BenQ W1080ST Home Theater Projector Review

W1080ST 3D

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ESPN 3D is toast!

Recently announced, ESPN is dropping most if not all 3D programming.  Maybe they would have had success if they would have given us some “big time content”, rather than a few boxing matches, and a few NCAA football games from a second tier conference… Tsk!

We showed these images from a little league championship on ESPN 3D, when we reviewed the W1070.  For those not paying attention, however, in June 2013, ESPN announced they were getting out of the 3D biz – at least for now.  With that in mind it didn’t seem to make sense to shoot another pair of images with the W1080ST projector.

Color I found to be reasonably good in 3D. 3D could be calibrated for improved color but we just don’t do that.  Also the world seems to be waiting on a good calibration disc that supports 3D calibration.  I’ve watched plenty of 3D movies off of Blu-ray with the BenQ W1080ST, and found, overall, that color is definitely acceptable.

Overall, very good 3D, lots of brightness, and an almost total lack of rainbow effect  (for me) make these two BenQ projectors the W1080ST (and the W1070) about as good as lower cost DLP projectors get with 3D in terms of overall experience.

In other words:  A good choice for 3D on a budget.

The image before 3D processing
The 3D image
The image before 3D processing
+The 3D image

BenQ 3D Glasses

BenQ’s 3D glasses for the W1080ST projector are the same as for the W1070.  They are a lot lighter and less bulky that past generations (a really good thing).  They are still heavier than many weighing in at 46.4 grams about an ounce and two-thirds.  By comparison, many glasses today are now in the mid to low 30 gram range, and one pair we measured was actually under an ounce, at about 26 grams.  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. Most companies are switching to RF these days, however DLP-Link used by many DLP projectors is IR.  The big difference?  With RF, if you look away from the screen, you don’t lose the 3D sync like you do with IR, and generally you get better range as well.

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

Overall, consider the glasses themselves to be fine.

Also going against the trend, these BenQ glasses 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. By comparison, rechargeable glasses seem to be rated 40 to 50 hours of viewing between charges.  That could be a nuisance, except that almost all the rechargeable glasses we’ve seen can charge up enough for a full length movie in 2-4 minutes, not enough time to even make popcorn.

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