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.
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.
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 . 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Edited by butie120 - 10/13/13 at 7:07pm