Purchasing screen/PJ... please help (BenQ W1070 vs W1080ST vs Optoma HD25 vs HD25-LV) - some ambient light... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 06-12-2013, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm ordering a 100" projection screen and a projector, however not sure which PJ to go with and hope some of you have experience and may be able to help me. Unfortunately there aren't (m)any reviews that compare the projectors that I've listed. Not to mention there aren't any locally that I can play with.

Screen Size: 100" 16:9 (Visual Apex VApex tensioned screen)
Material: Cine White

Environment: living room, but not too much ambient light and no direct ambient light which will hit the screen. Most viewing will be in the evening when it's darker, but I wouldn't mind the flexibility of being able to watch even during the day, possibly just closing the shades.

Content: Movies as well as HBO shows (Boardwalk Empire & Game of Thrones) for "critical" watching at night and Formula 1/Disney movies for the kids/etc. during the day.

Plan is to run the projector that I get in Eco Mode only as I can't stand the sound of fans.

First there's the decision of BenQ vs Optoma.

Secondly, with BenQ, I realize the difference between the W1070 and W1080ST is just the throw distance, but I've read the closer the projector the brighter the image, so was leaning towards ST from those two. However I've also read that the ST lenses tend to lose some brightness - so I'm not sure which will win in this case. I also like the idea of short throw just to keep the setup "tidy" though I certainly have room to play with (up to 18ft from the screen). Any sense in paying an extra ~$100 for the ST?

The 33dB spec on the BenQ frightens me a little bit... I don't want to listen to the PJ when it's quiet in the room and couldn't find how quiet it gets in Eco Mode. Anyone know?

Third, with Optoma, there's the option of "-LV" which will throw a considerably brighter image. I don't know if there's such thing as "too many lumens" since you can always tune the image down, but it's hard to get extra lumens if you want them. So I'm not sure if that's worth a consideration or not?

Wife is tired of my procrastination and research and just wants me to order something "now." Given our time/schedules, I don't have the time to order several projectors to "test out" and return the ones that don't fit the bill. So I basically just have to take a leap of faith on one.

Please provide your opinions and reasoning. If you have a similar setup or chose one of these projectors, please let me know why you chose it and if you can take pictures with light in the room that would be incredibly nice. If you know of reviews which answer my questions, please let me know as well. Given that the price for all the PJs is in the same ballpark, price isn't a deciding factor, but certainly no need to pay more than I have to. If there's another better option, in the same price range, I'm all ears.

THANK YOU!!!

EDIT: P.S. I ONLY care about 2d performance.... no interest in 3d

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post #2 of 24 Old 06-13-2013, 03:25 AM
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http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_hd25_home_theater_projector_review.htm?page=Shootout-vs-BenQ-W1070

and some recent discussions........

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474893/overwhelming-information-need-some-opinions-for-a-first-time-projector-purchase#post_23369702
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474893/overwhelming-information-need-some-opinions-for-a-first-time-projector-purchase#post_23370155

Those might help you narrow it down some. Both pretty good pj's overall. Hard choice, so instead, spend more money and buy the Sony 50es, or the JVC RS46, or an Epson 6020, or... er... wait more decisions..smile.gif
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-13-2013, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnabq View Post

http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_hd25_home_theater_projector_review.htm?page=Shootout-vs-BenQ-W1070

and some recent discussions........

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474893/overwhelming-information-need-some-opinions-for-a-first-time-projector-purchase#post_23369702
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474893/overwhelming-information-need-some-opinions-for-a-first-time-projector-purchase#post_23370155

Those might help you narrow it down some. Both pretty good pj's overall. Hard choice, so instead, spend more money and buy the Sony 50es, or the JVC RS46, or an Epson 6020, or... er... wait more decisions..smile.gif

Thanks for your reply! Based on the Projector Central review, there's not much of a difference between the BenQ and HD25, so BenQ wins for me as it has a 12v trigger for the screen - that was easy cool.gif

The projectors you listed are far too expensive, the only other one that has been on my list, but I hadn't mentioned was the Panasonic PT-AR100U, but it came out in 2011, so I just wasn't sure whether it could compete with the latest offerings. On paper, it looks like the best projector (minus the size/weight, as it's overhead in a living room), but given how fast technology moves, I'm timid about paying more for an older projector eek.gif.

Any thoughts on BenQ 1070/1080ST vs Panasonic PT-AR100U in mostly dim conditions? Recessed lights on, but absolutely no ambient light? Thanks biggrin.gif

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post #4 of 24 Old 06-13-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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As I wait for responses, I'll try and answer my own questions....

This review compares the W1070 to the AR100U in a few aspects: http://www.projectorreviews.com/benq/w1070/image.php

"The BenQ is better at blacks [compared to the PT-AR100U]."

"The thing is, while those other three [incl AR100U] projectors are brighter still, they aren't near as bright calibrated. So, I can have great color and a medium amount (instead of the usual "modest amount") of ambient light."

Also, although I was really sold on the 1080ST to be tidy (the projector would be more out of the way of the area of the room where we walk, etc), it seems the lens shift of the 1070 (despite being small) shouldn't be overlooked. The alternative to lens shift is moving the screen up/down (how do I calculate the position of the screen needed?) OR angle the projector up/down, which creates keystone problems. These can be corrected by software, but it will reduce image quality (I imagine this is like distorting/rescaling in a photo editing program).

SOOOO.... how do I figure out the "height" of the screen in relation to the projector? That'll determine 1070 or 1080 pretty conclusively.

Thanks smile.gif

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post #5 of 24 Old 06-14-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the help rolleyes.gif

Ended up ordering the W1070 which will be here on Mon/Tue. Screen will take a little longer though. Hope to try everything out and review the system next weekend. If I'm unhappy with the PJ I'll try something else.

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post #6 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 02:16 AM
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Hope it works out, the projectors I listed weren't for you to consider, I was making a joke referring to the hard decision you were confronted with. Start toying with some projector calculators to see where the screen and pj will need to be to fit in your room. Basically, the Benq will need to be couple of inches above the top of the screen if your ceiling mounting.
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post #7 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnabq View Post

Hope it works out, the projectors I listed weren't for you to consider, I was making a joke referring to the hard decision you were confronted with. Start toying with some projector calculators to see where the screen and pj will need to be to fit in your room. Basically, the Benq will need to be couple of inches above the top of the screen if your ceiling mounting.

Gotcha, didn't know if you were serious. My budget wasn't exactly nailed down, but I don't want to pay 2-3x more for an incremental increase.

I got a very thin mount (Peerless PRS-UNV) which puts the projector only ~3.5" away from the ceiling and the top of the screen will drop approx 16" from the ceiling, so I think it should be fine. CAN'T WAIT!

By the way, thanks for your reply, people may think I'm crazy talking to myself over here wink.gif

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post #8 of 24 Old 06-15-2013, 09:21 PM
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Some people are getting ND filters for that pj, to tone down the brightness a bit. Might be worth researching in the Benq 1070 thread. And, stop talking to yourself. smile.gif
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-18-2013, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Some people are getting ND filters for that pj, to tone down the brightness a bit. Might be worth researching in the Benq 1070 thread. And, stop talking to yourself. smile.gif

Not sure what an ND filter is, but I'll look into that later.

Got the projector today, projecting onto my wall for now (in Eco mode).... WOW, this thing is BRIGHT. I used to have an Epson 3020e and this thing blows it away - almost too bright! I have all the lights on in the room and a normal amount of ambient light that the room receives (cloudy overcast day) and it looks better than any LCD/Plasma. Will have to tone it down for night-time viewing. Screen is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. I'll mount it and do a full review in a separate thread with pictures. Hope it looks as good projecting onto a white screen.

As I suspected, it's loud and you can clearly hear it from ~10-12 ft away, but not annoying (yet).

biggrin.gif:D

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post #10 of 24 Old 06-18-2013, 04:21 PM
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ND = Neutral Density.

It's a grey filter which acts like window tint on a car. Dims the image, but a good ND filter will not impact color or take away from image quality - just dims it some.

I run the W1070 on a 161" diagonal screen in lower power mode and find it to be plenty bright, so I can imagine a number of people getting a ND filter for it to tone it down some.

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post #11 of 24 Old 09-30-2013, 06:35 AM
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So, it has been few months. Are You happy with W1070?

And what screen did You bought?

 

Cheers

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post #12 of 24 Old 10-21-2013, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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So, it has been few months. Are You happy with W1070?
And what screen did You bought?

Cheers

Hey slicer, sorry just found this thread in my SPAM folder for some reason. I actually did a bunch of reviews, even comparing to the Optoma HD25 side-by-side in the BenQ thread.

Yes, I'm extremely happy with it and more importantly, my wife says things like "I can't believe we didn't do this earlier." Of course I suggested, but she's always declined the idea. Now she says she can't go back. We have movie nights with friends/family every week.

The fan noise initially used to bother me a lot... nowadays not as much. I still hear it, but I guess I got used to it. I did upgrade the firmware though. It came with 1.05 which was terrible (and slow) at acquiring signals and would cut out all the time which was annoying; upgrading to 1.06 fixed all of that.

I just checked and we have 883(!!) hours on the lamp. Insane.

EDIT: P.S. I should clarify that I'm happy with it in MY living room environment. For a dedicated room I would not be happy with it. Here are the problems which would push me to a higher class projector:
1. The light bleed in extremely light conditions is noticeable and annoying
2. The fan noise is noticeable and annoying
3. The colors are just fine (albeit bright - though we like that TV look), however the WHITE overpowers everything. When switching scenes I sometimes have to squint at how bright it is. In fairness, I'm still using stock settings and that may be fixable

I understand now why people go for real HT projectors if they're serious movie buffs. Maybe I'll be more spendy with my next PJ biggrin.gif

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post #13 of 24 Old 10-21-2013, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, you asked about the screen. I got a 100" motorized screen from Visual Apex. I'm glad I listened to everyone and got white instead of gray. My son watches his cartoons on it all the time and I watch sports during the day and no issues, since that content doesn't have much black. The only place black levels matter are in movies and certain well made TV shows (typically on HBO, SHO, AMC, etc). When watching that kind of material, we leave it for night-time viewing and turn the lights off.

By the way, I'm not EXTREMELY impressed with the screen, but it's doing the job. I had a sense that it was better based on all the reviews, but I guess it's just good at its price point.

Hope that helps.

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post #14 of 24 Old 10-22-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ///3oris View Post


3. The colors are just fine (albeit bright - though we like that TV look), however the WHITE overpowers everything. When switching scenes I sometimes have to squint at how bright it is. In fairness, I'm still using stock settings and that may be fixable

I understand now why people go for real HT projectors if they're serious movie buffs. Maybe I'll be more spendy with my next PJ biggrin.gif
this is why the current competing optoma budget series has the "Dynamic black" feature which does an awsome job of raising and lowering the bulb brightness depending on the scene, unlike my older optoma units which had a noticeable flicker from this....


But they all have their strengths and weaknesses....

and if you can hear the fan from 12ft then you must have it on high power mode or something is wrong....
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-22-2013, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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this is why the current competing optoma budget series has the "Dynamic black" feature which does an awsome job of raising and lowering the bulb brightness depending on the scene, unlike my older optoma units which had a noticeable flicker from this....


But they all have their strengths and weaknesses....

and if you can hear the fan from 12ft then you must have it on high power mode or something is wrong....

Yep, all have their good and bad. Maybe there's a way to tweak that out, it's only bothered me a handful of times since I've owned it and it doesn't bother my wife or guests. Additionally, it could be this is something that's controlled with firmware or some picture setting... who knows - I don't have the time for that these days.

The PJ is less than 10ft away from my head and yes, I can hear it. It's in Eco mode and Cinema mode; has been since the day I got it. Use the same mode day and night.

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post #16 of 24 Old 10-23-2013, 05:41 AM
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Yep, all have their good and bad. Maybe there's a way to tweak that out, it's only bothered me a handful of times since I've owned it and it doesn't bother my wife or guests. Additionally, it could be this is something that's controlled with firmware or some picture setting... who knows - I don't have the time for that these days.

The PJ is less than 10ft away from my head and yes, I can hear it. It's in Eco mode and Cinema mode; has been since the day I got it. Use the same mode day and night.
the bulb brightness diminishes a lot in the first 4-500 hours (40% is not unusual) so thats an issue that will diminish with use but the fan noise usually will only get worse with age... Its strange though because others who have compared the w1070 and optoma hd25e/hd131xe side by side claim the benq is quieter. I can honestly say the fan noise on my hd131xe is hard to hear from 6ft away in its normal environment... in fact it is the quietest projector Ive had yet but I should add that I have a salt water tank in the next open room so I can hear that from the living room and It may be disguising the noise the projector is making.
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-23-2013, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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the bulb brightness diminishes a lot in the first 4-500 hours (40% is not unusual) so thats an issue that will diminish with use but the fan noise usually will only get worse with age... Its strange though because others who have compared the w1070 and optoma hd25e/hd131xe side by side claim the benq is quieter. I can honestly say the fan noise on my hd131xe is hard to hear from 6ft away in its normal environment... in fact it is the quietest projector Ive had yet but I should add that I have a salt water tank in the next open room so I can hear that from the living room and It may be disguising the noise the projector is making.

As I posted earlier, I have almost 900 hours on my lamp.

As far as people claiming the BenQ is quieter, I've posted video's of both the W1070 and HD25 side by side. As well as full explanations about the sound of both.

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post #18 of 24 Old 10-23-2013, 06:37 PM
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As I posted earlier, I have almost 900 hours on my lamp.

As far as people claiming the BenQ is quieter, I've posted video's of both the W1070 and HD25 side by side. As well as full explanations about the sound of both.
ahh missed the comment about the 900hrs.My mistake and apologies...I guess a grey negative gain screen would have been a better fit for you.

Im not sure what yout reference to the hd25 has to do with the HD131xe unless your refering the the white version of the 131xe (HD25E). Or are unaware
the older HD25 used a higher wattage lamp and a different ballast and no doubt had a different fan speed as a result...
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-24-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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ahh missed the comment about the 900hrs.My mistake and apologies...I guess a grey negative gain screen would have been a better fit for you.

Im not sure what yout reference to the hd25 has to do with the HD131xe unless your refering the the white version of the 131xe (HD25E). Or are unaware
the older HD25 used a higher wattage lamp and a different ballast and no doubt had a different fan speed as a result...

No way, I love white. Most of the stuff we watch is during the day and the way we watch everything now it works perfectly.

Not familiar with HD25E, so I guess I can't comment. My original post was about W1070 vs HD25.

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post #20 of 24 Old 11-09-2013, 06:41 PM
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Hi, may I know where did you get the Visual Apex screen from? Thanks

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post #21 of 24 Old 11-10-2013, 05:20 AM
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I got my 106" VA screen from visualapex.com used "avs10off" for 10% off but still had to pay like $130 for shipping. Mine will be here this Wednesday.
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post #22 of 24 Old 11-11-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, may I know where did you get the Visual Apex screen from? Thanks

Yup, as Anthony wrote... directly from Visual Apex. No savings code when I ordered.

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post #23 of 24 Old 11-11-2013, 05:08 PM
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I got my 106" VA screen from visualapex.com used "avs10off" for 10% off but still had to pay like $130 for shipping. Mine will be here this Wednesday.

Hi, thanks so much for the info.

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Yup, as Anthony wrote... directly from Visual Apex. No savings code when I ordered.

Hi, thanks for the info. Appreciate it.

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