BenQ W1200 Home Theater Projector Review

A lot of processing goes on from the start of a photo shoot until you are viewing the BenQ W1200  images on your computer screen. As a result, these images are decent indications, but not accurate enough for comparing color, saturation and other aspects. Note: Selected images relating to shadow detail, and especially black level performance can be very effective at demonstrating how the W1200 positions itself compared to other home theater projectors. Different computers, browsers, displays, graphics cards, and software affect how the image looks on your screen.

Viewing the photo images on my MacBook Pro, the BenQ W1200, has picked up a very slight green tint that was not there when viewing the projector, (not a terribly uncommon thing).

I think it’s safe to for me to say that all home theater projectors,  including the BenQ W1200 definitely look better live, than in even the best looking images here might suggest.

BenQ W1200 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click to Enlarge. So close.

Cinema looks pretty good right out of the box, but for being a bit strong on reds (average color temp down around 6000K), compared to the ideal 6500K. Standard works well for sports and movies being a bit more towards blue, with a color temp just below 7000K. For the average non-enthusiast, those two color modes should look pretty darn good!

Click Image to Enlarge

That is to say, sure, take one home, plug it in, and enjoy. Then, since few would calibrate a sub-$1500 projector (due to cost), we invite you to try the settings we publish for the W1200,  on the Calibration page. For those who care about improving the color, it is likely that our W1200 settings will make enough difference to be a noticeable, yet not dramatic difference.

BenQ W1200 Projector - Flesh Tones

Pre-calibration, the Cinema or User 3 skin tones look reasonably good but just too much red. Personally, I favor the Standard and User 2 modes, they are a little cooler (shift away from red towards blue), but just slightly. Either actually looks reasonably good. The image is well saturated, and I might even have reduced color saturation a tad for best watching, but the W1200 (at least with 1.02 firmware – 1.03 is out there), doesn’t seem to allow access to the color saturation when using an HDMI source (we use HDMI for all our movies and HDTV sources).

Skin tones after calibration of User 3 were definitely better. They looked notably more accurate, and a bit more natural to boot. On a lot of content, the skin tones looked a bit ruddy with the default settings. After adjustment, much better.

No problem with skin tones. For a sub-$1500 projector they are very good. Saturation (Color) could perhaps be dialed down a touch, especially if using a high contrast gray screen. But I was unable to adjust. Interestingly Mike said this ties to HDMI, but when he was playing with the many settings he thinks he was able to adjust it once? Well, perhaps firmware 1.03 allows that, or maybe not.

The point is, I now have some 50 hours of viewing on the projector, and I’m surviving quite nicely without dialing down the Color a minimal amount. Overall, the color feel of the projector is typical DLP. Rich colors, especially dark ones.

Above and below, our usual suspects – Gandalf and Arwen, from Lord of the Rings, on Blu-ray.

Below are our three James Bond images from Casino Royale. Each has a different lighting scenario, the first – full sunlight, the second image; indoor fluorescent, and finally, filtered sunlight in the third image. And as one would expect, that causes each image of James Bond – Daniel Patrick – to have different looking skin tones. All look pretty good!

More images we like for considering skin tones:

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