I happened to start looking for my first projector on the same day that the Benq announced the W1080ST at CES. After reading about it's features, I went straight to Amazon and placed an order. I hadn't done a lot of research, but this projector seemed to have exactly what I was looking for at what seems to be a great price: 1080P HD, 3D, and a short throw lens. But is this the best projector for me?
Our house has an unfinished spare room upstairs that we were planning on turning into a theater. But the costs are more than we'd like to spend right now, so we decided to adapt the upstairs playroom instead. The room is only 15 feet front to back and 13 feet wide. There are three windows on the left hand side of the room which have shades, but still let some light. I plan to add pull-down blinds inside the shades to get it a bit darker, but there will be some ambient light.
The main purpose for a projector in this room will be for Xbox 360 / Wii gaming and watching movies. My kids use the Kinect and Wii sensors a lot, so I did't think I could ever have a projector in such a short room. But by my calculations, I can place the this short throw projector 5'6" back to create a 100" 16:9 screen that still leaves plenty of room (6-7 feet) for playing the Wii.
So did I choose the right projector? I just received the W1080ST from Amazon and fired it up last night. I was really impressed! The picture looks amazing, even projected on my bumpy white walls. There's definitely some room for tweeking the image, but I DID NOT notice one side of the picture being brighter than the other, or any peripheral focus issues. The only thing I did notice is that while projecting from below and using a setting of 4 for keystone adjustment, text on the top of the screen from my DirecTV box was perfectly focused while text from the projector at the bottom of the screen (like volume control) was slightly out of focus. Other text at the bottom of the screen from DirecTV looked perfect. I think this was due to the keystone function, though, which I don't plan to use in my setup anyway.
The fan from the W1080ST seemed quiet and undisturbing to my ears, but I don't have any experience with other projectors to compare it to. So far, I'm very impressed and seriously considering this one as a keeper. I usually research tech items until I just about make myself sick. But this purchase really seems like a slam dunk for my needs.
Let me know if y'all have any suggestions for other projectors that I should check out. Also, let me know if there are any features or issues you want me to test with this projector. Thanks.