Last month I pottered over to Germany to see Panasonic’s rather fantastic PT-AE1000E, a Full HD projector with a breakthrough price. There still aren’t nearly enough systems around to compete with it however so I’m glad to see BenQ get in the game.
Though we don’t know yet know for sure, the new ‘W9000’ looks set to be a direct competitor to the AE1000E since it also offers a 1920 x 1080 native resolution and is being promoted for use with HD DVD and Blu-ray players along with next generation gaming consoles.
Like Panasonic’s offering the W9000 also sports a super high contrast ratio of 8,500:1 though it doesn’t quite match the remarkable 11,000 figure quoted for the AE1000E. Still, BenQ promotes its own proprietary ‘Senseye’ technology which features an ‘Advanced Continuous Electronic IRIS’ that the company says will automatically optimise the light intensity on bright and dark scenes. BenQ would no doubt also be amongst the first to point out that contrast ratios can be measured in different ways and – like megapixels with digital cameras – are not the only measure of picture quality.
Elsewhere the W9000 is equipped with the now pre-requisite HDMI interface and is compatible with Panamorph lenses which convert 16:9 projectors to a full 2.35:1 aspect ratio and increase resolution and brightness by a purported 33 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. Furthermore, the Panamorph lens eliminates letterbox bars and works with over 70 per cent of all major motion pictures so this union is worth getting excited about.
Unfortunately, like most BenQ announcements, the RRP and release dates for the W9000 were not specified but we’re hoping for more of the company’s famed hard-nosed pricing.
Update: You can now find the W9000’s manual online here.