BenQ MP 776ST Multimedia Projector
Lens Performance: The BenQ MP776ST displayed a noticeable amount of chromatic aberration. This is most visible in text at the screen edges. Small format text displayed a color shift toward red on the left hand side of the character and a lower degree of color shift to green on the right side of the character. The amount of color shift is increasingly significant as one moves to screen edge and was not nearly as noticeable at screen center. While the color fringing was not noticeable from a normal viewing distance, it does contribute to a perceived lack of sharpness. The MP776ST is not as sharp as expected for a business class DLP projector. The MP776 model is also available in a normal throw distance configuration. We did not test it, but it is probable that the longer throw lens will have less chromatic aberration.
120Hz mode limitations - Inputting a 120Hz signal to the BenQ MP776ST has two unfortunate side effects-a significant reduction of image brightness and the lockout of all image adjustment features such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. The reduction in brightness when switching between a 120Hz signal almost exactly matches the reduction in brightness when Brilliant Color is deactivated. Testing in Presentation mode, the peak image brightness was reduced by 61% when a 120Hz input signal was used versus a 60Hz signal with the same settings - a value that closely matches the 64% reduction seen when switching Brilliant Color on and off.
Additionally, one loses the ability to make any picture control changes when a 120 Hz input signal is used. This results in a very complicated process for adjusting basic image parameters that essentially prevents reaching optimized video settings at a 120 Hz refresh rate. When fed a 120 Hz signal, the MP776ST uses the last image settings used prior to switching to the 120 Hz refresh rate. Basic adjustments to brightness and contrast required switching back and forth between different refresh rates and trying to estimate the changes required in the 120Hz signal mode. By using the complex and time-consuming process of switching refresh rates, I was able to grossly set brightness and contrast, but not reach optimal values.
Lack of user adjustable image settings: The MP776ST does not give the ability to adjust basic picture controls such as brightness and contrast in the four pre-set display modes. However, it provides two user modes that allow custom adjustments. Changes to brightness and contrast will usually be required to optimize the image quality depending on the viewing environment. The two user modes allow one to save settings that are optimized for both 'presentation' and 'video'.
The BenQ MP776ST includes many features that set it apart from most projectors in this class. It includes presentation specific features such as a laser pointer on the remote and a built in presentation count down timer make the MP776ST an ideal fit for classroom or business settings. It also has exceptional brightness, pleasing video performance, and satisfying color quality using normal, out of the box settings. The MP776ST also supports the display of 3D images using active shutter glasses, which will become more useful as the amount of 3D content increases. Overall, this fully featured short throw projector is expected to perform admirably in both classroom and conference room settings.
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