Head-2-Head Battle: My Hands on Review of Benq 1070 vs Epson 2030! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-13-2013, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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With this being my first ever home theater projector, I wanted to make sure I was well informed before spending a lot of cash. I've been lurking the forums and decided that I ought to test these for myself in order to get a better understanding of which I would prefer. Thus, I purchased both of these units from Best Buy knowing full well I can return them within their 15 day exchange policy. I've had them both for a few days and my wife was kind enough to let me play around with them for a while despite having a 10 week old (She even laid on the couch downstairs snuggling with the kiddo as Dark Knight played from both units). She provided her thoughts which I will tell later. I do plan on providing more feedback as I continue to test them against one another, but I think I have a decent amount of information that would serve to warrant a purchase. One thing to keep in mind is that I think if one were to never own a projector, or never have the luxury of testing one side by side, both units would get a "Oh wow...." from the crowd. But, we don't care about dat! So off with the review...

Menu Navigation

I had the Benq for two days before I bought the Epson, so I've had a little bit more time navigating Benq's menu. Again, one may never really see little quirks if you just use one projector. However, one thing that became apparent was that Benqs menu appears more streamlined to me. By that I mean in Epson's menu adjusting colors or changing values in the screen requires more entering, adjusting, and exiting in order to fulfill your desire. To change the hue or gamma of a color is done individually on the Epson, and then you go back, pick a new color, and proceed with your values. On the Benq, the screen always stays lit and you don't have to go "back" to choose to a new color. You press left or right for a new color and then change your values accordingly. You may only do this adjusting once on your setup, but new calibration settings always come up so i thought I would mention in it. One last thing is that the screen text is larger on the Epson. Not by much, but it's noticeable.

Also, in terms of source switching, I didn't experience the long delay that daekwan had mentioned. I would already have my xbox 360 on and within a few seconds it detected it. I also would hit hdmi 2, and then back to hdmi 1 where my xbox was plugged in, and again, not a long wait time. Maybe I will do some more experimenting with this in the coming week.

Winner: BenQ

Remote

Some may hardly use the remotes except for powering on or off, so I will make this rather brief. The Epson looks far more 2013 and is more accessible to features without hitting extra buttons. The sources are directly on there, whereas with the Benq you must hit source and then make your selection. The Benq is a smaller remote. The Epson has playback features since it can be controlled through HDMI link. Neither are backlit, but I have been told that Benq's new firmware has a backlit remote.



Winner: Epson

Speaker

I don't ever plan on using the speaker, but I could see how some may such as a backyard movie night or if you don't feel like powering up the surround sound. When I had both playing there was a strength and minus to both of them. The Benq is loud--very loud. While this may seem like an automatic winner, it doesn't have enough variance in the volume. For example, it goes from 1-10, but setting 1 is still loud. It never really reaches a comfortable enough volume, for say, if a baby is nearby smile.gif. With the Epson, it doesn't reach quite as loud, but it has a much cleaner, more crisp speaker. Voices are more articulate and the Benq has a slightly more raspy, muffled sound. If you do plan on using the speaker for moderate use, it's a no brainer to me.

Winner: Epson

Picture Quality

Well, I thought I'd save the best for last..."isn't this a world a crazy place, Just when I thought our chance had passed, you go and save the best for last". Song trivia real quick everyone...name that artist...no?....no one? Alright fine, it's Vanessa Williams.

Ok, when I did my testing I always had both projectors on their natural, out of the box state. No tinkering, no adjusting, because I figured this would be the fairest of the fair. Before I give my impressions, here are some snapshots that I took. These first batch of pictures are taken from my HTC Trophy. The picture is projected on an Eggshell color. There is zero ambient light here. Full darkness. The Benq is running with an Xbox 360 and the Epson with my PC, both HDMI. For the Dark Knight pictures, remember this is DVD, not Blu Ray. Here we go....Benq pictures on the Left, Epson on the Right.





Here is NBA 2k13 Demo. Pictures are Benq first, then Epson.



Sonic Generations



GTA V





Here are some pictures from a few NFL games on Sunday. This is in HD from Comcast. Again, Benq first and then Epson. Keep in mind there is some ambient light in this room. Some shades are shut, but it's definitely not controlled lighting.

Benq Pictures







Epson Pictures








As mentioned before my wife agreed to give me her thoughts on which picture she preferred as we began watching the Dark Knight. It only took her about 10 seconds of glancing up to the screen and down towards the baby. She says, "I think I already know which one I like better. The left one is better."

As a whole, I would have to absolutely agree.

When the Dark Knight began, it's instantly clear that the Benq shines in a few key areas: black levels and sharpness. The Epson just can't keep up with the Benq with black levels and it's easily recognizable. Black areas look black on the Benq (in relative terms to these projectors and budget), and the Epson has less of a "punch" with blacks. It's just toned down. Moreover, the Benq has a sharpness to it that the Epson lacks. It has more of that movie theater feel. It has a richness in color that creates a feeling that these projectors are not similar in price point.

I should also mention that the out of the box settings on the Epson has me feeling a little underwhelmed, at least in the Dark Knight. The saturation is way over done as skin tones look very unnatural to the point of skin having a orangeish, sunburned look. Some scenes even had the skin looking an almost reddish tint. Fire also looks far more realistic on the Benq where it actually looks orange. The Epson, again, had an over saturated color. I'm sure calibration settings could change these faults up a bit, but I can only go off of what I have. In conclusion, the Dark Knight on the Benq was far more favorable. There was less pixelation on the Benq as well. It did appear a tad dark in some scenes, but even notching the brightness up 1 or 2 points seemed to remedy it.

My experience with Comcast was short lived since I had to use my parents, so I'm only going off a few hours of material. Again, colors appeared more natural. Watching football, however, was not a chore with the Epson. My parents at first thought the Epson was the better picture, most likely due it being brighter. That's a selling gimmick, however, as we all know when we stroll the TV's at Best Buy. The brighter picture always looks more appealing at first. Eventually they, too, thought the Benq looked more rich and vibrant. The color with the Epson was again too much, with the purple of the Vikings looking far too saturated. I'm from Minnesota, and I know very well the color shown on their jerseys is not accurate. But it does require repeating that watching football on the Epson was not a bad experience. If I didn't have the Benq right next to me, I would have absolutely no problem. They both as a whole look great.

With videogames, I'm not exactly sure why this happened since Epson is an LCD, and maybe this was a one time occurrence, but my eyes became fatigued quickly playing GTA V on the Epson. Something about it didn't sit right with me. I had to reduce the image in order to play it. I even had the processing on "Fast" rather than "Fine". I want to test this out again. In similar fashion, colors appeared to have more pop and material seemed sharper on the Benq.

Winner: Benq

Also, I haven't done any exact measurements in terms of how the projectors throw their images, but what I can tell is that the Benq throws it slightly up if table mounted, whereas the Epson shoots it level, if not a few inches below lens level if table mounted.



Overall, my experience is that the Benq has a sharper, cleaner, more put together image. It has more of that movie theater-esqe type image. Well, that's all I got for now. I will keep testing and post anything else I notice. Let me know if you have any questions or specifics that you want answered. Hope this helps.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-14-2013, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to do this A/B review. Today's projector buyers are so lucky with all these nice projectors that don't cost too much.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-14-2013, 09:46 PM
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I was hoping someone with more PJ experience, and someone with 2030 experience would chime in, but... I'm almost thinking you got a bum 2030 by the looks of the red skin color.  And, this certainly doesn't streamline well with the review of Art Feierman when he states...The BenQ's skin tones in Dynamic mode are defitely not up to the Epsons...

 

-phillip

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-14-2013, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillip2013 View Post

I was hoping someone with more PJ experience, and someone with 2030 experience would chime in, but... I'm almost thinking you got a bum 2030 by the looks of the red skin color.  And, this certainly doesn't streamline well with the review of Art Feierman when he states...The BenQ's skin tones in Dynamic mode are defitely not up to the Epsons...

-phillip

I actually was going to bring this up after some more testing. I don't think I got a bum 2030, because again, when I was watching football it looked pretty darn good. The pictures from the Dark Knight with the Epson was running from my computer. It just didn't look all that great, and it certainly wasn't consistent with all my source material. I'm wondering if my PC is to blame at all. The Epson looked great playing videogames or when using a DVD player running HDMI. I didn't get a chance to post those pictures yet, but I will very soon.

I guess I can't speak to Art's assessment about the Benq in Dynamic mode because I have yet to try that mode out. I'm only really looked into the Natural, Cinema, and the User settings off this forum. More pictures to come soon!
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillip2013 View Post

I was hoping someone with more PJ experience, and someone with 2030 experience would chime in, but... I'm almost thinking you got a bum 2030 by the looks of the red skin color.  And, this certainly doesn't streamline well with the review of Art Feierman when he states...The BenQ's skin tones in Dynamic mode are defitely not up to the Epsons...

-phillip


Forget about skin tones, the 1070s "dynamic" mode is simply unwatchable, period. It's designed to push as much light out of the lens as possible, and damn everything else. It looks absolutely horrible. Complaining about skin tones with the benq's dynamic mode is like complaining about the inflight meal as your plane disintegrates in midair. I hope Mr. Feierman saw fit to mention this in his review as well.

Anyway, I appreciate the work you put into this, but you can't really conduct a proper shootout based entirely on factory settings. If you do, you aren't comparing how good two projectors are--you're comparing how good their default factory settings are, and factory settings are often quite terrible. I have the w1070, I like it, but it improved IMMENSELY when I tried some calibrated settings from the reviewer at AVforums. I think you should search for recommended settings for both projectors, and then compare them. You will probably end up still preferring the BenQ, but at least you'll have gotten a slightly clearer look at both of them. At least calibrate the white and black levels yourself.

Also, for what it's worth, it's always problematic judging from screenshots, but in some of yours, particularly the side shot of the motorcycle from GTA, the colors actually look more accurate on the Epson, while the BenQ's colors look over saturated ...
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Cable View Post

Forget about skin tones, the 1070s "dynamic" mode is simply unwatchable, period. It's designed to push as much light out of the lens as possible, and damn everything else. It looks absolutely horrible. Complaining about skin tones with the benq's dynamic mode is like complaining about the inflight meal as your plane disintegrates in midair. I hope Mr. Feierman saw fit to mention this in his review as well.

Anyway, I appreciate the work you put into this, but you can't really conduct a proper shootout based entirely on factory settings. If you do, you aren't comparing how good two projectors are--you're comparing how good their default factory settings are, and factory settings are often quite terrible. I have the w1070, I like it, but it improved IMMENSELY when I tried some calibrated settings from the reviewer at AVforums. I think you should search for recommended settings for both projectors, and then compare them. You will probably end up still preferring the BenQ, but at least you'll have gotten a slightly clearer look at both of them. At least calibrate the white and black levels yourself.

Also, for what it's worth, it's always problematic judging from screenshots, but in some of yours, particularly the side shot of the motorcycle from GTA, the colors actually look more accurate on the Epson, while the BenQ's colors look over saturated ...

Yep, I agree with you on the Dynamic mode. That's why I didn't even use it yet. I put it on Dynamic and said, "Ugh...what?", so I haven't used it since. I do plan on posting some pictures of them both calibrated, but I didn't have the time in the early stages. I will get them both calibrated and post some more pictures.

I agree that the color also looks more accurate on that motorcycle screenshot with the Epson. I will toy around with them some more and see what I come up with.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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So I mentioned that I would post some pictures of the projectors coming from the same souce via DVD player running HDMI. I thought it was unfair to have the Benq running with my Xbox and Epson with the PC. The result is that the Epson improved immensely! The skin tones look far better and has a much crisper picture. So, here they are!

Epson










BenQ





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post #8 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Cable View Post

Forget about skin tones, the 1070s "dynamic" mode is simply unwatchable, period. It's designed to push as much light out of the lens as possible, and damn everything else. It looks absolutely horrible. Complaining about skin tones with the benq's dynamic mode is like complaining about the inflight meal as your plane disintegrates in midair. I hope Mr. Feierman saw fit to mention this in his review as well.

Anyway, I appreciate the work you put into this, but you can't really conduct a proper shootout based entirely on factory settings. If you do, you aren't comparing how good two projectors are--you're comparing how good their default factory settings are, and factory settings are often quite terrible. I have the w1070, I like it, but it improved IMMENSELY when I tried some calibrated settings from the reviewer at AVforums. I think you should search for recommended settings for both projectors, and then compare them. You will probably end up still preferring the BenQ, but at least you'll have gotten a slightly clearer look at both of them. At least calibrate the white and black levels yourself.

Also, for what it's worth, it's always problematic judging from screenshots, but in some of yours, particularly the side shot of the motorcycle from GTA, the colors actually look more accurate on the Epson, while the BenQ's colors look over saturated ...
I know when I had a Benq W6000, dialing in the colors took a lot of tweaking.
The suggested settings from the W6000 thread got me close but more adjustments were needed.
Also, having Brilliant Color enabled makes the color worse. Everything looks way over saturated and takes more tweaking to tone them down.

2014
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-16-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Wanted to give an update with using a Blu Ray Player with these projectors. In a word: stunning!!! I had my wife give her thoughts between the two, and she still sides with the Benq. I would have to agree. The benq just has that more cinematic feel. It has a cleaner image to my eyes and looks beyond polished running 1080p. If you aren't suseptible to rainbows, I don't see how you could go wrong with the Benq. The Epson, though, still looks very nice. There are times in certain scenes where it meets the Benq in visual quality. The benq does a better job with dark scenes.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-17-2013, 11:11 PM
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I can't decide between these two. Dark room, no windows but I'm not sure if rainbows get me or not.

Need to decide by tomorrow. Review was helpful.

Sent from my Galaxy Note 2 now Free
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-17-2013, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 42Plasmaman View Post

I know when I had a Benq W6000, dialing in the colors took a lot of tweaking.
The suggested settings from the W6000 thread got me close but more adjustments were needed.
Also, having Brilliant Color enabled makes the color worse. Everything looks way over saturated and takes more tweaking to tone them down.

I go back and forth with the Brilliant Color option. Some reviewers recommend it, others don't. I tried it on and off numerous times, looking for signs that it distorted the image or messed with color accuracy and finally decided to leave it on, particularly with 3D material, where you're fighting to keep the image from looking too dim. Brilliant Color really helps then.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-18-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by donkey33 View Post

I can't decide between these two. Dark room, no windows but I'm not sure if rainbows get me or not.

Need to decide by tomorrow. Review was helpful.

Sent from my Galaxy Note 2 now Free

I would give the Benq a test run in your home if you aren't sure if rainbows affect you. I was in your same boat, worried that rainbows would plague me and I would have to go with an LCD. I think I see a flash here and there, but it's not noticeable enough for me to determine if it's all in my head. Regardless, I personally view the benq as the superior picture with it displaying a more "film like" look.
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-18-2013, 08:46 AM
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How noisy is the 2030s fan? This is my major concern with the projector. That $99 replacement lamp for the 2030 has its hooks in me.
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-20-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by runback22 View Post

How noisy is the 2030s fan? This is my major concern with the projector. That $99 replacement lamp for the 2030 has its hooks in me.

The Epson's fan on Normal is quite loud. However, when you switch to Eco mode its whisper quiet. The Epson 2030 is noticeably quieter than the Benq 1070.
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