BenQ W500 projector

There’s more to image quality than a massive pixel-count

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.

BenQ W500 projector

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.

Sponsored: Designing and building an open ITOA architecture