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BenQ 8700+ or 7700

1954 Views 26 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  charliewittig
Looking to pickup an 8700 BenQ but it has been recommended to wait for the 7700 as it will be essentially the same model as the 8700 + but less expensive. Wondered about rainbowing as I could see it on cheaper models. Also wondered what screen people recommend for these units.
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Rainbows should be the same on either unit.......

I have the 8700+ and I had a chance to look at the 7700 at CES. My personal opinion is that the 8700+ has a better image "IMHO."

You should also check into the Toshiba MT-700... personally I thought it might be better than either.

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Don't forget about the Optoma H77. With recent price reductions it's very close to the same price as the Benq's.
Steve, was either unit (yours and the CES unit) calibrated? Also, what were the mutual environemtns for viewing?
I don't know what if any calibration was done to the 7700 at CES... it was in a tent..... if I remember correctly there was also some type of an LCD display on the left side of the tent 90 degree's to the projection screen. I saw two different sources... one a poor DVD transfer of the Japanese movie "Hero," and the second was I copy of an HDTV feed. The HDTV looked pretty good... the DVD of Hero, was in a word ... horrible.

My 8700+ has not been proffessionally calibrated... just me and a copy of AVIA... I have also made some slight adjustments with the calibration setup built into Windows Media Center Edition 2004.

As always... I am not an experienced or trained calibrator... just a guy who likes TV/Movies/Halo. I cannot always explain why something looks better to me.. just that it does or does not.

Just curious if you would reserve a final note until you got the opportunity to see the PE7700 in a light fitting for its best performance or not. I always caveat the condition in which a product is being audition so as to give reference as to potential variables that may limit the positive impressions being sought.

A tent-house, LCD-illuminated unknown screen situation is probably less beneficial than what you are use to, no? I think I also speculated previously that I would not put it beyond a manufacturer to not only not do something to make a product look good, but may actually do something to make a product look bad in comparison to another product they make.
I agree with TheFerret and Steve. I also saw the 7700 at CES, and while it looked very impressive with the HDTV demo I saw, I did not think it looked as good as the 8700 with a dark DVD they showed me (I didn't recognize the movie). As noted, there could be a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is that they were using a poor DVD movie or player.

However, you really can't draw any definitive conclusions until you can look at both projectors, side by side, and properly calibrated. That may be next to impossible to do because the BenQ is not readily available in a way that you can do a demo before making a purchase.

I hope to get my hands on a 7700 when they come out in May (at least that was the last word on its release date), and I hope to do such a comparison and provide some quantitative measurements of the two projectors.
I wouldn't mind seeing the PE7700, but I am not aware of any dealers in my neck of the woods that will actually install a demo unit. Heck, I am finding it hard to find any dealer willing to install a demo unit for any of the sub-$4K 720 DLP projectors.

That is why I always include the caveat that it is simply my "opinion"...

However, while I was at CES I spoke with several other HT BenQ dealers and they all made the same comment... that they did not think it (the 7700) looked quite as good as the 8700+.

As Kevin mentioned this all has to be considered that none of us has had both projectors in the same room at the same time with the same screen... and not many folks are likely too at this point.

As to the screen...... they were using a Stewart screen (big bucks) where I am still using a $15 piece of blackout fabric from Joann's fabrics surrounded by a black frame. So their screen definitely had the edge in this particular encounter... add to that my bulb as almost 1000 hours on it. As I thought it was curious I came back to the 7700 display 5 or 6 times to make sure that was how I felt... I did this over a 3 day period where I watched the 8700+ at home during the night after the show.

So as I keep telling everyone... it is only my opinion... not a scientific measurement..... and until Kevin has both units in the same environment with his calibration equipment... that is all it is going to be is "opinion."

I know many people for various reasons always want to believe that they projector they spent their hard earned dollars for is the "best." However, I have striven in every venue of my life not to be like that. Cars, Airplanes, Projectors... are all just "tools/toys." So buy the tool/toy that fits the job you are trying to do and you will be happy... it does not matter if it is the "ultimate best" ... what matters if it does the job you want it to do. I personally like my 8700+ better than the "one" 7700 I had the opportunity to view.

However, I also like the Dwin TV3e, the InFocus 7205, the InFocus 7210, the BenQ 8720, the dazzling Runco at the AVS party, and a host of others better than my 8700+! But that is a different subject........
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I understand Steve. I also understand that without even discussing the PE7700 it was noted that the R1 Hero DVD was crap. What kind of dumb monkey brings a bad DVD to a show to highlight a product with bad demo material?

I am not saying that the PE7700 is probably better as it could be crap, too. :) Heck, my initial impression of the Sony VPL-HS51 for non-HDTV material was poor and it took three more demos from different providers before I got to see something more positive.

What deinterlacer and scaler does the PE8700/+ use? Also, I wonder how the PE7700 will compare to the Sharp and Toshiba solutions.

If I remember correctly I have heard people attribute both the Silicon Image scaler/de-interlacer to the 8700+ and another party mentioned a Sigma..? ... could be a spelling thing.

I personally liked the Toshiba MT-700 better then either of the BenQ offerings... and it is interesting as it appeared to me to be an identical case to the 7700 with the addition of a Zeiss lens and a Faroudja scaler/de-interlacer.
On the schematics, the "de-interlacer" is identified as a "Sil503" and "Sil504" which is the name of the chip on many of the iScan DVDO processors. Scaling is done by an "O-plus" chip.

Of course, specs can be changed without notice.
Steve, you bring up an interesting feature pair for going with the Toshiba for $200 more (list comparison).
If I was buying in that price point...

I believe it would be my first choice.

It is my "conjecture" that the MT-700 is in fact a PE7700 with a change in lens and scaler/de-interlacer per Toshiba's requirement. Sort of like the fact that the Runco 710 is really the BenQ 8710 that was shown at last year's CES... that due to contractual obligations was never released.

Are you going to be a dealer for the Toshiba as well as the BenQ...??

Here's hoping.........
Up until now, I was hearing that the Toshiba AND the BenQ were both slated to hit the streets in early March. Now, I'm reading May for the BenQ. I am buying my first PJ and I was looking at the Sharp 2K, but was waiting on the Toshiba and BenQ. I am chomping on the bit so hard, that there's no more bit left.

Does anyone know if the Toshiba projected (excuse the pun) release date is still in March?
I met with BenQ today, and got some general feedback regarding delivery, etc. So, here goes:

The 7700 isn't expected until sometime in the second half of April. They further hedged their bets, by reminding me that until they actually land, dates tend to slip.

Also addressed was the picture quality of the 7700 at CES. BenQ has only two prototypes in the country, and I was told that they were both pretty rough, definitely not performing to levels that the final product calls for. That makes some sense, in that we are talking about units that arrived in December - 4 months (maybe more) before the first production units will arrive.

As to the comparison with the Toshiba, BenQ expects production units to perform at least as well as the Toshiba. Perhaps Toshiba with its use of Faroudja, had more help, resulting in having a projector that was much closer to production level.

Next, it was discussed that the 8700 may well outperform the 7700, but any difference should be somewhat marginal. I was not able to learn where such differences may lie.

Lastly for the big bucks spenders, the 8720 will be even later than the 7700, they weren't able to even give me any date they thought was predictable. - just, no word from Taiwan yet. (The 8720 did look very very good at CES).

BTW they agreed that the choice of DVD's displayed was not complimentary.
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Thanks for the info. Looks like the 7700 it will be. Shorter throw distance will make it even better for my room.
I would still like to see how it compares with the Toshiba for the street competitiveness.
Originally posted by TheFerret
I would still like to see how it compares with the Toshiba for the street competitiveness.
I'd like to see the two side by side as well.

I plan to contact Toshiba for an evaluation unit. BenQ has already promised me one next month (March).

The chances of getting them at the same time however is extremely low. That's something more "possible" after they are both shipping production units for a month or two.

When I do receive the BenQ it should takes me about 3-5 days to complete my review process and another couple of days to write it up, and post on my site - www.projectorreviews.com.

I will however keep in touch with the two threads here at AVSforum that are discussing the 7700, and post some comments as I start "playing" with the projector. I'll also let you know when the finished review is posted.

Since I have an 8700+ mounted in my theater, I should also be able to quickly determine where any significant differences are between the two.
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