Samsung H710ae or BenQ W500? Buying ONE tomorrow... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-12-2007, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got less than 24 hours till the decision is made and I'm still looking for opinions. Care to shoot one off?

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Originally Posted by Enbom
No attempt to hijack or anything, but since you're already looking...

I'm pulling the trigger on either the Samsung H710ae or the BenQ w500 on Monday and I'm really torn about which to get. They're the same price and either should be an excellent fit for our situation. I swear I've read every relevant post from the last two years on these forums and I've still not decided. I need some help, and, perhaps, some perspective from the more experienced out there.

Here's what I've got: A 14' long room with very dark walls and 100% light control. For the previous 16 months, I've used a SP4805 to project a 100" diagonal screen onto a white bedsheet. My wife and I were thrilled with that setup until the bulb petered out again. As the whine of the color wheel grew louder, indicating that our projector wasn't likely to outlast a replacement bulb, we've made the decision to "trade up," taking our first dip into HD.

Neither of us perceives RBE, btw.

Here's what I've learned about the two projectors, based on what I've gleaned from a couple hundred pages of forum posts:

Samsung Highlights:

Excellent, 3D-ish picture that pops and is calibrated perfectly right out of the box
We'll never be able to pay for calibration, so this is, potentially, a big deal. We're primarily movie watchers so the Sammy's reputation for accurate color is the biggest plus.

A relatively dim picture, perhaps?
We'll be upgrading our bedsheet to doable board so we'll get an immediate improvement right there. A 100" screen seems reasonably sized for the lumen output of the Sammy. Throw distance and mounting issues shouldn't be a problem either.

Quality Control
Of course, a HUGE concern, but the wiring harness issues seems to be, at the very least, much less prevalent on the more recent manufacturing runs.

Cheap Bulbs
Replacement bulbs seem pretty danged inexpensive for the Samsung (though I may have just spotted the wrong model. )


BenQ W500 Highlights

From the scant reviews, picture quality seems to be quite good
I don't recall reading a lot of complaints about the BenQ. To the contrary, peeps have generally been pretty impressed ('cept for that poorly translated French review). Of course, almost all of the projector-specific threads feature a lot of very happy new owners. I have to take the reviews with a little grain of salt, at least.

Brightness and Contrast are excellent for the price point, exceeding Sammy's specs
Though, truthfully, I don't know how much difference it'll make in our cave. I just don't have enough projector experience. And shadow detail on the Samsung is supposed to be superlative.

HQV is, apparently, very well implemented
We own no upconverting hardware at all, so this seems to be a pretty cool bonus for us.

Screen Door Effect, Screen Door Effect, Screen Door Effect
Frankly, I have no idea if I should be concerned about this at all. Everybody else seems to be, though. We sit about 10 feet back from our screen generally. Isn't an LCD more prone to SDE than a DLP? Or did I just imagine that. I know that we'll have to deal with it more than we did with the lower rez 4805.


So, if you had my $950 to spend and those were the only two projectors available, which would you choose. If you're so inclined, help me to understand why.

I apologize for being so needy.


Joel!
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-12-2007, 08:02 PM
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BENQ 500 you will be happy you did.

KJ
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-13-2007, 08:13 AM
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I pondered these two very closely as well, along with the Mits HD1000. Reading the reviews on the Samsung I chose it and am happy (after a false start with a bad unit).

To advise anyone else is tricky. Little to no pro reviews AFAIK on the BenQ but several happy users it seems. OTOH most people report that they are happy no matter what they buy. This is either (a) True all the time or (b) people justify their purchases even if disappointed.

Sammy OTOH had loads of pro reviews, and they all said pretty much the same thing, so PQ was assured. (even if QC was not!)

I think the Sammy projects very nicely and the colors are indeed superb. I may have to get a brighter screen but I haven't played with it enough yet. Also I will be painting the room dark first then decide on the screen; there is some reflection off light walls and moldings right now. I also need to upgrade my DVD player. Have not watched any tv content on it yet.

If you will forgive my playing armchair psychologist for a bit then I read between your lines to think you actually want the Samsung. (want, vs will prefer, ok?). I could be wrong of course.

Another thing that steered my away from the BenQ was the LCD vs DLP thing. I too had a 4805 and was happy with it. I figured, better the devil known than the devil unknown. This is, of course, purely personal and as far from a logical explanation as you could get.

Finally, to repeat what many here have said... any PJ in this price range (and above, of course) today will deliver satisfaction in spades, it seems. Just read all the threads; there doesn't seem to be a loser in the bunch. Go with what you think will make you feel good about your decision. Non-PQ features such as looks, brand name, pride of ownership, etc cannot justify a purchase but we need to accept that it plays a part anyway.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-13-2007, 08:19 AM
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I think we've reached a point where manufacturers have reached an understanding of LCD and DLP technology that no one makes a truly bad projector anymore. They know the power of the internet. One bad review and they can kiss their sales goodbye.

No animals were harmed in the creation of this sentence.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-13-2007, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I went with the BenQ.

In the end, the HQV, video processing capabilities, and lack of QC issues (so far) turned me towards the W500. I'm hoping that projector PQ has picked up in the time since the Sammy's release so that the difference between it and a newer projector isn't as pronounced today as it may have been when the H710 was first released.

In addition, listening to my SP-4805 color wheel whine for a year has spooked me a bit, perhaps, on DLP. I like the whole solid-state-ish-ness of LCD. Of course, I have no idea how to attack a dust blob. But, I'll always have you fine folks to turn to for advice. What a wealth of knowledge on this forum.

I'm pretty sure I made a good decision, but we'll see. Since I'll never likely see a Samsung in action, I can trick myself into believing that its picture was no more extraordinary than average and feel better about the whole thing. No regrets, you know?

Thank you to all who responded. I appreciate your thoughts immensely.

And Mr. Armchair Psychologist--no, I was truly up in the air. I, in fact, had ordered the Acer PH530 a few weeks ago, but cancelled the order upon reflecting on it a bit--and after seeing the price (and the reviews) of the Sammy. I didn't think we'd be able to round up the cash for the Sammy, though, so I started looking around and reading much much more. Even after finding the W500, though, the Samsung still seemed something of a Holy Grail, but the more I read about it, the more I was a leery of how it'd fit in our plans. Ultimately, there was just one too many "ifs." Thank you for your reply.


Joel!
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