BenQ W1000 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review
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.
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.
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.
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