Uncalibrated the W500 didn’t produce colour quite as measurably accurate as the Samsung SP400B, but overall the subjective image quality was considerably better. Everything appeared much, much more realistic on the W500 - Skin tones in particular looked more natural and alive, with a subtlety few projectors can match. Movies are engaging and film-like.
The ace up the W500’s sleeve is the HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) image processor from Silicon Optix. Regardless of your opinion on the quality of video emanating from Hollywood you’ll find the HQV chip enables the projector to deliver excellent-looking results whether you’re up-scaling from standard definition DVD content or scaling down from interlaced 1080i HDTV output. All of our test clips looked smooth and natural with minimal digital noise.
The ace up the W500’s sleeve is the HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) image processor
When in its ‘normal’ mode, the W500 is audibly quite noisy at 32dB– however, switch to eco and things pipe down to a more acceptable 28dB without a huge decrease in brightness. However the W500 isn’t particularly bright to start with, so you’ll need a room where you can control the light levels if you want to use the projector to its best effect during the day.
Some setup is required to get the best picture, especially when it comes to black level and shadow detail, which can appear a little washed out if not managed carefully. Its zoom range of 1.2:1 isn’t very wide either, limiting your options when it comes to positioning the projector for any give screen size. As with any 720p projector you won’t want to be sitting too close to the screen if you want to avoid noticeable pixilation, but if you’re about two screen widths away you should be fine.
If you do a lot of your viewing in the daytime and you can’t darken your room, then you may want to consider a brighter projector, such as Panasonic’s 2000-lumen PT-AX200E. However, if the W500 fits well with your room and viewing conditions you’ll find it offers good image quality from any source and is easy to use. Best of all it’s currently available online for only £578 with an Xbox 360 and five games thrown in. A replacement lamp will cost you £189 and will need changing after around 2000 hours in standard mode or 3000 if you stick to the economy setting, making the W500 comparatively cheap to run.
BenQ W500 projector
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.