BenQ W1100 and W1200
1080p Home Theater Projectors
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.
|Review Contents:||Best Uses||Advantages||Additional Advantages||Limitations and Conclusion|