A pair of screw-mounted rubber feet at the front lets you control elevation and tilt with adequate precision when mounting the projector on a flat surface such as a table, although ceiling mounting is of course also an option.
The supplied remote is big and long - and therefore difficult to lose, with buttons that light up orange like electric Jelly Tots. Having a lot of buttons means you can jump directly to the right input and tinker with settings such as aspect ratio scaling without having to browse through a menu of options, keeping visual interruptions to a minimum.
There's a good selection of inputs, including HDMI and a VGA d-sub connector
Unlike Samsung’s Hybrid SP-A400B, the W500 is a pure home cinema product with a native 16:9 resolution, which means it’ll project an image the same shape as your TV rather than your widescreen PC monitor. It’s very good at scaling all sort of content, but if you do want to use it on a PC, you won’t be able to get a true 1024 x 768 image without some distortion.
The W500 is unique in BenQ’s projector portfolio in that it uses LCD technology rather than the ever-popular DLP system. Rated at a modest 1100 ANSI lumens, this 5000:1 contrast ratio projector nevertheless produces a bright, clear image with plenty enough power for most home theatre setups.
The selection of inputs includes a single HDMI port as well as a VGA d-sub connector and a pair of component video inputs. You also get composite and s-video thrown in, although they’re hardly the best use of a projector such as this. RS232 and USB control ports are also provided.
LCD vs DLP
Does anyone know how this compares to the Optoma HD700X? That one is under £400 at Amazon, but it's DLP and I'm nervous about seeing wheel artifacts.
You certainly win points for the jelly tots reference :-)
Price isn't bad but the Panasonic I've got is so much brighter that I think it's worth the extra cash.
Got mine last Xmas after the TV packed up (was £300 more back then but still worth it at that price). One of my friends with the 48" plasma TV he bought 3 years ago for close to £3k is still green with envy... it makes his monster of a TV look tiny and for a fraction of the price.
Biggest problem is the natural light, I had to get proper blackout blinds in order to use the projector when the sun is out fully during the day.
When all is said and done, invite the friends over, get the popcorn going and watch films wall sized.
Or for any gamers considering one... have you ever tried a 4 player console game on one TV? Found yourself squinting at a quarter of a TV screen from the sofa? Get one of these and then a quarter of your wall is probably bigger than the entire TV screen it replaced ;)
Oh and the free Xbox it comes bundled with is the Arcade version for anyone wondering.
you can pick this up for about 420 quid, its 720p and DLP and brighter than this IIRC. I run mine off a philips hmdi upscaling dvd player (a whole 60 quid) and play onto a 120" screen (thats like just under 3m wide). fantastic picture.