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New BenQ PE7700 High Def For only £1,630.69!!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Oakleyspatz, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
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    At last it seems that High Def capable DLP projectors are becoming more affordable. The New BenQ PE7700 can now be bought for £1,387.82 + vat which only a year ago would have cost closer to £5k for that specification:

    1000ansi lumens / 2500:1 contrast ratio / 26dB silent operation / 1280x720 native resolution / 6 segment - 5x speed colour wheel / 16.9 WXGA

    It looks like the arrival of High Definition really has brought rewards for all us projector fans. Looks like my Infocus Screenplay 4805's days are numbered. Great though it is, the bargain price of £1300 that I paid is starting to look overpriced !!!
    Check out this link for details:
    http://www.systemsassurance.co.uk/default.asp?shopID=systemsRelated.asp&pn=99.J0C77.B51
     
  2. Jonny1973

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    I'm holding out for a projector with a native resolution of 1920x1080. At the moment, they start at $25,000 but prices are falling every year.

    I think its misleading for manufacturers to class 1280x720 (720p) as hi-def, when it is not all that much better than standard PAL.

    When HD-DVD/Blu-Ray hits, everyone will be want 1920x1080 to show it off at its full resolution.

    BBC TV also favour the 1920x1080 resolution when their HDTV service starts.
     
  3. PJTX100

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    I sorta think the fact that WXGA LCDs can be bought for around 1K may have something to do with it too. :)

    And Jonny, one step at a time please! :)

    ...PJ
     
  4. RTFM

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    WXGA=1024x576=NOT HD

    Jeff :rtfm:
     
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Johnny,

    In some respects there's not a great deal of difference between 720P and 1080I, and both are Hi Def formats.

    Gary.
     
  6. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
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    Sorry Jef but that resolution is classed as WSVGA. 1280x720 is indeed WXGA and a native resolution of 720p is High Definition albeit the lower of the two available HD resolutions. But 720 progressive is sometimes better than 1080 interlaced especially on moving images such as football matches.
     
  7. Crivens

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    1920x1200 is WUXGA. I know because thats what this laptop is :) Super duper high def?

    Cheers
     
  8. Tempest

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    Ohhhh, interesting.

    I wonder how this compairs to the Sony HS20 as it's the same price.
     
  9. Peter Parker

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    It'll be intersting to see how the advertised figures compare to when it's measured out of the box. Lumens and contrast are usualy 40% to 50% less than advertised.

    That would put the genuine cr at 1250:1 or thereabouts which isn't particularly impressive given that the H78 which is a similar machine (but more money) is around 2400:1.

    The internal scaler is probably their own, so that could be something to consider if you're not using HTPC or an external scaler.

    It's a great price though. I wonder what the warranty will be like.

    Gary.
     
  10. oconnpad

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  11. Kramer

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    I don't think its fair to make this assertion based on other PJs/manufacturers' quoted specs.

    I would expect the actual CR to be far more than 1250:1. IMO "isn't particularly impressive" isn't justified until it's been tested/reviewed.

    It's a great development......might make other manufacturers rethink their pricing. I look forward to getting my hands on one :smashin:

    :smoke:
     
  12. inzaman

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    Wow i cannot believe the price on this.

    If it just does that then it will be excellent, the 8700 didnt seem to bring other mf's prices down to that level but i wonder if it did assist or speed up bringing them to their current level.
     
  13. Peter Parker

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    Hi Kramer.

    My comments were reasonable and I don't believe them unfair - I was merely putting into context that you get what you pay for. :)

    I think it's a very fair assertion when in context to my statement that
    And the 2400:1 I quoted was a genuine measured contrast ratio and not manufacturers figures of 3800:1. That's about 37% less than advertised and is pretty good by todays standards IMHO.

    If BenQ where known for stating accurate figures along similar lines to Infocus, then it would be a different matter, but I don't believe it to be the case. I measured my H77 at 510 lumens despite the manufacturers figures being 900 lumens. I also meaured the CR at 2300:1 yet they quote 3500:1. I also found the NEC HT1000 to be just over 1300:1 CR despite being advertised at 3000:1. Calibrated figures are worse still (HT1000 1250:1 for example).

    I don't think my comments were unfair given that 95% of the manufacturers quote lumens and contrast figures that are not what we would get when we turn the machine on at home. If someone were to loan me the BenQ I would measure it and supply the data here for free. Anyone? :hiya:

    I pesonaly don't expect a great deal more CR from the machine than maybe 1500:1 at best, unless they do quote accurate and/or calibrated figures which I don't think they do. If they do, then it's unusual to say the least. It would be great if the CR was accurate at that price point.

    I do agree that the price is a fantastic step forward for HD DLP and is the start of a trend in cheaper DLP products which I'm sure we'll see by the end of the year. I just wish all pj manufacturers would quote accurate figures and not claims that only really exist if you take the lamp out and stare at it. :rotfl:

    Gary.
     
  14. PJTX100

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    Spot on Oaks. I deliberately said WXGA rather than HD 'cause I didn't want to get into an arguement about what is and isn't HD. Because I didn't even know there was an arguement!

    ...PJ :)
     
  15. Tempest

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    They probably use the same methods as car manufacturers who quote their MPG figures when no-one is inside the car and it's running out of gear rolling downhill with a tail wind!
     
  16. Peter Parker

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    I believe they run the RGB contrast settings at max, RGB brightness at minimum and 'white peaking' turned on which is the light between segments (spoke time). This gives a highly blown out image with little bright detail, no shadow detail and no colour accuracy whatsoever. It does give nice numbers though. :)

    Gary.
     
  17. lw32

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    Projector Central reviewed the PE7700 a few days ago. Their conclusion sounds very promising.

    Suddenly all those £4000+ machines seem way overpriced. I'll be upgrading to a hi-def PJ soon, but at the rate prices are falling I don't intend to pay over £3k when I do.

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/benq_pe7700.htm
     
  18. Peter Parker

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    Not a bad review - still seems like good value. :)

    Sounds like a promising projector, but although they measured and quoted the lumens (750 and 400 - 32% less than advertised which is quite good), they didn't quote the contrast figures (for those that may want to know).

    I wonder if this pj will benefit from a lens filter like many others do? Being quite bright, it wouldn't suffer much from a filter and might achieve close to the rated CR figure, or at least, 2000:1. I'd still love to have a closer look at one..

    There's no doubt that by the end of the year that even some high end 720p pjs will be under £3000. :)

    Gary.
     
  19. squibbly

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    It's price and performance have certainly got me rubbing my hands with glee. My dreams of a Mits HC900 or Optoma H57 for 1024x570 have now been upgraded to hi-def, since it's now just as cheap. Way to go BenQ!

    I'm prepared to sacrifice my desire to have a projector mounted behind me on a shelf to buy this beauty at less than half the price of the Optoma H78 and Infocus 7205. It looks like it's got about 95% of their performance.

    But if you're listening Optoma, I think £2500 now looks like the kind of price I'd pay for that improved contrast and lens shift :)

    Anyone noticed how both the Benq PE7700 and it's close relative the Toshiba MT700 are popping up in Europe and the US, but not here? There only seem to be a few obscure UK retailers stocking the Tosh (and are they really?), but why isn't it turning up at Nexnix, Ivojo and the other regular dealers we mention here? UK last to get them again, or is the pricing so keen it threatens sales of the other HD projectors?

    Any comments from our beloved dealers out there?

    Squibbly
     
  20. Peter Parker

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    I wouldn't say it was quite 95% as good as other HD2+ pjs....

    Currently the optoma H78 is producing 2400:1 true CR out of the box, and is rated at 3800:1. The Benq is rated at 2500:1, so I would think that it would be only a little more than half that of the H78., so in that respect, it's got some catching up to do.

    Projector central says that perhaps it's only flaw is it's processing - in which case it's a prime canditate for an external scaler or an HTPC, which will add to the cost. These failings and lack of lens shift are just two of the reasons why it is cheaper.

    I do wonder how the image will compare when showing standard definition DVDs alongside the Mits HC9000 which has 1900:1 calibrated contrast (rated at 4000:1) and a different deinterlacer/scaler. Reduced screendoor visibility is of course an advantage for the Benq without a doubt.

    Gary.
     
  21. squibbly

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    I read that review. Makes it sound good doesn't it? I thought its only problem was with the internal deinterlacing. I was looking to hook it up via HDMI so wasn't worried about this. Projector Central say that the scaler 'did not quite match the results of the DVDO iScan HD+ video processor'. That sounds pretty good to me.

    Obviously, the contrast is not as good as the H78, but will there be much else that's noticeable? Having been wowed by the image on a Screenplay 5700, despite it's relatively low CR, and then been impressed by the extra contrast and resolution on an H77, I still thought the image on the 5700 was about 85-90% as good as that on the H77 - granted that the source was PAL DVD (and it was LOTR on both). Now with the Benq 7700 being the same resolution as the H77 and probably in the same ballpark, if not slightly better than the 5700 for CR, I would expect the Benq to have an image about 95% as good. Projectors seem to be like high end hi-fi where the improvements become more marginal as the price rockets.

    Obviously, this is terribly subjective conjecture on my part about a projector I haven't yet seen, only read about, and maybe there is a little bit of hope in my tone, but my basic thrust is that if you can get a HD DLP projector for £1600 that appears to have very few image flaws (and if you can accommodate its zero offset and lens shift!), the £3000+ projectors become horrendously overpriced overnight.

    Roll on the price wars. I'm sitting tight until my savings account reaches £1600-£2000, then I'll see what's out there in that price range!

    Squibbly
     
  22. Peter Parker

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    The proof is always in the pudding (anyone know where that saying comes from??), so seeing one is the only way to know for sure. We may be pleasantly surprised. :)

    Gary.
     
  23. lw32

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    The BenQ 7700's specs are fantastic for the price. They are actually superior (on paper) to the Infocus 7205, which retails for about £3500.

    Hi-resolution is what pushes the price up dramatically, not a few hundred points on the contrast scale. This BenQ gives good contrast AND Hi-def for a respectable price, which is a first for DLP. Other manufacturers better take note.
     
  24. Peter Parker

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    I believe Infocus quote calibrated figures for contrast (2200:1 IIRC @D65), whereas most other manufacturers quote uncalibrated numbers - the Mits HC900 quote 4000:1 but is actualy closer to 1900:1 @D65 being a good example.

    There is much more to an image than just resolution, and I honestly believe that anyone who buys on resolution alone could be making a big mistake - you must take other aspects into consideration such as image processing and colour accuracy for instance. CR is not the only factor I agree, but the better the CR the better the depth of image can be, and to some degree, how good the black level is (if that's your bag).

    I've seen a Sim2 HT200DMF (854 x 480) produce a better image when compared to other pjs with higher resolution merely because it had smoother image processing and better colour accuracy - it looked more natural.

    It does look reasonable on paper, and is excellent value, but seeing one will be the only way to judge it.

    Gary.
     
  25. lw32

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    I don't think you should buy on resolution alone, but it is a major factor. And the current hi-def (DLP) PJs are considered too expensive for many people. Not to mention that LCDs, which have the same resolution, are much cheaper. Why the premium for DLP? The Sony HS50 has closed the quality gap considerably.

    I mostly watch DVDs so I bought the Optoma H57 and it's been a perfect match. I would like the extra res of course, for when hi-def is available, but in no way do I consider that worth twice the price. Slightly higher contrast would be worth even less. Hopefully, the PE7700 will force a few price reductions.
     
  26. Peter Parker

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    LCDs have been ahead in the resolution stakes for a while, but they have some inherant flaws which can unfortunatley compromise their performance, and the HS50 has been shown to suffers from those as well. It certainly is a huge leap forward for LCD though and with it's dynamic iris has certainly beaten DLP to the punch. It should also be interesting to see how the new D5 panel performs when it arrives.

    DLP prices have been falling quite noticably recently - the Infocus 7205 was about £5000 and then a just few months later was £3500. The Benq is a huge drop in price but like I said before, you get what you pay for so some corners in performance will have been cut, and the on-board processing appears to be one area. probably not a major issue if you already have an HTPC or scaler though. I wonder in those circumstances how much the differences between a more expensive HD2+ and the Benq will be noticable. That's one reason why I'd love to see one.

    Sim2 provide excellent image processing and is why, given the choice, many people choose them over cheaper brands - you are buying that extra quality with less compromises.

    By the time hi Def is here and is easily accessable, 720p projectors will be even cheaper, and 1080 will be the format at a premium (until the chip yield increases and prices drop again, or a newer 1080 chip arrives). We currently have the Sony Qualia (not in UK yet) and the HD2K at that res, and they are not cheap, so when 1080 DLP arrives we could very well see another drop in prices, or they will all be the same - depending on the market and if people will buy them at those prices of course.

    Then we come to the argument of 720p vs 1080i and is that increase in res better? :)

    Higher resolution is nice of course, but I think higher contrast can improve an image more in certain circumstances. With a higher resolution, you have the ability to resolve more detail (if presented with it in the first place), but if you dont have the contrast ratio to bring out that detail from the shadows or the brights, then it is wasted - you have 1280 x 720 of black, instead of variations of greys and blacks for example. In that case, a lower res panel with higher contrast may actualy reveal more detail.

    Currently, higher contrast will reveal more detail than higher resollution given that our source is primarily standard definition. Increasing the res doesn't increase the detail though it's interpolation may provide smoother edges and provide some 'apparent' detail, but you can't see or produce what isn't there in the first place. So, given that SD is the source, a higher contrast will improve your image detail more than 720p will - you may find your H57 may very well do that.

    When hi Def is here, then higher resolutions will be needed to resolve it, provided the contrast capability isn't masking that detail from view. That's why I think contrast is an important elemant of an image along with the other factors I've mentioned before - it is just one piece of the puzzle but I think it's one that should be given a little more credance. That, and ANSI contrast as well. :)

    I do agree with you by the way - I don't think 720 is worth twice the price all else being equal, and I think we're all for price reductions. :D

    Gary.
     
  27. squibbly

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    This is a very British discussion isn’t it? We all broadly agree that the price of the Benq 7700 is a good thing, and we’re all gently stating our different views. I’m sure someone would have thrown their dolly out by now on the US site!

    I think the point I was trying to make was that as mildly techno-obsessive males (in this case, projectors being our bag) we focus very heavily on specs and figures and pore over the differentials noted by others. In fact, Gary, I always find your posts highly informative and will always be drawn to a posting where Mr Lightfoot is commenting on something (that’s a big thank you for all your insights, by the way).

    However, I remember the first time I went to view a projector. I’d spent many months reading the posts, swotting up on Projector Central, giggling at some of the entries on avsforum as the Yanks sent themselves purple with the kind of analysis a professor of astrophysics would be proud of, and of course picking up useful pointers here. I wander into the demo room of Audiovision and they had a Themescene H30 and H77. At this point I coveted the H77, was happy to settle for the H56, and considered the NTSC-res H30 with sniffy disdain. These opinions were formed from 6 months of reading on the internet.

    So they fire up the H30 first. And I was completely gobsmacked. The image was better than I’d expected the H77 to be. I sat there for a while switching between films, delighted I didn’t suffer from the rainbow effect as I manically swung my head from side to side, as they tell you to do on the forums! I just couldn’t believe how good it was and I was about 1.5X screen width away wearing my glasses. You could see some lines if you looked closely, but if you were into the film, they just weren’t an issue. This was fantastic stuff for only £1000.

    Then we stepped up to the H77. Now this was when it still had the clayface issues, but ignoring that factor there was a marked improvement. The image was more solid and yes, the contrast did give things more punch. With its faults fixed this would be what I would want, but could I justify it being 3.5 times the price of the perfectly wonderful H30? Nope. Once you were immersed in the film (and cinema is about transportation, suspension of disbelief, entering into different worlds – if you’re worrying about the contrast ratio at this point, you’ve missed the point of owning a projector in the first place), these differences would become much less important than they appear on paper or when reading a forum. I think only distracting artefacts may snap you out of this (RBE, VBE, green dot crawl etc). Once an image is stable and good as on the Infocus 4805 and Optoma H30A, those extra hikes in quality are nice (and believe me, I do covet a three chip DLP!), but shouldn’t impinge on your enjoyment of that big screen experience.

    As for comments on contrast. I’ve also viewed the SP4805 and 5700. The 4805 was again, great for the price (in fact, some of these sub £1k projectors should be given medals for price performance – surely they are the best technology you can buy for so cheap a price!). The twice as much 5700 had a better image, though markedly worse contrast. I preferred the 5700 overall for it’s better image definition though. So here definition won over contrast.

    I think that with the PE7700 it’s now clear where the DLP market is going. I think the PAL res projectors will start to disappear (Infocus haven’t even bothered to upgrade their 5700, presumably because in the next 8 months or so a 7215 will appear and the 7205 will drop into its price slot) – they’re difficult to market in the US and that’s half your market. The 720 DLP projectors have to hit the 720 LCD price points in time or before the new D5 panels emerge, and that doesn’t look too far off. I do think however, that their restriction to 6 segment colour wheels rather than 7 or 8 at the budget end with lower CR (cf Sharp XV2000), is just an attempt by DLP manufacturers to keep a higher end market alive. The Mits HC900 has seven segments at £1550 after all.

    Despite all the above, I do want an Optoma H78 (I trust Mr Lightfoot’s opinions), but at sub £2,500. After all, I can now get a Benq PE7700 for £1600!

    Squibbly
     
  28. Peter Parker

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    Thanks for the kind words Squib', :blush: and for iterating your own experiences.

    It certainly is an exciting time for front projection and our wallets isn't it. :)

    Gary.
     
  29. mattr

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    And you can now get a Benq PE7700 for £1454 inc VAT. Wow, dropped £200 in just a week. Figure give it a month or two and they'll be free on the front of the Beano.
     
  30. inzaman

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    Some interesting points above, as normal

    There are many others of us that do to :thumbsup:

    I too would like the H78 at sub £2.5k but there really are going to now be some very exciting times over the coming months with regards to specs/prices etc.

    Does anybody know when this will be available in the UK? £1,454 :eek: :eek:
     

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