Bought a BenQ HT2050A. Switch to Epson 3100? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-03-2019, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Bought a BenQ HT2050A. Switch to Epson 3100?

Can anyone who owns, or has owned and compared both, give some insights on the differences between these two models and how they feel about them personally? I recently purchased a 2050A and while I love it, I do unfortunately notice some rainbows from time to time if I move my eyes quickly, especially if there's an abundance of white on the screen. It doesn't give me a headache, but I've found that in my mind I try to tell myself not to move my eyes abruptly to avoid seeing them. Which is kind of annoying to have to consciously think about while watching a show or a movie.


So I was considering switching to the Epson 3100. I'd hate to move one step forward (no rainbows) and two steps back though. My concerns with the 3100 (3LCD) compared to the 2050A (DLP) are, theoretically,



- Lack of color vibrancy(?)
- Poorer motion handling(?)
- Screen door effect(?)
- "Too bright" even on ECO mode in a pitch black room(?)
- Fan noise on ECO(?)



I'd love to hear some thoughts from owners on what they prefer, assuming cost isn't a factor. One of the biggest comments about the 3100 is how bright it is. Does anyone think it's too bright in an otherwise pitch black room (which are my primary viewing conditions) while sitting roughly 9-10 feet from the screen? Also how is fan noise and color vibrancy and motion handling in comparison?


Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-03-2019, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadpixelmaybe View Post
Can anyone who owns, or has owned and compared both, give some insights on the differences between these two models and how they feel about them personally? I recently purchased a 2050A and while I love it, I do unfortunately notice some rainbows from time to time if I move my eyes quickly, especially if there's an abundance of white on the screen. It doesn't give me a headache, but I've found that in my mind I try to tell myself not to move my eyes abruptly to avoid seeing them. Which is kind of annoying to have to consciously think about while watching a show or a movie.


So I was considering switching to the Epson 3100. I'd hate to move one step forward (no rainbows) and two steps back though. My concerns with the 3100 (3LCD) compared to the 2050A (DLP) are, theoretically,



- Lack of color vibrancy(?)
- Poorer motion handling(?)
- Screen door effect(?)
- "Too bright" even on ECO mode in a pitch black room(?)
- Fan noise on ECO(?)



I'd love to hear some thoughts from owners on what they prefer, assuming cost isn't a factor. One of the biggest comments about the 3100 is how bright it is. Does anyone think it's too bright in an otherwise pitch black room (which are my primary viewing conditions) while sitting roughly 9-10 feet from the screen? Also how is fan noise and color vibrancy and motion handling in comparison?


Thanks in advance!
Although I cannot answer your direct question, with no experience with the Epson, I do own the HT2050a. It's incredible. But, But......If I were susceptible to Rainbows with DLPs, I would not be keeping it. Things that distract me removes my enjoyment with movies. That would ruin the entire experience for me. But, that's just me. If you only see it from time to time, and it doesn't really bother you, keep it as DLP provides a Sharper picture and better motion handling typically. The HT2050a an awesome PJ and is highly recommended around here for 1080p.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-03-2019, 09:14 PM
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That's a tough choice. The Techs are really different. I am sure color vibrancy is of no issue, SDE hard to tell as you say your sitting 9 to 10' from what size screen? Depending on your eye sight it definitely could be an issue if your in the 120" screen range. Motion handling is another issue as the Epson has FI so if you hate any hint of Soap opera effect LCD really needs it at least at a low setting compared to DLP. The Epson also uses an dynamic iris that some can see pumping to get close to the contrast of the DLP. I don't think brightness is ever an issue as a cheap ND filter can always be used to tame it down if none of the settings can tame it. If your RBE sensitive you really have no choice, LCOS is by far the better choice but you'll need to double your budget for something like a Sony 45es. Epson is also a kind of luck of the draw to see if you get one with good convergence.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-03-2019, 11:47 PM
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I have the the 3100 and the similar HT2050. I had the 3100 in the living room and the HT2050 in my treated home theater, but I previously had the 3100 in the theater room. 3100 being too bright is rarely an issue. I typically use Cinema eco at night. I’ve maybe noticed better motion handling on the Benq, but I feel it’s only an issue for slow pans, which can look bad on any display. Both have great colors. They’re fantastically sharp at 6’ from my 120” screen.

The Epson is clearly far better than the Benq with significant ambient light. They both look great in a dark room, but I probably prefer the Benq a little more in a dark room.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-04-2019, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadpixelmaybe View Post
Can anyone who owns, or has owned and compared both, give some insights on the differences between these two models and how they feel about them personally? I recently purchased a 2050A and while I love it, I do unfortunately notice some rainbows from time to time if I move my eyes quickly, especially if there's an abundance of white on the screen. It doesn't give me a headache, but I've found that in my mind I try to tell myself not to move my eyes abruptly to avoid seeing them. Which is kind of annoying to have to consciously think about while watching a show or a movie.


So I was considering switching to the Epson 3100. I'd hate to move one step forward (no rainbows) and two steps back though. My concerns with the 3100 (3LCD) compared to the 2050A (DLP) are, theoretically,



- Lack of color vibrancy(?)
- Poorer motion handling(?)
- Screen door effect(?)
- "Too bright" even on ECO mode in a pitch black room(?)
- Fan noise on ECO(?)



I'd love to hear some thoughts from owners on what they prefer, assuming cost isn't a factor. One of the biggest comments about the 3100 is how bright it is. Does anyone think it's too bright in an otherwise pitch black room (which are my primary viewing conditions) while sitting roughly 9-10 feet from the screen? Also how is fan noise and color vibrancy and motion handling in comparison?


Thanks in advance!


The BenQ has, for a projector, really good Ansi contrast which helps colors ‘pop’. Honestly, both of these have excellent color.

This is much more viewer dependent. I’m a life long gamer who doesn’t own a single sample and hold Display larger than 28”. I still have THREE plasmas in my modest 1000 sq ft apartment. Part of the reason I like DLP so much is it’s crisp motion handling. Your mileage may vary.

SDE— the BenQ has better pixel fill and is immune to convergence errors— but this has a lot to do with image size relative to seating distance. I’d expect the DLP with it’s single chip design to be sharper than the Epson but in practice you might not notice. I’ve recently converted to 4K for both my theater and gaming so all 1080p looks a bit rough to me now.

Both the Epson and BenQ are bright. The Epson is even brighter than the BenQ and the BenQ, in my untreated room projecting onto a 100” screen, was too bright in anything but eco lamp mode. But again I’m an old plasma-Phile so a searingly bright image is not something that appeals to me.

Fan noise— They’re about the same. The Epson is a little louder in it’s brightest lamp mode but that’s a bit unfair as it IS brighter. Both are pretty quiet on eco. The Epson has a longer throw so you can place it further from your seat.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-05-2019, 01:31 AM
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If you see rainbows, there is a way to mitigate that.

What happens is that rainbows become more prominent when the contrast is more boosted.
That is why you see them more when there is white against darker colors on the screen.

The simple remedy is to lower the overall contrast a bit.
Try the following settings and tell us what you think.
Maybe you see improvement.


Go to Game mode and try the following:

Brightness: 45
Contrast: 45
Sharpness: 6
Lamp Power: Normal

In Advanced section:

Gamma Selection: 1.6
Brilliant Color: Off
Noise reduction: 0

Now use the projector at that mode for a while. Play a movie or a game and report back.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-06-2019, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I lucked out and managed to find the Epson 3100 at the BF sale price on Amazon so I quick snagged it. It sounds like as long as the "low" CFI setting for the Epson doesn't show the soap opera effect (which I do hate) like others have stated in other threads, then it'll probably end up being a better fit for me. @evonimos , I tried your recommended settings last night - thanks for providing them. They did seem to improve things a bit but I am still seeing them occasionally under certain circumstances. The image size is about 100" right now by the way. I am bummed that there are no composite inputs while the BenQ has them, that's another downside for me, but hopefully I'll be able to find a good RCA/composite to HDMI converter with little to no lag or quality decrease.



I'll check back with you guys after the Epson arrives and let you know my thoughts about it in comparison to the BenQ.


@Roy G Biv , I'm assuming you prefer the BenQ in a darker room a bit due to it being slightly less bright, and maybe a slightly superior image when everything is dark?
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-06-2019, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadpixelmaybe View Post
evonimos, I tried your recommended settings last night - thanks for providing them. They did seem to improve things a bit but I am still seeing them occasionally under certain circumstances.

I'll check back with you guys after the Epson arrives and let you know my thoughts about it in comparison to the BenQ.
Sorry to hear that mate.
There are just some folks that can't tolerate color wheels, even at higher speeds.

BenQ HT2050 has a comparatively fast color wheel (5x @60Hz and 6x @50Hz), but each person has a different susceptibility/tolerance in regards to the lowest acceptable speed.

Some folks like myself consider the lowest acceptable speed to be 4x @60Hz.
Others maybe lower than that.

But unfortunately for you, I believe any single-chip DLP just won't be appropriate..
With the possible exception of a machine with a solid-state LED RGB light-engine.

Anyway, hope the Epson covers your needs!
And please, don't forget to report back, giving us your overall impressions on those two units.

Last edited by evonimos; 12-06-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-07-2019, 01:06 AM
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How long have you had the BenQ? I hated the rainbows at first, but eventually I stopped noticing or caring. Took a while though.

I can live with them, but my next projector will be a JVC.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-07-2019, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadpixelmaybe View Post
@Roy G Biv , I'm assuming you prefer the BenQ in a darker room a bit due to it being slightly less bright, and maybe a slightly superior image when everything is dark?
I'm not confident I can say the Benq or Epson is better in a dark room. I don't notice rainbows. I think they both look really good, and the one thing I tend to wish in a dark room is they had better black levels. Good contrast and blacks, but could be better.
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-07-2019, 09:58 AM
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Good native contrast with convincing black levels is simply not available in the lower cost range. The entry level model with the best native contrast and black levels <$2,000 is the Sony HW45ES. Some of the less expensive models try to compensate for lack of native contrast by using a dynamic iris or dynamic lamp dimming to create higher dynamic contrast. However, for those who don't care for the brightening and darkening of dynamic contrast, native contrast is what really matters. The HW45ES lacks a dynamic iris and dynamic lamp dimming and simply gives you a constant native contrast in the 5,000-6,000:1 range as documented by independent measurements on multiple credible review sites.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-07-2019, 12:45 PM
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I had this exact same decision last week between BenQ HT2050A and Epson 3100. I had purchased the 3100 because, like someone else here, if I saw the rainbow effect, it would kill the experience for me because I would constantly be looking for it. Once I see something, it's hard to unsee it.

I was going to order both and compare, sine both were on sale Cyber Monday. I decided not to.

Things got complicated, my 3100 order was backordered and ended up getting a Epson 4010 now LOL.

I'd say, if you are within your return window for the HT2050A, and they offer free returns, wait for the 3100 to arrive. test them side by side.

That was my original plan.

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post #13 of 13 Old 12-14-2019, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: I'm sending the BenQ back. As far as picture quality goes, I noticed no downsides to the Epson, with the major upside for me being, no rainbows! Honestly at stock settings the Epson just looks better to me overall too, but that may very well just be because it's brighter. Both are excellent machines but ultimately it came down to the rainbow effect for me.


The only annoying thing about the Epson is it has no composite RCA jacks. I know it's old technology, but at half the price the BenQ has them. The audio output is slightly less noise-free as well, but that's a very that I don't notice unless the sound is muted and I'm standing right next to my speakers. I'm sure my 50ft. audio cable isn't helping either. Also, word of warning: the USB port on the Epson 3100 cannot power a Chromecast! Looks like it's really for data only. I had no idea about this so I thought I received a defective unit at first when my Chromecast that worked fine on the BenQ kept resetting every 5 seconds when connected to the Epson. Fortunately, the Chromecast can also be plugged into the wall. But it looks like to get a more power-capable USB port you'd need to get the Epson 3700.


Anyway thanks for everyone's insight!
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