BenQ’s W2000 Supports Rec. 709

We’ve written quite a lot over the last few months on issues of colour in projection, provoked largely by two things – a change of our view on 3LCD’s CLO measurement (we now take it more seriously!) and also a comment by BenQ at the Display Summit last year, that projectors are now “bright enough” and should in the future have their brightness specified in sRGB mode. That would mean that headline ANSI numbers would come down. So when BenQ offered to let us have a look at the W2000 DLP projector, which is a 2,000 Ansi lumen unit that can support Rec 709 colour (which is, of course, very close to sRGB).

The projector uses a 6X66xWheelRGBRGB segment RGBRGB colour wheel along with a single DLP chip. (Typically, single chip DLP projectors have a white segment in the colour wheel which means that the saturation of brighter colours is poor, if the white segment is used to boost headline brightness). Inputs include dual HDMI inputs as well as a range of VGA and video analogue inputs. The projector is intended for home use and has a claimed 27dBA of fan noise. The unit has integrated 20W audio although we used it mainly with an external audio system to get good bass performance. The audio was certainly loud enough for stand alone use. The unit is quite substantial, which probably helps with the airflow and noise level. Most of the time, the fan noise was occasionally audible, but not bad. While writing this review, I was going to be more negative, until I realised that the fan noise I could hear was my notebook, not the projector!

Turning to visual performance, we were impressed. The system gave good contrast and colour saturation, surprisingly good even when used in the bright mode in relatively high ambient lighting. For those that want to use a projector instead of a TV, it’s pretty good. However, like any projection system, the control of ambient light means much better impact in terms of contrast (claimed at 15:000:1). The zoom is 1.3:1 and a very small range of vertical shift. We tested on an 80″ diagonal screen that was filled at 2.3 metres (7′ 6″) viewing distance

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There are a number of different video modes including ‘Bright’, ‘Vivid’, Cinema (Rec. 709), ‘Game’, ‘ISF Night’ and ‘ISF Day’ as well as two User modes. The user modes allow a lot of adjustment including gamma, colour temperature and lamp power. There is a ‘Brilliant Colour’ mode as well as gain and offset modes for the primary colours. BenQ says that the unit can be set up by an ISF technician. We used the projector mainly in its Rec. 709 mode. Under some conditions, some adjustment of the settings made a positive improvement, but not by much and, frankly, unless you are very, very fussy, that mode is good enough to provide a very natural image.

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There were very few artefacts from the DLP engine – I’m not particularly sensitive to DLP rainbow issues, although I tend to be sensitive to flicker.

Overall, the BenQ W2000 is amazing value – it’s being advertised locally at €1,015 ($1,151) including 20% VAT. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this projector, myself for home use. Although not quite as smooth or with very deep blacks as the best home cinema projectors, the performance is basically “seamless” – that is to say, the watching experience is about the content, not the mechanics and there are few higher praise comments I could make. (BR)