BenQ w1080st vs Epson 8350 - Subjective Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-08-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Saw the BenQ w1080st for under $900 on Amazon and pulled the trigger. I had been coming from a Epson 8350 which I had been happy with for a while, but I never was a big fan of LCD projectors and I sit very close to my screen (1.1 SW) so I wanted to go 1080p DLP for my next projector. I also wanted to go short throw so I could use my Xbox One and the kinect without my shadow always getting in the way. I didn't expect a dramatic increase in performance since they are in the same class, but was a little disappointed with the brightness of the BenQ w1080st considering my Epson has ~1250 hours on the bulb it was only slightly less bright than the w1080st. Although, a major factor could be that I'm using a High Power 2.4 screen, which from my understanding isn't the best idea with a short throw projector. My Epson is already boxed up to ship to another forum member who purchased it, so sorry for no side by side pictures, but I can provide a subjective review for anyone interested. I ranked the two projectors in categories that were important to me with the most important starting at the top. I use the projector in a living room with ambient light.


Brightness
I think this is a wash, if I was comparing my Epson with 0 hours vs my Benq with 0 hours I bet the Epson would have been slightly brighter. Right now thought the Benq has an edge. I think this is also consistent with other reviews online.

SDE
I was hoping to see a bigger difference between the two, but only a slight edge to the Benq. My vision with contacts is 20/20 to give a reference.

Placement
For using a Kinect, the BenQ has big advantage, but the Epson is soooo easy to place with lens shift. I had to spend a lot of time trying to find a table that was the right height and making small adjustments to the feet to get the image to display within my screen near perfectly. I'm sure my cats will be respectful of how much time I spent placing it and not knock into the table rolleyes.gif.

Black level
I do think the Benq has better depth than the Epson, in addition to deeper blacks...shadow detail for me was a wash. During the day this isn't a huge issue for me because of the ambient light pretty much makes any contrast ratio or black level meaningless.

Sharpness
The w1080st was noticable sharper, almost looks too artificially sharp....less of a film look than the Epson

Colors
It's hard to describe why colors have always bothered me a little with LCD projectors...I've always preferred the colors of DLPs of course they never could be placed easily. But but I also thought this was more of a wash for me than I was hoping between the two projectors.

Something else that was odd for me is that I do see rainbows on the BenQ, although for most media they are not super distracting. I used to own an X1 a looong time ago, about 10 years ago, and never saw them with a 2x color wheel. It probably has to do with the fact that Benq is brigher than the X1 but that was something else I was a little disappointed about. It's too bad there aren't really that many other options for 1080p short throw DLP PJs under 2k. I'd be willing to pay a little more for something brighter. I bought it through Amazon, so I could always trade it for another projector on Amazon if after a week or two I'm not happy...but not really sure what other choices I'd have for my preferences.

Chris
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-12-2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freychris42424 View Post

Something else that was odd for me is that I do see rainbows on the BenQ, although for most media they are not super distracting. I used to own an X1 a looong time ago, about 10 years ago, and never saw them with a 2x color wheel. It probably has to do with the fact that Benq is brigher than the X1 but that was something else I was a little disappointed about.

Brightness is definately part of the reason - but here's the other reason: the color wheel speed (fast as the claimed 6x sounds) isn't constant across framerates (just like with the W1070): see here.

To get full wheel speed (and hence minimize rainbows), you need to be running at 50Hz; at which you get a very-fast 300Hz Effective Wheel Spin-Rate.
60Hz is a bit worse (at a 240Hz Effective Spin-Rate); and 24Hz is actually pretty-much average (at just a 192Hz Effective Spin-Rate).

For this reason I run mine at 50Hz consistently and see no rainbows (I'm very sensitive).

The real question is why on earth BenQ has decided not to keep a roughly-the-same color wheel spin-rate throughout framerates.

(Begin Lots Of Math)

We know it's a double-RGB wheel (RGBRGB) so one physical revolution is an effective 2x. We also know that a minimum of one full physical revolution is required per input frame; which means our increments are going to be 2x. So perhaps that would sort-of explain the drop from 50Hz to 60Hz - so:
50Hz Input Framerate x 3 Revolutions x 2 Effective = 300Hz Effective (ie 150Hz Physical Spin-Rate)
Whereas:
60Hz Input Framerate x 3 Revolutions x 2 Effective = 'Hypothetical' 360Hz Effective (ie 180Hz 'Hypothetical' Physical Spin-Rate)

...perhaps 180hz (which is 9600 revolutions per second) is beyond the motor's capability or hurts color fidelity or produces too much noise or etc etc etc; so the next lower color wheel multiplier is 2 Revolutions (instead of 3); giving us:
60Hz Input Framerate x 2 Revolutions x 2 Effective = 240Hz Effective (ie 120Hz Physical Spin-Rate).
...which was found to be the case.

Fine; maybe that explains the drop from 50Hz input framerate to 60Hz. Sort-of.
But then why did BenQ decide to run 24Hz input signals (the default for most Bluray players) at just 192Hz Effective (ie 96Hz Physical Spin-Rate)?

At 24Hz, the projector does this:

24Hz Input Framerate x 4 Revolutions x 2 Effective = 192Hz Effective (ie 96Hz Physical Spin-Rate).

That's a far cry from the 300Hz Effective that it does at 50Hz.

They could've simply used a multiplier of 6 Revolutions Per Input-Frame to nearly-match RBE performance of 50Hz - ie:
24Hz Input Framerate x 6 Revolutions x 2 Effective = 288Hz Effective (ie 144Hz Physical Spin-Rate).
...which is just marginally lower than the Effective 300Hz we get with a 50Hz input signal; and would've been fast enough to eradicate most rainbows.
But instead they didn't: and therefore at the most common output frame-rate of HD sources (24hz), they've provided the slowest wheel spin-speed. It boggles my mind.

(End Lots Of Math)


Still, I absolutely love my W1070 and wouldn't swap it for anything else (and 192Hz effective is still considered very respectable); but I continue to find this decision to be rather silly.

TL;DR: In terms of your Xbox One, you're probably getting 60Hz out of it, right? Does it offer anywhere to drop to 50Hz? If so, try dropping it and you should see a noticeable improvement in terms of rainbows smile.gif
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BenQ W1070 Projector; Xtreamer Ultra 2 (running XBMC on OpenELEC) via Sony STR-DH540 AVR with Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS SE 5.1 Audio. MediaBrowser3 for Mobile Streaming.

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-13-2014, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info! I'll look into the settings to see if there is something that can drop it down to 50.

Chris
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