Posted on March 14, 2008 By Art Feierman
The BenQ W6000 originally came and left here, before the Home Cinema 8500UB shipped. I shot side by side images comparing it to the older 6500UB. The thing is, I was not happy with the W6000’s dynamic iris operation on that early unit, I found it too often, to be annoying. Since I was working with a pre-production unit, and gave them some feedback, BenQ had the time and was able to make improvements to the W6000 before shipping the final product (with firmware 1.0). They sent me a 2nd W6000 just over a month later (if I recall correctly, without looking it up), with the new firmware. As I have noted, the new firmware really improved the iris action. As it turns out, at that time, I had the 8500UB (actually a 9500UB, but they are identical for our practical purposes here), so I also took comparison images between the W6000 and the 8500UB.
Click to enlarge. SO close
Click to enlarge. So close. The BenQ W6000 is an ultra-high contrast projector by my standards. It’s at the lower end of the performance range in terms of black levels, but still a step up from a lot of other projectors, including some costing a good bit more. Compared to the Epson though, it’s got a ways to go. The Epson simply reigns supreme in this regard, among the under $4000 projectors. The BenQ does well enough that you can be not overly concerned about blacks and that lets you put some focus on things like color, sharpness, and brightness.
Click to enlarge. So close. The Epson is simply better at this. As my regular readers know, I am definitely big on great black level performance. While it may not be a big thing in a nice daylight scene, when things get dark, black level performance separates the men, from the boys, or maybe, in this case, the men from the young adults. The BenQ is very good, the Epson is simply better. Consider these images (Epson on the left):
Note the size differences on the side by sides. I had to reduce the image side of the Epson (left) to partially make up for the big difference in brightness. (I also had the W6000 with BC off, and lamp on low, for these shots). The same image as above, but more overexposed now it’s easier to appreciate the difference in blacks on your computer screen, though you would never view it this overexposed:
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