Which one the Epson 3500 or Benq ht2050 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Which one the Epson 3500 or Benq ht2050

Anyone every compare the 2. How does the black levels, sharpness and colors compare with these 2 projectors.
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post #2 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 07:02 AM
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From what I heard the 2050 black is not that black for a DLP projector which is kinda odd.
As for the Epson, it's gonna be much brighter than the 2050 I imagine.
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The 3100 is better and about the same price as the 3500.

Way better PQ and placement flexibility than the BenQ IMO.
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The BenQ 2050 will produce a picture with about 2-3 times more contrast than the 3500. So in that choice I'd say HT2050 BUT.....


You're looking at the wrong Epson. Don't look at the 3500-- as Theron said look at the 3100. The 3100 would be a much better choice than the 3500. The 3500 is several years old now and the 3100 is a brand new model. It's hard to tell with the model numbers but the 3000/3500 are old, 3100/3700 are new. Epson made significant improvements to the new models including adding features and improving color quality and contrast.


With that said: the 2050 is currently retailing for around $700 while the 3100 is currently $1300 so it's nearly twice the price but it is certainly not twice the picture quality. Both are excellent values for money so it really comes down to budget and what you want in terms of features and installation flexibility. Both have their pros and cons. It should be noted that these two aren't really competitors for one another. The BenQ is more a competitor for the sub $1k projectors like the Epson 2040/2045 while BenQ makes the HT4050 to compete with the Epson 3100. The HT2050 is popular due to it's picture quality where it punches way above it's price class so it tends to be dragged into these comparisons where it maybe doesn't have any business competing. The last thread I participated in had the HT2050 running against an Epson 5040Ub so this is less extreme for sure.


To answer your question: The 3100 will have better black levels and will be overall brighter. The 3100 uses Epson's excellent iris to help improve black levels and dynamic contrast. Keep in mind that the iris movement is not exactly invisible but most don't seem to mind it. In either case most everyone seems to agree it's benefits out weigh it's negatives. Native contrast is actually virtually identical between these projectors. Epson uses 3LCD which tends to produce a very bright and colorful picture but does suffer from the typical LCD characteristics of convergence and motion blur. Epson has implemented CFI on this model to combat the blur and from what I've seen with my hands on time of the 3700 the convergence is much better than on prior models. The really big deal about the 3100 is it's competitive picture quality combined with it's placement flexibility. If you are setting up a projector for the first time I cannot overstate how nice it is to have generous zoom as well as vertical AND horizontal lens shift. This projector is very easy to fit into any room.


The HT2050, as I stated isn't really in the same category as the 3100. As such it has MUCH less placement flexibility. You get a little bit of zoom and a modicum of lens shift-- vertical only. I hesitate to knock it for this though as in it's price class this is way more than most of it's competitors offer. Still, you might find you're fitting the room to the projector due to the limitations. On the plus side the BenQ has a shorter throw than the 3100 so it can project a larger image without needing as much distance to the screen. The HT2050 is a single chip DLP. It is bright but isn't as bright as the 3100. Both will satisfy in a mixed use room but the 3100 will likely have an advantage in ambient light. Typical to DLP, native contrast is good and the projected image is VERY sharp. DLP typically has an edge in sharpness due to it's single chip design and high pixel fill. Keep in mind that single chip DLP can produce an effect call RBE or Rainbow effect. This is an issue where the viewer is able to perceive the sequential color creation of the DLP light engine as a rainbow trailing high contrast fast moving objects. The BenQ's use of a high speed RGBRGB color wheel mitigates this for the vast majority of users but your mileage may vary. Conversely, the BenQ has superior motion resolution and does not blur. The HT2050 has no CFI feature though so if you're into that you'll need to look elsewhere.
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I am confused I thought the 3500(older model) is equal to the 3100 don't they have the same components and same specs I mean what has changed. Is the picture quality that much better on the 3100 to the 3500. The reason I was asking is Visual Apex has a great price for a refurb 3500.
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 09:07 AM
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The new models have CFI and new LCD panels with higher contrast. But I think the 3700 is the upgrade for 3500. 3100 is upgrade for 3000.
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post #7 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 09:56 AM
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The 3500 is an older projector that has something like 600 or 700:1 native contrast. LCD has gotten FAR better since then. The case looks the same but the guts have changed dramatically. The 3100/3700 produces somewhere in the realm of 1500-1600:1 native and with the iris engaged that number jumps to somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000:1. The BenQ HT2050 is around 1700:1 but drops to 1600:1 when you disable brilliant color (which you would do in a dark room if color accuracy is important to you) and has no iris to help it out. What you see is what you get. Secrets of HiFi actually tested the 3100's native contrast at 2000:1 but then they also tested the HT2150 (a short throw version of the HT2050 that has an almost identical picture) at 2000:1 also so their testing methodology seems to produce higher numbers.


It should be mentioned that neither of these projectors is considered an 'ultra high contrast' model. For that you'll need to step up to the Sony 45ES which is generally considered the entry level into a higher tier of home theater projectors.

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Sage you have been a real help. Thanks You have very good knowledge about projectors. I guess I will rule out the Epson 3500. Now the hard part which one the benq ht2050 or the epson 3100. Man decision, decisions!!!!!!!!!! LOL
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 06:23 PM
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Single chip DLP is inherently sharper than 3-panel LCD because there are no convergence issues with a single chip. If you have no experience with projectors it's hard to explain. But some people are absolutely addicted to the DLP "look" even though it doesn't produce the greatest blacks. If at all possible you should try to find a way to view each type of projector and select the one that looks best to your eyes as you may have different personal preferences from those trying to give you advice based on their experience and preferences.
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-21-2017, 08:44 PM
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Yeah, just buy both and return the one you don't like.
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post #11 of 44 Old 04-27-2017, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
The 3500 is an older projector that has something like 600 or 700:1 native contrast. LCD has gotten FAR better since then. The case looks the same but the guts have changed dramatically. The 3100/3700 produces somewhere in the realm of 1500-1600:1 native and with the iris engaged that number jumps to somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000:1. The BenQ HT2050 is around 1700:1 but drops to 1600:1 when you disable brilliant color (which you would do in a dark room if color accuracy is important to you) and has no iris to help it out. What you see is what you get. Secrets of HiFi actually tested the 3100's native contrast at 2000:1 but then they also tested the HT2150 (a short throw version of the HT2050 that has an almost identical picture) at 2000:1 also so their testing methodology seems to produce higher numbers.


It should be mentioned that neither of these projectors is considered an 'ultra high contrast' model. For that you'll need to step up to the Sony 45ES which is generally considered the entry level into a higher tier of home theater projectors.
I got the 3500 for $900 refurbed. I see the 3700 refurbed for $1200. You think its worth the extra $300? It will be in my living room, lots of windows, I will get blackout curtains. I want to use it during the day as well on the weekends. I purchased a 120" Dark Energy ALR Screen with 0.9 gain. Main use is sports, TV shows, movies, and xbox one S gaming (not often).
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post #12 of 44 Old 04-28-2017, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sargento View Post
I got the 3500 for $900 refurbed. I see the 3700 refurbed for $1200. You think its worth the extra $300? It will be in my living room, lots of windows, I will get blackout curtains. I want to use it during the day as well on the weekends. I purchased a 120" Dark Energy ALR Screen with 0.9 gain. Main use is sports, TV shows, movies, and xbox one S gaming (not often).
You don't have to jump all the way to the 3700 to get better performance than the 3500. The 3100 is less expensive than the 3700 and will give you more features and appreciably better picture quality than the 3500. Plus, the 3100 is rated at 2600 lumens-- or 100 more than the previously super-bright 3500. Epson made significant improvements in contrast and picture quality of the new 3100/3700 whereas the contrast performance of the 3000/3500 is entry level 3LCD. In other words: not great. I looked at the 3000 because I like the placement flexibility but ultimately decided I would be better off with a DLP-- either a mid-range model like the BenQ 4050 or an entry level model without all the lens shift. I ended up with a BenW HT2050 which I can confidently say puts out a better picture than an Epson 3000/3500 but doesn't have it's lens shift.


However, the improved contrast of a DLP or 3100/3700 might not matter to you for your use. Fact is, in a room with a lot of ambient light the contrast spec won't matter. With the lights on contrast performance pretty much stinks with all projectors. So all you really care about in these situations is lumen output and whatever features you care to have. The 3500 has plenty of output, a nice feature set and the lens shift is excellent at the price you paid. I'd hook it up and see how you feel about the picture. If you don't feel you're missing anything then keep it-- the price was certainly right.

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post #13 of 44 Old 04-28-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
You don't have to jump all the way to the 3700 to get better performance than the 3500. The 3100 is less expensive than the 3700 and will give you more features and appreciably better picture quality than the 3500. Plus, the 3100 is rated at 2600 lumens-- or 100 more than the previously super-bright 3500. Epson made significant improvements in contrast and picture quality of the new 3100/3700 whereas the contrast performance of the 3000/3500 is entry level 3LCD. In other words: not great. I looked at the 3000 because I like the placement flexibility but ultimately decided I would be better off with a DLP-- either a mid-range model like the BenQ 4050 or an entry level model without all the lens shift. I ended up with a BenW HT2050 which I can confidently say puts out a better picture than an Epson 3000/3500 but doesn't have it's lens shift.


However, the improved contrast of a DLP or 3100/3700 might not matter to you for your use. Fact is, in a room with a lot of ambient light the contrast spec won't matter. With the lights on contrast performance pretty much stinks with all projectors. So all you really care about in these situations is lumen output and whatever features you care to have. The 3500 has plenty of output, a nice feature set and the lens shift is excellent at the price you paid. I'd hook it up and see how you feel about the picture. If you don't feel you're missing anything then keep it-- the price was certainly right.
So contrast is for a theater rooms where light can be controlled ? Sorry for newb questions. This is my first projector and im trying to wrap my head around everything
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post #14 of 44 Old 04-28-2017, 05:42 PM
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So contrast is for a theater rooms where light can be controlled ? Sorry for newb questions. This is my first projector and im trying to wrap my head around everything
Ambient light washes out a front projection image. It basically adds a layer of white light over everything on the screen. The most obvious effect of more ambient light will be that the blackest areas of the image turn to increasingly lighter shades of grey. The only way to preserve excellent blacks is to eliminate all ambient light.

For those who want to view front projection with some light in the room, paying a lot of extra money for a projector with excellent black levels is a waste because the ambient light will kill the blacks. The most important projector quality in ambient light is high lumen output. Generally speaking projectors that produce the best blacks for viewing in the dark don't produce a lot of lumens and bright room light cannons that can overcome modest ambient light don't produce great black levels.

In other words, you can't have one projector that will work well in both light and dark environments because projectors are specialized for the task at hand. You can either choose a very bright one with modest black levels to use in some ambient light or one with great black levels that's not bright enough to overcome ambient light and only works well in the dark.
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post #15 of 44 Old 04-29-2017, 07:41 AM
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So contrast is for a theater rooms where light can be controlled ? Sorry for newb questions. This is my first projector and im trying to wrap my head around everything
Agree with Dave. Ambient light is the enemy of contrast with ALL display technologies but projectors are particularly vulnerable because they typically can't get as bright as, say, an LCD flatscreen.

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post #16 of 44 Old 05-01-2017, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
Ambient light washes out a front projection image. It basically adds a layer of white light over everything on the screen. The most obvious effect of more ambient light will be that the blackest areas of the image turn to increasingly lighter shades of grey. The only way to preserve excellent blacks is to eliminate all ambient light.

For those who want to view front projection with some light in the room, paying a lot of extra money for a projector with excellent black levels is a waste because the ambient light will kill the blacks. The most important projector quality in ambient light is high lumen output. Generally speaking projectors that produce the best blacks for viewing in the dark don't produce a lot of lumens and bright room light cannons that can overcome modest ambient light don't produce great black levels.

In other words, you can't have one projector that will work well in both light and dark environments because projectors are specialized for the task at hand. You can either choose a very bright one with modest black levels to use in some ambient light or one with great black levels that's not bright enough to overcome ambient light and only works well in the dark.
Brightness helps but a proper screen for the viewing environment is also important. If ambient light is hard to control, maybe an ambient light rejection screen will be a better choice than a super bright projector.
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post #17 of 44 Old 05-02-2017, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
The 3500 is an older projector that has something like 600 or 700:1 native contrast. LCD has gotten FAR better since then. The case looks the same but the guts have changed dramatically. The 3100/3700 produces somewhere in the realm of 1500-1600:1 native and with the iris engaged that number jumps to somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000:1. The BenQ HT2050 is around 1700:1 but drops to 1600:1 when you disable brilliant color (which you would do in a dark room if color accuracy is important to you) and has no iris to help it out. What you see is what you get. Secrets of HiFi actually tested the 3100's native contrast at 2000:1 but then they also tested the HT2150 (a short throw version of the HT2050 that has an almost identical picture) at 2000:1 also so their testing methodology seems to produce higher numbers.


It should be mentioned that neither of these projectors is considered an 'ultra high contrast' model. For that you'll need to step up to the Sony 45ES which is generally considered the entry level into a higher tier of home theater projectors.
The 3500 and benq both have virtually the same calibrated contrast in 1600:1 range with the 3500 being much brighter.
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post #18 of 44 Old 05-02-2017, 05:50 PM
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The Epson 3900 has the newer higher contrast panels. Haven't seen actual measured numbers posted anywhere as of yet.
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post #19 of 44 Old 05-02-2017, 06:02 PM
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Another question is what are using now ?



If you have a 4k and watch UHD disks or a cheap 720hd lcd......that will make a difference on what you would most likely like in a projector.



I had a 40 inch 1080 lcd and went to the ht 2050............both look about the same quality in picture, so I have been very happy. If I was moving from a 4k flatscreen to the ht 2050, my opinion might be different.

I am at approx 1200 hours now on the ht 2050 and I do not have a single complaint or there is not some feature i think it lacks or needs. I can not come up with one thing to say " I wish it had X......" or I wish X was better.


It shoots a good quality 1080 picture really big.......does what it needs to do and all i do is turn it on and off. 3-d is good and works well with a number of different brand glasses.

I have 0 regrets and there is nothing I want it does not do. I have been super happy with it.


I picked mine up for 634 bucks, I consider it a outstanding purchase and if it failed today, I would buy the same one again.
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Another question is what are using now ?



If you have a 4k and watch UHD disks or a cheap 720hd lcd......that will make a difference on what you would most likely like in a projector.



I had a 40 inch 1080 lcd and went to the ht 2050............both look about the same quality in picture, so I have been very happy. If I was moving from a 4k flatscreen to the ht 2050, my opinion might be different.

I am at approx 1200 hours now on the ht 2050 and I do not have a single complaint or there is not some feature i think it lacks or needs. I can not come up with one thing to say " I wish it had X......" or I wish X was better.


It shoots a good quality 1080 picture really big.......does what it needs to do and all i do is turn it on and off. 3-d is good and works well with a number of different brand glasses.

I have 0 regrets and there is nothing I want it does not do. I have been super happy with it.


I picked mine up for 634 bucks, I consider it a outstanding purchase and if it failed today, I would buy the same one again.
Currently I have a 50 inch panasonic P50GT25 plasma 1080p. Love the picture quality and really enjoy it when I watch movies and play games. I may be a little disappointed in the blacks when I get the projector but the image should be just as good. I got the projector the other day, now I am just waiting on my screen to arrive
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post #21 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 09:36 AM
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Hi there.
The 3900 hast actually lower native contrast than the 3700.

In Europe they are named TW 6700/6800.
There are some tests on both.

http://www.projection-homecinema.fr/...son-eh-tw6800/
(Use google trans if you dont speak french)

Regards,
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post #22 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 10:02 AM
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... I got the projector the other day, now I am just waiting on my screen to arrive
I may have missed it, but which projector model did you order? Whatever it is if you already have it you don't have to wait for the screen. You can start experimenting on any plain, painted wall.
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post #23 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 11:35 AM
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As pointed out above, it is also desirable to shoot it on the wall to find the picture size you like/want before ordering the screen.

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post #24 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 12:07 PM
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The 3500 and benq both have virtually the same calibrated contrast in 1600:1 range with the 3500 being much brighter.
Not according to Chris Heinonen. He reviewed both the Epson 3500 and BenQ HT2050 for his website referencehometheater.com and he picked the HT2050 for Wirecutter's best $1000 projector. He says this about the BenQ in the article for the 'Best awesome projector' (Sony 45ES):
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/an-awesome-projector/
"If you don’t have a dedicated dark home theater room, the BenQ HT2050 sells for well under $1,000 and is a better buy for most living room setups. Its contrast ratio and color accuracy are noticeably inferior to the Sony’s when compared in a totally darkened room, but those disadvantages are less noticeable if streetlamps or lights from other rooms are leaking into your viewing area. It’s much smaller, too, so you don’t need to permanently mount it out of the way. While you can find midrange projectors that sell for about $1,000 to $2,000, they’re not very impressive, and we recommend saving money with the BenQ or saving up to get the Sony instead. For example, the Epson Home Cinema 3500 (the similar predecessor to the more recent Epson Home Cinema 3700) produced a washed-out image due to its mediocre contrast ratio of 600:1—well below that of either the BenQ or the Sony."


Find his 3500 review here:
http://referencehometheater.com/revi...jector-review/
Find his Ht2050 review here:
http://referencehometheater.com/revi...jector-review/


It's been well publicized that the 3100/3700 feature a new light engine and better 3LCD panels than their predecessors. Secrets who tend to measure to measure contrast a little higher than some other outlets found this when reviewing the new 3700 and two BenQ's that are very similar in performance to the HT2050:


Measured the Epson 3700 at 2142:1 with iris off but jumps to 25,207:1 with the auto iris engaged.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/


Measured the BenQ HT2150 (short throw version of the HT2050 at 2144:1 with bulb set to ECO and 3294:1 with bulb set to SMART ECO.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/


Measured the BenQ HT1070 (less featured model slotting below the HT2050 in price) at 2100:1 with bulb set to ECO and 3115:1 with bulb set to SMART ECO.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/

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post #25 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
Another question is what are using now ?



If you have a 4k and watch UHD disks or a cheap 720hd lcd......that will make a difference on what you would most likely like in a projector.



I had a 40 inch 1080 lcd and went to the ht 2050............both look about the same quality in picture, so I have been very happy. If I was moving from a 4k flatscreen to the ht 2050, my opinion might be different.

I am at approx 1200 hours now on the ht 2050 and I do not have a single complaint or there is not some feature i think it lacks or needs. I can not come up with one thing to say " I wish it had X......" or I wish X was better.


It shoots a good quality 1080 picture really big.......does what it needs to do and all i do is turn it on and off. 3-d is good and works well with a number of different brand glasses.

I have 0 regrets and there is nothing I want it does not do. I have been super happy with it.


I picked mine up for 634 bucks, I consider it a outstanding purchase and if it failed today, I would buy the same one again.
Good post. I enjoyed your budget build, wish we could of seen finished pics.
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post #26 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HerbertThePervert View Post
Hi there.
The 3900 hast actually lower native contrast than the 3700.

In Europe they are named TW 6700/6800.
There are some tests on both.

http://www.projection-homecinema.fr/...son-eh-tw6800/
(Use google trans if you dont speak french)

Regards,
Herb
Probably why we don't see reviews or much info on it. Great post with a new site with actual testing.
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post #27 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
Not according to Chris Heinonen. He reviewed both the Epson 3500 and BenQ HT2050 for his website referencehometheater.com and he picked the HT2050 for Wirecutter's best $1000 projector. He says this about the BenQ in the article for the 'Best awesome projector' (Sony 45ES):
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/an-awesome-projector/
"If you don’t have a dedicated dark home theater room, the BenQ HT2050 sells for well under $1,000 and is a better buy for most living room setups. Its contrast ratio and color accuracy are noticeably inferior to the Sony’s when compared in a totally darkened room, but those disadvantages are less noticeable if streetlamps or lights from other rooms are leaking into your viewing area. It’s much smaller, too, so you don’t need to permanently mount it out of the way. While you can find midrange projectors that sell for about $1,000 to $2,000, they’re not very impressive, and we recommend saving money with the BenQ or saving up to get the Sony instead. For example, the Epson Home Cinema 3500 (the similar predecessor to the more recent Epson Home Cinema 3700) produced a washed-out image due to its mediocre contrast ratio of 600:1—well below that of either the BenQ or the Sony."


Find his 3500 review here:
http://referencehometheater.com/revi...jector-review/
Find his Ht2050 review here:
http://referencehometheater.com/revi...jector-review/


It's been well publicized that the 3100/3700 feature a new light engine and better 3LCD panels than their predecessors. Secrets who tend to measure to measure contrast a little higher than some other outlets found this when reviewing the new 3700 and two BenQ's that are very similar in performance to the HT2050:


Measured the Epson 3700 at 2142:1 with iris off but jumps to 25,207:1 with the auto iris engaged.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/


Measured the BenQ HT2150 (short throw version of the HT2050 at 2144:1 with bulb set to ECO and 3294:1 with bulb set to SMART ECO.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/


Measured the BenQ HT1070 (less featured model slotting below the HT2050 in price) at 2100:1 with bulb set to ECO and 3115:1 with bulb set to SMART ECO.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/v...jector-review/

Measured numbers for the 3500/3600

http://www.cine4home.de/tests/projek...benq_w1500.htm
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post #28 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Calibratedlumens View Post


I don't read German.

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems to be more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer...

-- Excerpt from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
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post #29 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 05:11 PM
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OP, I would not consider the HT2050 (because you might get demeaning remarks if you don't agree with some people!).

I would choose the Epson but that's my opinion. You're best to go see each projector (preferably in the same room) in person and decide for yourself, after all it's your money that you're spending

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post #30 of 44 Old 05-03-2017, 05:24 PM
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Which one the Epson 3500 or Benq ht2050

I. Just. ****ing. Can't.

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems to be more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer...

-- Excerpt from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Last edited by sage11x; 05-03-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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