Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
Battle of two technologies. In this comparison, we have my favorite mid-priced Epson projector, the Home Cinema 6500UB, going head-to-head, with the BenQ W5000. Disclosure: I currently own the older version of the Epson 6500UB – in my 2nd theater. Not that many years back, I owned a BenQ PE8700, then the PE 8700+ (different DLP chips), then followed those both with the even better PE-8720. In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I’m a fan of both companies’ projectors.
It’s DLP against LCD. Each has its strengths and weaknesses compared to the other, but both are truly impressive for the money.
What we have here are two projectors with significantly different strengths. The BenQ W5000 is the best of the mid to lower priced DLP projectors we’ve reviewed, while the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB is our favorite of the 3LCD projectors. The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB won this year’s Best In Class award for this price range, while the BenQ W5000 picked up the Best In Class Runner-Up honor. Interestingly, the BenQ W5000 was about the last projector reviewed last year, before last year’s comparison report. Last year it also won the runner-up award! Back then, however it was one of the most expensive projectors in this category, while it is one of the least expensive this time around.
The BenQ W5000 is a bright DLP projector, it has a dynamic iris to improve black levels. It has adjustable lens shift, a plus for a lot of people, which, with DLP projectors, is typically only found on much more expensive models. That is something that is now changing. The zoom range of the lens, though is limited, another typical DLP projector trait. What passes though that lens though, produces an extremely sharp image.
The W5000 produces those rich, deep, colors and sense of depth that DLP projectors are well regarded for.
The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB replaces the older 1080 UB, which set the standard for black level performance for LCD projectors and for the first time established LCD projectors as the ones capable of better black levels than DLP projectors which long held that honor. The Home Cnema 6500UB offers outstanding placement flexibility. If you can’t make this one work in your room, you are probably going to have to give up, and staple a a flat panel TV to your wall instead.
Black levels are, simply stated, the best of any projector in the mid-priced Class. Sharpness is good, but it is still in the “average”, as opposed to “sharper still” classification we use in this report. The Epson projector, in “best” mode, is the brightest of the 3LCD projectors in this report (tied with other Epson variations), but there are projectors that are brighter. In “brightest” mode, however, the Epson has no equal, at least not at this price or below, with only one projector in the entire report being brighter still. The Epson’s picture always impresses. It’s not the most natural looking, but it makes up for that with that “pop and wow” look. The purist may look elsewhere because of that, but most enthusiasts report to be, well, very enthusiastic, as numerous owners have told me just that.
Time to get into the head-to-head. Let me just say, whichever of these two particularly good projectors works best for you, you should end up really pleased.
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