I just received my BenQ MW519 projector and would like to find some peers for discussing configuration settings, and implementation options.
The official release announcement is tracked in this thread
The Vendor page is here
Throw Calculator (pick MW519 in the pulldown)
- Street prices around $550 (about half of my target BenQ W1070 projector)
- DLP, Native WXGA(1280 x 800)
- Brightness 2800AL (800 more than the W1070
- Contrast Ratio: 13000:1
- Lamp(Normal/Economic Mode/SmartEco Mode) : 4500/6000/6500 hours
- No Optical Keystone, but digital provided
- Vetical Scan Rate: 23~120Hz
- Dimensions(W x H x D): 302.8 x 111.8x 221.8 mm
- Native HDMI 1.4 3D support, no converter required (Key difference over the previous generation MW516)
I would consider myself an advanced amature audio/videophile having run sound boards for public radio, and local churches, and paying for college by taking senior and wedding pictures (giving me a bit of an eye for color/contrast). I'm handy and frugal looking for a good bang for the buck. So I'm not going to be a severe critic, and recognize that my budget will require compromise. I've had a BenQ6200, and a Optoma HD70. My story with the Benq MW516 started when I received an offer to buy my Optoma HD70 which I viewed it as a decent 1000 lumen (required full dark room) 720p projector, vintage 2006, that was a step up in resolution from my prior BenQ6200, but a step down in lumens. So I started searching for inexpensive upgrade options with my key wish list upgrades of
1) a brighter image that could support a bit of ambient light when projecting 140" diagonal on a flat white primered wall.
2) 3D capability for a new PS3 that my teenagers are getting for Christmas, currently its used 70% XBOX, 30% movies/tv.
3) Movie viewing: 1080p was a desire but 1280x720 works for our seating distance
4) Nothing over $1000; ideally around 500-700USD
5) Desired prior to Christmas 2012
With this criteria, I searched around and considered the following options:
- W1070 - my ideal option (and still an upgrade option that I'll watch over the next year), but I missed the NCIX Canada price of $850 over black friday and could not get it shipped to the US without warranty and customs risks. Locally it was not yet available in the US. Furthermore, its price was 40% higher than the MW519. Remember, this was an unexpected opportunity for upgrade; not something that we had budgeted for.
- HD66 - 3D support required external $200 box; I could not plug the PS3 in directly for 3D. Also lots of questionable endurance issues reported in various forums.
- Optoma GT750E - short throw distance would help with Kinect, but price was higher and no optical zoom would make setup difficult
- Epson 8350 - good resolution, but missing native 3D, and price migher than MW519.
- Benq MW516 - same price as MW519, but missing native 3D support
Having missed out on the cheap BenQ W1070, and realizing that I would like to have a few pairs of 3D glasses in my budget, I ordered the MW519. Yea it is not a "Home Theater" projector with a native 16x9 format, but it has the proper pixel width so scaling is not required, and the black bars on the top and bottom are not a big issue when projecting on my borderless screen (wall). What I actually noticed was that these newer projectors are much better at making sure the black bars are black and not too noticeable. I really liked the idea of not having to purchase an external 3D converter, but was initially a bit scared off by some threads on the web indicating that the BenQ used a proprietary 3D sync for their glasses/projectors. Further research and a call to the BenQ support line makes me believe that standard 120Hz DLP Link glasses will work with this projector. I've ordered a couple pair of SainSonic 144Hz 3D DLP-Link Ready Universal Rechargeable Active Shutter Glasses that should work with the W1070 should I find the opportunity to uprade in the future.
I've only tested them with some Youtube SBS videos but they seem to be working fine from distances of 5' to 25'. The PS3 is still under the tree so I cannot report how well they work with Blu-ray.
As of writing this page, I've only had it for two days, but I can report that it's 2800 lumen brighness is awesome! I've set it on full Economy mode, in cinema, with all auto brightness settings off and it works great with ambient light that completely washed out my 1000 lumen HD70.
As for noise, it's comparable to my HD70. The one concern that I do have and will be watching closely is a slight ticking coming from the fan when I inverted it for ceiling mounting. I did not hear it on day 2, so it may just have been a dust fleck that needed to work its way out.
It's not whisper quiet, but silent enough to not be a distraction from my budget movie experience.
On the internal speaker, all I'll say is that it works, but no projector speaker is intended for theater use, so I'll have it turned off.
For the image, it's nice and bright. I've not had a chance to mess with any of the color/calibration settings, but out of the box it was watchable, and the colors popped much better than my HD70. I do notice the screen door effect a bit more than on the HD70, but I think that's because the greater brightness makes the between pixel darkness more obvious. So I scooted my recliner back another foot to about 14' and all is good. But this does highlight one argument for going after 1080p if you're upgrading from an older more dim projector like the x1.
My kids report that XBOX gaming is working well in 1st person shooters, with no appreciable lag. They really like the additional brightness, and report that their scores are improving now that they can see zombies that once hid in corners that were too dark to see into.
Light leakage - there was a bit of indirect light coming out of the fan exaust port, and a bit of reflection shining about a foot in front of the projector on the ceiling (when ceiling mounted). Neither are noticeable enough to interfere with my viewing experience.
So overall, I'm very happy with my purchase, and am looking forward to getting the 3D features hooked up. For the money, I think it's the best all-rounder on the market.
If you have a MW519, or even a MW516, and have some calibration settings that are working for you, please share so that I can try them out.
UPDATE - After hanging on to the MW519 for a little over a month, I ended up returning the unit due to the remote locking up when I would be using the 3D settings menus. I ended up replacing it with the W1070 since it was now available, and some additional post Christmas budget had come available. So what did I get for my extra $400, you may ask. The answer is not much for the under $1000 crowd. The MW519 is comparably bright and able to project the same size image with a decent amount of ambient light. The W1070 is native 1080p, which lets me sit about 5 feet closer without seeing any screen door effect. This was my main reason for upgrading. My recliner is pirched right on the verge of the 1.5x screen width distance. The W1070 does not have the light black bars of unused pixels across the top and bottom of the 16x9 content. Using the Sainsonics, the 3D image on dark scenes is more viewable (less dark) on the W1070. As for the overall picture quality difference, my wife and kids did not notice much of a difference. So, what's my net recommendation? If you're needing a shorter throw, plan to use a screen or framed area rather than a wall, or plan to sit close (< 1.5x screen width) then consider saving your $ for the W1070. Otherwise, consider the MW519, it is a very nice 3D ready unit for anyone looking to stay under $900.