BenQ SH960 - suit my requirements? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 03-06-2012, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I am interested in the Benq SH960 projector ( but cannot find any technical reviews. I'm hoping there are people who inhabit this forum who can offer some comments about its suitability for my purposes. My budget is up to $5000.

Three-screen audio-visuals used to be a hobby of mine and I am about to embark on transferring them to HD format. Where previously I had 4 Kodak carousels (one on each of the outer screens; two cross-fading in the centre), now I need one good-quality HD projector.

Details of SH960
Basically, the SH960 is a 2D, twin-bulb (2x330W), single chip DLP, 1.5 zoom, with horizontal and vertical shift capability. I take it to be the big brother to the W7000 (except that the SH960 is only 2D and does not have a dynamic iris). The W7000 uses a 300W lamp which actually provides around 1000 calibrated lumens ( I was particularly taken with this comment:

If brightness, and great color is your thing, the BenQ W7000 projector, is the ticket. It can offer up a properly calibrated image at 2-3 times the brightness of most other projectors we review.

Given that I cannot find any technical reviews, I will assume that the SH960 can provide around 2200 calibrated lumens at full power (1000 x 2 x 330/300) based on what the W7000 can achieve.

My Situation
I want to be able to use the SH960 in several situations to justify the purchase. All screen sizes below are diagonal measurements in inches. Regarding lumens, are these reasonable values:
  • for darkened rooms 15 lumens/sq ft
  • for semi-darkened rooms (several "Exit" lights, for example) 20 lumens/sq ft
  • for rooms that may have some light (daylight, drawn curtains) 30 lumens/sq ft?

Here are three situations in which I am hoping to use the projector:
  1. Home theatre, dark room, showing movies and my audio-visuals (stills, transferred from slides), screen size ~120" (~40 sq ft, requiring 40 x 15 = 600 lumens). I envisage using the SH960 with one bulb, economy mode.
  2. Club meetings during the day, curtains drawn but room probably not dark, showing only stills, screen size 110" (~35 sq ft, requiring 35 x 30 = 1000 lumens). I envisage using one bulb, full-power mode.
  3. Local civic theatre, semi-darkened auditorium, showing only stills, screen size 200" (~110 sq ft, requiring 110 x 20 = 2200 lumens). I envisage using two bulbs, full-power mode.

Q1 - Colour Wheel
The SH960 manual says that it uses a 6-segment colour wheel, but has no mention of the colour scheme or speed. I guess it would be either RGBRGB or RGBCMY. Any effective difference between the two in terms of on-screen image? The only info I could find in the manual suggests the wheel might be RGBCMY: "The 3D Color Management provides six sets (RGBCMY) of colors to be adjusted to favorite colors."

Q2 - Contrast Ratio
How important to an average viewer is this black-level stuff? Watching a movie being projected from any projector priced at, say, more than $3000, in isolation (not side-by-side with another projector), would lack of contrast ever become obvious/objectionable to a typical viewer (someone who is there just to watch the images, not look for defects)?

Other Considerations
I assume that because the SH960 uses a single DLP chip, its images are going to be about as sharp as you can get.

Projector noise shouldn't be a problem. The specs say: 41/37/38/35 dBA (Two Lamp Normal/Two Lamp Eco/One Lamp Normal/One Lamp Eco). I used to run 4 Kodak Carousels, each emitting about 40dB, so I'm reasonably confident the 35dB coming from the SH960 when used at home will be acceptable.

Rainbow Effect
The local camera club and walking club both have a BenQ MP721p, a fairly ancient DLP projector. Having seen both in operation, I have not come across members of those clubs complaining about rainbow effect. I suspect it will not be a problem.

Final Comments (and a question)
Some aspects of a projected image (moving or still) will immediately be noticeable/objectionable to a typical viewer. For instance, an image that is too dark or out of focus will immediately draw criticism. In regard to other aspects, say, colour accuracy, the range of skin tones I see in movies is, well, extreme, and it seems to me that viewers are exceedingly accepting of colours at variance with real life. Some movies have most of the colour stripped from them, others use saturated colours, others use distorted colours (sepia-toned to give the impression of old times, or a distinct red-colour to the skin to make it appear warm). Skin tones vary from gray through a whole range of pale greens (under flour lights), to coffee, to red, to yellow. And viewers accept all of them!

Of course, a projector should be colour accurate, and in my case I will be wanting accurate colour because my audio-visuals feature landscapes, and incorrect colours in a landscape would be very noticeable. These thought lead me to my final question:

Q3 - Among projectors that sell for more than $3000, is it likely that any could ever be accused of having "bad" colour, even after adjustment? That when projecting an image in isolation, that the colour is obviously wrong and can't be corrected? What I am getting at is: I think the SH960 will be more than acceptable in its brightness and sharpness, but I'm not so sure about its colour accuracy. On the other hand, it can be calibrated, and given that audiences seem quite forgiving about colour shifts, I am thinking that the SH960 will be an acceptable projector.

Any comments/suggestions most welcome.
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-20-2013, 08:11 PM
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Just wanted to add my experience with the SH-960. I purchased 3 around December last year. I have had 2 in use since then on a project with the third a back up. I have had each projector returned with various faults at least 2-3 times(lucky i had a back up). All with similar issues.
One issue is that they don't seem to be able to fix is the image blurring on either the centre of the screen or edge. You can only have one in focus or the other. I believe the lens need to be adjusted but dont think this should be a job i should undertake as the projector is still under warranty.
The other problem would be communication from my control system. We seem to have great difficulty in getting the responses from the device and if we do they are not what they should be. Every now and then you have to pull the power from the device to do a hard reboot so it can communicate again. I am controlling the projector over IP. We think the internal IIS (windows) is locking up and requires every now and then. i would say it communicates about 80-85% of the time correctly.

In Regards to your question about the brightness i have found it to be a bit dull but i am only using the single lamp. The room had 2 blinds but some light still gets through but it is minimal. I think i will be putting in the extra bulb to get that extra brightness.

Hope this helps

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