New Benq W500, 720p projector - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:54 PM
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I've located a copy of the user manual (from the European BenQ site). I found the Swedish review but I could not make out enough from it without a translation (some of it resembles German, but not enough for me to glean anything useful).

According to the manual, it does 1080p-24 via component and HDMI
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:25 PM
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I ordered one of these today, hope to have it by the weekend. Would love to hear some impressions before it arrives. I plan on comparing it to my HD70. I hope it's at least as good (secretly hoping for slightly better blacks and better color and less eyestrain). The lense shift is one of the big reasons I am buying it. I also really hope lcd has no issues with response time, I can't stand blurring. From what I have read this is not an issue with the lcd projectors though. I also hope it's not louder than the HD70, I can live with that noise level.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:50 PM
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I've gone through the manual and here's what I found of interest.

Supports 1080p/24fps
Has HQV video processing
Has vertical and horizontal lens shift
Accepts 1080p via component input (including 24fps)
Does 1:1 pixel mapping
Has what appears to be an extensive menu for picture setting adjustments (more than I would know what to do with)

I think this becomes, along with the Z5, the best bang for the buck LCD 720p projector in the Canadian market (in the US, the AW15 and Epson 400 have to be considered as well).

Given my placement constraints, no DLP in this price range fits the bill.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

I've gone through the manual and here's what I found of interest.

Supports 1080p/24fps
Has HQV video processing
Has vertical and horizontal lens shift
Accepts 1080p via component input (including 24fps)
Does 1:1 pixel mapping
Has what appears to be an extensive menu for picture setting adjustments (more than I would know what to do with)

I think this becomes, along with the Z5, the best bang for the buck LCD 720p projector in the Canadian market (in the US, the AW15 and Epson 400 have to be considered as well).

Given my placement constraints, no DLP in this price range fits the bill.

I was going to get a Epson 400... but this LCD shatters the Canadian market.

Lets get some reviews!!!
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:08 AM
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If you can read Swedish, there's one available that I know of. Otherwise, not much yet. But it is brand new. Some sites are just now reviewing the Pioneer 5070HD plasma and the 5080 is hitting the stores this month.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:10 AM
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:14 AM
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Thanks for the link. I'm tempted to order one right now, but I think I'll wait a bit longer.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:56 PM
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I'm finally at the painting stage in my home theater and boy am I glad I didn't buy an HDPJ52 when it was "on sale" almost a year and a half ago! It would have been more than double the price of the W500!

I have been eyeing the Z5 and Epson 400 for when I'll be purchasing; hopefully by the end of summer(waiting until EVERYTHING is done). But if the reviews on this unit are good it's a no-brainer for the price. Can't wait to see Art at projectorreviews or Cine4home get their hands on one.
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:14 AM
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Anyone play with one yet?

I am soon planning on replacing my pj and when this one showed up on the RADAR, well, I was pretty excited.

I really wish one of the regular places would do a review...
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:10 PM
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I'm on the market for a big screen (projector or RPTV). Was looking at the AX100, Epson 400, but now this has become available in Canada as well. Want to get some real world feedback before I pull the trigger on something.

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Old 06-17-2007, 10:10 PM
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Aww man, I saw this projector on tigerdirect for less that $1100can and had to restrain myself from buying it. The only thing that's of suspect is the noise level, but WOW at the specs. The HVQ Silicon Optix scaler chip, 1080p24 by component and HDMI is outstanding! Even a 12v trigger. I am truly floored. As soon as I see a favorable review, it's mine! I was set on the HD1000u but I really really need lens shift. And this would make my life a whole lot easier.

projectorcentral where are you!! I need a review. lol.




My Dad once said to me: "Son, quality over quantity - always"

Of course he was referring to girlfriends after high school, but the same applies to subs - which, if you are in this forum is the girlfriend we have an affair with for a running time of 2 hours in one session.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:24 PM
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Anyone know what the warranty is on the W500? I haven't seen it listed anywhere.

Also, looks like Amazon is carrying this now... don't they have a 30-day no-restocking fee return policy? It might be a great way to test this little bugger out. The things I'm most interested in are how bright it is after calibration, how loud it is and how visible the iris is. As far as I know, Benq does not have any other projectors (LCD or DLP) with dynamic irises. If this is indeed Benq's first generation attempt, it may end up being more-visible/less-refined than one from someone like Sony, Panasonic or Sanyo who have had several models to tweak the operation.

I emailed Art at projector reviews and he said he has a meeting with Benq in the next few days. He is planning on reviewing the W500 but won't know for sure when they can provide a unit to review until he talks with them. He said he'll keep us updated on his homepage as per usual.
-Matt
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:26 PM
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Here's Benq's webpage for the W500:

Benq webpage for W500

There is a link to the projection calculator on the Specifications page. Looks like this is one of the shortest throw HT projectors on the market - 100" display at 10.8'. That's within an inch or two of the projection distance on my Infocus 4805 and I get a 78" max display.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:28 PM
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BTW, I just called Amazon now that this projector is listed on their site. They said the warranty is only one year. They also said it is not supposed to be released until August which is clearly wrong as it is already instock at Newegg.
-Matt
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:30 PM
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I read on another site that August was the expected US shipping date. It's already shipping in Canada (unusual, as the reverse is usually the case--the AW15, for example, was later here than south of the border). It appears, though, that BenQ advanced the release (though, from another POV, it's actually quite late--was supposed to ship in Nov/Dec 06, IIRC)
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lousygolfer View Post

Here's Benq's webpage for the W500:

Benq webpage for W500

There is a link to the projection calculator on the Specifications page. Looks like this is one of the shortest throw HT projectors on the market - 100" display at 10.8'. That's within an inch or two of the projection distance on my Infocus 4805 and I get a 78" max display.

The short throw, lens shift, HQV processing, 1080p/24 input (HDMI and component)--I think something would have to be seriously wrong with this projector to topple it from my short list. I eagerly await a competent review.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lousygolfer View Post

Here's Benq's webpage for the W500:

Benq webpage for W500

There is a link to the projection calculator on the Specifications page. Looks like this is one of the shortest throw HT projectors on the market - 100" display at 10.8'. That's within an inch or two of the projection distance on my Infocus 4805 and I get a 78" max display.

S*it.... I want this thing! Where are the reviews!!!!!????
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:53 AM
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Check out this link, someone posted after 3 days of use... first projector for him, but it's all we have so far.




http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=65216
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:01 AM
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That is a start, I'm seriously looking at this but like others want a few reviews to hit the web first.

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Old 06-19-2007, 12:56 PM
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Unless reviews are catastrophically bad, this can't be beat in Canada and I will very likely buy it in late summer/early fall (summer vacations and yard work will interfere with early enjoyment and, one hopes, there will be some reviews before then).
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:58 PM
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I have this projector as well, and while I like it unfortunately for me it does not work in my room in terms of placement so I have to sell it.
I have mine mounted near the floor, on coffee table. The throw angle is wrong, it's too low even with the lense shift for me. Part of my problem is it has to be 10 feet away in my case.

PQ is very good, I found the colors, stability of the
picture, and the sharpness to be better than my HD70.
Contrast was great in bright scenes, but I do think
the HD70 is a bit better on dark scenes.

It's slightly louder than my HD70 in high mode, (which
is a really quiet projector) and about the same in
low.

I am in Canada, so If anyone from Canada is interested in buying one please drop me a line at dvdvideo@yahoo.com, if you were going to buy one it will save you some coin over new.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdvideo View Post

I have this projector as well, and while I like it unfortunately for me it does not work in my room in terms of placement so I have to sell it.
I have mine mounted near the floor, on coffee table. The throw angle is wrong, it's too low even with the lense shift for me. Part of my problem is it has to be 10 feet away in my case.

PQ is very good, I found the colors, stability of the
picture, and the sharpness to be better than my HD70.
Contrast was great in bright scenes, but I do think
the HD70 is a bit better on dark scenes.

It's slightly louder than my HD70 in high mode, (which
is a really quiet projector) and about the same in
low.

I am in Canada, so If anyone from Canada is interested in buying one please drop me a line at dvdvideo@yahoo.com, if you were going to buy one it will save you some coin over new.


You can't make it work on a coffee table with lens shift?????!!?!?!?
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:32 AM
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BenQ renamed QISDA, but still BenQ... huh?

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/20/b...till-benq-huh/

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Old 06-20-2007, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaffendorf View Post

You can't make it work on a coffee table with lens shift?????!!?!?!?

I'm not sure how much lens shift this unit has, but one would expect that you could put the projector as little as 1' off the ground and still be able to get decent placement of the image. Can you elaborate on what type of results you are getting/

Thanks.

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Old 06-20-2007, 05:03 PM
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Wow, this thing just destroy's the Canadian 720p LCD market!

The Panasonic AX100 is now seriously overpriced at more than double the price of this. The Panny has a Canadian MSRP of $2,995.

The Sanyo Z5 is a lot closer, but is still at least 50% more.

Wonderful!
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:35 PM
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The lense shift seems to be more oriented to a shelf mount, it would be great for that as you could have a high shelf mount and lense shift down and it works. But going up from a low position is not how the lense is positioned. Just check the manual's postion table and see what I mean, it lists mostly negative mm positions from a floor mount. If I had it up higher on the coffee table I think it would work but that's not where I want it.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:46 PM
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Is there any projector that can be mounted that low? I would think you need to be at least 12-16 inches off the ground to get it working.

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Old 06-20-2007, 05:53 PM
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The HD70 I has a rather large offset...it works.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:40 PM
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Large offset like cheaper DLP PJ's (HD70/HD1000u) benefits floor mount. Small offset benefits inverted ceiling or inverted shelf-mount (LCD's)

Huey ;-]
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:33 PM
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I couldn't wait any longer to see what the BenQ W500 performed like, so I opened one up and set it up in our demo room. Here is my subjective review (no measurement equipment). Anyone in the Toronto area is welcome to make and appointment and come to see it for yourself at KossmanAudio.com. We also have the W10000 on demo.

BenQ W500 Review
------------------------
Introduction:
The BenQ W500 is the newest 720p home theater projector from BenQ. It is feature-packed, and available at a very reasonable price level. It is retailing in Canada for about $1200 Can. It is BenQ's first LCD projector after a long string of DLP projectors with fantastic performance (PE7700, PE8720, W10000). The projector features 5000:1 contrast, 1100 ANSI lumens brightness, manual lens shift (vertical and horizontal), auto iris, HQV video scaling, and quite operation. There are several video inputs including dual Component video and HDMI digital input.


Setup:
One of the features I was most looking forward to on the W500 was the manual lens shift. This is a feature normally reserved for $3000+ projectors. Unfortunately, its not exactly what I was hoping for. At its neutral setting, the projector is pretty much centered in the projected image. By moving the lens shift all the way UP, the projector exhibits a few degrees of offset (the bottom of the image is slightly above the centerline of the lens). While this is great for ceiling mounting, where you want the projector flush with the ceiling, and the screen high up on the wall, this is not enough offset for a coffee table setup or even a room with high ceilings. The lens shift does let you move the image quite far down, which makes it perfect for a rear shelf mount. However, the short throw lens would result in quite a large image.

I do like projectors with low offset, the BenQ PE7700 had no offset at all, and it was perfect for most of the ceiling installs we do. I find projectors with large offsets (like the Optoma HD81) very hard to ceiling mount without using keystone in most rooms. However, if a projector is going to offer lens shift, I would expect it to go higher than the W500 does. Being an entry-level projector, I would suspect many buyers would want to use it on a coffee table, which will require some keystone. It was also difficult to lock the lens shift when it was at the higher settings. It locks by twisting the lens shift "joystick". This is by no means the only projector with limited lens shift. We had to use keystone on a Sony Pearl projector when its lens shift couldn't get the image low enough in a rear shelf installation.

The on-screen menu was easy to use and offers several useful settings. There is a user accessible overscan setting, which is very handy. I didn't play around with it too much, but it seemed to keep different setting for different input resolutions. When I was watching BluRay it was set to 0% to show the full image, and when I switched over to 480i DVD it switched to 1% to clean up the edges. On DVD you don't need to use much overscan, but its really helpfull for watching TV where the picture doesn't always go right to the edge.


Video Performance:
For my review, I ran the W500 on the HDMI input using both PlayStation3 for BluRay (1080p/24) and our Onkyo up-converting DVD player for SD DVD (480i/60). Out of the box the W500 comes set to Dynamic video mode, which is great for a store display or maybe watching the hockey game, but for cinema viewing this will be the first thing you will want to change. The best results I found (without getting out my calibration disc) was to set the video mode to Cinema, change the color temperature setting back to Lamp Native, and setting the black level at 7.5 IRE. I left auto-iris on, and set the lamp mode to Economy.

Without any further calibration the color accuracy and skin tones were very good. The whites were crisp and the colors were bright without being over saturated. The black levels were also very good. This is normally one of the problems with LCD projectors, but they were probably as good as the PE7700. They weren't pitch black like they are on our W10000 demo, but very acceptable. The shadow detail was also quite good. The projector was more than bright enough on Economy mode to fill a 100" screen in a dark room.

One thing I dislike about many LCD projectors I have tried is that the 3 LCD chips can be slightly out of alignment, causing colored halos in areas of high contrast (misconvergence). I'm not sure if my unit is typical of all W500s, but when viewing 2.35:1 movies there was a blue halo below and a green halo above the video, where the black bars began. This may have been due to using the lens shift at almost its highest setting, but I don't think it was chromatic aberration. I am going to call BenQ tomorrow about this. In general, this wasn't an issue while watching the movie, as it was mainly noticeable only on the top and bottom edges of the picture.

When running BluRay at 1080p/24, the picture was sharp with good detail. The pixels were obviously larger than on a 1080p projector, as would be expected, but I didn't notice any screen door effect. I was watching a 100" screen from about 12' back, and I wouldn't want to sit much closer than 10'. This is true of any 720p projector and if you want to sit closer, I'd recommend getting a 1080p projector. The projector wasn't as sharp as a DLP projector, but the overall image was very watchable and a couple times I forgot that I was reviewing the projector and just watched the movie!

One great feature of the W500 is that it will accept 480i on HDMI. This is the native format of all SD DVDs and its the best way to send the video to a good quality scaler. The W10000 for example will only take 480p (or higher) on HDMI so the DVD player has to deinterlace the video, which adds another layer of processing. Running the W500 at 480i/60 over HDMI let the HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) scaler truly shine. The picture quality was FANTASTIC. The scaling might have been a bit softer than watching HD on BluRay, but the detail was excellent and totally smooth. I know that its less work for a scaller to go from 480 to 720 then it is to go to 1080, but the scaling was actually better than the Faroudja scaler in the W10000! On the W10000 we let the DVD player upconvert to 1080i, with the W500 I just ran it at 480i. Its as good as the scaling from the PS3 with Firmware 1.8.


Conclusion:
The W500 is an excellent value. The picture quality is better than the Optoma HD70 with better black levels and contrast, very good color accuracy, and excellent detail. The DLP projectors have a foot up in terms of sharpness, but the HQV scaler in the W500 is a HUGE asset for anyone who watches a lot of SD material on DVD or cable/satellite TV. The lens shift is a bit of a disappointment, and the lack of any real offset rules it out for low coffee table use. The best mounting method might be upright in a box over your head, but it wouldn't look nearly as clean as upside down with a ceiling mount. The limited zoom (1.20:1) and fairly short throw would also make rear shelf mounting difficult in a long room. Overall, its a very good value projector. Its no replacement for the PE8720, but its ldeffinitly at the top of the entry level projectors.
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