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Denon AVR-X3500H; Sony UBP-X800M2; EFE speakers; Outlaw Model M amps; SVS sub; Epson 8350 projector.
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I just got my home theater up and running over the weekend with a BenQ PB8220 projector. Since I didn't see many reviews of BenQ projectors when I was doing my research on what to buy, I thought some of you might appreciate some initial thoughts on this projector.


First some background. My home theater is 10' wide and I wanted the seats to be about 11 feet from the screen. As I had pre-wired my ceiling for a projector 12 feet from my screen, I needed a short-throw projector that was quiet enough to sit under. I also wanted a DLP projector as I did not want to deal with the risk of burned out pixels with an LCD projector. And I wanted a 4x3 projector as I felt it gives you the largest possible 4X3 image for old movies, and not much loss in image size when viewing modern movies in their correct aspect ratio. I was about to order the BenQ 7200 when two separate vendors strongly recommended that I consider the 8220 instead. Though it had about the same specs as the 7220, they both claimed that it had much better quality components and that I would be much happier with it than with the 7200. It might have been upselling, but I don't know. I got my 8220 for only $200 more than the 7200.


Set up. I had a heck of a time setting up the 8220. Whatever I did, I could not get the focus just right. Very close, but not perfect. I eventually concluded that you have to mount the projector closer to the screen than where your seats are. For example, when I mounted the projector 12' from my screen, the picture was just a little blurry at 12' and not totally sharp until about 14-15'. Other than that, set up was a breeze. The menu is clear and easy to access. I ran the AVIA DVD, but did not have to make many changes at all. The projector's default settings were generally good and it has all the options people want these days: keystone correction, etc.


Picture. Once you get it mounted the right distance from your screen, the picture is quite good. The colors are vibrant, the blacks are very black, and it is hard to discern where the bars are when viewing a 16x9 image. It is easy to switch between image sizes: the remote has a switch image button right on it. The picture is not as sharp as you would get with a plasma screen, but it is a good, solid image. I have not, however, seen many FPs up close, so someone else may differ.


Rainbows. Yes, both my wife and I see them. When I turned up the contrast and brightness on the projector, I saw them a lot (but only on made for TV movies such as From the Earth to the Moon and on old black and white movies; not on new releases such as Gladiator, Shreck, or SWII). They were VERY disturbing. But when I returned those settings to the factory defaults, I saw very few rainbows. So few that while we both still see them sometimes, they are not bothersome and we see them less with each viewing.


I have some more tweaks to try to get the projector calibrated just right, but we decided that it was a keeper.


Again, we have only had the projector for a couple of days. So I assume I will have more to add later if anyone is interested. But for now, we are happy with it.
 

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thanks for the review, i have had my eye this projector, along with some others...but that aren't many reviews on this projector, your info is appreciated. I will surely read up any more info you got...
 

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Denon AVR-X3500H; Sony UBP-X800M2; EFE speakers; Outlaw Model M amps; SVS sub; Epson 8350 projector.
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Discussion Starter #3
I should probably clarify that neither my wife nor I have seen any rainbows at all on newer releases, even when we had the contrast and brightness turned up as an experiment. We only saw rainbows on old movies and made for TV movies, but even those went away almost entirely when we returned the contrast and brightness to the factory defaults (which seem like fine settings according to my use of AVIA).
 

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I also recently purchased the PB8220. The free replacment lamp deal

made the feature/price ratio *very* attractive.


My display size is approximately 120" (4:3) from 17'.


I'm very impressed with the brightness and color quality with

out-of-the-box settings. I do see occasional rainbow, but I

almost have to try, and I don't find them overly distracting.


On the down side, the manual is very brief and tech support

is a bit... rough. I need to use the RS232 control port to complete

my integration, but no documentation is included. A call to tech

support and a 15 minute wait got me an email with the command

list, but no pinout or port setup info. They did provide the email

of a field tech who hasn't answered my week old request for

more information.


I'm going to post a new topic hoping someone on the forum

has managed to pry the RS232 details from Benq.


Overall, a very nice projector at a good price.


Jerry
 

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I went with the 7200, I wonder if I went with the 8xxx if I would have been happier. When I first turned on my 7200 I was amazed at how white the whites were and how accuratly the colors were (supposably). It wasn't until I compared it to my 21 Dell CRT that gets the same singnal Via VGA splitter did I notice that the colors on the 7200 are way to cool. I question how different the projectors are since you didn't actually compare the projector to my knowledge to a different source.


Of course colors will look fine as long as your not comparing them to a higher quaility display. But regardless the 7200 and the 8220 are great for the money I love bright images so in my opinion they are keepers.


Chris
 

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I haven't used Avia or anything else to help quantify, but

the first thing I did with the 8220 was display a set of test

patterns (color bars, convergence) and images (flesh tones)

on the attached HTPC. A visual A/B told me that the colors

were reasonably close on both monitors.


As has been pointed out elsewhere, you have to be sure

your computer monitor is calibrated if you're going to use it

as a gold standard against your projector. Mine isn't calibrated,

so I can only say that my monitor and projector both give

the visual results I want from test patterns, images, and video.


Jerry
 

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freychris,


It seems odd you cannot get comparable images from your pj. I thought htpc allowed alot of adjustments (gamma, rgb etc.). Are you saying you cannot get a nice image with the same settings as your crt?


What if you optimize your pj settings, and dont worry about how the crt looks. Can you get a decent image then?
 
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