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BenQ 7700 Mini Review

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by spikerules, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. spikerules

    spikerules
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    *No HDMI connections were used!

    BenQ 7700 Mini Review By Spikerules,

    Its really REALLY BAD!

    JUST JOKING!! After the annoying first 7700 I received I was about to write a scathing review on how bad the optics were, but instead I decided to get a new one in and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it made! No more phantom blotches or soft images. Instead Ivojo and BenQ decided they weren't going to have a customer unsatisfied and sent a new one out ASAP.

    Anyways, what can I say, but WOW. This has to be the best audio/visual type equipment I have ever bought! And here's why; in order or GRATENESS :)

    1) Brightness - I would even go as far as saying that it matches the InFocus 7205 (which is around 1k more). Watching 'The Incredibles' through comp out was a delight. The jungle chase scene was beatiful; the closest I've yet come to recreating the cinema feel in my home!

    2) HD material - Watching T2 Extreme Edition trailer through my computer was breathtaking and using my NeuNeo to up convert 'The Incredibles' looked at least 2-3x better than that of a 1k denon DVD player running through a 5700!

    3) Artefacts = Almost ZERO, even through the NeuNeo cheapo DVD player (£150), which is a bargain btw!

    Whats not good?

    1) Contrast isn't what I was hoping for. Increasing the Brightness to Family Room washes out the blacks creating almost grey looking images at the lower end of the luma scale (e.g no 0v blacks:) - blacks are heavily lifted/raised). This is only a minor quibble, due to not really needing to use the above mentioned preset option in dark rooms; only really needed for daytime use (and you'd probably want to close the curtains then anyways). I found that all the preset options are pretty darn cool and no fiddling is required except on the RGB HD input (computer). The sharpness needs to be raised to 3 from 0 due to soft desktop items.

    2) Two DLP artefacts remain.... The rainbow effect (still better than most PJ's) and an annoying fizzing over fast motion or quick pans (like forest chase scene in 'The Incredibles'). The latter is only noticeable on the Family Room preset.

    3) Optics could be better. Ever so slightly soft on all inputs (except HDMI which I haven’t tested yet).

    Conclusion: -

    This is the best thing I have ever bought and for only £1575 (inc VAT and mount & soft case, which seems to be too small for the PJ?). In conclusion 1500 + 150 for NeuNeo makes an incredible bargain! Especially considering that I paid £2500 for a Philips LCD screen with a 250 contrast ratio a year and a half ago and that a 5700 is £1800!

    PS Please ask questions if you feel like something is stopping you from getting this PJ. I bet I can put your mind at ease:) Also, sorry for the amateur review... I'm new at this, so I hope I haven't made a complete fool out of myself:)
     
  2. squibbly

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    Thanks for that Spikerules. Most illuminating. It's been good to read you going through all the same agonies on choosing a PJ as me, though you've made the purchase first!

    Unless I can get the H78DC3 for a decent price (and I fear my idea of a decent price will be much lower than the dealers!), I think this baby is definitely the way to go. Let's face it, there isn't a DLP HD PJ that comes anywhere near it in terms of price.

    Some typically anal avforums questions now:

    1. What screen are you using (make, size, gain) and how far away is the PJ?
    2. When viewing in the dark how good is the black level (say, compared to the IF5700)?
    3. With the NeuNeu what signal are you outputting (570i/p, 720p), ie is the PJ or the DVD player doing the scaling and deinterlacing?

    One tip: I read somewhere that the best setting on the PE7700 isn't the Cinema mode or the Family mode, but the other one (which I can't remember, but I'm sure you'll know).

    Thanks again for the post. Let us now any other thoughts as you get more into your new beast!

    Squibbly
     
  3. Confused

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    Hi,

    I recently purchased this machine along with the Samsung HD-950, at present I'm projecting onto a white wall, I'm not sure it's this but one of the problems I've had, and I'm not sure if it's only my perception, is it feels just slightly out of focus most of the time, I've sat and played with the focus for ages but not really improved things... Is this down to the simple fact I'm not projecting onto a screen?

    Other than that I'm happy with the projector, it is a pretty big beast but asthetically it's a really nice design, can't say I've noticed a great difference upscaling from the DVD player but then I've not had a weekend to play with it yet (hopefully I will this weekend) at which point I can post a better judgement...
     
  4. PJTX100

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    A screen will help but if the wall is smooth it shouldn't make a significant difference. The usual question at this point is "are the menus sharp"?

    ...PJ :)
     
  5. spikerules

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    Hi Squibbly,
    Here are a few ansers to your questions!

    1. What screen are you using (make, size, gain) and how far away is the PJ?

    I'm using a homemade blackout cloth screen at around 54" diaganol and the PJ is 10ft away from the screen

    2. When viewing in the dark how good is the black level (say, compared to the IF5700)?

    I saw the IF5700 @ sevenoaks on a 2 grand screen and I would go as far as saying the Ben Q 7700 on my homemade screen is just as good in the conditions you mention:)

    3. With the NeuNeu what signal are you outputting (570i/p, 720p), ie is the PJ or the DVD player doing the scaling and deinterlacing?

    "NeuNeo" is giving me a 1080i or 720p signal through comp output (as I said I in my original post.. no HDMI yet - doh!) I prefer 1080i because it gives me a sense of detail - maybe because there are more pixels in 1080i than 720p, but has less sharpness, I do understand this is a matter of taste however...

    One tip: I read somewhere that the best setting on the PE7700 isn't the Cinema mode or the Family mode, but the other one (which I can't remember, but I'm sure you'll know).

    The mode you speak of is most probably Home Theater mode ( I remember hearing this somewhere too!) and I would have to agree with whomever said so!


    I Hope this helps you Squibbly!
     
  6. Confused

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    Ok I guess I'm really showing off the "New" next to member now ;)

    The menus are very sharp, so I'm guessing by that it's not the projector's optics. I'm using an HDMI connection between the two and have to add again, it's not hugely noticable at all but there is something niggling me slightly about it when it's running. It could be simply down to me expecting too much?


    Have to also use this reply to say I also sourced mine from ivojo who were hugely helpful in getting it to me very quickly - very much recommended. :thumbsup:
     
  7. spikerules

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    Hi there!
    I'm having the same problem and found that increasing the sharpness in the menu to 3 helps a great deal (don't go over 3 - detail starts to desolve). I think Ultimately for £1500 your not going to get optics on par with say, a H78 or 7205, but its darn near to being a perfect PJ!

    Hope that helps!

    Quick edit - Confused are you getting a slight ghosting over VGA? I'm getting a very slight amount that I just noticed:)
     
  8. Confused

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    Thanks Spike I'll give that a try tonight.

    Can I ask where you got the material for your screen, and how you've constructed it?
     
  9. spikerules

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    I got the material from John Lewis and the frame from B&Q. I just bought 4 long peices of hard wood and sawed and banged em' together in a kinda bodge job way until I can afford something better:) I'm thinking of using screen goo or MMUD and what about you, what are you thinking of using?
     
  10. Confused

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    At the moment it's just the wall as I rent, but may duplicate what you've done as the cost/benefit sounds pretty good!
     
  11. squibbly

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    Thanks Spikerules. Again, most helpful.

    Confused, you can play around with a few things as well as the sharpness.

    Try different outputs on the Samsung. For instance, the deinterlacer on the Benq is supposed to be slightly ropey, whilst the scaler is supposed to be good. Thus, if you output 570P on the Samsung, you should bypass the PJ's deinterlacer, but make use of its scaler. Just go through each output and decide which looks best. You might also want to try component out on the Samsung, though I've read that the HDMI is better.

    I was interested in pairing the PE7700 with a Samsung 950 too, so let me know how you get on.

    Squibbly
     
  12. PJTX100

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    From what I've seen the Samsungs do give a slightly soft pic, if you want sharp try a Pioneer 575 and set sharpness to fine...PJ :)
     
  13. lupinthe4th

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    Glad you have it sorted Spike,and that you are pleased with your choice,I'm chuffed to bits with mine too,just got to get rid of my Panny AE700.
    Home Theater is the best setting to my eyes,and I also agree with you about the jungle chase in the Incredibles,it does look amazing.
     
  14. spikerules

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    lupinthe4th,

    Thanks and I'm glad you enjoy your 7700:) I think people that buy a IF7205 are loosing out on some hard earned cash. Great PJ for great value!
     
  15. firebladebec

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    Lupin,
    Your getting rid of your Panny 700. Does this mean you rate the Benq 7700 over it.

    Fireblade
     
  16. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I was about to ask that :)

    The main thing that worries me about the Benq is the slightly soft picture and whether this is infact an optics issue, does anyone know if this is the case via hdmi?

    I would be running zoomplayer and ffdshow via hcpc which gives an incredibly sharp picture, i just would not like the optics to soften this up.
     
  17. squibbly

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    Inzaman

    That's the first I've heard of a soft picture, and I've read quite a bit of the www.avsforum.com in all it's biblical glory.

    With the menus being sharp (but which menus, the DVD player's or the projector's?) it's obviously not the lens, so more likely the source, though spikerules problems have gone with his replacement. Sounds like it's something that can be tweaked or swapped out, anyway.

    Squibbly
     
  18. lupinthe4th

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    Fireblade and Inzaman

    I don't want to upset any ae700 owners but I don't like the panny at all,I hate the smoothscreen process,as I felt I was never getting a sharp enough image.The Benq does not have a screen door issue anyway and the picture is very sharp.
    I don't think there is a problem with the optics although I am not an expert in that area!
    For my money the Benq is streets ahead of the Panny as long as the rainbows are not an issue for you.
     
  19. inzaman

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    :rotfl: :rotfl:

    I know what you mean its a pain trying to wade through the waffle that goes on to find out any detail.

    I currently have a Z2 so i imagine the Benq will also be far better than that. I did read about the Benq having a softer picture than the H78 on a US review which compared the H78 to the Benq and Marantz.
     
  20. Confused

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    Ok,
    Update from yesterday, completely dark room, the Incredibles via the Samsung HD950 still at 720p through the 7700 - bloody amazing! Guess the real difference has been I've now got a 5m HDMI cable instead of the supplied 2m (with the HD950), the extra distance means I can now set the zoom on the projector to middle, where as previously I had set it to an extreme to get a big picture. All the guys who came round agreed, it is amazingly close to being at the cinema! No issues whatsoever..

    Infact I was projecting a screen that I reckon was about 220cms + across - pretty bloody big, and was sitting about 250cms from the screen so immersion was spot on..

    TOP! Big smile etc. etc!
     
  21. spikerules

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    Squibbly,
    The problem hasn't gone completely and as Inzaman stated the review comparing the BenQ 7700 to the H78 did mention that the 7700 has a softer picture than the pricier HD PJ's.

    The good thing about the BenQ is that it delivers HD quality PJ's at an affordable rate with only a minor step down in quality from its rivals, which happen to be around 2k more!

    My 7700 is still soft (not as soft as before and the blothches have gone now -thankfully!) but some tinkering in the menu's with the sharpness gauge manages to decrease the problem. Hope this helps...
     
  22. spikerules

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    You seem to be sitting a little too close for a screen that size... but if it works, then fair enough and well done!:)
     
  23. inzaman

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    Spikerules, have you tried it via HDMI yet or is this softness via other inputs.

    Confused, is your picture sharp via hdmi?


    This is what makes it sooo tempting, £2k gets me the speakers i want :)
     
  24. Confused

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    I would say it's still a little soft for my liking but not too bad, send me your email address and I can send you a photo if that helps. I haven't got the length of cable required to try out the different connection types to compare the difference.

    Have to agree the screen size was a bit big but I had done that on purpose to add the wow factor, will be scaling things down a bit for normal viewing.
     
  25. inzaman

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    Thanks for the offer, will PM you.

    When i first got my projector (Z2) it took me a while to get used to having such a lrge image at home, now i couldnt do without it.
     
  26. moosie

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    i.e. home theater, family room etc.

    I have found none of the settings ideal and that you are better tweaking the settings and saving to suit your needs. e.g. I think the home theater has a brightness setting of -18 which is far too dark for my liking.

    Also, the ideal settings for Sky through S Video, and DVD through HDMI ( Sammy HD850 ) are totally different.
     
  27. inzaman

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    I wonder if that goes some way to skewing the comparison on the review i read, i bet you could get an improved picture once calibrated via Avia and others as opposed to using the predefined settings.
     
  28. squibbly

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure I read that the PE7700 used Benq's own 'Senseye' technology to produce a smooth image. Maybe this is what gives it the slight softness. I'm not sure if it can be turned off.

    Inzaman, I think I'd be willing to pay £2k for the H78 over the PE7700, but no chance of that in the current market!

    Squibbly
     
  29. pjclark1

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    That usually indicates a naff VGA cable.
    (Belkin cables give ghosting, Belkin Pro cables don't)
     
  30. foghorn

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    With regard to the Senseye on the Benq. Kevin R Anderson over on AVS claims that the processor for the PE7700 is clearly a Faroudja.

    Foghorn
     

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