1080p DLP Home Video Projector
July 19, 2012
The EP5920 is BenQ's new home video projector. Its 1080p resolution promises plenty of detail, while high light output and a built-in ten-watt speaker firmly establish it as a projector for the living room.
Home video projectors are a relatively new category of projector that bridges the gap between presentation and home theater. Built for use in rooms with some ambient light, these projectors offer high brightness, accurate color, and solid video performance for the consumer who wants to watch movies or play games but doesn't want to black out an entire room to do it. As a result, you get projectors that are more akin to a television than anything else, and can function in the same environments as a typical TV.
With a 5,000 hour lamp life in Eco mode, the EP5920 is well suited to being a home's primary display in lieu of a television. And with a street price of only $839, it won't break the bank, either.
The Viewing Experience
Our testing of the EP5920 began in a darkened theater. Upon startup, it becomes obvious that the projector is far too bright for a traditional theater space, while its black levels leave something to be desired in the absence of ambient light. This is typical behavior for home video projectors and did not come as a surprise.
Turn on some lights, though, and the EP5920 starts to show its stuff. The projector's 1800 lumen specification is a little generous; our test unit measured 1200 lumens in typical use. That's still enough for a good 80" diagonal image in mild to moderate ambient light, such as a room with the shades drawn. The EP5920 defaults to Living Room mode, which is a good choice for general video watching and game playing. It is not the projector's brightest mode -- that one is called Bright -- but Living Room has more accurate, better saturated color than Bright mode along with better black level and overall higher contrast.
As the EP5920 has no lens shift and a mild upward throw, it is best used on a coffee table or in a ceiling mount with an extension tube. If you have an exceptionally low coffee table, you might find that the image is a touch lower on the wall than you would otherwise prefer. In this case, you can either tilt the projector and apply keystone correction or simply place the projector on top of something to boost it up (a phone book works well for this if you're doing a temporary setup).
As far as the actual picture on screen, the EP5920 is bright and color is well-saturated, while contrast gives the picture a pleasant amount of pop, helping it stand out in ambient light. Detail is crisp and clean thanks to a native 1080p DLP chip.