Home Theater Projector Shootout
Eight 1080p Projectors under $1500
Whereas the BenQ W1100 is built for multi-purpose use, the W1200 at $1,499 is designed more for classic home theater. Contrast in particular is excellent, as is video optimized color and light output. Some glitches in the menu system and a lackluster default color calibration are the main downsides.
- Best calibrated color
- Light output
- Frame interpolation
- Menu glitches
- Default color
The BenQ W1200 is among the best projectors in terms of sheer image quality for home theater in this shootout, rivaling the Mitsubishi HC4000 and Epson Home Cinema 8350 in contrast performance. Once calibrated, color is slightly more accurate than either of those projectors, making it the best in the shootout. With 1325 lumens of video optimized light output, it is far brighter than the cinema modes of either the HC4000 or the Epson 8350. (However, the Epson 8350 has a Dynamic mode that puts out 1500 lumens without compromising color too much.) The W1200 is also the only projector in the shootout to offer frame interpolation, which gives video sources like live performance music concerts and broadcast sports an extra shot of smoothness and judder reduction.
The limitations of the BenQ W1200 are the poor default calibration that it shares with the BenQ W1100 and the prevalence of menu glitches. Frame interpolation turns itself on every time the projector is started up, regardless of your saved preferences. Detail clarity and sharpness in standard definition create an over-sharpened, grainy look which can be removed by adjusting Detail clarity in either direction, then setting it back to where it was. On occasion, the Advanced menu is "grayed out" when it should not be so. These should be relatively simple fixes, but could put people off of purchasing the W1200 until they are resolved. Our sample used BenQ's 1.02 firmware. They are currently shipping units with version 1.03, but we have not been able to determine if the bugs have been fixed in the latest update.
|Review Contents:||Introduction||Acer H7531D||BenQ W1100||BenQ W1200|
|Epson Home Cinema 8350||Mitsubishi HC4000||Optoma HD20||Viewsonic Pro8200|