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Which would you rather have?

  • BenQ W770ST

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Epson Powerlite 730HD

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Neither... I'm cool and I can buy nicer things

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Looking to purchase my first projector and research has brought me down to two contenders the BenQ W770ST and the Epson 730HD.  Seems that both have had a lot of good things said about them.  Is there any reason to pick one over the other (or neither...)?  It might just be that you can't go wrong with either.  Regardless, I'm on a budget, looking to get something for outdoor movie fun and maybe some video games (nothing too fancy).  If anyone has any first hand experience with these bad boys or can say if I should lean toward one brand over the other it would be much appreciated.  

 

Here's a link comparing the two projectors:

http://versus.com/en/benq-w770st-vs-epson-powerlite-home-cinema-730hd#epson-powerlite-home-cinema-730hd

 

Thanks!
 

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I am partial to Epson as I have had a few of them and have never had a problem. Also the warranty, service and lamp replacement cost favors Epson. I have the 725HD (same as the 730HD with 200 less lumens and $100 less) and have been very happy with it. It’s great for outdoor shows. The 730 would probably be the better PJ for outdoor shows as it’s the brighter of the 2.

Regarding the BenQ.. PJ Central’s review says “Color brightness in the W770ST's Cinema mode is only about 630 lumens..” and “The W770ST produces much more white light than colored light. Color light output is only 35% of white light output in Cinema mode,” which makes me think the color wheel has a white segment which means the lumen output will be overstated and makes it more likely to produce RBE.

You may want to read this http://www.projectorcentral.com/lcd-dlp-color-light-output.htm
 

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IMO, extreme low end DLP is a much nicer viewing experience than extreme low end LCD. Much better contrast typically.


The 720P Espons have shockingly bad black levels IMO. I'd get a cheap 720P LED DLP before those unless I just had to have the lumens for some reason.
 

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I have the benq and it is awesome. I'm even coming from an epson 8350, no joke. It has much deeper colors than the epson and blacks look just as good, if not better. Check out the review on trustedreviews.com. It's a great budget projector that far outperforms more expensive projectors from the past. For example, a review on avforums (not avs) which reviewed the non short throw version (w750) said it was one of the best 3d experiences he'd had at ANY price point. Lastly, it is only $549 on amazon right now and comes with a $25 credit. So really only $524 vs the $630 730hd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Thanks all for the input.  I never knew there were so many factors to consider when buying a projector, seems like you have to get a bachelor's degree in projector studies to really understand it all...

 

My thoughts:

1.  I'm concerned that the BenQ will not be bright enough... Southpaw can you tell me about some of the lighting conditions you've used yours in and how it performs?  Say for example, watching a football game in a garage under fluorescent lights or I guess any atmosphere where lighting is not intentionally dimmed.  *(See #2)

 

2. Currently, I am under the impression that the Epson is brighter and therefore more versatile in terms of ambient light environment.  *I anticipate using the projector most frequently in moderate light - more for social events (football games, outdoor movies, etc) as opposed to mounting it in a dim room with regulated lighting.

 

3. The BenQ (DLP) has better contrast while the Epson (3LCD) has a greater potential for brighter colors (Thanks Paul for the link, very helpful).

 

4.  The Epson 730HD/725HDs in particular are relatively new and haven't quite made a name for themselves yet.  The Ben Q seems to have been around a little longer.  (Maybe waiting until Black Friday/Cyber Monday would allow some time for more reviews to come in and maybe catch a deal?... I'd assume somewhere on the internet would have a sale on one of these babies.)

 

Again, Thanks guys.  Really appreciate your thoughts/advice.
 

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Watching even a bright front projector with "high" levels of ambient lights like overhead fluorescent lights is going to be a very subpar image. If you raise your projector's black floor up by 100 times via ambient light (which is not all that bright), does 10-25% extra brightness on the top end really push the image into something you would call looking good?


Just to put some rough example numbers on it, say your "living room" projectors like these has an on/off contrast of 2000:1, one has a black floor double the other and the peak brightness is also double. You raise the black floor up 100 times from the dimmer projector via some bright ambient lights. The insanely brighter projector (which is probably too bright for a dark room) now has a contrast ratio of 400:1, while the dimmer one has a contrast ratio of 200:1. In this really extreme example, both are going to look pretty bad for most types of viewing.


In reality, going to bright ambient lights can easily increase your black floor more than 100 times, and your real contrast ratio drops below 100:1 in a real hurry. It's just not something you'd want to waste bulb life watching IMO. But when you turn the lights off and want to watch a movie, that high black level follows you around and kills every dark scene you see in a sea of grey.



The super bright home entertainment projectors try to be a half-baked solution to a problem that will never really go away IMO. Even bright front projectors with significant ambient light look very underwhelming, so more often than not you'll want to pretty much kill ambient light when watching one.
 

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1st. The newer Epsons (725, 730, 750HD) are NOT the old Epsons (705, 710, etc.). Contrast is 12k:1 as opposed to the 3k:1 which is immediately evident (I used a 705 for a while). I have used mine with 300 watts of incandescent light in the room for football games and had a very watchable image. (Had comments that it looked better than their TV). I also had the BenQ MW519 for a couple of days. Spec wise, it was supposed to be identical to the 725HD (WXGA, 2800 Lumens, 12k:1 contrast), but in reality it wasn’t. In a lighted room the image was almost unwatchable. It was washed out to the point that contrast was almost nonexistent (like RPS13 was saying). I haven’t seen the 770, but the specs are similar.

Granted, if I were watching movies in a man cave, I would want no light and probably wouldn’t be looking at either of these PJs, but a true HT PJ and sacrifice lumens for better blacks and more contrast, but I wouldn’t be taking it out in the backyard to show cartoons for the kids. For outdoor movies (where there’s almost always some ambient light) or watching TV/ sports in a lighted room, the 725HD does a nice job IMO.
 

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So which one did you decide on? Also I'm curious why you didn't consider an Optoma GT760? I'm trying to pick between the Optoma and BenQ, very hard!
 

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I just bought the Epson but I'm waiting for the screen. I'll comment on it next week sometime. I had a Optoma DLP that was pretty good.

 

Update, 12/5/2013. We've watched a few movies on the EPSON 730 and we just watched the live Sound of Music on NBC. We're using a 100 inch Elite pull down screen. When playing Blu Rays through my PS3 the picture is surprisingly good for a player at this price point. My son has an EPSON that retails for $2500 and I didn't notice much of a difference. On regular TV it depends a lot of the show but we were also surprised at how bright and clear the picture is. Naturally the picture is not as good as our 60 inch Mitsubishi DLP TV but for a big wide picture it is very good and we feel like we're in a movie theater. So far I'd say that the EPSON is a great value and I also like that it has 5,000 hour bulb life and the bulbs aren't as expensive as some of the other projectors.

 

Update, 12/8/2013: To test the difference between Blu Ray and DVD on the Epson 730, which is a 720p projector, I played both the regular DVD of Star Trek: Into The Darkness and the Blu Ray, both through my PS3. The image was clearly sharper playing the Blu Ray, even though the projector is not 1080p.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Decided that I'm going to wait until next year to pick one up.  I have a feeling that prices on some of the decent entry 1080p projectors out there now will be dropping to prices comparable to that of the current 720p ($500-600).  I have nothing to back this up, but I just have that feeling... Also I impulse purchased a miter saw last week, so the toy fund took a major hit. Whoops.
 
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