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BenQ W1000+ - Key Features and Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
BenQ W1000+

Summary

Our Score:

9

The new colour wheel has also apparently led to an improvement in the projector’s colour temperature, allowing BenQ’s engineers to steer it closer to the 6500 Kelvins reckoned by pretty much everyone to deliver the best results with video viewing.

Another potentially significant development, presumably also caused by the improved colour wheel, is that the W1000+’s full on/full off contrast ratio has gone up to 3,500:1 from the W1000’s 3,000:1, hopefully resulting in a slightly more punchy image.

We won’t go into all the picture adjustment options available on the W1000+ again here, having covered them in depth in our original W1000 review. But we certainly should stress how remarkably wide-ranging its adjustments are, running to such finery as a full colour management facility, gamma presets, colour temperature control, and white balance control (via red, green and blue gain and bias adjustments).

The only weird thing about all this is that despite throwing everything but the kitchen sink at fine-tuning pictures, the W1000+ remains as lacking in a couple of fundamental setup aids as its predecessor was. As in, there’s no optical vertical image shifting, and only a pretty limited 1.2x optical zoom. The lack of vertical image shifting means some people will have to rely on keystone adjustment to get the edges of their images perpendicular, which is hardly ideal given that keystone essentially 'deforms' the picture from its native state.

Happily, though, the W1000+’s tweaks really have led to an improvement on the picture quality of the original W1000.

The most immediately obvious and welcome advance concerns the rainbow effect. For while the new colour wheel certainly hasn’t entirely removed it, it has reduced it considerably. So much so that now for 90 per cent of the time you only see it if you actively go looking for it - say by flitting your eyes quickly left and right across the screen, or waving your fingers in front of your eyes. Neither of which activities, of course, you’d be likely to do under normal viewing conditions!

There’s a gentle improvement with colour reproduction, too. Or at least that’s the case after spending considerable time recalibrating the colour palette. For in its out of the box state, the preset colour values tend to look either over-vigorous or rather yellowy.

Also striking about the W1000+’s pictures is how rich colours look. This is especially true with the projector’s BrilliantColour mode active - even though usually we’ve found this colour boosting system from DLP’s creator, Texas Instruments, to be best avoided, as it tends to push colours too hard and exaggerate noise.

With the W1000+, though, we’d recommend that you leave BrilliantColour on, even though it can indeed make pictures look slightly noisier, because strangely, in a phenomenon we hadn’t really noticed before with DLP, the BrilliantColour mode seems to produce less obvious rainbowing than the projector’s normal mode.

HarryGlass

August 31, 2010, 4:52 pm

For years your reviews of projectors have been crazy for me cos the the price of them. This is one of the first times I've taken any interest. But even still it's £200-400 more than what a lot of projectors are selling for in the shops.





eg.





http://www.dabs.com/category/s...





Plenty there around £500 (and if you look around you can find older models cheaper).





Now for me I don't play games, I don't watch TV, I don't have a standalone DVD or Blu-Ray player or any interest in surround sound and HD home cinema. All I want is to occassionally (like once a month) hook a cheap projector up to my laptop, plug the laptop into my hi-fi and watch a film that's either an AVI or on DVD. Can someone suggest a decent projector for this basic need at the £200-400 price range, cos for me with such infrequent use I'd never spend more than that. This is somethng I've wanted to do for a couple of years, but the reviews here are always silly money and I've never known what to get from looking at websites.

HarryGlass

August 31, 2010, 4:55 pm

A quick look on Amazon gives me this:





http://www.amazon.co.uk/Optoma...





5 star reviews from nearly everyone and it's £400. Why spend £750 or more on such things?

ffrankmccaffery

August 31, 2010, 7:42 pm

@HK: I'd personally recommend an Optoma. The replacement bulbs are cheaper than their rivals. Also Ikea do some pretty good blackout blinds which you'll also need along with the screen.


Also avoid Dabs, their a ripoff.

HarryGlass

August 31, 2010, 8:15 pm

Thank you Frank, it does seem more like what I need. I've got a white wall and my house is dark, shouldn't need a blind but thanks for the tip.





I just used Dabs as it's easy to find stuff, I always shop around whenever i'm getting anything. Though Dabs seem much the same price wise as anywhere else really these days.

ezmila

August 31, 2010, 8:47 pm

Honestly, you get what you paid for, that's it. Under £400 projectors are 720p only. I think the published price is fair for a 1080p full HD.

HarryGlass

August 31, 2010, 9:21 pm

@exmila: Fair enough. Thing is I don't really know or want to know what the difference is between 720p and 1080p (or 1080i). It's just numbers to me, I realise 1080 is better but since I've been happy to watch films on a 13" laptop screen then I reckon a £400 projector is good enough for me. It's just that with that ignorance (which I happily admit to) I find it impossible to choose one that will be reliable, work with my laptop and not need it's bulb changed every 6 months.

Tim Sutton

September 1, 2010, 5:02 am

@HK





DVDs have a resolution of 720 × 576, so in theory even a 720p projector which displays 1280×720 is more than you'd absolutely require.





I'd agree that an Optoma suits you, but I'd step down to the ES 520 if you really and truly have no desire for HD viewing. It'll cost you less than £150 and the reviews are sparkling.





http://audiovisual.kelkoo.co.u..., links to reviews and so forth.





You know what you want far better than me of course, but honestly I think you should go to a friends house and watch a HD film on a half-decent setup first though. I'd be a bit surprised if afterwards you still felt that sub-HD was worth spending any money on at all :-)

HarryGlass

September 1, 2010, 4:10 pm

Tim, thank you so much for your thoughts that was really helpful.





It's strange, when it comes to mp3 players, phones, cameras then i'm really bothered by quality and I do enjoy going to the cinema to watch a film. But at home as long as I can see it and hear it that's enough, and a laptop is fine most of the time, occasionally I'd like a bigger picture which is why I've wanted a projector (I don't even have a TV). I tend to watch independent and foreign films, nothing too bright and loud Hollywood style, so I guess the need for pin-point detail, colour accuracy and mind-blowing immersive sound aren't so necessary.





I didn't think I could get anything for £150, my budget is higher than that but if it does everything I need I shan't complain! This cheaper player will display DVDs even if it doesn't get the best out of them, yeah?

Tim Sutton

September 1, 2010, 5:57 pm

@HK





Not at all, you're very welcome.





Yes, it'll show DVDs absolutely perfectly. I'd highly recommend spending some of the money you save on a screen, a floor standing pull up screen is invisible when you're not using it and a decent screen makes a good projector look like a great one. Displaying on a wall means you'll lose a lot of image quality, and makes complete darkness almost essential.





http://www.projectorpoint.co.u... has some good guidelines, but for your needs I'd take a good look at the Sapphire Portable Pull Up line they have in the Portable Home Cinema section. You want a 16:9 widescreen :-) The hydraulic ones in the Rapid line are sexier, but the screens are identical across the range.

Beaky69

September 1, 2010, 9:21 pm

@ HK & Tim Sutton





Just a couple of points I thought I'd mention: firstly, it would be a very good idea to audition the Optoma ES520 before you buy, because cheaper DLP projectors tend to elicit the 'rainbow effect' John referred to in the review more noticeably than more expensive projectors ones, due to speed & type of colour wheel implemented. Some people suffer very badly from the RE, whereas others hardly at all (hence the need to see it for yourself).





The second point is just that the ES520 appears to be a 4:3 projector, so a 16:9 screen would be a little wasted :o)

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