BENQ PB6100 & PB6200
Projectors for Home Theater
These products both need to be used with 4:3 aspect ratio screens. 16:9 material from DVD or HDTV is displayed with black bars top and bottom. There is no operating mode that lets you center a 4:3 image within a 16:9 format screen.
An advantage of both the PB6100 and PB6200 relative to other DLP products in this price class is their 3x speed color wheel. Some viewers are sensitive to rainbow artifacts on DLP projectors that derive from the sequential refreshing of red, green, and blue as the color wheel rotates. The faster the wheel rotation speed, the less people tend to be bothered by rainbow artifacts. For example, the popular InFocus X1 that competes directly with the 6100 has a 2x rotation speed. Many people have reported problematic rainbow distractions on the X1. The 3x speed of the 6100/6200 will eliminate or reduce the effects of this artifact for many users. [Correction: On 12/8/04 BenQ informed us that the original specification of 3x wheel speed is incorrect, and that both the 6100 and 6200 have 2x speed wheels. Therefore these units do not have any advantage in reducing rainbow artifacts as compared to other DLP projectors with the same 2x speed wheels. EP]
Neither the 6100 or 6200 come with ideal video settings as factory presets. If you get either one of these units, make sure to get a copy of the calibration disc AVIA Guide to Home Theater, or an equivalent. Significant adjustments to basic controls such as brightness, contrast, color, tint, and color temperature were required to tune up both of these units to get an optimum picture. However it is easy to get it set up right for your viewing environment with the AVIA disc.
The BenQ PB6100 and PB6200 both represent excellent values in today's market. In the economy class group of machines, there are always limitations and trade-offs; you simply do not get Porsche performance when you're on a Saturn budget. So we are pleased to recommend both of these units as long as you keep their limitations in mind and match them to your viewing needs.
If you plan to use your projector for DVD and television viewing only, the PB6100 is a beautiful and very cost effective option. You get an outstanding DVD picture for the money. However, if in addition you plan to use your projector for computer video games and your computer outputs an XGA signal, then you should opt for the PB6200 in order to match native resolutions. Under no circumstance do you want to live with the compression of the XGA signal into the PB6100's native SVGA display. Also, if HDTV is part of your viewing mix, the PB6200 is also worth stepping up to for the additional resolution. Finally, anyone planning to deploy their projector for part-time presentation use should go for the 6200, as native XGA is the only way to go in the presentation world these days.
No matter which of these units you select, you will end up with exceptional image quality for the investment you make. Considering their price/performance, we are adding them both to our Highly Recommended list. For current price quotes and availability click PB6100 dealers and PB6200 dealers. And don't forget to ask them about video cables.
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