We then moved on to the HD DVD of V for Vendetta, a good test for dark scenes. Shadow detail was impressive so were there any flaws in Natalie Portman’s skin, we would have seen it on the BenQ. In a completely dark room, with the Home Theater preset and the Lamp Iris setting turned down a couple of notches, the BenQ revealed itself to have a very good black level. However, I wouldn’t say it was as good as I hoped – certainly not Pioneer Kuro levels.
We then moved onto standard DVD – while HD sources are the best diet for an HD projector, the fact is that you’re likely to have a great many DVDs you’ll want to watch. Watching initially through an XBox 360 this led to the first area of disappointment in the BenQ’s performance. The difference with HD material was stark, with a noise and grain and a lack of detail evident on the discs we watched. It seems the Faroudja DCDi upscaling chip inside the W10000 is getting a bit long in the tooth. However, watching the same discs using the Toshiba XE1 HD DVD with its the Silicon Optix Reon upscaling chip, the projector delivered far better results. Using a decent upscaler then, the BenQ can be relied upon to deliver great results from DVD. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on was bursting with an amount of detail that was impressive for DVD.
What interesting to see is that after a prolonged assault on DLP from competing technologies such as LCD, is why people actually pay more for a DLP projector. It’s simply produces the most cinematic images around – after all, actual digital cinema in your local multiplex is DLP based. Images on the BenQ were never anything less than punchy and vivid, offering natural colours and smooth motion, with a reassuring solidity to the image at all times.