BenQ W7000 Home Theater Projector Review

This review of the BenQ W7000 2D and 3D Home Theater Projector has been an interesting one, since we’ve been working with an engineering sample. Final production projectors, due late Jan./early Feb., will have upgraded firmware, some fixes, and better performance.

1/2/2012 – Art Feierman

That is what BenQ is telling me. I’m now waiting for a firmware upgrade, (or a full production W7000).

In most areas, the W7000 is very similar to the W6000 it will replace. The W7000, however, is a bit brighter, and offers 3D. The two projectors actually physically look the same.

While a couple of things were disappointing about the engineering sample, we expect that. BenQ has already indicated that those things are being corrected with the “January” production firmware.

Let’s get started!

2/19/2012: Update. You will find a number of these updates throughout this review. As of 2/19 I’ve been working with a W7000 with final firmware, and can report some real improvement in some areas. Notably black level performance is definitely better. Unless otherwise noted, all images in this review were taken with the engineering sample W7000. As of this update, only a few images have been taken, of just the new W7000, although we’ve taken a number of side by side images pitting the W7000 against the Epson 5010.

BenQ W7000 Projector Highlights

  • 2D and 3D capable with best in class brightness for 3D
  • Excellent color and skin tones, full CMS
  • Single chip DLP design for minimal crosstalk/ghosting
  • Rated a hefty 2000 lumens, and it meets its claims
  • Ultra high contrast projector with extremely good black performance
  • Suitable for theater or family room
  • Very good placement flexibility due to zoom lens with 1.5:1 range, plus good lens shift
  • 2 HDMI 1.4a inputs (Blu-ray 3D compatible)
  • Supports required and most optional 3D formats – both 1080 and 720p, all DirecTV 3D channels work
  • Picture in Picture
  • A light canon that really can do a good job on 3D, or burn through a lot of ambient light in 2D

BenQ W7000 Projector Overview

Remember, this BenQ W7000 projector review has been an unfinished story, pending checking out BenQ’s final firmware version for the projector.

That said, 85% of this review was finished when first posted. The rest has been added since the new W7000 arrived on 2/15.

In the meantime, we do recognize that essentially, the W7000 is supposed to be a slightly brighter, and also 3D capable “version” of the W6000. The two should be essentially identical projectors but for those two items.

With that in mind, we can “assume” some performance aspects of the W7000 will be almost identical to the W6000. That’s our assumption so far. If it turns out, that the W7000 doesn’t live up to our expectations, then it likely won’t win the Hot Product Award (which we gave it provisionally, pending verification of black level performance, and fixing of a few bugs). Update 2/19/12: I’ve had enough time to confirm the improvements since the first W7000. The finished W7000 performs as we have been led to expect, and definitely earns that Hot Product Award!

With that out of the way, let’s begin with a quick summary of what the BenQ W7000 projector is, and how it positions.

The W7000 projector claims 2000 lumen, making it very bright, especially since it delivers. There have only been four maybe five other projectors, as bright, or almost as bright, that we have reviewed in the last year. The BenQ offers a full CMS – color management system, so going in, we fully expected it to calibrate beautifully. That will be covered on the Image Quality, and Calibration pages.

This is a single chip DLP projector. It offers lens shift, for good placement flexibility, and is also one of only a few projectors, that offers Picture in Picture.

Overall, the BenQ W7000 is well endowed in dynamic features, including a dynamic iris for better blacks, True Video, which is BenQ’s name for creative frame interpolation for smooth motion.

There’s plenty to discuss, and below we’ll look at some of the key features.

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