Well, I finally pulled the trigger on a W6000.
I had some prior concerns before buying, such as the sound & visibility of the DI, rainbows, possible crap black level, flimsy joystick etc.
Happily, all these concerns have been put to rest.
Throw distance is 3.7 metres. Screen is matte white.
I zoom all the way out to 230cm wide for scope films, and usually around 180cm wide for 16x9. This is pretty much constant height.
The unit I bought had just under 500 hours on the lamp, which was really a good thing as I didn't need to wait for the lamp to settle down.
Firmware is the latest (1.01)
I haven't got my EyeOne colorimeter back yet, so everything was done by eye.
Testing out with a bunch of Blu-rays, a dose of DVD, a tonne of test patterns, and a mountain of material I've worked on myself (I'm in post production), here are my findings thus far...
* This bugger is bright, as many have proclaimed!
I was a bit worried it would be too intense for my room, but no problem at all. Taming the settings down, and tweaking the Dynamic Black settings, it's perfect!
An intense, industrial image that destroys any LCD or LCOS, and a good many DLPs.
Settings (Economy lamp mode):
Clarity Control: All three set to 0
Dynamic Black: On
Brilliant Color: Off
Black Level: 0 IRE
* The black level is slightly deeper than the W5000. Turning on and tweaking the DI improves it a little further still. More experimenting to do here.
As the peak white level is a good deal brighter than the W5000, you get a noticeable boost in contrast.
This concurs with Spexman's findings here.
Ideally, the black level could be a tad deeper, but I'll be trying a hi-contrast grey screen paint mix that should sort that out.
* Although some pjs like the higher JVC models offer noticeably deeper black level, this point is WAY overrated & overhyped.
The black level of even an X9 is still not B-L-A-C-K
.... just a slightly darker grey than this.
On the other hand, this just kills them for brightness, contrast, sharpness and motion refresh.
It's a seldom-raised point that your eye exposes for overall
picture level and highlights, and that black level will often seem deeper when there's also bright content onscreen. This is why the W6000's searing brightness really gives it an edge.
DLP still reigns supreme!!! There's a reason why nearly all professional cinema projectors are DLP...
* The DI ( Dynamic Black ) is a huge step up from the W5000.
It's very quick to respond, and the best thing is that you can tweak it.
As others have noted, setting +66 for Aperture Max eliminates clipping on peak whites, along with associated colour fluctuations.
This was often pretty horrible on the W5000. Here it's terrific.
I'm a bit confused about a few things though...
?* DB Aperture Position is a wierd one. This effectively acts as a global iris.
However, on a few occasions the iris won't budge until you hold the button down for a few seconds. (You'll hear it trying, though)
One other time, lowering the number actually brightened the picture! Hmmm...
?* Anyone know what DB Strength does?
I remember reading somewhere that changing the default of +2 to +1 or +3 actually deactivates it. That seems weird.
?* DB Aperture Min obviously sets the lowest limit for the black level.
Any reason why 11 or 13 is recommended? I tried dropping it all the way down to 1 for deeper black level, and didn't observe any crushing of shadow detail.
That said, I still preferred the extra punch up around 10, although for some films it's a nice option to have.
The settings I'm very happy with for now are...
DB Aperture Position: Around +46 (although setting this lower/darker can help some material)
DB Aperture Max: +66
DB Aperture Min: From +1 to +13 (around 10 seems to be the sweet spot)
DB Strength: +2
With these settings, the visibility of the DI is almost completely invisible, no crushed shadows, clipped highlights or wonky coloured peak whites. You can get through a whole film without noticing it.
The cut to black and end-credit roll in Casino Royale is a good demonstration of the difference, as is the Batman Begins prison scene (Chapter 2).
With a bit of help from the DI, this thing is very close to a DarkChip3. It'd be interesting to shoot it out alongside the W1200 !
Even with the latest firmware, I was shocked
at the audible noise from the Iris pumping, but these settings fix that too.
* The only real downer with this unit is the fan noise if you're sitting nearby.
But at 1.5 metres in front of it, and with even a quiet scene, I quickly came to ignore it.
* The ventilation is superb! This thing never runs hot & cools down quickly - even after a marathon session.
* Zooming the picture out for scope, I really rely on the lens shift, and was concerned about the apparently flimsy joystick.
Again, no problem. It's very robust and not too sensitive.
* Sharpness! Despite using a smaller chip than the W5000, it's every bit as sharp. The extra brightness & contrast pushes this a good notch further.
It's slightly sharper (and punchier) than the far more expensive Optoma HD8600 / HD87, and miles ahead of LCOS projectors like the JVCs.
Gotta love those Benq optics...
* Rainbows... No problem at all.
I could barely see them on the W5000, which I think was a 5X wheel. This is supposed to be a 4X, and that rings true, as I spot them a little more easily (if I try).
* Colour balance out of the box. Not as bad as I expected.
Again, using a bunch of test patterns, and HD material I've created myself at work, I was surprised how little tweaking I needed to do to get it roughly in the ballpark.
I left CCA alone for now, and just settled on this...
Colour Temp: ISF1
White Balance: (with Color Temp in the Factory menu left on Cool)
Red Gain: +491
Green Gain: +474
Blue Gain: +520
Red Offset: +507
Green Offset: +487
Blue Offset: +512
Still quite a bit of room for improvement, but not bad.
I'd be interested to get the settings from anyone with a similar setup to mine !?
Honestly, I'm very, very damn happy with this thing.
Its' punchy, razor-sharp picture pulls out every detail, and I like to know I'm seeing everything!
All things considered, I'd pick this puppy over any comparable projector out there.