Full of Rec.709...
What is the BenQ W2000?The BenQ W2000 is a single chip DLP projector aimed at the home entertainment market where it will be used for watching sports, playing games and viewing movies. It boasts a newly enhanced airflow and fan architecture which reduces operating noise to what BenQ claim are class leading levels. Also new is the claim of Rec.709 colour space compliance for watching HD TV and Movies with accurate colour tones and hues, something DLP has struggled to achieve at this price point, especially with green. This time around the use of specially coated RGBRGB colour segments within the colour wheel should help the projector hit the required points to be fully compliant with the standard.
Reading through the specifications list for the W2000 is almost like reading the feedback from previous BenQ projector reviews here at AVForums; which highlights that the company have been listening and adding the features we think are important, even at this price point. So let’s see how it performs…
Design, Connections & Control
Design is always a subjective matter and at the £800 price point of the market you are usually greeted with a business model body which has been adapted for home projection use. The BenQ W2000 is a slick looking DLP projector which has a gold coloured face plate and the rear connections also sport the same colour. The rest of the chassis is gloss white in finish with menu controls placed on the top plate in case you lose the remote control.
There is also a small white flap above the off centre lens which opens to reveal manual vertical lens shift, focus and zoom controls. This means that if you use a scope screen you will have to manually change between aspect ratios with the zoom, focus and shift controls. We found that between uses (in the same table top position) we had to slightly readjust the focus when the projector reached operating temperature. This happened every time we went back to use the projector from the off position.
To the sides and front left you have air intakes and exhausts. The front exhaust pushes out hot air but is also prone to allowing light to escape to that side. However, despite this we didn’t have any issues in our bat cave room with light spill.
Around the back we have the stereo speakers at either end of the chassis and in-between those are the connections. Here we have two HDMI 1.4 ports with the second also offering MHL compatibility, a 12V trigger and two USB ports (one normal and one mini sized, but neither allows media playback). There are also component and composite video inputs, a D-Sub PC input and RS232C control port, along with 3.5mm audio input and output jacks. As the W2000 is likely to be moved around given its home entertainment role, there are two added adjustment feet at the rear to help with levelling the projector for table top or stand mounts. Not supplied with the W2000 is the optional wireless HDMI transmitter and receiver to do away with long cable runs. We have tested it with previous BenQ projectors and it works fine.
The remote control is the usual BenQ white with red backlit effort and is very well laid out. It does feel cheap and plastic in the hand, but it also works without any issues and allows excellent access to the main features. The power and light buttons are at the top with a few selections below this before you have the large menu direction keys and central OK button. Under these are Menu, Back and Source keys all within easy thumb reach for quick access and control. There are speaker and player controls underneath and to finish off we have 9 important picture control direct access keys for items like Contrast, Gamma and Colour. Although it looks and feels cheaply made, we really like the supplied remote and its responsiveness.
For mixed home entertainment use the BenQ W2000 offers real value for money.
Features and SpecsThe main feature being pushed by BenQ with the W2000 is the fact that they have worked hard to try and get the colour performance to hit the Rec.709 standard for HD viewing of TV and movie content. The issue with budget single chip DLP projectors is the colour wheel they use (RGBRGB) to create the colour on screen is usually a colour filter per segment which is never always accurate in tone and hue. With Blue the human eye isn’t as sensitive so you can get away with hue and saturation errors not being perceivable with content, but with DLP it is Green where image issues are usually seen. As the green wavelength of a UHP lamp is the brightest, this also usually helps the projector image brightness, but with a colour wheel we usually see hue errors and a low saturation performance. Most budget DLP projectors have the same issues with green and we have only really seen Sim2 with their ‘expensive’ development of single chip DLP machines nail colour accuracy to the standard.
BenQ attempting this type of accuracy at the sub £1K price point has to be congratulated. They have developed the colour wheel segments with specially coated material to make the colour performance as accurate as possible, without impacting on the brightness of the image. We will of course measure and test these claims in full, with the results shown below.
Other features include full ISF certification and calibration controls which are usually unheard of at this price point, although we doubt many purchasers will be splashing out almost a 1/3 of the purchase price to have it calibrated professionally. Out-of-the-box accuracy to Rec.709 is more of a big deal at this price point.
Some features included and highlighted by BenQ are not necessarily ones we would recommend from an image integrity point of view. The side viewing option for ‘easy placement’ is one such feature that is highlighted in the packaging and in the marketing material, but we wince at the thought of doing that - much like using a keystone control. If you have to absolutely use it because of restraints on space and it is just a quick and easy once in a blue moon use, then fair enough, but if you are permanently setting up and placing the W2000, spend the time to make sure it is lined up perfectly with your screen. The introduction of a vertical lens shift on a budget DLP projector is also a big deal which will help you set it up perfectly in any room, without causing image integrity issues.
Other features require the purchase of optional equipment such as glasses for 3D use and the wireless HDMI kit. How much importance you put on these features will obviously dictate the final cost of the W2000, but they are nice to haves rather than must haves. Our room for instance is already set up for long HDMI cable runs for projector placement and use, but if you don’t then the HDMI wireless kit becomes a more valuable option. With 3D the market has settled down and although it wasn’t a huge commercial success, there are still fans of the format and the W2000 does offer an excellent big screen 3D experience.
Out-of-the-Box SettingsAs the BenQ W2000 is marketed as CinematicColor Rec.709 compliant we used the Cinema (Rec.709) picture preset which greys out other picture controls leaving just the important Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness and lamp settings as adjustable to match the room environment, which we did using Pluge and contrast patterns from our Murideo Fresco generator. In the advanced menu we are left with Gamma, Color Temp, Color Management and Noise reduction. With this we set 2.2 for Gamma and left everything else as standard.
As you can see (top left) the greyscale tracking out-of-the-box was reasonable with a lack of blue energy towards white which did show on screen as a slight yellow tint, but blacks were good with no blue look to them. Gamma also tracked fairly well with just a light dip at 10IRE which we were unable to get any better. We set gamma at 2.2 as this projector will be used in rooms with ambient light and walls and ceilings that are lighter in colour than a bat cave. As deltaE errors were below 4 until around 80ire it meant that apart from that slight yellow tint, the out-of-the-box greyscale is pretty respectable and perfectly watchable for the vast majority of users.
The CIE results (top right) make for interesting viewing given the marketing of the projector in hitting Rec.709 standards. As you can see it gets very close indeed with red slightly over saturated and Green being slightly out in terms of hue, but we expected that. The other points are also not that far away given some slight hue and/or saturation variances. From a DLP projector under £1K we think this is a very acceptable result with deltaE errors tracking consistently and onscreen performance that looked nicely saturated. Even with bulb aging the results should hold stable and may very well get slightly better as more hours are placed on the projector. Overall given the price point and results here, we can't see many complaints from users choosing to use these out-of-the-box presents.
Calibrated SettingsGiven that the W2000 is ISF certified and has full calibration controls available we set about seeing how much better we could get the BenQ’s image. We ran into a few issues but overall the results were good. We fully tested the W2000 with our Murideo Fresco generator testing resolutions, refresh rates and running calibration patterns whilst it was controlled by CalMAN Ultimate software.
Using the 2-point greyscale controls we were able to get deltaE errors well under 2 which is below the visible threshold and gets rid of the yellow tint seen in the out-of-the-box results. Gamma tracking was as close as possible to what we were looking for with just that slight dip at 10IRE. Overall this was a very good result.
Moving to the CIE results (above right) we were able to use the Colour Management System (CMS) provided to get the brightness, saturation and hue correct for the majority of the primary and secondary points. As expected we had some issues with Green not quite hitting the desired point with saturation and hue errors. Looking at the below left chart you will also see that the saturation sweeps at 25, 50 and 75% are good for all but Green. You can see that by trying to bring Green into the correct position for Rec.709 this results in hue errors that are well outside the desired points in a curved like response. The second chart (bottom right) shows the saturation sweeps with no CMS adjustments and while Red and Blue are slightly over saturated- Green actually tracks better. It still has hue errors but they are more manageable and less obviously visible with material with lots of green, like football pitches. So in this case, we would stick with the native Rec.709 mode for the colour gamut which is good news for most owners who would never calibrate it.
Picture QualityThe first question to answer when it comes to the picture quality of any single chip DLP concerns the black levels. As with other budget models the W2000 has mediocre blacks and a lack of shadow detail in the lowest reaches of the image. Below about 20IRE everything becomes one shade of dark grey and this really stands out when used in a bat cave environment. However switch locations to a room with light coloured ceiling and walls and no way to completely dull ambient light levels, and the W2000 black levels are not as noticeably mediocre. Raise the black floor in a room like this and the blacks are more acceptable and issues less obvious. This allows the other highlights of the image to shine through. Colour performance, whilst not bang on Rec.709 as advertised on the box, are certainly an improvement for a budget DLP machine, especially with Green which is always an issue with colour wheel based models. While there are still slight errors in hue and saturation of Green, when compared to similar DLP models at this price point, the results are a big improvement. This helps elevate the W2000 towards more accurate images for a home entertainment projector at the price point.
As it is a single chip DLP model it is still capable of displaying the odd flash of rainbow effect depending on the material you are watching. We didn’t have any obvious issues personally, but as it varies from person to person, make sure you check to see if it will affect you with this projector.
Motion is always a plus point with DLP and the same is true here for watching fast moving sports on the big screen. Movies also look correct with 24P playback being spot on with no induced judder. Sharpness is also good from the plastic lens with good detail levels and the image uniformity on full white screens holds up well with no obvious colour tints in any edges. Upscaling is also very good with DVD sources to HD resolution without any obvious ringing and there is no back door processing or noise reduction going on either.
With Blu-ray and other HD material the W2000 looks very sharp and detailed with only the lack of shadow detail and black levels letting it down slightly. Even the use of an ND filter can’t help with the shadow detail crush or add in any black texture to mixed scenes, or dark APL scenes. However when you consider the price point and the image quality on offer the W2000 is one of the best budget performers we have seen in a while.
Although 3D seems to have fallen by the wayside in popular opinion, there are still 3D discs being released and the performance of the W2000 is very good indeed. The motion is solid with very little crosstalk or blurring. However, the colours are a little on the oversaturated side when in high lamp mode and through the glasses. But for the occasional 3D film the BenQ turns in a great performance.
Noise is an issue with the BenQ and we should point that out here. In high lamp mode it is 30db and in low it is around 27db. Depending on the placement of the projector and your viewing position you may or may not find this noise distracting.
Finally we tested the input lag using the Leo Bodnar test device which gave us a result of 50ms which is very good for big screen gaming. Only the most sensitive of online gamers would feel it was lagging in any way, for everyone else the W2000 makes a good proposition as a big screen gaming display.
- Decent colour performance to Rec.709 out of the box
- Excellent 3D performance
- Very Good motion handling
- Very Good video processing
- Decent input lag for gamers
- Mediocre Blacks
- Missing shadow detail
- Noisy in both high and low lamp modes
- Some rainbow effect
BenQ W2000 DLP Projector ReviewThis is not a high performance home cinema projector and it doesn’t pretend to be. It is marketed as a home entertainment machine for use with large screen sports, gaming and movies. It is also aimed at users who will have light coloured ceilings and walls and unable to get the room completely dark; they may even project on to a white wall. Used like this, as intended, the W2000 is a stellar performer with a good input lag time of 50ms for general gamers, excellent motion handling for fast moving sports and decent colour performance close to Rec.709 for movie watching. It’s short fall is the mediocre black levels and lack of shadow detail which is common for a single chip DLP at this price point. But when used in environments where the black floor is raised, like those above, this becomes less of an issue. This projector is not designed for bat cave critical home cinema viewing but in its best environment it offers excellent performance at a stellar price and even offers optional extras like great 3D performance and wireless HDMI connections. As such we have no hesitation in awarding it a Best Buy badge.
There are a number of DLP projector models under £1K to choose from but they all have trouble reaching the colour performance that the W2000 offers. Most are from BenQ themselves like the W1070 & W1080 or the Optoma GT1080 and these are best described as home entertainment models. If you want a dedicated home cinema projector and can stretch your budget then we would recommend the Sony VPL-HW40ES as the best budget model available right now.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black levels7
2D Picture Quality8
3D Picture Quality9
Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box8
Picture Quality Calibrated9
Ease Of Use8
Value For Money9
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