BenQ PE7700 - Performance
We'll start with the Remote. When I update the article, I'll add images of the improved menus, which are easy to use, and well laid out (but take up a bit too much of the screen, often obsuring what it is you want to see that you are adjusting.
As you can see, this is a large remote, or rather, mostly long. Buttons are well spaced out, even the largest hands should have no problem. All buttons are backlit and almost all are labeled so you can read the button function in the dark.
There is separate swtiching for all inputs, no stepping through multiple inputs trying to get to the one you watch. (You can set the projector in the menus, to auto search for active sources.)
There are three buttons for aspect ratio.
There are 3 separate buttons for memory. Howver to give you an idea of the flexibility you can any memory (let's say #1) save settings for each source. That is, you can set button one for your preferred settings on component video 1, have different settings for HDMI or component video 2. Therefore there are actually 18 separate memory settings (3 settings times 6 device inputs). Impressive.
You rarely need the menus after initial setup. Right above the memory buttons is the "PRESET" button that toggles you between Cinema, Home Theater, and the other 3 modes. If I have a complaint, switching between these is a bit slow, and there's no way to not go all the way around. (I would have really liked to toggle back and forth between Cinema and Home Theater modes, but I had to go through the other 3 modes to get back to Cinema.
There are separate buttons to go directly to Brightness, Contrast, Color, and Tint. At the bottom you also will find buttons for PIP (picture in picture), and POP (which is two sources side by side). Very, Very Cool. I had Leno on the left side, and a DVD on the right, just to check it out. Of course I can't wait for football season, so I can watch two games at the same time.
The BenQ PE7700 projector is very quiet. In full power mode it claims to be less than 29db, and only 26 in economy mode. In addition the pitch of the fan is pretty low making it even less noticeable.
Sealed Optical Path
You'll still have to keep the filter clean, but you won't have to worry about a major cleaning to get dust off the inside of the lens, or on the DLP chip, etc.
Choice of Screens
Since this projector is pretty bright, and contrast is a very respectable 2500:1, but not as good as the new generation of more expensive DLP projectors sporting the DarkChip3 DLP, your choice of screens, will be determined by screen size, ambient light, and your other preferences. If you are going large screen - 110" or over, I would recommend the Firehawk (StewartFilm Screen), alternately, there is the less expensive, but without as much gain, Dalite HC Cinema Vision. But for 110" and smaller, you could definitely do fine with the Grayhawk, or other gray surface high contrast screen. That will get your darks closer to black.