Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
Very interesting, in that both projectors offer almost identical brightness in their “best” mode. In fact, with our measurements, the Epson only beat the BenQ by 9 lumens – well within the margin of error. (491 vs. 482 lumens). Where there’s a real difference is in “brightest” mode. No contest there, as the BenQ only increases output to 914 lumens, while the Epson – a veritable light canon, jumps to 1566 lumens. I confess, though, that the color accuracy of BenQ’s “bright” mode is significantly better than the Epson’s Dynamic mode (which yielded the 1566 lumens). A calibrated LivingRoom mode on the Epson, however definitely rivals the BenQ’s “brightest” for image quality, but still is substantially brighter, still producing over 1200 lumens, or about 1/3 brighter than the BenQ.
Tie in terms of “best” mode, easy win for Epson when you need lots of lumens.
The BenQ is extremely sharp, and fits perfectly in our “sharper still” classification, while the Epson, though not bad at all, fits into the “average” category. Those are the only two categories we use for 1080p projectors. You’ll notice any sharpness differences more on pure digital content, say HDTV, than a movie (other than animations). The BenQ W5000 is stunningly sharp on all that great digital programming on channels like Discovery HD, not to mention sports broadcasts in 1080i. (Remember some HDTV channels are using 720p, thus not as sharp.)
A clear win for BenQ, but you only get to truly appreciate the difference if you have had a chance to view an average projector side by side with one of the “sharper still” projectors.
I’ll put it this way, since I am constantly playing with projectors in both sharpness categories: For movie viewing I don’t consider the difference between a good “average” sharpness projector like the Epson, and a “sharper still” like the BenQ to be an important issue at all.
Knowing, however, how sharp the BenQ looks on that Discovery HD and other top quality digital content over 1080 HD, I would say that I would appreciate the difference between BenQ and the Epson (or my similarlly sharp JVC), and occasionally long for that touch of extra sharpness.
In other words, with a projector like the Epson, the vast majority should be perfectly happy with its sharpness, as you won’t miss that little extra, that you’ve never seen.
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