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Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Performance
4.5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
BenQ W1200 Projector BenQ W1200
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:5,000:1
Lumens:1800
Weight: 7.9 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:DLP
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

Limitations

Digital noise/DLP dither. Unlike LCD or LCOS imaging systems, DLP pixels can only ever be fully on or fully off. As a result, shades of gray are represented by quickly fluttering a mirror between the on and off positions, allowing some percentage of light to reach the screen. The side effect of this is called dithering, which appears very similar to digital noise. All DLP projectors exhibit this to some degree, though the W1100 and W1200 show more than the average amount. This noise cannot be reduced by noise reduction circuitry as it is a function of the projector's hardware, not the video signal. If you are particularly sensitive to digital noise, these two projectors might not be for you.

Quirky menus. Occasionally, we encountered a "quirk" in the menu system that made us scratch our heads. For example: color temperature cannot be adjusted unless BrilliantColor is enabled, though the two have nothing to do with one another. Once BrilliantColor is enabled, you'll need to reduce White Peaking or highlights appear too bright in relation to the rest of the picture; however, it is not possible to completely disable White Peaking while BrilliantColor is active. We also encountered a bug during testing. On occasion, we would open the menu system to adjust color temperature only to find the options on the "Picture: Advanced" page disabled, despite being in User mode and having BrilliantColor enabled. The way to fix this was to close and then re-open the menu system. This is an easy fix, but the problem itself is odd. This may be related to the 1.02 firmware on our test sample; a new unit using BenQ's new 1.03 firmware is on the way and we will update this review upon its arrival.

Video delay. The W1200's image appears smoother and more detailed than that of the W1100, but it comes with a price. Even with Frame Interpolation disabled, the W1200 exhibits more delay than the W1100 does, which causes slightly more evident lip synch issues. Ironically, the delay is most noticeable when using the projector's onboard speakers. In any event, with a normal surround sound set up you will want to use the audio delay in your A/V receiver, or acquire an external audio delay box if your receiver lacks this function. The W1100 will be a superior choice for video games due to its quick response time, while the W1200 would be better suited for movies.

Conclusion

BenQ's two new 1080p projectors, the W1100 and W1200, are an attractive blend of high performance and low price. High dynamic range and dead-on color accuracy make them outstanding video performers despite their low price. The W1200's Frame Interpolation system adds options for video and animated film not present on much of the competition. A 1.5:1 zoom lens adds some placement flexibility. The two projectors have their quirks, but both deliver solid performance above and beyond what the price tag might imply. At $1299 and $1499 respectively, the BenQ W1100 and W1200 are definitely worth the money.


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Additional Advantages
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
Hi,

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?

Thanks.
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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