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AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP › BenQ W7000 Refurb a good option? vs Optoma HD25e vs Epson 3020 (W7000 sale ending tonight)
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BenQ W7000 Refurb a good option? vs Optoma HD25e vs Epson 3020 (W7000 sale ending tonight)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I've been literally spending the past two days reading about projectors but still don't know which direction to go! Hopefully you guys can help me out.

The projector would be for my dedicated Home Theater room in the basement (still a work in progress.. It's an empty room right now). The length of the room is just over 18 feet and the seating area will probably be at 15-16 feet (it's flexible for now, it could be anywhere really), the walls are a deep matte maroon and the ceiling is white (may change that in the future). I want a 130" or maybe slightly larger screen and I'm thinking of keeping the cost for the projector under $2000. I would like to have good 3D but the biggest use of it will be for 2D movies as well as NHL playoff games biggrin.gif Ambient light is non-issue in that room. I would either mount the projector to the ceiling or make a wall-shelf mount for it.

I should add that my current experience with HD projectors is limited to seeing my friend's Optoma HD20 projected against a white (later painted grey, both regular paint) wall from 8-10 feet back and I was very impressed with it. I didn't notice any RBE when watching it but I didn't know what to look for either at the time so I am not sure whether I would be sensitive to it now that I know what it is. I have never seen LCD in action so I don't know which technology I prefer. I am not really a picture connoisseur but I would just like a very good, solid picture for a home theater setup with a big screen.

My shortlist currently consists of:
- Optoma HD25e ($1000 bundled with RF emitter and 2 RF 3D glasses, seems like a good deal)
- Epson 3020 (Around $1600. From what I've read I'm not too inclined towards this option)
- BenQ W7000 ($1200 for a refurb unit - sale ending tonight!)

I am also flirting with the idea of increasing my budget to $2500 and maybe getting a Epson 5030 UB but I think I want to keep it conservative for my first projector. I don't really want to see the projector while I'm watching a movie so I think that rules out the W1070 because of it's shorter throw?

How does the HD25e stack up against the W7000 (which I understand is a 2/3 year old model)? Should I be worried that the W7000 is a refurb? Is the 3020 worth looking at more seriously? From what I've read, the W7000 seems to have a relatively short bulb life as well. If you guys could give me some opinions quickly I would really appreciate it because like I said before the refurbed W7000 sale ends tonight!

Thanks,
jdip
post #2 of 14
I don't have any answers for you since I'm sort of in the same boat, I've had 3 crt style projectors so far and they all have been on the dim side. That is unless I want to turn up the bright and contrast then lose focus.

I'm thinking the Optoma 131xe with it's low cost, 3d and 1080p capability and 2500 lumen is about double what I have now.

Still I wonder just how many lumens does one need and what if you get too bright?
post #3 of 14
What is the warranty on the W7000?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbailey View Post

I don't have any answers for you since I'm sort of in the same boat, I've had 3 crt style projectors so far and they all have been on the dim side. That is unless I want to turn up the bright and contrast then lose focus.

I'm thinking the Optoma 131xe with it's low cost, 3d and 1080p capability and 2500 lumen is about double what I have now.

Still I wonder just how many lumens does one need and what if you get too bright?

I know, it can be such a daunting experience to buy one of these things, especially as a newb! The last projector I had was some 15 years ago. I'm thinking of maybe just going with the HD25e to get my feet wet in the projector world relatively cheaply and just be done with it for now. The 131xe seems to be very well received as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

What is the warranty on the W7000?

It's the same manufacturer's warranty as a brand new one (one year). But I'm wondering how the HD25e stacks up against it. The W7000 is a higher placed model but it's also a few years old... Or is it still superior to the HD25e making it a no brainer at a price difference of $200?
post #5 of 14
I have spent a lot of time with a W7000, as that is the projector I recommended to a friend (his first) and I helped him with his entire theater build. I currently own an Optoma 131Xe, and while I love the Optoma, the BenQ is a better projector IMHO. Black level is better, colors are more accurate, and it is plenty bright enough. 3D is very good (although the same can be said for all these DC3 DLP projectors). The BenQ does have lens shift which is nice to have and makes it either to place if you have any placement restrictions.

Tough call. I am inclined to tell you to pull the trigger on the BenQ. Too be honest, if that deal was available when I bought, I may have grabbed it. That said, I paid $720 for my Optoma and I wanted to keep the price down since I am wanting to go 4K in the next 2-3 years. The Optoma, for me, is 3 year tops purchase smile.gif

Good luck!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I have spent a lot of time with a W7000, as that is the projector I recommended to a friend (his first) and I helped him with his entire theater build. I currently own an Optoma 131Xe, and while I love the Optoma, the BenQ is a better projector IMHO. Black level is better, colors are more accurate, and it is plenty bright enough. 3D is very good (although the same can be said for all these DC3 DLP projectors). The BenQ does have lens shift which is nice to have and makes it either to place if you have any placement restrictions.

Tough call. I am inclined to tell you to pull the trigger on the BenQ. Too be honest, if that deal was available when I bought, I may have grabbed it. That said, I paid $720 for my Optoma and I wanted to keep the price down since I am wanting to go 4K in the next 2-3 years. The Optoma, for me, is 3 year tops purchase smile.gif

Good luck!

Thank you very much for your input! I missed out on the W7000 pricing but I suspect it might go back to it in the future (it's been that price before at the same retailer).

Any opinions on the HD25e vs the Epson 3020?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdip View Post

Thank you very much for your input! I missed out on the W7000 pricing but I suspect it might go back to it in the future (it's been that price before at the same retailer).

Any opinions on the HD25e vs the Epson 3020?

Having owned an Epson 3010 and now an Optoma 131Xe, I say Optoma HD25e all the way. Better blacks and shadow detail, quieter, better pop, better 3D, cheaper.
post #8 of 14
If you want the best image possible, then get the JVC RS46.

Otherwise, I would go with a $1,000ish model of DLP projector, period.

The W1070, HD131Xe, or right in that range of projectors are fine.

I'm using the W1070 on a 161" screen in low-power mode in a poor room and it works great, so spending more for added lumens really shouldn't be necessary.

Oh, and for God's sake - Paint the ceiling!

As long as you have light floors, light walls, or a light ceiling you don't have light control in a theater, and if it is a dedicated space, you don't have an excuse to not do it. biggrin.gif
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Having owned an Epson 3010 and now an Optoma 131Xe, I say Optoma HD25e all the way. Better blacks and shadow detail, quieter, better pop, better 3D, cheaper.

I'm leaning towards the HD25e at this point (or maybe even the 131). But I keep reading about people whose units have soft corners so that is worrying me a bit... Does your unit have any issues with that? Also how do you think the Optomas would do for a 150" image from 17 ft back? Would it be bright enough? Thanks again for all of your input ack_bk. Much appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

If you want the best image possible, then get the JVC RS46.

Otherwise, I would go with a $1,000ish model of DLP projector, period.

The W1070, HD131Xe, or right in that range of projectors are fine.

I'm using the W1070 on a 161" screen in low-power mode in a poor room and it works great, so spending more for added lumens really shouldn't be necessary.

Oh, and for God's sake - Paint the ceiling!

As long as you have light floors, light walls, or a light ceiling you don't have light control in a theater, and if it is a dedicated space, you don't have an excuse to not do it. biggrin.gif

Thanks for your response. The JVC would be awesome but is out of my budget! I will definitely deal with the ceilings and floor later on, but for now I just want to get the big screen up and going ASAP biggrin.gif
post #10 of 14
I've decided to give the Epson 3020 a try out. The store offers a 30 day return period. so I'll have a few weeks to play with it.
My second choice is a Optoma hd-25e which I may also do a temporary purchase and conduct my own side by side evaluations- but concern with this model is the poor focus issues.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbailey View Post

I've decided to give the Epson 3020 a try out. The store offers a 30 day return period. so I'll have a few weeks to play with it.
My second choice is a Optoma hd-25e which I may also do a temporary purchase and conduct my own side by side evaluations- but concern with this model is the poor focus issues.

That focus issue is one of the main things holding me back with the Optoma. I'm also wondering whether it may be too bright for a completely dark room. But I think a lower gain screen can sort that out... The refurb W7000 is back on sale for me so I have that option open again as well.

Let me know how it goes with the Epson (and Optoma if you end up getting your hands on that too)!
post #12 of 14
I can't speak for brightness, but my Nec is rated at 1100 Lumens and even with a da-lite Hi Power screen and a complete black room I find it lacking.
The Epson at 2300 should be a nice improvement, if it's too bright there is always eco mode, and worse case we can always turn on a few lights, Led bulbs are perfect with some being very directional.
The Optoma, with it's focus issues, additional costs for 3d, strict mounting and potential rbe, I figured the Epson w/lcd might the better solution.
However the Epson has it's own set of problems, reports of early lamp failure, noisy operation and slow refresh. It's really a crap shoot.

Utube videos / reviews don't help, both are said to be better than the other...

We'll see...
post #13 of 14
The W1070 is on sale at Amazon for $799. Having now owned the BenQ W1070, the Optoma 131Xe, and an Epson 3010 (which is the equivalent to the 3020 now) I can tell you the contrast on the X131Xe is the best, with the W1070 being second and the Epson easily being the worst of the bunch. Color accuracy is better on the Epson and BenQ with the Optoma being last. For those of you that have concerns about RBE, the W1070 is a 6x color wheel. It also offers some vertical lens shift and 3D on DLP projectors is superior to the lower tirered LCD and LcOS projectors.

I ended up comparing the W1070 and Optoma X131 head to head and keeping the Optoma for the superior contrast. I do have a focus issue on the extreme right corner with the lens but it is not really noticeable at all and at some point I will send it in to get it fixed if I feel the need.

The W7000 offers some nice features but does use a Dark Chip 2 chipset whereas the cheaper W1070 and 131Xe both use the superior Dark Chip 3 chipset.
post #14 of 14
I guess it's a wait and see. according to reviews plus some videos found on utube, some say dlp is better others say the lcd is better.
In one side by side review dlp is much darker with under saturated colors, in another side by side dlp has a superior image.


how are we supposed to make a good purchase decision when there are so many polar opposites in reporting.
Does we really need to buy all three and do our own field testing ?


btw: the 3020 is not an identical replacement to the 3010.
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