Posted on March 14, 2008 By Art Feierman
Both have dynamic irises. The pre-production W6000 iris was way too visible, but BenQ did a great job of upgrading it immediately. The LG’s Dynamic iris is definitely a bit smoother, but also doesn’t seem to have the range (can’t darken as much), which does make it harder to spot iris action. All considered, the LG may have the smoothness advantage, but the BenQ delivers the blacker blacks.
The LG offers up Creative Frame Interpolation (CFI) to smooth fast moving images. The BenQ does not. This is LG’s first generation CFI, and its got some issues. It’s a bit too noticeable for watching 24fps movies, even if you like CFI’s “live digital video” or “soap opera” look. Even on sports it can be a little rough, but I watched a whole lot of Winter Olympics with it engaged, as well as some football. I found it worked reasonably well for fast paced sports. I normally wouldn’t recommend it for movie viewing. If you engage it for some Travel HD, Discovery HD type scenic content, you likely will be able to spot some of its artifacts, but you might not mind. (That would be 60fps content, definitely a bit easier for the LG to deal with that 24 fps, film based movies.
This year, the BenQ has some respectable placement flexibility, so the lack of same (last year’s W5000) allowed a lot of readers to say: “Won’t work in my setup.” That’s not the case this year, even though the LG CF181D has more placement range. Most people interested in rear shelf mounting should find either projector will work, and both have tons of range for ceiling mounting.
Sharpness and black level performance are the major pluses of the BenQ W6000. Color is truly extremely good after calibration
The LG CF181D projector has better out of the box color. It’s got a slight edge in shadow detail. I’d say it has the more forgiving image, and a bright feel to the projected image. The LG offers creative frame interplation (motion smoothing).
Brightness is a tie – they are two of the very brightest projectors in this review, and effortlessly can handle larger screens in best mode. Both have plenty for some lights on sports.
I like the LG a tad better on those brightly lit scenes found in a lot of Discovery HD, Travel HD type content, football games, etc. I more strongly favor the BenQ on the darkest of scenes, and I like it about as much on typical darker scenes as I favor the LG on the brighter ones. I mentioned I liked the color better on football games, with the LG, that may be true, but I also favor the W6000 on football and other HD sports for its extra sharpness.
Neither projector dissapoints unless you are talking very dark scenes and are as hung up about black levels as I am, in which case the advantage goes with the BenQ.
Below, first image is the CF181D, second one is the W6000.
In the LG review, far more recent than the W6000, I mused towards the end that if I couldn’t have my JVC and had to choose in this price range, that I would choose the LG. (The Epson is out – it doesn’t have enough lumens in best mode to properly fill my 128″ gray screen). I’ve been reflecting on that. I know one contributing factor is that the W6000 is DLP and I am somewhat rainbow sensitive.
The more I think about which I prefer of these two, the more I feel like a headache coming on. (Especially if I dismiss the rainbow effect.
Consider this – On movies, the W6000 has black level advantage, on HDTV it has the sharpness, and an extra 20% more lumens if you really need them at the expense of color fidelity. Alternately, the LG gives you a decent CFI for sports, which is definitely worth points to those who like CFI. Ultimately, the LG can put more lumens that have very good color on the screen. For example, viewing the new Blu-ray Lord of the Rings, I am going to prefer the LG’s overall picture most of time until the scenes get dark. Finally, let’s not forget that the LG comes with a year longer warranty.
Lastly, there’s not enough difference in selling price or replacement lamp, cost of ownership issues to have any significant impact.
Which projector is better? Aargh! You figure it out. I’m stumped.
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