Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
These two projectors are not even similar where it counts. The Epson wins hands down, but, that said, the BenQ can prove to be surprisingly flexible. The Home Cinema 6500UB has a 2:1 zoom and lots of lens shift, that should allow ceiling or shelf mounting, in almost any room. By comparison, the BenQ W5000 has only a 1.2:1 zoom range, however they were smart about it. Since they do have vertical lens shift, it is practical to shelf mount the W5000. Most DLP projectors have relatively short throw zooms, so they place fairly close to the screen (typically 11 – 13 feet from a 100″ screen). That almost certainly means that you can’t place them far enough back to sit on a shelf.
The BenQ W5000’s zoom, however is longer throw, and can sit almost 17 feet back from that 100 inch diagonal screen. My guess is the more than half of the folks preferring shelf mounting, will find that the BenQ will work for them.
Lens shift is different. First, the Epson projector offers horizontal as well as vertical lens shift, the BenQ projector is vertical only. Next, the Epson can be mounted well above the top of your screen, if need be (about 2 feet for a 100 inch screen), by comparison the BenQ has a 0 offset – the highest it can be placed is with the center of its lens even with the top of the screen’s surface. That shouldn’t stop any shelf mounting installations, but for those ceiling mounting with high ceilings, the BenQ would have to hang down a full two feet more than the Epson. I should note, with any projector with lens shift, try not to use every last bit of it. No lens is ever at its best at its extremes, be it lens shift, focus, or zoom.
The Home Cinema 6500UB lens system is all manual, while the W5000 is all motorized (focus, zoom, and lens shift).
The BenQ’s zoom lens is center mounted (keeps life simpler for mounting), while the Epson’s lens is offset. Not a big deal. The Epson is a fairly small projector, while the BenQ W5000 is one of the largest covered in this report.
The BenQ has internal support for an anamorphic lens. The Epson 6500UB does not, but their almost identical, but more expensive version, the Pro Cinema 7500UB does.
The BenQ control panel is on the top, while the Epson has it on the right side (when looking from the front). Both projectors can change out their lamps without unmounting from a ceiling mount. Both projectors have their input panels in the back. The selection of inputs and outputs is pretty much the same, both have two HDMI 1.3 inputs, composite video, S-video, an RS-232 for command and control of the projector, and a 12 volt screen trigger. Both have one component video input with the usual three color coded RCA jacks. The Epson has an HD15, the standard connector for analog computers, which can double as a second component video source with an adapter. The BenQ does it the other way around. They provide five BNC connectors, which can with adapters can take an analog computer input or component video input. In other words, slightly different, but the exact same capabilites.
Both have filters. The BenQ however really requires little maintenance. They recommend dealing with the filter only once every 1000 hours of use. Epson asks for more frequent care.
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