Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
The newest home video projector from BenQ is called the W1070. Sporting native 1080p resolution and a max light output of 2,000 lumens, the W1070 has the pixels to show HD moves in their native resolution and the power to light up your living room, even if you can't get the space completely dark.
Home video projectors, as the name implies, are designed for multipurpose use in family rooms and living rooms; i.e. places other than a home theater. They are more likely to have higher light output, onboard speakers, and more modest contrast than home theater projectors since black level is less of a concern when ambient light is present. Conversely, home theater projectors are optimized for darkened rooms and typically have very high contrast.
The W1070 defaults to Dynamic mode, which like other projectors' Dynamic modes is very bright and very green. Dynamic mode will be useful any time you need to prioritize light output over the projector's other qualities, such as contrast and color saturation, as these take a beating in order to increase overall power.
The projector's two other modes are Standard and Cinema. Standard and Cinema modes both have better color balance than Dynamic mode, with Standard intentionally maintaining a slightly colder overall color temperature. In terms of light output, the two are about equal.
As a whole, the picture produced by the W1070 is bright, clear, and perfect for the living room. The picture is sharp and detailed thanks to the W1070's full-HD 1920x1080 native resolution. Thanks to the projector's brightness and solid dynamic range, shadow detail is maintained in all but the brightest ambient light.
Perhaps the most unique quality of the W1070 is 3D compatibility, which is something normally not found on home video projectors. While 3D is certainly appealing to many projector buyers, it is hard to square the W1070's 3D compatibility with its intended use as a living room projector. However this just expands the W1070's potential uses beyond daytime entertainment into night-time 3D.
2D image quality. While the W1070 isn't a projector with a lot of bells or whistles on it, the projector's 2D image quality is excellent. The projector comes out of the box with three perfectly usable 2D image modes, a 3D mode, two locked ISF modes that become available after calibration, plus three User image modes for customization. These modes help the projector cope with the myriad different situations in which a home video projector might be used, from a darkened theater-type environment to a bright living room on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
3D Performance. The W1070 uses the DLP Link system to display Full HD 3D, meaning that the image is punctuated by white light pulses which are used to sync with active shutter 3D glasses. This has both positive and negative consequences. A positive consequence is that DLP-Link systems tend to be very low in crosstalk, and indeed the W1070 had no visible crosstalk during our testing. On the other hand, DLP Link glasses tend to lose synchronization more easily than either infrared-sync or radio-sync glasses, which can be a concern in any environment where people get up and move around. Either way, the W1070 is one of the few home video projectors to feature Full HD 3D.
With decent out-of-the-box color and respectable contrast, the W1070 is a great little projector for entertaining in your home. By far the best part of the image is its natural sharpness and clarity. This isn't just due to the projector's 1080p pixel matrix, either; the W1070 has a razor-sharp image even for an HD projector--especially one in this price range.
Long life. The W1070's long-life lamp makes it an attractive projector to serve as a partial TV replacement. Lamp life is estimated at 3,500 hours in full power mode and up to 6,000 hours in Eco or SmartEco mode, which is considerably longer than comparable projectors. This is in part because the W1070 is capable of reducing lamp power by up to 70% using the projector's SmartEco function, which dims the lamp output to a level appropriate for the content on screen at the time of selection. There's no way to make an arbitrary brightness selection, which is unfortunate, but the concept itself is useful when you don't need a lot of light.
Onboard audio. Part of the allure of home video projectors is their use as TV replacements, and TV replacements need some kind of onboard sound capability. The W1070 doesn't have much of a speaker system; it has a single 10W speaker rather than the stereo sound that some competitors offer. But that one speaker doesn't suffer from distortion or the tinny character that plagues many small speakers. Indeed, with the volume cranked, we found the single speaker more than adequate for an audience of eight in a large living room.
Placement flexibility. The W1070's manual zoom lens has a 1.3:1 ratio, and can display a 100" diagonal image from 8' 4" to 10' 11". That's about standard for this class of projector. What is not standard is the projector's vertical lens shift, which gives you the ability to move the projected image up or down by about 10% of the image's height. The range is such that, at the bottom, the bottom edge of the projected image is level with the lens centerline, and at the top it has an upward throw angle equivalent to roughly 20% of the image's height. This makes table mounting and ceiling mounting the most realistic options, while a rear shelf mount is more or less out of the question both due to lens shift and zoom concerns.
6X Speed Color Wheel. The W1070 has a six-segment color wheel in the theater-optimized RGBRGB configuration. This wheel layout maximizes color without artificially boosting white, and is preferred for its ability to render natural color. What's more, the wheel gives an effective refresh rate of six times per frame. This should eliminate color separation artifacts (rainbows) for all but the most hypersensitive of viewers.
Light output. The BenQ W1070 spec sheet states a 2,000 lumen maximum output. Our test sample did indeed measure 2019 lumens, but only in Dynamic mode, and then only after we increased Brightness and Contrast to their maximum limits. In the factory default settings for Dynamic mode, our test unit measured 1554 lumens with the lamp at full power. That's the maximum output we obtained in any usable mode, so it is the practical ceiling for this projector. Dynamic mode is a good choice when you need every lumen the projector can muster and don't much care about what happens to color accuracy and contrast in order to get there. With a projector designed for use in ambient light, that's a situation that will arise from time to time.
As stated earlier, the two modes that we used most often were Standard and Cinema. Standard mode, at 1271 lumens, is balanced for living room use. It emphasizes brightness, but maintains dynamic range and adds a touch of blue to overall grayscale, resulting in a color temperature around 7000K across the board. It's a well-balanced image mode for general film and video use.
Cinema mode, at its defaults, isn't much different; our test unit measures 1220 lumens in this mode at an average 6800K color temperature. If this is too much light (and it may well be once you dim the room lighting), Eco mode reduces light output by nearly 30%, resulting in 880 lumens in Cinema mode.
SmartEco mode is a bit of a puzzle. The mode claims to reduce brightness based on the content on screen, but it is not a dynamic lamp mode. Lamp power does not cycle up and down once SmartEco has been selected. Instead, the projector decides based on the content being shown how bright the lamp should be, and then locks output at that level.
Contrast and black level. As a home video projector, black level is not the W1070's main focus. Indeed, compared to home theater projectors, even HT projectors in the same price range, black level is only so-so. However, that doesn't mean that the projector's overall contrast is weak. Dynamic range is sufficient to maintain excellent separation in shadows, even with ambient light in the room. Gamma, while not as adjustable as we'd like (it uses a list of presets rather than a true adjustment tool), is accurate. If you find the image a touch anemic in ambient light, using a higher gamma setting will give the image some more punch. The 2.4 setting is great in low ambient light.
Color. The W1070 has a lot going for it when it comes to color. First of all, the projector's color calibration controls are extensive and easy to use. It features not only full RGB gain/bias adjustments for grayscale calibration, but also a full three-axis color management system for gamut adjustments -- AND there's a further ISF mode hidden behind a password. Second, and more importantly, the projector has well-saturated, accurate, usable color right out of the box, which in an inexpensive projector is arguably more important than the presence of good calibration controls. After all, relatively few of the W1070's purchasers will spend the time and effort to have it calibrated.
The default calibrations are all appropriate for different situations. Dynamic mode, which is bright and clearly biased towards green, is for combating heavy ambient light. Standard mode, at roughly 7000K, is for television and video in mild to moderate ambient light. Cinema mode, at 6800K, is the closest to a calibrated movie mode, and with a little bit of adjustment is great for night-time movie watching.
As mentioned above, the W1070 has extensive color controls and calibrates very well. Our settings for Cinema mode look like this:
Those adjustments give the W1070 a near-perfect 6500K grayscale across the board.
Sharpness and clarity. The W1070 has excellent native sharpness, even after the projector's sharpness control has been turned down (it defaults to a setting that is slightly too high). Detail in HD material is displayed with razor-sharp, pixel-perfect precision. And the W1070 does this without a smart sharpening system or other detail enhancement features.
Input lag. Normally, 3D projectors are fairly sluggish when it comes to input lag, even when they are being used in regular 2D mode. The W1070 breaks this pattern and puts up some respectable input lag numbers: around 24ms, or 1.5 frames, in the modes we tested.
2D-3D Conversion. While the W1070 is full HD 3D compatible, it cannot do 2D to 3D conversion. If you are looking for a 3D projector and 2D to 3D conversion is important to you, take note.
SmartEco. The SmartEco feature itself works well enough; punch the SmartEco button and the projector reduces lamp output. However, the implementation is hard to understand and can be hard to use. If you want to put the projector into its most economical setting, you can't just select this from a list; you need to put up some kind of content that will cause the projector to select this setting. Being able to choose your own level of lamp power would be far simpler and easier to understand.
Lens shift. The fact that the W1070 has lens shift at all puts it ahead of most of its competitors, which lack the feature. On the other hand, the lens shift range is heavily limited, amounting to a few inches of adjustment. The control itself is difficult to use -- the tiny knob is best turned by a coin or screwdriver rather than by hand. As such, while the presence of lens shift is a welcome feature, the actual ease of use of the control could be improved.
The BenQ W1070 is a great little home video projector that produces a 2D image that looks more expensive than it is. High light output and great shadow detail help the W1070 stand up to ambient light, while extensive color controls and solid factory calibrations make it easy to just plug and play.
Though black levels are competitive with other home video projectors, they are not at a level where we'd be comfortable recommending the W1070 for dedicated dark room movie viewing or photography presentation. But what the W1070 does, it does very well -- namely, it provides a great living room experience for high-definition 2D content, and with the lights off it can give you a solid 3D picture with almost zero crosstalk. Most importantly, it does all this at a price that's highly competitive in today's market.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our BenQ W1070 projector page.
I got this one for 850$ and it's a real trooper, doesn't give up. I expect to get bored of it before I give up on it...oh wait...no I won't. I'm selling my plasma because this is now my primary monitor! There is no input lag and I'm a huge gamer (in fact I am a 3D programmer).
No bust blobs, not very loud, 6000 hours, very reliable...not a single return or issue in the 55+ pages so far on avsforum. very, very good sign. BenQ has a hit!
(on 1/16 you wrote: "i'm considering this model to replace my Sanyo PLV-Z5 that has developed the yellow spot. It's a 720p."
I have that model Sanyo and sent it back under warr. for yellow spot - they simply used the included rubber bulb blower accessory to clean the LCD panels and all was good as new. I was without my proj for 10 days because I was ignorant. (Also: I borrowed an Epson 8350 recently, 1080p/ 2000 lumens - a big step up from the Sanyo, this Benq should be similar upgrade.)
I don't mind spending the extra $$ for Panasonic but I would like to ensure that I get the commensurate value. The projector will be ceiling mount with a throw distance of 13 feet. I need a durable, easy to maintain projector with good after sales service. Also noyt sure how the fan noise compares between these 2 models.
It will be great if you can share your expert views.
The SW on my projector is 1.04. I did notice a major over-saturation of blue while watching "Looper". This was during night scenes with a point of light in the movie background. This high contrast in the movie is supposed to show a glare line or glare halo...depending on how the cinematographer wanted you to see it. Instead, I would get a BRIGHT royal blue saturation as to where the glare was. I haven't watched enough other content to see if it happens again.
I'm looking forward to seeing 3D movies on this system. I don't have glasses yet, but I think I will get the TrueDepth 3D units as they can be set for 3D or 2D while watching a 3D movie. This will let others watch a movie with me and see it in 2D if they prefer.
So far, I am VERY pleased with this projector.
Benq is DLP----are you sensitive to RBE (rainbow effect?) If so then the Pany is the better bet.
The whole price vs performance thing is really a personal thing. Some are willing to give up some pic quality to save 2K some people aren't. Overall, the panasonic is a better projector and is more of a true "home theater projector". It won't be as bright as the BenQ but it will have better contrast, black levels, shadow details, saturation of color. Whether or not the difference is important to you....well, that's the 2000 dollar question.
Also the Pany is a LCD, and like most LCD projectors it has better placement flexibility than DLP. The pany has a much larger zoom, plus a lot of horizontal and vertical shift. The panasonic also has lens memory and digital zoom which would allow for a CIH (constant image height) setup utilizing a 2.35 ratio screen.
But DLP tends to be better at 3D, I have not seen any ghosting on my optoma gt750 which is DLP, and most others who watch 3D on a DLP projector say the same...no ghosting. I like 3D a lot and I'd give up some placement flexibility and picture quality to enjoy ghost free 3D.
If you are willing to spend 3K on a projector, I'd suggest you also take a look at the epson 5020 along with the pany 8000. You might also find a good deal on a pany 7000. Just make sure to check the calculator as I think this benq has a fairly short throw which will not allow for placement at the rear of the room.
Can someone answer if this will be a significant imporovement? I have a dedicated/dark theater room and have been pleased with the 4805...but the HD bug has bitten me and want crisp as possible...on a laymans budget!
FYI, Life of Pi on this projector was sublime.
Gain R 3 G -3 B 0 Offset R -7 G 1 B 9
Is the Benq spec sheet incorrect, or does the Benq might have an RGBCMY color wheel like the Acer, rather than an RGBRGB color wheel? Even if it does have the same color wheel, is the Benq doing something that the Acer isn't, to produce better color?
I'd like to apologize for the lack of comments from me on this article. We've been having a very busy time here at Projector Central and sometimes my commenting duties get away from me. I appreciate your patience.
Now, here is a response to every comment on the article, in order.
wanab: As we didn't have the Epson 3020 or Optoma HD33 in house, it's impossible to say. Fan noise is comparable to other home video projectors and we didn't feel there was a significant enough difference to merit a comment.
davidm: I will try to highlight fan noise more often.
Josh Anderson: our review of the W1080ST is now available from the homepage. I hope that answers your question. :)
Keith: Yes, the W1070 will be a significant upgrade over the Sanyo Z5.
Todd: The PE7700 was known for its reliability problems. To our knowledge, BenQ has not had any reliability problems with other models since the PE7700, but due to the short-term nature of our testing (we seldom have any projector for longer than a month) it's impossible for us to say with any kind of first-hand knowledge.
Rob: We agree. It's a great projector.
steve: I'm glad you like it!
GOPAL AGRAWAL Indore: LCD panels do not degrade nearly as often or as severely as you seem to claim. While low-cost business LCD models did have degradation problems in the past due to organic phosphors in the panels, they have been reformulated. You also don't mention that color wheel motors tend to go out much more frequently than the color wheel itself tends to fade, and color wheel maintenance is a common reason for a DLP projector requiring service.
RLBURNSIDE: SmartEco does not always make the lamp life 6,000 hours. It makes the lamp life "up to" 6,000 hours, but only if it is set to the lowest brightness setting. It is a sliding scale.
paul: Sanyo's dust blower ports were a neat feature, weren't they? Then again, better sealing means most new LCD projectors don't require them anymore.
Vishal: The W1070 and Panasonic AE8000 aren't even in the same league. Get the AE8000 if you can afford it.
Ryan: You're right; I haven't seen an HC4000 in so long, I'd be uncomfortable offering a comparison.
Swerve: That is correct. You need a projector with a longer zoom lens. Several models offer a 2:1 zoom; you should look into those. They do cost more, though.
Michael: Sharpness should always be set to 0 unless you can tell that the projector is artificially reducing sharpness (this is not common). Color temperature should be adjusted based on our calibrations (okay) or using a meter (better). Noise reduction can usually be left off unless you have a particularly noisy source.
kyle: I watch mostly 2D, but the W1070 is very strong as a "just 2D" projector. I'd still recommend it.
will: That is one advantage of DLP Link -- there tends to be very little crosstalk, if any.
Eric: The W1070 is a massive improvement over the SP4805.
Paul: Have you tried a Blu-ray player? How are you connecting the projector and computer? If you want to go in-depth about this, please drop a note in our Comments mailbox where I can spend more time with it.
Reuben: My sentiments exactly.
Sprocket: I did not recommend it for photography due to its black level. However, if this is all you can afford, it's going to be hard to find something better. I'd say in your situation it would be an acceptable choice, especially since it has relatively good color compared to its immediate competition.
Hayati: All I can say is that our two projectors might have different firmware, which would account for the different numbers. Our settings were made in Eco mode (not SmartEco) and with BrilliantColor turned on.
Rosie: To quote The Dude, "Well that's just, like, your opinion, man."
Tom S.: BrilliantColor doesn't determine what kind of color wheel a projector has. The W1070 has an RGBRGB wheel.
Ted Nunn: I hope my comment above is sufficient.
sukumar: The factory presets are locked and you need an ISF password to access the ISF menu. I know how annoying that can be on such an inexpensive projector, but there are some settings in the ISF menu that could seriously harm image quality so BenQ keeps them locked to professionals only.
AKASH AGARWAL 9766046179: Okay?
Gave: 3D works over HDMI from Blu-ray on the W1070. There is a difference between "3D Ready" and "HDMI 1.4 3D" or "Full HD 3D." The MX750 is the former. The W1070 is the latter. We wrote an article about the difference, if you'd like more information. You can find it in the Commentary section, titled "What does 3D Ready mean?"
Here's the link: http://www.costco.ca/BenQ-W1250-3D*-1080p-Full-HD**-DLP-Projector.product.100034723.html
Also looking forward to a comparison of the W1070 to the Optoma HD25.
Does this projector has 1:1 pixel mapping? since I use it for my PC and it's very important to me. I actually have the Viewsonic Pro8200 and it blurs the edges of everything on screen (a well documented weakness on AVS). I have been reading about Acer 9500 and Benq W7000 and both appear to not have 1:1 mapping.
And, is this a big upgrade over my Pro 8200? Are the blacks better?
Thanks in advance!
sukumar: either you've accidentally enabled horizontal keystone correction or your setup is not perfectly square. I'm sorry that I can't help more, but this is one of those things that needs to be looked at in person.
BenQ1070 vs Optoma hd131xe
Is your problem resolved? I am also seeing the same height problem.
I have it set up on the ceiling about 10' away from a Visual Apex 100" drop down tensioned screen with a 5.1 surround sound system. I'm really happy with this set-up. We mostly use the W1070 for viewing DirecTV. DirecTV looks good, Sports look great, Movies in DVD look good. Blu-Ray movies look amazing.
We have used the BenQ W1070 daily for the last 7 months without any issues. I have done a few brightness and color adjustments for daytime and nighttime viewing. Fan noise is minimal enough where it doesn't bother me. I have not had the need to really do a full and complete color calibration. I still haven't bought any 3D glasses yet either.
First, I don't own this PJ yet, having it shipped from the UK. Will mostly use it for movies.
Second, the setup: - self built 170" screen, gray paint... - room easily and completely light proofed. - PJ is ceiling mounted. - distance from PJ to screen is 4.32m (14'2") (got that from the calculator and will calibrate if required). - seating at 5m (16'5") from screen and less (the room is 4x5m).
Third, the questions: - is this setup achievable (screen size/image quality)? - I'm not sure how the 3d glasses communicate with the PJ, do they need direct line of sight like IR remotes? or is it more like Bluetooth or WiFi? I'm asking because the PJ is going to be above and in front the glasses while operating, will that work? - any other concerns, other than RBE warnings and other PJ suggestions?
thanks a bunch.
I have it on a book shelf directly behind me on top of a small tilting laptop table which works great to point it down to my pull up 120 inch screen. I do use the keystone option and some offset but it looks fine and I am not a stickler for a little softness in the screen as I really can't see much of it.
I have used it primarily as a tv replacement in my home and for the $800 bucks I paid for it online, I would never go back to a regular tv. I can control the light in my living room and have left it in smart eco mode with never an issue. It just looks great. I hardly ever go to the movies anymore as I just love my popcorn machine and having my snacks at home and 3d capabilities there as well.
You won't be disappointed; I can fill a 120 inch screen from about 12'3" back about 6'5" behind my couch on top of a book shelf directly below my ceiling fan which helps to cool the projector as well.
The first time I hooked it up to my 3d bluray player I was simply blown away, my Xbox one looks awesome and playing battlefield 4 on 120 inches is an experience my old 73 inch tv will never match. I will cherish this projector until 4k 3d is a reality. For now I will keep a spare lamp in on my self and use smart eco mode to see just how many hours I can generate. I run it about 6-8 hours min daily.
Just my quick review.. The colors are wonderful and the range of connections are perfect for me as a first time home theater projector with all the options I could ask for. My apple tv works great and looks fine. 3D aplenty and the remote while a little low on options is fine for what I need it for. A great projector at the best price for HD, and 3D for small to medium sized living room. My friends and family are wowed every time.
however from 5 to 6 day's I am finding yellow effect on faces of characters, which is giving a shade effect.
Can somebody help on this, how it can be corrected.
Thinking is it due to lamp issue and needs to be replaced.