Projector Reviews

1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – Image Quality-16

Vivitek H1080FD Home Entertainment Projector

This is just too easy! Since the Vivitek is mostly identical the BenQ W1000… Here’s your trade-off. You can go with the Vivitek for the same price as the BenQ. You’ll give up almost 20% of brightness, which considering how bright both are in “brightest” mode, isn’t too bad. Instead, you receive from the Vivitek H1080FD, a 3x color wheel instead of a two (on the BenQ).

That can be a real benefit for those rainbow sensitive – not for watching sports, but when you are back watching movies. That also applies for dark content on Discovery HD type programming. For clarification, when I say “dark content” I’m not talking evil, like Darth Vader, or Voldemort, but rather exploring underwater caves, or deep space, or “A history of night vision googles” if ever there was such a special.

Bottom Line: If sports is all you care about, pick up the BenQ or the Vivitek. Even if you are rainbow sensitive you won’t normally see rainbows in sports types of content. If you are really worried about it, go with the Vivitek over the BenQ, giving up some lumens, but plenty left. Moving up in overall quality, but still very bright, is the Epson Home Cinema 8100. It’s going to look great on sports and HDTV.

The Panasonic isn’t overly bright, but its the only one in this group with CFI – for motion smoothing, which makes it a consideration. The Mitsubishi is sharp, bright and has really good color. Most of the others are ok, most with average brightness.

$2000 - $3500 1080p Home Theater Projectors

Above HDTV – Epson Home Cinema 8500UB

BenQ W6000

Wow! Yes, the W6000 is a bit too green in brightest mode, but boy does it have the lumens when you need them. It’s 1750 lumens we measured in “brightest” mode, smokes the other projectors in this Mid-Price class. The LG is the next brightest with 1380 and then the Epsons with 1309. Still they are all at least 20% less bright.

All of the rest of the projectors in this class are down at least 40% from the BenQ.

OK, the color’s not what you hoped for in brightest, but those lumens are there when you need them. If you insist or much better color, change modes, say bye-bye to about 500 lumens but the W6000 still remains one of the brightest projectors, and for that matter, when you do that, the BenQ has better color than the Epsons (leaving only the LG, better and brighter).

You will just love theW6000’s sharpness. Is it the sharpest of the DLP projectors – no, but it is one of the sharpest. You have to love that for sports and HD digital content.

OK, your choices with the BenQ W6000 – for sports 1750 screaming lumens, when absolutely needed. About 1250 lumens complete with very good color. I seriously doubt you would want to use the BenQ W6000 in brightest mode for Discovery HD type content, but 2nd brightest will look great, and very bright.

So, if HDTV and Sports are your primary thing, then this BenQ, along with the LG andEpson’s are the way to go.

Cinetron HD700

Oh dear! When the Cinetron arrived, and I started playing with it, I wasn’t overly impressed, in fact discussed not reviewing it at all, until I discovered a lot of lumens lurking. Considering the relatively poor black level performance, it was a tough call, but I decided the lumens earned it a review. Oops, then a few weeks later, the LG appeared. Another LCoS projector, it was brighter than the Cinetron HD700, but also had much better black level performance and other strengths. Too bad, had the LG arrived first, I likely never would have reviewed this projector. That means this report would have likely published 10 days sooner.

Epson Home Cinema 8500UB

Year after year, the Epson UBs have what it takes to be versatile and successful in terms of both movie and HDTV/sports type viewing. Like the BenQ, it’s brightest mode’s color has too much green, though as bad as the BenQ, but, I’d still rather watch my Discovery HD and Paladia HD music videos in LivingRoom mode which is almost as bright. Sharpness (LCD projector) still could be better, and you miss the sharpness more with this type of content than film based movies.

Still, the Epson took the top award in this class, because even if it isn’t the best solution for only HDTV and sports, it has no real weaknesses, even for this type of viewing. And, of course, it has CFI for your sports viewing, which half the units in this class, lack.

Above, nightime in my main theater, all 128 inches of my Firehawk G3, being filled by the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB. Six recessed ceiling lights on, at near full brightness. The Epson is handling quite a bit of well controlled ambient light, and still providing a pretty dynamic image.