Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB – Competitors-3

The dramatic price drops have placed the W5000 well below the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB’s cost, and apparently, the W20000 can now be found some places for not much more than the Epson. BenQ has a $3999 MAP price for the W20000, but it seems that many dealers are offering it significantly below that price, and in some cases close to the Epson’s price!

The W20000, is one of those projectors I definitely can live with and recommend. It is a serious alternative to the Epson 6500UB. Since brightness between these two are close enough, it comes down to the type of picture quality you prefer; the BenQ’s traditional “film-like” DLP based picture, or the more electronically enhanced, but still excellent picture of the Home Cinema 6500UB. For your further consideration: Had the W20000 come out sooner, due to those extra lumens I need in my large room, I would have seriously considered it as an alternative to my JVC, which really doesn’t have near as many lumens in brightest mode, as I would like for my sports and regular TV/HDTV viewing.

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. Sanyo PLV-Z3000

The Epson has the advantage in brightness, both in best and brightest modes, however, the PLV-Z3000’s brightest mode is still well above average, and has the muscle for the usual sports viewing with some ambient light. Both are sharp.

The Sanyo PLV-Z3000’s Frame Interpolation works better than the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, and while it seems all such technology has some minor jerkiness, due to trouble processing all the movement, the Sanyo is very good compared to the Epson which tends to have obvious jerkiness on a regular basis.

The Sanyo calibration lacking two separate adjustments for the primary colors when calibrating grayscale, isn’t as precise as the Epson’s and we never quite could get rid of a slight “gold-yellow” cast to movies. The operative term, though is slight. The Sanyo doesn’t look quite as perfect in terms of color accuracy, but is acceptable.

Sanyo offers a three year warranty with fast turn-around, compared to Epson’s two years with overnight replacement.

Black levels are a significant difference between these two projectors. The Sanyo, with its 65,000:1 claimed contrast ratio should have put it squarely in the same league as the Epson, but it comes up short. While the Epson is the best of, say, the under $4000 projectors in terms of black levels, the Sanyo has the least impressive black levels of the “ultra high contrast” projectors. To put it in perspective though, the Sanyo is still better than any of the non “ultra high contrast” projectors in terms of black levels, and comes very close to the Panasonic PT-AE3000, for example. On side by side viewing, the Epson projected dark scenes with blacker blacks and a more impressive, dynamic looking image.

While in general, (frame interpolation not-withstanding), the Epson comes out on top, don’t forget that the Epson costs about 1/3 more than the Sanyo, and price is a great equalizer. Budget, and your specific requirements will allow you to make an intelligent choice between these two projectors.