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Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
BenQ W1200 Projector BenQ W1200
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Street Price: n/a
Weight: 7.9 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:2,500 Hrs
4,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.3 (x2), USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

BenQ W1100 and W1200
1080p Home Theater Projectors

Bill Livolsi, May 4, 2011

Color. Grayscale measurements on the factory default calibrations on the W1100 and W1200 were not terribly impressive. All color temperature presets, from "Warmest" to "Coolest," were too cool, with the best measuring about 7500K. However, a quick pass with our CalMAN calibration rig brought color temperature in line with the 6500K standard. While there were slight differences between the two projectors, they were similar enough that a generalized setting might be helpful. Starting from the "Normal" preset, adjust Red to 120 and Green and Blue to 100. This will probably get you in the ballpark, even if you do not own a color meter.

As for gamut, both the W1100 and W1200 required some fine-tuning before they produced really stunning pictures, but an hour's worth of work did wonders for color accuracy and conformance to published standards. Few people spend the money to have inexpensive projectors calibrated, and the W1100 and W1200 certainly qualify as inexpensive; however, it is impressive just how good the two projectors can look after some attention. A colorimeter and software can cost as little as $250, and the performance gain from a simple gamut calibration is, in our opinion, worth the time and money. Unfortunately, there is enough variance between individual units in a production run that posting our gamut numbers would be meaningless.

Effective calibration controls. Many inexpensive projectors have limited picture calibration controls. The W1100 and W1200, despite their low cost, have easy-to-use, responsive adjustments that make calibration easy. If you are an aspiring videophile looking to squeeze the maximum performance out of a low-cost projector, the W1100 or W1200 is a good choice for you for just this reason.

User-definable settings. The factory preset image modes on these projectors, Dynamic, Standard, and Cinema, cannot be changed by the user--they are eternally locked to their factory default settings. To make adjustments, you can choose one of three User modes, each using one of the factory preset modes as a starting point. In other words, User 1 loads the settings from Dynamic, User 2 loads the settings from Standard, et cetera. If you don't like those starting points, you can change the User modes to start from any preset. In other words, you can set up the projector such that User 1, User 2, and User 3 all start from Cinema mode, then alter the settings for your viewing environment. You could set up one User setting for daytime viewing and another for cinema use, while the third could be useful for video games. Projectors often include User modes, though it is unusual to see this degree of customization.

Frame Interpolation. The W1200 has a Frame Interpolation system, used to smooth motion blur and judder in a video signal. The FI system exhibits some of the artifacts seen in the more heavy-handed FI systems of the past, namely ghosting around objects moving across the screen and a touch of the "digital video effect" so often lamented by video purists. We would prefer to use the FI system on its Low setting, and then only for video or animated films, but it is encouraging to see such sophisticated processing make its way onto a $1500 projector.

4x-speed color wheel. Both the W1100 and W1200 use six-segment, 7200 RPM color wheels with RGBRGB segments. 4x-speed color wheels reduce the instance of rainbows for those sensitive to them, making it easier to simply enjoy the movie rather than be distracted by the projector. During our testing, we did not see any rainbow activity on either projector.

Dual 10W speakers. It's game day. Your friends are coming over, there's pizza on the way, the cooler is full of frosty beverages, and you've moved the projector into the living room. After all of this preparation, it would be a shame to listen to your team win on some dinky one-watt speaker. The W1100 and W1200 both include dual 10W speakers using the SRS WOW HD system, designed to improve the performance of small speakers, especially in the low end. The system works, to a degree; bass performance is superior to that of many small speakers on other projectors. However, a small speaker will always be a small speaker, regardless of how you gussy it up, so anyone looking to use the projector for home theater should invest in a proper speaker system. The W1100 and W1200 earn some points for having serviceable onboard audio for those who wish to use it. Typically home theater projectors don't have audio capability.

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Limitations and Conclusion
Review Contents: Best Uses Advantages Additional Advantages Limitations and Conclusion
Comments (9) Post a Comment
ADB Posted May 4, 2011 10:42 PM PST
Does the W1200 use or rely on a Dynamic Iris?

Does it feature a DarkChip 3 like the Mitsubishi HC4000?

Does it feature vertical digital shift like the W5000 and others? (A deal-breaker if it doesn't, but hopefully it can be put into firmware update...)
DaveK Posted May 6, 2011 4:48 PM PST
So a decent sized screen (120"), with a standard 8 foot ceiling will be about 7 inches off the floor. difficult enough to make cheap DLP's work in a room. Why oh why do manufacturers go with such a large offset (same situation with the Mitsubishi 4000).?Break out the bean bag chairs!
BoogieDK Posted May 15, 2011 10:04 PM PST
Will the w1200 be too powerfull (light output) for a 72" gray (gain 0,8) screen? If yes, what would be a good match for this screen in the same pricerange as the w1200?
Johnny Posted May 23, 2011 3:30 AM PST
How does the BenQ W1200 compare to the Epson EH-TW3600 seeing that they cost more or less the same. Both machines will be used most of the time to watch blue-ray movies and sport.
Christopher Penniall Posted May 25, 2011 2:31 AM PST
Have read all the comments above and would like to point out that BenQ's Marketing and certaily next to non ar far superior and the product's are sold at an extremely competive price like for like and so what you pay out for is of a very high standard, in saying that the Quality of the product is far more advenced , I believe than most if not all the other manufactures. I have purchesd and used with excellent results equipment that is far superior than anything, always exceptional in the specification, giving a product that may appear like the others of similar price but in fact far superior.
TTT Posted Jun 8, 2011 5:20 PM PST

I was wondering if you could comment on the capabilities of the PiP feature, such as whether or not 2 HDMI sources can be displayed (cable TV and a PS3 for example), and what customisation is available to you?

Leon Posted Dec 19, 2011 3:25 AM PST
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has tried either of these projectors with Xbox games? If so, I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks Leon
xzotik Posted Feb 6, 2012 7:52 PM PST
I ordered the W1200 and installed it on 01/03/12 the fit was perfect, and it out performed my Optoma H31. The Bluray quality is amazing however Direct TV w/component is grainy. My HD receiver is set on 720p, but perhaps I need an HDMI. I've owned my H3 for 6yrs and after 3mos of research $899 got me a new W1200.
Chris Posted Mar 19, 2012 9:34 AM PST
I bought the BenQ W1100 projector and shipped it to my son in Seoul Korea. It worked fine for 2 days then froze up and shut down. The lamp and fan works but no picture. I am thinking it may need to be re-flashed. Where can I find the download for the re-flash?

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