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BenQ W1110S DLP Projector Review

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A rather nice side effect...

by Phil Hinton Nov 2, 2016 at 7:33 AM

  • Home AV review

    4
    3,265

    Recommended
    BenQ W1110S DLP Projector Review
    SRP: £650.00

    What is the BenQ W1110S?

    The BenQ W1110S is the latest of the budget DLP projectors from the company to introduce the football mode to an existing chassis. We have already covered the W1110 in a detailed review but BenQ have updated the unit with the S suffix and added a new football mode and a few other tweaks to the projector. In this mini review we will cover the changes made to the existing W1110 and see if the upgrade is worthwhile.

    Design, Connections and Control

    BenQ W1110S Design, Connections and Control

    The design of the W1110S is identical to the W1110 model with the same grey coloured front and white body. The lens if offset to the right when looking at it from the front, with the exhaust vents to the left handside. Below the lens is a white button that when pressed extends a small plastic leg to raise the front of the projector up during installation. To the top plate just above the lens is a plastic cover which hides the lens shift wheel along with the manual focus and zoom rings on the lens. Also on the top plate towards the rear of the unit are some menu and access keys should you misplace the remote control.

    BenQ W1110S Design, Connections and Control

    Around the back we have the connections with two HDMI 1.4a ports, composite, component and VGA/PC video inputs along with an RS232C port and 12v Trigger. We also have audio in and outs along with two USB slots for charging and service. Placed either side of the connections are the small stereo speakers with CinemaMaster audio plus technology. However we imagine that the majority of AVForums readers would have an off board sound solution.

    Controlling the W1110S is the now familiar small white BenQ projector remote with red backlight. It is plastic and fitting with the budget level of the unit but at the same time is well built, sturdy and easy to fit in the hand. Access to the main control keys in the centre of the remote are easy to reach with the thumb when held in the palm of the hand making it easy to use at all times. The build quality is also good enough to put up with the portable nature of this home entertainment machine.

    BenQ W1110S
    It might be based on a similar model but there are surprises to be found

    Features and Specs

    BenQ W1110S Features and Specs

    The whole reason for this projector to exist would appear to be the Football picture and sound mode. Looking at the specs for both the W1110 and ‘S’ variant we are reviewing here doesn’t highlight any other added features. However, when we fully measured the image we were surprised with some tweaks that appear to have been added, yet not highlighted within the marketing for this model.

    BenQ state that the Football mode is like being there in the stadium during major tournament or premier league games. They do this by adding a unique picture mode that highlights the lush green grass and skin tones and stunning sound from the stereo 10W CinemaMaster+ speakers – according to the marketing blurb on the website. While the speakers would be fine to use in emergency situations when using the projector in a location with no sound system present, it certainly doesn’t produce an immersive experience like you are there in the stadium. The magic of marketing?

    BenQ W1110S Features and Specs

    The rest of the features are identical to the W1110 model with a shorter throw when compared to the W2000 and W3000 Rec.709 models giving you a 100-inch image from just 2.5 meters. The picture is nice and sharp from the glass and plastic lens and the rainbow effect is kept in check with a six-speed RGBRGB colour wheel. It also retains the ISFccc certification and image memories for secure storing of settings once calibrated along with a fully featured menu system. There’s also 3D built-in for those who still enjoy the experience but you will have to buy the glasses separately. Finally you can also get rid of long cable runs with the optional Wireless Full HD Kit.

    MORE: How to set up your projector



    Out-of-the-box settings

    We set about finding the best picture settings for the W1110S and then measuring them to see how close they get to the industry standards for Rec.709 colour and D65 white. The closer we can get to these standards the more accurate the image quality will be for film and TV viewing. We were in for some small surprises when compared to the W1110 we have previously reviewed and measured.
    BenQ W1110S Out-of-the-box settings
    BenQ W1110S Out-of-the-box settings

    For the greyscale (top left) we found that the cool setting was the most accurate on this occasion, rather than the usual warm which was just too warm and yellow. Out-of-the-box tracking was excellent for a preset with only blue starting to dip by up to 5% at the higher end. Red and green were better and only just over at the high end, giving a very accurate looking grey track on screen with no actual errors seen. Gamma did well at 2.4 and overall the greyscale performance was very good for a picture preset, uncalibrated.

    The colour gamut tracking (top right) was also very good for an out-of-the-box preset in the cinema mode. Red was undersaturated and we had hue errors in green, cyan and magenta. However the tracking did show that the W1110S was far closer to the Rec.709 standards than the W1110 we had tested previously, especially in getting wide enough the cover the points and doing so with good luminance results (not shown in the graph). Apart from the obvious lack of red saturation seen in the graph, for a budget DLP model not aimed at Rec.709 coverage this is a good result, which should be able to be improved if the Colour Management System (CMS) works as intended.

    MORE: Get your picture settings using the PicturePefect guide



    Calibrated Settings

    We used our trusted Klein K-10A meter, Murideo Fresco Six-G generator and CalMAN Ultimate software to calibrate the W1110S using the provided menu controls.
    BenQ W1110S Calibrated Settings
    BenQ W1110S Calibrated Settings

    While the controls for the white balance were quite coarse in operation we managed to get impressive results (top left). The tracking of the greyscale is now as good as it can be and the DeltaE errors are all under 3 with no visible tint to any grayscale point or onscreen images. Gamma is also tracking well at 2.4 so we are happy with the results here.

    Moving to the Colour Gamut tracking and using the CMS we were able to fix the under saturation of red and the hue errors in green so they were tracking correctly (including luminance not shown in the graph). We also managed to fix at least the 75% saturation points for cyan and magenta and overall the results were excellent when compared to the W1110 we previously reviewed. We can only put down the differences in results to BenQ engineers changing the colour wheel to help with the Football mode as the projector is not marketed to hit Rec.709.

    More: Should you get your projector professionally calibrated?



    Picture Quality

    This is a home entertainment projector and not a home cinema model, meaning it is intended to be used in a normal living room with light coloured ceilings and walls and the curtains pulled. As with all other budget level DLP machines the black levels and shadow details are mediocre, yet suit the intended environment more than a bat cave. Don’t expect any shadow detail below 20ire or more than blocks of black in mixed contrast scenes, where the lack of dynamic range shows up the weak points of this projector. However, as this is not a projector focussed at producing reference images you can forgive it the black levels for everything else it does offer.

    Brightness is excellent even in calibrated cinema mode and you shouldn’t be tempted to use any other, especially the football mode. We can see why the marketing department at BenQ thought up such a mode (also seen on some TVs from the likes of Samsung) with events like the Euros this year and of course a huge interest in big screen sports. However the football mode was a little over processed, overly sharpened and, a little too garish colour wise than we would like to see. As we always point out, you should just need one accurate picture mode for the majority of your viewing pleasure. However one side effect of introducing the football mode appears to be the use of a different colour wheel or colour wheel filters as the W1110S is capable of getting colours close to Rec.709, something only specialised budget DLPs are capable of. It’s not perfectly lined up in terms of colour tracking to the exact points, but at least the W1110 can cover the gamut size and volume, something the W1110 it is based on cannot do.

    As a result of the more accurate colour in the best out-of-the-box mode the image quality certainly takes a step up from the W1110 and we get more accurate skin tones and football pitches where the green hues are more correct than a restricted gamut performance. Calibrate the tracking with the included CMS and we get more accurate red saturation and brightness which adds even more to those skin tones and green hues of the tropical forests in Jurassic World. Sharpness is also excellent with good uniformity across the screen with just the far edges appearing a little soft and out of focus. Colour uniformity is also excellent with no tints seen across the screen area.

    Finally gaming will be a highlight on the W1110S with a measured input lag of 36ms using our Leo Bodnar tester and of course there is also the excellent 3D performance with no obvious signs of crosstalk and very little ghosting within the excellent and bright images. Like the model it is based on the W1110S is a strong performer.

    Conclusion

    8
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    The Good

    • Decent colour accuracy OOTB and Calibrated to Rec.709
    • Good motion and video processing
    • Excellent 3D
    • Input lag is good for most gamers
    • Value for money is good

    The Bad

    • Football mode is marketing and is not accurate
    • Noisy even in Eco mode
    • Mediocre black levels and shadow details
    • Some rainbow effect
    You own this Total 1
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    BenQ W1110S DLP Projector Review

    The BenQ W1110S is a decent upgrade on the W1110 it is based on but not for the reasons the company would like. The only advertised difference is the addition of the Football mode which introduces an overly processed image and sound from the built-in speakers. Both are rather naff marketing ploys if we are being honest and add nothing of interest to those looking for good picture quality. However a side effect of this new mode is the capability of the projector to now get even closer to the Rec.709 colour standards for HD material.

    The W1110 model it is based on had a restricted colour gamut which prevented the projector from being able to cover the colour space required for accurate Rec.709 colour, so it wasn’t able to meet the standards and some side effects was a massive hue error for green which meant sports viewing with green pitches looked odd. With the W1110S the projector is now able to get wide enough to cover the colour points to a fairly accurate degree out-of-the-box meaning greens look correct and skin tones look natural. It adds a nice degree of accuracy to all content and is the one major reason to choose the W1110S over the W1110.

    Everything else between the two models is almost identical with excellent motion, good quality video processing and nice bright images. Plus there is the added benefit of excellent 3D playback (although you need to buy the glasses) and you can add optional extras like the wireless kit to do away with long cable runs.

    The W1110S is an upgrade on the W1110 and is an excellent all-rounder for big screen sports, gaming, movies and 3D viewing with even more accurate colours thrown in as a bonus. As such it gets a few added marks to image accuracy and retains the Recommended badge.

    MORE: Read all our DLP projector reviews


    MORE: Read all projector reviews


    The Rundown

    Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black levels

    7

    Colour Accuracy

    8

    Greyscale Accuracy

    8

    Video Processing

    8

    Image Uniformity

    8

    2D Picture Quality

    8

    3D Picture Quality

    9

    Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

    7

    Picture Quality Calibrated

    8

    Features

    7

    Ease Of Use

    8

    Build Quality

    7

    Value For Money

    8

    Verdict

    8

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