BenQ W1000 1080P DLP Projector
  • Performance
  • 3.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Price
$1,299 MSRP Discontinued

The W1000 is BenQ's entry level 1080p home theater offering: a 1080p DLP projector that costs less than $1000 at retail. It has precalibrated modes suitable for a wide variety of uses, from HD sports in a well-lit living room to home cinema in a darkened theater. While the user interface is sometimes hard to work with, and the cinema modes require some fine-tuning to look their best, the W1000 is a strong performer and a great choice for a first projector.

Advantages

Light output. The W1000's light output can be changed drastically depending on the room environment and intended use. In its brightest modes, it is good for HD sports or some video games, while its more balanced modes are great for film.

The W1000 is rated at 2,000 lumens, and our test sample measured a very bright 1917 lumens in Dynamic mode. Dynamic mode has a strong green bias, which may or may not be suitable depending on the type of material you are viewing. If you want a bright picture without quite as much of a green tint, you can use Standard mode, which measured 1373 lumens. This mode also has better contrast than does Dynamic mode, making images and film appear more vivid and three-dimensional.

The third preset option, Cinema mode, measured 1211 lumens. Cinema mode was, despite the name, not particularly well suited for cinema use, due to the fact that BrilliantColor is enabled by default. Our preferred calibration, which used Cinema as a baseline, measured out to 525 lumens in high lamp mode. This does not sound like a lot, especially compared to the screaming 2000 lumens of Dynamic, but the image is much better balanced, with good contrast and accurate color. It is not unusual for home theater projectors to put out around 500 lumens in video optimized mode. Our settings for this mode are provided below.

Mode:User 1
Reference:Cinema
Brightness:51
Contrast:-12
Color:-3
Tint:5
Gamma:2.2
BrilliantColor:Off

BrilliantColor has its advantages in some situations. Enabling BrilliantColor will give you more than double the lumens to play with, allowing the use of larger screens or an increase in ambient room lighting. On the other hand, the picture looks more natural and balanced with BrilliantColor disabled, but it cuts lumen output drastically. Which setting you prefer is a matter of application. If you're watching sports in a well-lit room, use BrilliantColor. If you're watching movies in the dark, turn it off.

Contrast. The W1000 is rated at 4000:1 on/off contrast, which at the moment is typical for a sub-$1000 1080p projector. However, calibration is very important in helping the W1000 to realize its full potential, and at its defaults it does not look nearly as dynamic as some of its competition. With a little fine-tuning, such as the settings suggested above, it can easily hold its own against the competition.

 

Color. At its defaults, the W1000 is far too green and color is over-saturated by a fair amount. Due to the options available, one must move the tint control towards magenta (on this projector, that's above zero) in order to compensate for the green bias. Lowering saturation is even simpler. After these adjustments are made, color on the W1000 is vibrant and closer to accurate.

Picture Quality. None of the above comments reveal what is so exciting about the W1000. The W1000 has a very attractive, film-like picture that looks more expensive than it is. While it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, and is definitely an entry-level, no-frills product, it has an image that doesn't compromise. And when you're dealing with high definition film, image quality is ultimately the most important factor.

Low Maintenance. The W1000 has a 3,000 hour lamp, but life is extended to 4,000 hours in eco-mode. Replacements cost only $249 direct from BenQ. This gives the W1000 a cost per hour of operation somewhere between six and eight cents. And since the W1000 uses DLP's filter-free projector design, lamps are the only part that will need to be regularly replaced.

On-board speaker. Rarely do we find a home theater projector with audio onboard. In a permanent viewing room, you'll want a more robust surround sound system. But an onboard speaker is handy for portable use. It lets you play a movie in a temporary location that may not have an audio system available. However, let's keep it in perspective. The W1000 has a small 3W mono speaker, which is adequate only for very small audiences in very quiet rooms. The sound quality is actually quite good, but it lacks a volume control. For anything more than three people, the volume is simply not adequate to provide a satisfying experience. If you are running an air conditioner or even a particularly loud fan, the sound can be completely overwhelmed.

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Limitations

Menu system. Most of our frustrations with the W1000 stemmed from the user interface. The menu system seems logical, with several tabs arranged along the top and options displayed underneath. However, we ran into a few oddities. The three preset modes (Dynamic, Standard, and Cinema) cannot be changed in any way; all of the adjustments in these modes are deactivated or "grayed out." To make any picture control adjustments, you must select one of three User modes, which then allow you to set one of the three presets as a baseline and make changes. However, one wonders why BenQ did not just allow the user to change the basic presets to begin with.

In addition, BrilliantColor is enabled by default on all image modes. BrilliantColor boosts highlights, giving the impression of very bright whites, without affecting the rest of the image. While this is a great feature for presentation, it is not desirable for movie viewing in a dark room as it produces an unbalanced image.

Finally, there's the color adjustment system. There are three preset color temperatures, Warm, Normal, and Cool. If none of these are to your liking, you can pick the User setting, which then allows access to a sub-menu for further adjustment. So far, this is all fairly standard. But the sub-menu does not actually have adjustment controls in it. Instead, it just allows you to pick from a slightly larger range of presets, labeled Warmer, Warm, Normal, Cool, and Cooler. We hooked the W1000 up to our CalMan calibration system to measure the actual temperature of the presets, and here's what we came up with:

Warmer5122
Warm6619
Normal7815
Cool9071
Cooler10041




"Warmer" could be useful for viewing black-and-white films, though the ideal temperature for that would be closer to 5400K than 5000K. "Warm" is closest to the ideal 6500K standard used for color film, though the Warm setting includes too much green. "Normal," "Cool," and "Cooler" are biased towards blue, and their usefulness for home theater video is limited. Since other projectors in this price range include RGB Gain/Bias color adjustments, it is unfortunate that the W1000 lacks these controls.

Color Wheel. The W1000 has a six-segment color wheel with Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Yellow, and White segments. It spins at 7200 RPM. Technically speaking, this is a 2X-speed wheel--the RGB channels are refreshed twice per frame of a 60Hz signal. We did not see any rainbow artifacts during well-lit scenes, or even most scenes with average brightness. Rainbows manifest in dark scenes with small areas of bright light, such as streetlights or shiny objects. This is especially true when there is also rapid motion involved, like an action sequence or even a camera pan. The end result is that you may go an entire movie without seeing rainbows, even if you are susceptible to them; we watched the excellent Patton on Blu-ray without a hitch. When I watched Heat, though, I had to stop several times to allow my eyes to rest. If you are sensitive to DLP rainbow artifacts, this may not be the model for you.

Shootout: BenQ W1000 versus Optoma HD20

One of the W1000's chief competitors in this price range is the Optoma HD20, another inexpensive 1080p DLP projector. While they have some basics in common, they are very different machines. The HD20 is clearly built with home theater in mind, while the W1000 is a more flexible projector that is better suited to multi-purpose use.

Light output. The W1000 is rated at 2,000 lumens; the HD20 is rated at 1,700. The difference in measured lumens is even more drastic: the W1000's Dynamic mode reached 1917 lumens, while the HD20's Bright mode only hit 973. In high ambient light situations, the W1000 is the clear winner since its additional brightness can better compensate for room lighting. In home theater situations, where brightness is not as important, the two projectors are more evenly matched. In their calibrated modes, the W1000 and HD20 measure 525 and 633 lumens, respectively.

Color. Neither the W1000 nor the HD20 is calibrated to perfect 6500K straight out of the box, though the HD20 is closer to the standard. More importantly, the HD20 has standard RGB Gain/Bias controls, while the W1000 does not. When trying to fine-tune color to its ideal settings, this makes all the difference in the world. If you plan on adjusting your projector's color settings or having the projector calibrated professionally, the HD20 is easier to use.

User Interface. The W1000's menu system is sometimes difficult to navigate, with some common options missing altogether. Color is difficult to adjust and BrilliantColor cannot be disabled without losing the ability to change color temperature. The HD20 has a far more conventional menu system, with RGB Gain/Bias color controls that make it much easier to adjust the projector to the 6500K standard.

Placement Flexibility. Both the W1000 and the HD20 have manual 1.2:1 zoom lenses and fixed throw angles. The W1000's 13% throw offset and the HD20's 15% throw offset are very similar; using a 100" diagonal image, the HD20's picture would appear about an inch higher than that of the W1000. Both are ideally placed on low coffee tables or in ceiling mounts. There are some differences in throw distance, as the HD20 throws slightly longer, but the two projectors are functionally almost identical in this category.

Color Wheel. The W1000 has a 2X-speed color wheel with six segments. If you or your family members see rainbow artifacts on 2X-speed DLP projectors, the W1000 will very likely manifest these same artifacts. However, the HD20 has a six-segment (RGBRGB) 4X-speed wheel, making it much less likely to induce rainbows.

Picture Quality. Overall, we enjoy the HD20's picture more, as it seems better integrated, smoother, and more film-like. For home theater applications, its color settings are easier to manipulate, allowing you to calibrate it to perfect 6500K with less fuss. The W1000 is certainly brighter, and is a better fit for sports and video game applications. But when it comes to home theater, the HD20 gets our vote.

Conclusion

The BenQ W1000 is a value-priced product that delivers a great picture. It is bright enough to be used in the living room, high enough in contrast to be used in the theater, and vibrant enough in color to display anything you desire. The user interface is not what it could be, with several confusing options and defaults that don't fit the intended application. But if what you want is a bright picture at a bargain price, the W1000 is a great place to start.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our BenQ W1000 projector page.

Comments (16) Post a Comment
Andreas Posted Mar 3, 2010 10:22 PM PST
Thanks for a to-the-point review of the W1000. I thank you especially for the suggested user preset. The W1000 is my first projector, and the world of calibration has yet to reveal itself to me. I am aware different projectors might produce slightly different pictures, but your preset gives me a starting point.

And it is actually possible to change the volume on the internal speaker; it is actually louder in my opinion than many reviewers give it credit for.

As it is my first projector I have very little to compare it to, but I'm blown away but the quality of blu-ray pictures on my 106" Grandview screen. I'm very happy with the small form factor and white color of the W1000. It's hidden away on a shelf above the sofa, and most people visiting don't notice it.
Roy Posted Mar 7, 2010 11:02 AM PST
This is one of the few reviews that doesn't comment on fan noise. Particularly in comparison to its peers, the Optoma HD20 & the Vivitek H1080FD, whose reviews included this information. Can anyone enlighten us?
Donovan Posted Mar 9, 2010 1:02 PM PST
@Roy The W1000 is rated at 29.0 dB while the Optoma HD20 comes in at 34.0 dB. I'm not sure about the Vivitek. On a related note, I've owned 2 Benq DLP's in the past and can say that they do get louder over time. My Sony projector has not increased in volume at all over the past 2 years. - Cheers
Jeff Posted Mar 10, 2010 9:29 AM PST
Finally a professional review with recommended settings. Thanks
L g Posted Mar 16, 2010 8:46 AM PST
I recently purchased the W1000 after owning an Optoma HD70....It's a fantastic upgrade..It is quite bright, looks sharp, and overall puts out a great picture for movies and just general TV. The fan is extremely quiet and I don't even hear it. Compared to the noisy HD-70 it is a pleasure. I love the projector and would recommend it for movie and TV viewing. While the menus can sometimes be daunting, it does have a very extensive set of adjustments, which is very unusual for such an inexpensive product. This flexibility allows the user to dial in a very impressive looking picture. If you are looking for a new projector, and price is an object, the Benq W1000 is a winner.
pjt Posted Mar 18, 2010 4:13 PM PST
I owned this projector for 50 hours and took it back because of tanned/orange faces which could not be corrected plus visual noise with certain colors. The brightness was incredible and i was almost willing to accept its faults but in the end i got the mitsubishi hc3800 which is not as bright but has accurate and vivd colors.
Douglas Posted Apr 5, 2010 1:32 PM PST
I’ve had a few problems with this projector. First one might be a problem with my receiver and or video card, switching between my Xbox 360 and the computer results in a loss of video signal. I worked around this problem by plugging the computer into the second hdmi port. Switching between dvd, xbox and tv works fine. The second problem I have encountered is with powering up the unit. Sometimes when I turn it on it doesn’t fire up right away, the lamp indicator light comes on “amber” and the power light flashes “amber”, after a few seconds it fires up and I have no problems. I am also unable to manually adjust the color/tint/sharpness under the user modes. I’m taking it into a service center this week before the lamp warranty runs out.

The rainbow effect is a big issue for this projector, but I get used to it fairly quickly and is one of the sacrifices made by going with an inexpensive projector.
jim Posted Apr 9, 2010 12:54 PM PST
i am currently building out my basement and am prewiring the projector tube before drywalling for a cieling mount. I have looked in several places for Ideal "throw distance" and have yet to find anything of real substance. Can anyone recomend an "ideal" throw distance for this machine? Your help you be greatly appreciated.
Sven Posted May 25, 2010 12:08 PM PST
Love this projector! Had it for a few months now, upgraded from a native SVGA to 1080p for optimal BlueRay performance. This projector looks great, is very quiet, and the picture is awesome (have it connected to a Harman Kardon theatre system with a Samsung BlueRay player and Xbox 360, all connections are HDMI cables. Projecting against blank wall.) The backlit RC adds to the great experience. Very happy overall, no regrets!
Chris Posted May 26, 2010 8:06 AM PST
I am the happy owner of a W1000 and I am impressed from the picture quality. I think that the value for money is great and it is nice to note that there might be better (and much more expensive) projectors out there, but my BenQ W1000 leaves nothing more to be desired. I just enjoy my movies or my games. I would also like to add two points regarding the review: 1) The projector has volume control. You can see this at the picture of the remote control, at the bottom left there are VOL+ & VOL- buttons. 2) The projector has color management. You can make adjustments in Hue & Saturation for 6 colors (RGBCMY) individually. Plus, it has Clarity Control adjustments, so I find the color adjustment rather powerful & complete.
shad Posted Jun 6, 2010 12:43 AM PST
Just received my projector and works well overall. I did place a universal mount and one of the screws broke off because the threads didn't appear to be standard. For throw distance - depends on your screen size. I have a 120 inch wide scree 4:3 and had to move it back to about 16 feet to fill the screen. Just do the math on the throw depending on your screen and you should be good. I waited till I received the projector before I chose the final location to mount during finishing my basement. Glad I did as I thought I needed to be at 15 feet for my screen - I was off by a foot and it didn't fill the screen. Now I'm good to go.
Emeka Ossia Posted Jun 29, 2010 8:10 AM PST
All the qaulities i read are very interesting, how will i pay and have this projeector [BenQ W1000 1080p] from Nigeria.Good things are good for those who knows their value.
Bob Posted Aug 29, 2010 11:03 AM PST
I have had a BenQ PE 7700 for over 4 years, but would like to go to HD 1080p projector and am impressed with all I have read about the BenQ W1000. My primary question si do I have to replace the ceiling mount or will it adapt to the W 1000? Also while I think this is a given, I read no where that the W 1000 when mounted upside down has the capability to right the projection.
eli Posted Feb 19, 2011 1:30 PM PST
very good entry projector good colors and picture very pleacet after calipration recomentet:)
sks Posted Jul 25, 2011 8:48 PM PST
I have a W1000 and I am very happy with it. I have a simple question. I am looking at buying a screen, what's a good size screen if my projector is about 13 feet throw.

Let me know if you guys have an opinion? 92 vs. 106 vs. 120?

Thx!
Ray Posted Jan 6, 2014 6:46 PM PST
YesTheImageCanBeFlipped

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