BenQ W100 Entry Level Home Theater Digital Projector Review

W100 High Definition Performance

When I hook up the W100 like most other low resolution display devices, my D-VHS deck outputs a 480 resolution signal that matches the projector. Obviously, the projector’s resolution is much lower than the maximum HD signals of 1080i or 1080p, and even the lower resolution HD – 720p. Still, the better the image you feed your W100, the better the output. Below are several images from my D-VHS HD deck I found that the W100 generally looked great from a color/image standpoint, on all the HD info I sent it, whether bright scenes like the boathouse above, dark scenes like the Chrysler Building at dusk, and everything in the middle.

I should note that if you saw the image above of the waterfall on a nice large screen, like the Carada 106 I used for this shoot, you too would be extremely impressed with this new BenQ projector.

As they say about the Grand Canyon it never disappoints, nor did the BenQ’s rendering of it!

Handling Ambient Light

I mentioned that overall, the BenQ W100 appears to be pretty bright. Here are few images shot in the testing room, the first small image shows the window with the projector on in front, putting a light source exactly where you don’t want it. In the images here – first the small one shows light coming in from behind the projector from the window. The following image also shows that the ceiling lights are on full. The image is washed out a significant amount, and although I wouldn’t watch a movie this way even though (it is on full power and set for Family Room for the shot below), it does indicate that by further moderating the light in the room the BenQ can do really well. You’ll note that this nighttime party is fairly dark. The first of the two images is designed to show you the room lighting itself, which overeposes the image on the screen.

Simply said, the room is too bright for movies with dark scenes, with some light coming in from outside behind the projector, combined with 4 recessed ceiling lights. On the other hand, it should do a respectable (not great) job, even with this much light on something like a basketball game, which is all bright scenes.

Here’s what the scene looks like on the BenQ W100 in the same room, but fully darkened

In fact, the first image is shot in “best” (Cinema) mode, while the second one using the exact same exposure is phototgraphed in Movie Mode, you can see that Cinema is a bit darker, but also more dramatic:

OK, here are a couple more images to convince you that the W100 is truly capable and worthy of our Hot Product Award.

Time to explore more of the capabilities, including menus, remotes,and noise levels, as well as considerations such as what type of projector screens might work best in your home theater or family room. Click here for the Performance section.

 

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