BenQ W1070 Home Theater Projector Review

BenQ W1070 3D

3D looks very good. Before I get going on the BenQ’s 3D I’ve got an interesting story (cautionary tale) before I go further. I’ve been having problems with one of my long cables of late, ordered in someone’s “top of the line” cables (off of Amazon – I was in a real hurry), and when I put on John Carter in 3D last evening, all kinds of crosstalk and judder. Switched back to that truly (but 5 year old), top of the line cable – an Ultralink, and all that garbage went away. I confirmed that the problems also were there when I switched to an expensive JVC projector. BTW the issue was with Blu-ray 3D, side-by-side off of HDTV didn’t seem to suffer.

If you think you are the type who will upgrade in a couple of years (maybe to a 4K projector when they become affordable), that’s a killer reason for buying really good cables.

Back to the 3D performance. With a proper cable, crosstalk is a non-factor. I found watching 3D to be rather enjoyable and relatively bright. Color was pretty good (in 3D), I don’t expect color as good as 2D, and we have never tried to calibrate 3D.  The excellent brightness allowed me to put on some widescreen movies and fill my 124″ diagonal.  Not bad, watchably bright.  At 100″ diagonal there’s plenty of lumens for 3D.  After all, consider that 400 lumens is more than enough (with proper lack of ambient light) to watch a 100″ screen.  With over 1700 lumens calibrated, that’s more than 4 times as much.  3D no longer costs 75% of brightness even if it does cost viewers a good bit more than half the brightness.  Translated, this W1070 can do a great job in 3D on an average sized screen.

I was very pleased with HDTV 3D.  Everything from a Penn State football game, and some little league baseball I recorded in 3D, to a National Parks tour of Arches, looked really good.

Color remained good even in 3D.  Of course we never attempt to calibrate 3D, so I’m sure it could be improved.  If we find a 3D calibration disc, at some point I’ll have Mike calibrate some 3D modes on future projectors.

Overall, very good 3D, lots of brightness, and an almost total lack of rainbow effect  (for me) make this W1070 the best lower cost DLP projector for 3D that I’ve played with.

In other words:  I really like it!

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BenQ W1070 3D Slideshow

NFL

BenQ W1070 3D

The same image before 3D processing (Side-by-Side 3D format from HDTV.)

BenQ W1070 3D

As a 3D image

BenQ 3D Glasses

As mentioned, they are optional.

BenQ’s 3D glasses have gotten a lot lighter and less bulky that past generations (a really good thing).  Still they could be lighter.  Comfort is respectable (as good as the 3D glasses that come with the $4K, $6K and $25K Sony projectors).  The glasses run on batteries.  They are still IR, not RF. Many companies are switching to RF these days.  The big difference?  With RF, if you look away from the screen, you don’t lose the 3D sync like you do with IR.

The power switch for the glasses is on the bottom of the left arm, near the front.

Overall, consider the glasses to be good.

Unlike some other newer glasses, these are not rechargeable.  It runs on the usual small lithium type batteries, which will likely last around 100 hours between changing.  (That’s my guess.)  That’s a lot of movies in 3D.  Enough for me to watch just about everyone I own, without needing to change a battery.

Click Image to Enlarge

Gaming with the BenQ W1070

This is an excellent projector for gaming.  Or so my hard core gamer, and star blogger, Pete tells us.  You’ll want to check out his detailed blog about his experience playing games on the BenQ W1070.

Here’s a link directly to his W1070 blog:

Pete shows lag time results, gaming, and also, his own general take (review) of this projector.  He’s certainly less wordy than I.

Let it be noted that this is one of the few projectors that is nvidia 3DTV Play certified (for gaming, including 2D to 3D game conversion). There aren’t many, and most are 720p projectors not 1080p like this BenQ!

W1070 Brilliant Color

This BenQ W1070 offers Brilliant Color.  BC is a suite of “adjustments” to the image. BC comes from TI (Texas Instruments), the maker of DLP  chips.  It’s a system that can be customized by each manufacturer.  In some cases - like this BenQ, your choices are Off or On, with some others, I’ve even seen up to 10 levels of adjustment.  That might even have been a very old BenQ, now that I think of it, I just can’t recall.

While Brilliant Color – to some degree with any projector possessing it, tends to add pop, and brightness, it also reduces the naturalness of the picture a bit.  The W1070 is no exception.  That said, you won’t notice a huge difference with this projector as you switch back and forth. In terms of picture quality that’s a good thing, because the relatively brighter Brilliant Color is (compared to Off) with most projectors, the less faithful the image.  With most projectors, not only is engaging Brilliant Color obvious, but upon close inspection, you can see that it can deteriorate the smoothness and limit the color pallette available for a skin tone.   At its worse, BC can really take a good image and drastically alter it - not for the better.  This BC implementation though isn’t near that great.  In some cases a projector in Brilliant Color is twice as bright as without, and that usually means brightness at the EXPENSE of picture quality.   With the W1070, you get a boost in brightness and pop, but skin tones still look respectable.

Check out these Brilliant Color On vs. Off images below.

Notice that with BC on, the higher contrast around the eyes and the flattening of the colors (seems like less colors to create smooth gradations) on her right cheek. Definitely smoother and more natural on the lower image.  Still, with BC on, the W1070 projector still looks good.  Both were taken with the exact same exposure.

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