BenQ TH670 1080p Projector Review
May 4, 2016,
Brightness. Using Normal lamp mode, we measured the sample unit that BenQ provided for testing at 93% of its 3,000-lumen rating for its Bright color preset and at 38% to 53% of its rating with its other presets. With Economic lamp mode, the measured brightness dropped by about 20% for each preset mode.
With the zoom lens at its widest angle setting (the shortest throw for the image size), we measured the ANSI Lumens for Normal and Economic lamp settings as follows:
In addition, there's a SmartEco mode that BenQ says works much like an auto iris, making dark scenes darker. However it changes brightness by lowering lamp power, which conserves energy and lengthens lamp life.
Zoom Lens Effect. With only a 1.2x zoom, the zoom setting has little effect on brightness.
Brightness uniformity. The TH670's measured brightness uniformity is remarkably low, at only 50%, making variations easy to see with a solid white image. With the test unit on a table in front of the screen, the bottom of the image was brighter than the top, and the center vertical section brighter than the left or right sides. However, the brightest and least bright areas are far enough apart, and the change is gradual enough going across the screen, that the variation isn't much of an issue. Break up the field of view with any image--whether graphics, text, video, or a photo--and the difference is hard to see even if you look for it.
Color brightness. We measured the color brightness for the TH670's Bright mode at 20% of its white brightness--a big enough difference to explain why colors are noticeably dark in that mode. With the three other presets, the color brightness is closer to white brightness, at 37% for Vivid mode, 44% for Game mode, and 60% for Cinema mode, which is consistent with Cinema mode offering the best color quality. The low level of color brightness compared with white brightness in all modes means full color images won't be as bright as you would expect from the 3000-lumen rating.
Rainbow artifacts show often enough that anyone who sees them easily will notice them, but infrequently enough that few people will consider them a problem, with the possible exception of black and white video, which tends to show the artifacts more often.
Fan noise. Rated at only 31 dB in Normal mode, this projector has a steady whooshing quality that I don't find distracting. It's also quiet enough that I wouldn't notice it from even three feet away unless I listened for it. If noise is one of your pet peeves, however, you'll probably want to sit farther away. In Economic mode, the rating is an even quieter 29 dB, but I couldn't hear much of a difference.
BenQ recommends the High Altitude mode for a 1500 to 3,000 meter (4921 to 9843 foot) altitude. As with most projectors, the noise level isn't rated. However, it's easily noticeable from 20' away, with sound quality that's more of a hair-dryer hum than a whoosh. Here again, there's almost no difference between Normal and Economic modes. If I were using the TH670 in high altitude mode, I wouldn't want to sit much closer than 20'. If you're sensitive to fan noise, you won't want to sit even that close.
Input lag. Measured by the Bodnar meter, lag ranges from 33.1 ms in Game mode to 33.9 ms in Cinema mode with default settings. Turning off Brilliant Color raises the time to a still low 35.2 ms in all modes.
Lamp life. The lamp is rated at 4,000 hours in Normal mode, 6000 hours in Economic mode, and up to 10,000 hours in SmartEco mode. Keep in mind that the 10,000 hour rating is based on best-case assumptions, so it isn't likely you'll see that long a lamp life in real-world use. Replacements are $199.
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