Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
Epson’s got creative frame interpolation (CFI) the BenQ does not. Epson’s current iteration of their CFI, works pretty well with 30/60 source material, but it has definite issues with 24fps content typical of movies on Blu-ray disc. We recommend not using it with 24fps content, which also includes movies on HDTV, in most cases, but definitely fire it up for your sports viewing.
Epson is promising improvements in their CFI in the next few weeks. Hopefully they will make CFI with 24fps source material work well. By the time most people read this, Epson will have the fix in all their dealer inventories.
This isn’t really a special feature, since all but a couple of older projectors in this report have full support for HDMI 1.3. The BenQ W5000, though, is one of the exceptions. It will work fine with your equipment, but, if, and when, we finally start getting some Deep Color content on Blu-ray disc, the BenQ’s HDMI 1.2 won’t be able to accept the greater color palette. You’ll still be stuck with a mere 16.7 million original colors. (Mind you most projectors, including the W5000 do much of their image processing with 10 bit per channel, widening the color palette).
Is this a problem for the W5000? No! Those of us with nice 1080p projectors have never seen Deep Color content. And we’re hardly complaining. I can appreciate the subtle differences it may bring about if it catches on, but, hey, these projectors all look great without it.
Forget about placement flexibility. Check if the BenQ will work in your setup, if not, just cross it off your list. If it does work, then you’ve got some thinking to do.
There are lots of trade-offs. The BenQ has the slightly sharper image. It’s got a more “film-like” quality, and really good skin tones and overall color. In addition, its shadow detail performance is really excellent.
The Epson though, is up to the challenge. It bests the BenQ’s really good black levels, with the best around under $5000, and the difference is enough to be significant. The Epson, of course wins in placement flexibility, and it “crushes” the BenQ when it comes to pushing out lots of lumens when you need them, even though the two are virtually identical in brightness when in “best” modes.
The Epson has the overall more dynamic look to the picture; it’s that “pop and wow” factor. The BenQ, is pretty good there as well, but, the Epson has the advantage.
I favor the Epson overall, but, I certainly like, and could live with the W5000 as well. I’m confident of that having owned older models. Then there’s one other difference, worthy of considerations: The Epson has a great two year warranty with a replacement program both years, compared to t e W5000’s basic one year warranty.
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