As you might guess from the 20,000 part of its name, BenQ's W20000 DLP projector is very much a flagship product. Which inevitably raises hopes that it will be the product that kicks BenQ's current projection range up from its usually ‘good' level to something we can truly consider excellent.
The higher up the performance scale you go with projectors, the bigger they tend to get. And so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to find the W20000 occupying a really quite significant chunk of your coffee table or ceiling. Quite how attractively it occupies that space appears to be a matter of debate; around our office opinion was really divided over whether the cream and silver finish set around a rather unimaginative shape was pretty or actually a wee bit ugly. But I guess that even if you don't like the way it looks, it will, after all, likely be living in a darkened room for the majority of its life.
Turning our attention to the projector's connections, it's pleasing to find two HDMIs sitting alongside a component video input, a set of BNC jacks for an RGBVH PC or video signal, a 12V trigger jack, an RS-232 port for wired remote control, and S-Video and composite video options for anyone daft enough to waste the W20000's potential on such relatively low-quality options.
As you'd expect of a flagship proposition, the W20000 sports a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count, backed up by all the usual HD-friendly stuff such as support for 1080p/24 images from Blu-ray discs and the option to remove all overscanning from the image for direct pixel-by-pixel reproduction of 1080-line sources. In fact, if you're really dedicated to the home cinema cause, you can enjoy even greater movie image purity by forking out extra on an optional Panamorph lens attachment designed to get the best out of anamorphic 2.35:1-ratio films.
This BenQ projector has also got some pretty tasty brightness and contrast figures to its name: 1,200 ANSI Lumens for brightness, and a huge 20,000:1 for contrast. Put these figures together and you've got to be hoping for one of the most dynamic and cinematic pictures in the business - at least in the sub-£5k price bracket.
One important fact to note about the 20,000:1 contrast ratio claim, though, is that it's not what we'd describe as a ‘native' figure. For in a move more common on LCD than DLP projectors, the W20000 employs a dynamic contrast system whereby Texas Instruments' DynamicBlack processing is used to examine incoming source signals and automatically calculate the best setting for the projector's iris - the part of the optical system that decides how much or little light should be allowed through the lens.
You can also adjust the iris manually if you prefer, and choose from four different contrast-sensitive viewing modes: Cinema, Dynamic, Standard and Photo. All in all this makes for some seriously good black level flexibility that should make the W20000 adaptable to almost any kind of source material.