Projectors

BenQ W1070 Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

The BenQ W1070 Projector In Use

Monsters Inc. from Pixar is a wonderful demo disc, with bold, bright colors and lots of fine detail in the textures and fur of the monsters themselves. The 3D version from Pixar keeps all of this intact but adds a lot of depth, making it a challenge for a projector to display. Watching it on the W1070, crosstalk is virtually absent, and the image still has a significant amount of pop even with the active 3D glasses. Many scenes extend deep into the background, with the 3D effect being very effective, and the vivid colors maintain all of their pop behind the active glasses, even without calibrating for 3D. If you remove the 3D glasses you might notice a red tint to the image, but the glasses take that into account and you won't see it when watching. The updated 3D glasses from BenQ are far more comfortable than before, and watching a whole Pixar film was easy and enjoyable to do.

A harder test for 3D displays and projectors is Hugo. Making the task more challenging is the fact that its live action with objects that extend from the screen instead of just adding depth to the image. There are also many scenes with fast action and quick cuts that often cause 3D projectors to have copious amounts of crosstalk and artifacts. Even with these challenges, the BenQ handles the title with aplomb, keeping the film easy on my eyes and the experience headache free.

The initial zoom into the train station with snowflakes is very nice, as those snowflakes usually cause a huge problem with lesser projectors. A quick cut to the station inspector's dog at the start also usually breaks up badly, but the BenQ had no issue with it. The initial chase scene through the station is very fast, with multiple quick cuts, but it wasn't a problem for the W1070 to handle at all. The image remains detailed, colorful, and really bright while popping out of the screen surface. For 3D, the BenQ is great and well ahead of non-DLP projectors.

The Insider has a wonderful transfer, but the cinematography is a bit darker and muted in comparison to Hugo and Monsters, Inc. This stylistic choice causes a little bit of a problem on the BenQ, as the higher black floor on it causes a little bit of black crush with some dark suits, and some shadow areas to not be as detailed as they could be. Fine detail on the BenQ is superb, with facial lines and hairs showing up for all to see as single-chip DLP projectors are almost impossible for a three-chip projector to beat in this area. Outdoor scenes maintain their pop and clarity, but some interior scenes come out a bit murkier on the BenQ as the lack of the dynamic iris present on the more expensive W7000 shows up here.

The Dark Knight Rises is also full of very dark, shadowy areas, but holds up much better than The Insider on the W1070. Nighttime and sewer scenes have plenty of shadow detail, and I never found myself unable to see details that I know to be present. Fast action scenes are great as DLP is fantastic with motion handling, and the only blur that was visible on quick cuts and pans was due to the film itself and not the projector.

Switching over to Argo, I never regretted not seeing the film in theaters instead of at home. From the opening scene until the end there is a very nice, film-like quality to the BenQ image and the look of the film is very complementary to the projector. Scenes that are clear and sharp look amazingly realistic on the BenQ, while it also exposes those that are a bit softer in focus. There aren't many bright, bold colors or dark, shadowy scenes here, but there is a wonderful image and environment that the BenQ does a perfect job of capturing.

There are a couple issues I had with the BenQ while I was watching films. The vent for the projector is in the front, and I can see a bit of light falling on the sidewall while watching a film. It isn't a huge issue, but I wish they had put the vent on the rear of the unit to prevent this light leakage. It also is not a silent projector, and even on Economy lamp mode I could easily hear it when it was above my head. The small form factor of it likely means a smaller fan to cool it, which then has to spin faster and with a higher pitched sound we can hear. These aren't deal breakers at all, but they are small detractions.

Overall the BenQ presents a very nice image on screen that will make most people very happy. Pixel fill from the DLP chip is very high, with individual pixels only visible when right up against a 120" screen, and sharpness was very good. 3D was again way ahead of LCOS and LCD models, with no crosstalk and a much brighter image. Transfers with darker, more washed-out images presented a bit of a problem as the higher black levels and lower native contrast ratio of the BenQ began to lose a few shadow details, but most films looked wonderful.