I happen to have a BenQ LK990 for a couple weeks from BenQ to get a real good look, I also happen to own a JVC X9500 still so naturally, there be comparisons!
In the interest of not flooding the LK990 thread with more JVC comparisons than they probably want, I will post all my thoughts here in this thread so its at least on topic when I jump from one machine to the next in discussion.
I will post my initial thoughts (extracted) from the LK990 thread so we know whats been said so far...
Got my LK990 delivered this afternoon.
Amazing thanks to BenQ for personally dropping this machine off to me so I could have it in time with the long weekend. Major props. Personally dropped off by the Vice President of Asia Pacific BenQ.
This thing is throwing 270 nits to my lowly 120inch Oztheatre screen. It's obviously a light cannon.
I have pretty much already spent a good 5 hours with it and figured it out pretty much front to back already.
There are heaps of quirks to this machine I really want to feed back to BenQ to get some of them hopefully sorted out with firmware. I remain hopeful this will be possible for the most part.
I'm just going to list an initial train of thought in no particular order both good and bad.
The image is very very sharp indeed. It does look native 4k to me... Quite natural too. Though motion is odd almost like this is running on a 60hz internal clock or something. There is almost a judder to it, however motion RESOLUTION is excellent.
Brilliant Colour setting is a nightmare, almost couldn't even calibrate Rec709, and when I did manage to, it was not quite at the level I would like.
The gamut is too large with brilliant colour on. It would be great of there was a mode to accurately track Rec709 out of the box because my unit way overshot it. Also when I turn off brilliant colour I cannot select colour temps, you only have one. Also for some reason in Smart eco when I turned off brilliant colour the image went to crap and there was only like 120nits peak down from 270! This machine does not Like brilliant colour mode off.
Gamma was very easy to calibrate and is reference accuracy with 20pt scan and a couple clicks of white balance setting.
The lens in short throw is not focusing evenly across the lens focal plane if that makes sense. I can get about one half of the screen perfectly focused at any one time but he other half is slightly soft. And yes the projector is aligned properly, also tried different mounting heights.. probably either a quirk with this one unit since it's been across Australia or it does not quite like short throw.
I see billions of rainbows unfortunately. Billions. Every second. Every time I blink. Wife sees it too instantly.
The dimming works at more ADL levels than I thought. I really do appreciate when proper fade to black works, and can confirm it does work in Smart Eco, though if the brightness setting is wrong it won't work and I found it to be rather easy to use a combination of settings where it won't work at all. So yeah on a black frame it's totally off. But the jump out of black is fast and pretty severe. I would love BenQ to be more aggressive with the dimming and ramp it up much smoother , perhaps I can share the ADL patterns with them and maybe they can improve it because that would go a seriously long way if they could. Also, I would love to be able to set a laser Level to work in conjunction with dimming, I don't really want 270nits full time.
270 nits is pretty awesome with MadVR. The standard HDR mode isn't very great. You HAVE to send BT2020 with the HDR flag to get the projector to go into HDR mode of you do want to use it.
As for hdr to sdr tone mapping, it's currently impossible to send BT2020 and have the projector detect, and use the gamut, this is big and I would love them to fix this, because right now I can only use Rec709 for HDR tone mapping.
It would be great if we could have a menu option for selecting the colour gamut with any input. Its greyed out in SDR. Likewise with the HDR mode, it would be great to be allowed to select any gamma we like. Dave would then be able to make his on harpervision settings and perhaps if they allowed a 12pt gamma calibration you could calibrate your own EOTF easily.
Blacks are terrible. Obviously. Dimming needs a lot of work here to lessen that blow. But the issue does not pop up as much as one might think, but when it does it can pull you out of the movie. Watching LUCY and Avengers Infinity War and more often than not, the image looks excellent with great depth and detail.
Shadow detail is pretty good generally, though bar 17 is also tough to resolve without breaking dimming. If dimming is on the edge of working there will be some pretty full on pulsing in the image.
Mixed ADL content looks pretty damned excellent overall. Man I really hope DLP can make advancements in contrast though on the low end. Even adding 10k native would be HUGE in tandem with good dimming.
I would love to see a dimming panel used in these machines. A 1000:1 native dimming panel Infront of a 1000:1 image panel will yield 1,000,000:1 native contrast.
This machine is pretty darn loud but it doesn't bother me much.
The manual lens controls are not a big deal breaker at all.
ZERO banding, zero posterization whatsoever. The laser image is nice and stable. Perhaps a little bit of dithering visible if you are right up close to the screen though.
No convergence issues obviously but in short throw I am seeing a green tinge up close to some elements on the outside of the image, so there is obviously CA present on this lens sample but only visible nose to screen, add to that the odd focusing thing ... Probably just this one unit though.
Will begin to share photos and measurements etc this weekend I have Tuesday booked to spend all day comparing. Unfortunately right now I know I can't have these rainbows. So I would need a 3 chip version of this machine with better dimming.
I am going to spend a lot of time watching BRIGHT HDR content with this machine while I have it because it looks stunning on most of it. BenQ have machine with a lot of potential here.
Most of these initial issues I have can be solved with firmware updates to the menu system and calibration controls. Unfortunate about the rainbows though.
Much more to come from me I'm just getting started.
This thing really throws a spectacular image though with brighter content. There is definitely large potential here...
I haven't even pulled out the good camera yet, this is just camera phone and 1080p only. Samsara is still reference material. Especially with MadVR upscaling!
I'm looking to the future. Next year I will have a 165" Diagonal 16:9 AT screen so any extra lumens will be a luxury. Anything under 2000 is honestly not going to cut it for me. Would rather just keep the 9500 and replace lamps every 500 hours if that were the case...
I'm pretty sure the projector that will end up in my new theatre has not been released quite yet ...
If you put the 990 into full Eco mode or 'dimming' mode it quite a down significantly, but then not quite the same effect as Smart eco. You kinda definitely need to use that mode.
I will also say, the cooling system in this thing is amazing. It is spewing out FAR less heat than my JVC. Usually after a few hours the JVC will cook the room. This thing barely.made the room warm and the exhaust heat is not very hot at all.
Well yes for content where it is not meant to be north of 100 nits in a scene it was indeed the same brightness as I already get but I was demoing very bright content last night and it had pretty bright elements in it and looked great, so there was a lot of highlights. Mission Impossible helicopter scene, Avengers, Lucy.
I told madvr I had 270 nits, so a great deal of the scenes were 1:1 and far less compressed than I have to view them normally, it was good to see. You really gotta get the Lumagen going so you can do the same.
Dunkirk was another example that looked good because the whole movie is well under 200 nits if I recall, everything I was watching was 1:1 encoded.
Revenant didn't look very good though... That's definitely a JVC movie. Contrast was poor too often for me. Though dimming did occasionally Do a really good job to hide it. I will say again that I appreciate that the dimming works on ADL levels significantly higher than say the JVC would. I saw it working on pretty bright scenes and it just added a little bit extra to the depth, but I think they have a lot of work to do on nearer to black dimming, needs to be a lot more aggressive.
I know what you mean about all the quirks and calibration frustration now. I would almost rather this not have an HDR mode so I could override a lot of things and maybe do a decent job mapping bt2020.
This is where I got up to calibrating Rec709 yesterday, gave up at this point, didn't want to waste too much time on it, the most offensive to my eyes was initially colour temp and I am glad I was able to quickly sort that... But for tracking, its not good. There needs to be a bit more emphasis on this from factory, the default gamut of this projector is wildly wrong from Rec709 or any other useful gamut far as I could see... Really need a proper Rec709 and BT2020 mode... Look at the Magenta primary to get an idea how far off it is. Most of the other colours using pretty extreme hue settings I was able to reel them back in a bit, let alone work on saturation tracking, but Magenta couldn't at all because then it introduced a big swing in the middle. Same with Cyan actually.
For some reason the Colour Gamut menu is greyed out unless feeding HDR to the projector. I dont know why they did that, also HDR doesn't even work until you feed BT2020 flag with it, so what use is a Rec709 setting in the Colour Gamut menu when HDR only works and you can only activate that menu by forcing BT2020? If they enabled that menu at all times, maybe that would sort my issue with calibration, seems right now, in most all modes except HDR, its sending the 'native' widest colour gamut the projector can do. This is again a firmware fixable thing.
The manual seems to indicate that colour gamut should be selectable, but its not unless you input HDR. This is clearly a bug then...
• Color Gamut
Color Gamut refers to the range of colors that can potentially be displayed by a device. There are some standards to define difference levels of color gamuts for display devices, such as CIE 1976, sRGB, Adobe RGB, NTSC, etc.
With this projector, selecting Auto will automatically apply the most suitable color gamut to the image source. You can also select BT. 709, BT. 2020, or DCI-P3 according to your needs.
Madvr tone mapping seems to need a power gamma to work properly. You can enable HDR with the tone mapping but it didn't seem to work quite right because the BenQ factory HDR curve was clearly fighting with Madvr. I will revisit later. I ended up deciding it was less stressful just using SDR mode and rec709 that I had sort of calibrated. I got a pretty amazing image very quickly then. We just need that gamut menu available at all times.
I know that HDR mode through madvr is designed for things like OLED's which have their own tone mapping and are far dimmer unless you use a dedicated HDR mode. In such a case I think you are supposed to use fairly different settings.
It sounds like your room is not a Batcave though? Regarding the revenant you probably need something like a JVC or high contrast Sony there to see/remember where you are really lacking in low adl content. I looked at the camp fire scene just after, only a 6nit shot. Was extremely grey. Other portions of the movie looked fine!
Checking out some more challenging content today... Star wars etc.
P.s. got 3D working need to use HDMI 2 which doesn't support 4k at all it seems! Hmmmm... So if you want to use 3d you need twin HDMI from your AVR.
I just had a pretty good look at 3D... various titles. Sammys Adventure. Avatar, Moanna.
I dont know what the other BenQ's are like, but 3D on this projector is really soft. Depth and Crosstalk is perfect. Even contrast looks pretty OK through the glasses. But the image is also quite unsteady and unmistakably soft. I wonder if its the non native 1080p chips ?
I turned on the JVC X9500 and did overlaid 3D so I could switch between the two in a couple seconds using HIDE, and there is a significant sharpness and more interestingy 'calmness' advantage to the JVC in 3D mode.
Aztar, I know what you mean, my eyes were straining more than they do on the fully passive system on the JVC. it was easy to see when you switch between the glasses and projectors.
On Tuesday I will take a couple pics of this through the glasses on both machines.
Do you guys prefer me to make a new thread? Because I hate to say it, but there is going to be a lot of comparisons between my JVC X9500 and this BenQ over the next couple weeks with images and all. I could still post it here but I dont want someone to come in asking why I am talking about a JVC in comparison. I also feel since I have both here, I cannot just talk about the BenQ because when you can compare instantly like I can, there are clear differences that are obvious between the two both good and bad. For eg, I would have thought that 3D image was normal until I turned on the JVC and saw it was way sharper there...
Aand here we are... further comments from me will go in this thread, please join the conversation here if you are interested...