lens shift, and their zooms are fairly long throw, compared to most DLP projectors. These two features combine to allow rear shelf mounting in many owners rooms. Either of these, for example would work on my rear shelf, which currently holds my JVC RS1. True, the percentage of rooms that would work in, isn't as great as the Epson with its pretty much best in class placement flexibility, but what matters is whether they work in your room, rather than being more or less flexible overall.

The W5000 with its step down processor is still an excellent projector, having picked up our Best in Class, Runner-up award back last January, and it did that competing in the price class above the old Epson 1080 UB. I have plenty of respect for both BenQs even if they lack some of the Epson's features.

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