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BenQ PE8700 User Reviews

BenQ PE8700 Projector

BenQ PE8700

HD 720 (1280x720), 1000 ANSI Lumens,
16.7 lbs, $7,995 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.5 out of 5
65 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.8
Features 4.4
Construction 4.5
Ease of Use 4.5
Reliability 4.2
Value for Money 4.6

User Reviews

Write a Review
Review by Keith

Paid good money received bad reliabilty. Purchased over 5 years ago when just introduced. Total of 70 hours on lamp Remote broke / dicontinued Infra red sensor also out, discontinued Nice picture easy to use for 70 hours..then? Equates to $50 per hour to operate

Review by JImF

I needed a high quality short throw projector for an outside covered patio installation. I picked this up for $150 on eBay with a ceiling mount and monster cables,like brand new ( 1000 hrs). I am shooting on to a 92" screen and the picture is terrific, I watch concert DVD's and HD sports through 1080p component cables. It weight about 15 lbs so it is a bit heavy compared to new projectors. I wish it was a bit brighter but if you can find one I still recommend it.

Any Problems: This unit has been mounted outside in a covered patio in Florida for over a year and have not had any problems.

Review by Muscle

I'v owned this projector for 5 years now and only use it for movie viewing in a theater room the picture to me is outstanding.

Any Problems: I only have 1300 hours on bulb and the unit now automatically shuts down and the red bulb warning light start blinking and you can not shut it down from the remote I have to climb up to the projector and shut it off at the switch or unplug it from the wall to reset it. so i guess for over $4,000 I'm not to pleased that the bulb or cooling is giving me problems after only 1300 hours. I will not buy another benq!

Review by Jason

This is a very good projector, but the fan is way too loud. Has anyone done any modifications to make it quieter? If anyone has info on a successful fan replacement or fan modification, please email me at jasonaiken@yahoo.com. Thanks Jason

Any Problems: Fan is way too loud.

Review by Tom

I have had this projector for 13 months. The install wsa very easy but the picture quality is poor. I had noticed there was a fan noise issue after the projector was on for a short time (just assumed it was the due to the lamp generated heat). The picute was "dull" and I even changed the screen so it had a gain of 1.8, which did seem to help with the brightness (my HT room has no windows). After tryinig to hot swap the projector(sent the CC info twice) I gave up and lived with the fan and brightness problem until 3 weeks ago when it would simply shut off after 60 min of use. The projector was sent in for repair, the turn around time was about 7 days, plugged it in....and the same problems were still there. Called tech support who turned out to be extremely rude, to inquire about the repair. They had replaced two circuit boards and cleaned the projector and hot tested it for 11 hours. So now I am ordering a new lamp (this one has less than 300 hours) to see if this fixes the problems. If the lamp fixes the problems I will be very happy, but I wish tech support would have suggested this when I first called them so it could have been replaced under their 90 day lamp warranty.

Any Problems: Poor service, poor picture quality, noisey fan and bad lamp?

Review by steve

This is my third Pj now and I must say I am quite pleased. I used avia and forum users settings with unbelievable results. Truely an amazing machine with A little tweaking.It's fun to watch my friends jaws drop while wathing a 576p dvd image at 120". Still waiting for my dvdo hd to arrive.

Any Problems: I am probably being picky but it sometimes seems to have(for lack of better word) a foggy picture. If anyone can help please email at ruddg17@yahoo.com

Review by Chuckles

I've had my 8700 for over a year now and I can't rave enough about it. I optimized it using AVIA and since then, HD is incredible. It got it's first big showing at Superbowl 39, and I can't keep my neighbors away ever since then.

Any Problems: None, nada, zip (knock on wood).

Review by wildeman

I bought my BenQ projector last August of 04' and was amazed at the quality of picture as compared to regular TV. I am still waiting to see HDTV from the projector as I was told it is great. I hope to have it by this summer as I live in a complex of Townhomes and we are under contract until that time. I paid $5200CDN for the projector and mount and $1300CDN for the daylite screen. I am interested in anyone else's comments about this projector and what they paid. Please email me - d32@shaw.ca

Any Problems: Installation was tough since the projector has no zoom lens on it. Also the universal mount is not very user friendly!!!

Review by theYMCAguy

I have waited two years to write this review just to be sure. Two years later, this projector is GREAT. What else can I say?

Review by Bubbles

I praise this BenQ very high. The contrast ratio of 2500:1 , where most others are 2000:1 maks a huge visible difference ! My first thoughts when I took in out of the box was ...Wow ...wow...wow Not only great viewing pleasure , but easy on the eye aswell ! Full marks to BenQ on the PE8700 model !

Any Problems: None

Review by skooter

Out of the box the image was excellent!. I had a "professional" come to my home to check the picture and his "calibration" yielded no better picture! He was so suprised that it had not been calibrated. My only adjustment was brightness turned down. The tricky part of the operation was to align the projector with the screen. The keystone correction in my opinion was worthless. I have owned the projector since may 2004 and its no wonder it is still on the "best projector list". I am enjoying this projector using a da-lite cinema vision 110'' screen.

Any Problems: The two problems were the difficulty in the set up and the fan at times develops a small ticking sound during its cool down stage (when the projector is turned off)

Review by Russell

I must say, we are VERY impressed with this machine. It's attractive (which doesn't matter much as it hangs from a vaulted ceiling) and easy to use. The stunner though was how quickly this thing can be setup and display a stunning HDTV image. I'm using a fairly long length of HDMI cable (with DVI adapter end) as well as component cable (Audioquest silver - 2.5% I think) to connect DirecTV HD, Tivo, DVD, and aux inputs. The DirectTV HD sources are stunning on the 'PC' side of the device. All images seem to loose some definition on the 'CP' (component) side. I'm not sure if it's the projector or my cables (and I can't swap out cables easily as a test.) Fortunately the only thing I use 'CP' for is Tivo replays and my son uses it for his PS2. Considering we paid just under $4k and got a free Benq LCD TV in the deal I couldn't be happier with this projector. My next acquisition will need to be some sort of blackout shades as my screen gets washed out quite a bit during sunny times of the day.

Any Problems: None at all.

Review by MrWizzard

Picked this up for about $3200, i was impressed with the colors and sharpness. I used to have a crapper projector before this and its certainly amazing. I like the RS232 control as well. There are still certain ARTIFACTS i cant determin the source of but i cant say if its the projector or not. I bought a DVDO Iscan HD+ For this and running Pure DVI to DVI via DVD, no Digital To Analog or Analog to Digital Conversion, Except on Satellite Sources. Once i setup to bypass the projectors internal scaling, the image quality was much much better. You can tell by just changing the iscan to 420i or 420p and the internal scaling kicks in again and you can see the diffrence. So this projector is Capable of looking Much better than it is with its internal scaling and deinterlacing using an external one. Also note that Any D/A or A/D Converting currently in you're path really degrades the quality... i was surprised when going from component into the iscan to DVI out, To DVI In from the DVD and Out DVI to the projector through the iscan, the image looked WAY sharper...

Any Problems: None Yet, Wish it did 70hz FrameRate... Anyone know if the HD2 is cabable of 70hz? If so its just a matter of Firmware Mod perhaps to stop the down conversion back to 60hz when 70hz is used.

Review by Steve, Austin TX.

Love this projector. I've owned it for about 5 months. I've had 2 failures, see below. However, I have to say that the projector is awesome when it is functioning. I have it installed in a 22' X 20' center of house living room. The room has vaulted ceiling with ceiling fan, ceiling fan is a must in Texas heat. Due to this I installed it on the back wall. I bought a wall mount, it has a arm that extends out 2' to a elbow that has a connector that connects to a standard ceiling mount. This gives me about a 19.6' throw distance. I project on to a Da-Lite screen, the Tensioned Contour Electrol, 16X9 format, 133" diagonal. I chose the Cinema Vision matte. Very nice screen. I have to point out, do not buy the SCB-100 RS-232 Control board. First, this option added 8" to each side of the casing. Second, I was under the belief that it could connect to the PE8700 serial port for projector control over the screen, that is NOT possible. All you need to automatically control the screen up and down is a 12V line from either the projector or your stereo receiver. The PE8700 has this 12V screen controller and most mid to high end receivers do also. The serial board add-on is a waste of space and money. I've read reviews of the BenQ PE8700 that mentioned, what some called annoying, the units fan noise. I bought the unit in the winter, and until recently I thought the reviewers were crazy. Well, the outside temp has been hitting the 90's and I have just recently heard the fan go into high gear. When in normal operating mode, you can barely hear the fan. When it goes into full speed mode, it is more noticable. I would not call the noise annoying. Keep the room cool and leave space around the projector for air flow and you probably never hear the fan. I run all video through DVI, except for my X-Box which I use component video. It seems that the PE8700 doesn't support 720P or 1080i with component video. At least I can't get it to work. DVI works like a charm. I have a 4X1 DVI switch that works great for switching between DVI sources to the one PE8700 DVI input. I use a Samsung DVD player with DVI for $159, love it. I also have DirecTV HD-TiVO using DVI, and my computer has ATI X300 that has DVI. The BenQ remote now has a back light. If you read early reviews, that was a complaint. No worries any more. The video from this projector is first class. I have friends with Plasma and LCD HD TV's, this unit provides 2 - 5 times the size of picture with the same quality. In conclusion, I reviewed and studied projectors for almost 2 years before I decided on the BenQ PE8700. For price and features it seemed like a great deal, I say it was. Just a little after I purchased the PE8700, BenQ has introduced the PE7700. At this moment I'd suggest the PE7700, it has all the same features of the 8700 for less. It is also rated at 4 db quieter than the 8700. I assume BenQ realizes that this new product will hurt sales of the 8700.

Any Problems: I may be having bad luck, or am I? That's the question to ask. I expect to pay good money for good reliable equipment. So far, reliability of the PE8700 sucks. First unit worked about 1 week and then the internal fan mal-functioned. I'll give BenQ credit for quick replacement and RMA process for first failure. I had new working system 2 days from my call. I had to pay with credit card, but they refunded it when they received my return unit. Now dealing with 2nd RMA. Saturday morning went to do some work, my projector doubles for entertainment and computer workstation. The unit would not turn on. The power indicator was not lit and so I tested the power line, power line is good. Not sure what happened. I'm hoping my 2nd RMA process goes as smooth as the first. Just wanted others to be aware of these issues.

Review by April

Love the BenQ PE8700+ in our tiny apartment. I have owned this projector since December and have it ceiling mounted. It is used as our primary telelvision, mostly for movies, often for MSNtv (webtv) and occasionally as a monitor for a laptop. I'm very pleased, especially when I compare it to our 35 inch tube which we watch out at our house (now I need a second projector - yikes!) I just love my projector. I selected this projector after many hours of web research. We did do some in store research but found it difficult to view the projectors we were actually interested in, in person, though the shopping did give us at least some basic ideas of what to expect. I needed a short throw ratio and was between the Optoma 5700 and the BenQ8700. After having difficulty finding the Optoma at the right price, I ordered the BenQ 8700 for the same price with a bonus 12 inch LCD tv. I had serious and unusual constraints regarding a short throw ratio (wanted the largest possible picture from a short distance) so narrowed down to the BenQ8700 and the Optoma 5700 quickly. We have a dark narrow apartment so ambient light is not an issue - but since we use it also as a tv we do leave dim lights on sometimes and it's still good viewing. With a high ceiling the mount is above our viewing area - about 10.5 feet back. Fan noise is only a problem in terms of turning up the volume on the tv - a concern because of Co-Op rules, especially late at night - and I've considered getting headphones as a late nite viewing option. I was thrilled with the picture right out of the box - we watched Wimbledon - then rented the most recent Star Wars and Laurence of Arabia. I'm really happy with my BenQ PE8700+. I haven't seen any other projectors in person that I find any better. Small space theater: I'd also like to suggest that for anyone in a small ill lit big city apartment with high ceilings - a home projector with a low throw ratio is the perfect space saving solution as compared to an overpriced flat panel that still takes up space, gives a smaller picture, and doesn't offer nearly as good picture quality as a choice projector. Screen Wall: To avoid using a screen, (I know it's unorthodox, but I like to switch around between aspect ratios and find incorrect black borders distracting) I carefully skim coated the projection wall with light weight joint compound and then sanded smooth - for a great finish - then primed with PVA primer and painted white satin with a low knapp "smooth" roller to avoid a bumpy picture. If you choose to do this learn how to skimcoat first on a practice wall with a wide knife and by learning basics about drywall finishing and tapecoating from how-to sites or video tapes. Sand and reskim any problem spots. Sand smooth with a high number (120+) drywall sanding screen on a block type drywall screen holder or a fine grit sponge block sander. Then prime and paint. Good luck with your home theaters.

Any Problems: None so far.

Review by Rob

I have had the 8700+ for about 6 months now. It is ceiling mounted at about 13' from a 110" Stewart Firehawk screen. As others have also noted, I unpacked the projector and plopped it down on a table to have a quick look at its "out of the box" performance. Watching a Star Wars trilogy DVD on my textured plaster wall that first night was an unexpectedly awesome experience! Later, after the projector and screen were mounted and calibrated, I was truly blown away by the sharpness, brightness, color accuracy, contrast and 3-D effect of this projector. Even with the unit parked on the ceiling over my head, the fan noise is not objectionable, although it is audible during very quiet scenes. Using the DVI input for my Denon DVD-2910 DVD player and the BNC progressive inputs for HDTV, the picture is sharp, bright, smooth and film-like, with excellent black levels in a darkened room. High-quality DVDs (e.g., Star Wars trilogy, Fifth Element, Van Helsing, I Robot) are rendered with a quality and realism that rivals all but a few public cinemas in my city. At less than $4,000, I could not be more pleased with my purchase.

Any Problems: None.

Review by Chew

Very happy with picture quality, detials, resolution etc. However see below.

Any Problems: Very satisfied for about 5-6 months until suddenly the fan got rough and noisy. When the unit was returned from service,the fan was back to normal. However, I noticed a new problem immediately. When I open the dvd drawer and extract the dvd disc, I now noticed the images does a one or two sec flicker. The images are also slanted from left to right. This only happens when I open the drawer to take out the disc after play. Does not happen when I open to insert the dvd. This problem is new since the unit was returned from service. My dealer could not explain nor get any response/help from BenQ Service dept. I use a Marantz 9500 player connecting PE 8700 via Hdmi to Dvi. Can any one help ??

Review by spynedr

Great Projector. I had a Large CRT and now have the 8700+,Wow what a great pic, I was hesitant in changing from my CRT to the DLP, but the pic is as good or slightly better and blows the CRT cost away.Friends see a big difference.Set up was 1,2,3, with new ceiling mount.A+

Any Problems: Again , glad to read about the RCA to BNC connectors needed for component in. This was puzzling us for a while . Please include in shipment and alert customer.

Review by hoppin

My first projector after many hours of research and shopping. Using a cheapo screen and I am blown away by the quality of the picture without even fine tuning yet. Using a DVI interface and AMC is going to lose money on me now! Unit, cable and elect. screen for $4k. WOW! Keeping my fingers crossed for reliability.

Any Problems: None yet.....knock on wood.

Review by qwerty

Hi, I got the unit two months ago. No DOA pixels, no other problems. Picture was projected from a table on a white wall and it was pretty impressive. Now I got Stewart Firehawk 110" screen, mounted the unit on the ceiling, calibrated using Avia, checked using DVE. What to say? Picture is fantastic. Black is much much better comparing to black on a white wall.

Any Problems: I have expected that the fan in unit makes less noise, but it is not so bad.