BenQ PB6100 vs Optoma H30

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DamianC, May 6, 2004.

  1. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    I'm a newbie here and as all newbies seem to do, I'm asking for a little advice on my first purchase. I'm setting up a theater in the second bedroom of my apartment. Its 9 x 14 and I'll be able to make it completely dark, so ambient light will not be a problem. I'm trying to keep the purchase of my first projector around $1000 dollars and build upon that as my knowledge grows. So the basic question I have is what are your guys' feelings on the BenQ PB6100 and the Optoma H30? I'm leaning towards the BenQ mainly because of cost, but was wondering if its worth the extra $400 or so to upgrade to the H30. Any help is greatly appreciated and if you need more info then what I've given, just ask. Thanks.

    Damian
     
  2. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    The H30 is wildly popular over on AVSforum (the thread is 200 pages long).

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1

    Benefits include a 4x wheel compared to the 3x one on the BenQ 6100, and the scaler/deinterlacer on the H30 is reputed to be near-Faroudja quality.

    So the H30 has a better deinterlacer/scaler for non-progressive stuff, and a faster wheel.

    The Infocus 4805 is out very very soon (within weeks) as well - $1499 MSRP, 4x wheel, native 16:9, Faroudja.
     
  3. Eric Hahn

    Eric Hahn Agent

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    http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_h30.htm

    If you are going to use it for 4:3 and 16:9 and want dlp, I would lean towards the h30, not having a mode to fit the 4:3 into a 16:9 screen would be a deal breaker for me on the 6100.

    If you want to wait for the 4805, do not forget alot of others are waiting also, so I expect it to be back ordered and not much movement on price when it is first released..

    just my .02
     
  4. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    Thank you guys for the info you gave and I've already the reviews on projectorcentral, which is where I did most of my research. I'm leaning towards a DLP and native 4:3 projection, though I will be using it for both 4:3 and 16:9. The H30 has an advantage there due to the fact that it can be set to native 4:3 as well as navitve 16:9, or at least thats what I got from the projectorcentral review, so let me know if I'm wrong in my thinking.
    I was also hoping to get some thoughts from anyone who owns either projector. This was just to et any pros/cons that reviews and specs would not reflect. As for the 4805, as I said I'm new to the world of projectors, why is everyone so excited about it? Also what is Faroudja? Thanks again.
     
  5. ToddR

    ToddR Agent

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    A somewhat related question - has anyone seen the Optoma H76?

    I am looking for a 16x9 DLP. I saw the Samsung H700A at CES and was impressed, and I liked the BenQ 8700 also. The problem is, I have a 28.5 foot throw distance, which means that neither of these will work, so I am considering the Optoma H76.

    Any comments on the H76 or any other suggestions for me?
     
  6. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Damian,
    Faroudja is a considered one of the best names in de-interlacing and upscaling chip makers. Thus, scenes or sources that can confuse a cheaper chip, or Faroudja often handles properly/better. A good progressive scan player (particularly a well reviewed one, like one with Faroudja) negates the need for the projector to upscale.

    If you exclusively watch DVDs via a good progressive scan DVD player, progressive scan games, etc on it, then it doesn't matter at all.

    The chip in the projector only really comes into play when you are pumping it lower-res sources - old school videogames or PS2, standard non-HD cable or TV, VCR, etc. Better deinterlacing and upscaling is a must for lower-quality sources like that.



    The Infocus 4805 has people excited because so many were happy with the Infocus X1. The 4805 is native widescreen with a newer DLP chip, 4x wheel, MSRP $1499. As far as I know, it's the only sub-$2k projector with a 4x wheel besides the aforementioned Optoma H30, and it's the only one that is native 16:9 (which means no 4:3 light spill).


    Honestly, we use our X1 for a lot of 4:3 (anime DVDs, videogames), so 16:9 doesn't mean much to me. But a 4x wheel would be nice (I can see some rainbows during white on black scenes on the X1).
     
  7. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    So if I've got a good progressive scan DVD player, the Faroudja quality of the H30 is moot?
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Well, that depends on whether you are going to use it only for DVDs. There's always a low-res source or two lying around.

    Some X1 folks said they got a better image from their X1 using s-video and letting the Faroudja chip do the de-interlacing instead of their prog. scan DVD player. I've got a Faroudja equipped prog. scan DVD, so I don't have any way to run a comparison.

    I assume that the Faroudja also does the downscaling duty for HD - not sure if it is an advantage there, or whether any scaler will do suffice for downscaling. You'd have to ask someone more knowledgeable on that one.

    The H30 actually has a Pixelworks? chip in it from Texas Instruments, if I recall. But reports on it where very positive. Reportedly, the chip passed scenes that only the Faroudja chip was competent at previously.
     
  9. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    I've read on some postings that the H30 is a bit complicated to get setup properly. Have you heard anything about this? Just wondering due to the fact that I'm new to this and might have trouble getting it calibrated properly. Also, I'll mainly be watching DVDs and sometimes using my computer to watch vids or play a video game and I'm getting a nice prog scan player. So I'm not sure if that will give it much of an advantage over the BenQ 6100.
     
  10. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    If you're going to use it with your computer enough to matter, the 4x3 projectors is probably better, as the SVGA ones are 800x600 resolution. So the BenQ probably is better for that.

    I think the issue with the Optoma is that native 800x600 is not available out of the box - it has a masked chip that runs 4:3 in a letterboxed in the widescreen image (kind of like a fake 16:9 projector - the TI chip internally is a 4:3, but it is masked inside to be 16:9 - less light spill? I believe). If you are going to use a 16:9 screen that's just fine. You can have send the PJ to Optoma to have the firmware flashed to fix this, which opens it up to full 800x600.


    The first few pages of the Optoma page @ AVSforum I posted earlier is good reading to find out more about the PJ. This is all secondhand, remembering from me - I killed a lot of time at work reading up.


    The H30 image quality is considered much better than the X1, and I think better than the Benq by association; since most people found the BenQ very close to the X1 in video quality - less rainbows for those that can see them, but poorer scaling.


    I'm sticking with the X1, but perhaps next year I will ebay it and upgrade to a 4x wheeled pj. Projectors have very good resale value, and are easy to ship, so it makes it addictively easy to upgrade (unlike trying to sell a giant RPTV locally).


    PS - There's a guy with an Optoma H30 in the H30 vs Z2 thread- you might want to read his comments.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Whats the "16:9" resolution of the 4805 going to be?
     
  12. Jeff_M

    Jeff_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, there is no internal masking to the chip, which makes the fact that Optoma offered no native 4:3 mode perplexing. That point is moot now, as all H30's for the last month or so have been shipping with the new firmware, a new remote, and a 16:9 lens mask that affixes to the lens cap. I have one of the originals and am still debating over whether it is worth sending it in for the free firmware upgrade (I have a 16X9 screen). They sent me the lens msk for free!
     
  13. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    Jeff, have you seen the 6100 ever? And if so, do you think its worth the upgrade in price? I'm trying to keep the cost down right now but am tempted to put some extra money into that PJ.
     
  14. Jeff_M

    Jeff_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I hate to make a statement about the 6100 without seeing it. All I know is that my prior projector (NEC LT-150) was a DLP unit with XGA resolution. The Optoma looks much better! I know the contrast ratio is highter, but the real difference is in the colors and the "solidness" of the picture. I think this comes from the 6 segment color wheel and the 4X speed respectively. The 6100 lacks these and is a bit louder I believe. The H30 is significantly quiter than my last projector, something that I love. Whether all of this warrants spending an extra $400 is really only your decision. Regardless of what you choose, you will be floored by FP!
     
  15. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    Another quick question: I'm looking at both projectors at various retailers and it seems like the 6100 doesn't come with a lamp. Am I mistaken about this? I'm gonna call some of the retailers to check, but I just thought I'd ask here to. (And does the H30 come with one as well?).

    And thanks for the info Jeff
     
  16. Jeff_M

    Jeff_M Stunt Coordinator

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  17. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I thought the 6100 came with a lamp - I thought all of the projectors came with a lamp!
     
  18. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    Thanks for all the info guys. I think I've decided what to get PJ wise, but do any of you have a suggestion for a good ceiling mount?
     
  19. DamianC

    DamianC Extra

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    Should any mount work with any PJ? Or do I have to make sure I get a compatible mount?
     
  20. Kevin Eckhardt

    Kevin Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    It depends on the projector, but most will require a specific mount or adpater plate to fit the mounting holes on the bottom of the projector. If you ended up getting the H30 there is a Panavise mount designed for CCTV cameras that attaches to the tripod mount of the H30 and works pretty well and is pretty inexpensive (
     

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