Posted on November 12, 2013 By Art Feierman
Not only is the Epson strong in this class for movie viewing, but it is also every bit as strong for sports and TV/HDTV. It measures the brightest of these projectors in its brightest mode, with even the HD806 coming up a few hundred lumens short. That said, I favor a calibrated Livingroom mode over the Epson’s Dynamic mode. It gives up about 20% of the maximum lumens, but that still makes it about tie with the Optoma. In Dynamic mode, the color accuracy falls off quite a bit with significantly over strong yellows and greens. Our calibrated Livingroom mode, though does a very nice job in overall color accuracy, for a bright mode. The Epson is without a doubt my favorite projector in this group for this type of viewing!
The X10 does great on sports and general TV/HDTV viewing. Kick on its Brilliant Color, and it falls right in the middle of the pack in brightness, yet still retains slightly more accurate colors than any of these other projectors in their brightest modes. It makes a great family room projector, as well as performing well in a more theater like setting. Brilliant color has minor issues, but gives you a boost in the image’s “pop and wow”. Skin tones, for example, get a bit too contrasty, but the underlying color accuracy remains exceptionally good. If you are heavy into sports, but also demand good movie quality, the X10 has got to be a top choice in this price range, with only the Epson its equal.
It stacks up this way. For general sports and HDTV/TV (but also demand for good movie performance), I’ll go with the Epson as the top recommendation, but the X10 as next best. The Sanyo, despite being the least expensive, is third, the Mitsubishi, due to shear lack of lumens, is next, and the HD806 last. But, if all you care about is sports, you can move that Optoma up with the Epson and InFocus.
If you need the extra horsepower, engage Brilliant Color. You’ll still have good color accuracy, but a bit too much “pop” to be really natural looking, but the W5000 does a really good job cutting through ambient light, without losing its very good picture quality. Even with Brilliant color off, it is average in terms of brightness among this group of projectors! On a 100″ screen it can handle an impressive amount of ambient light. Especially with Brilliant Color off, the BenQ does a really good job for general TV/HDTV viewing – those Discovery HD, and Travel HD documentries look great. The W5000’s sharpness makes it better still.
The two Epsons kick out significantly more lumens than any of the other projectors we have considered, when in its Dynamic mode. Colors are off, but if you really want “the lights on”, none of the others can match its horsepower in dynamic mode, if you can forgive those strong yellows and reds. Use Livingroom mode, and you still get plenty of lumens (still the brightest of the group) and picture quality remains very good. For my annual Superbowl party, I parked my JVC RS1 in favor of the 6500UB, for its brightness. Even with a fair amount of ambient light, everyone was blown away with how good it looked (and that was Livingroom mode). A well calibrated Livingroom mode does just fine too, for general viewing. For those same HDTV specials like Discovery HD, the Epson shines, although if it has a weakness, it doesn’t have quite as razor sharp looking an image as the sharpest projectors.
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