BenQ PE7800 - General Performance
Bulletproof Monk (DVD), color and contrast were excellent, I could not notice any difference between the performance of the PE7800 and my PE8700 during the opening sequence. While its possible that the pixels are more visible, the opening sequence is mostly lots of motion, with nothing to really “holding still” long enough to notice.
The city night scene demonstrated the excellent contrast, with objects definitely showing more shadow detail than any of the LCD projectors I have tested recently, including Panasonic’s L500U with its “AI” technology.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship – Hobbiton scenes, brilliant, yet not overly done greens, and overall, natural colors, considering the inherent color tweaking of the film. The mountain scenes rendered very good detail in the bright areas (snow, etc.)
Amazing Caves: This DVD of an IMAX movie has stunning colors, great dark scenes, and some challenges when it comes to motion artifacts. I am pleased to report that everything looked great, especially the ice cave scenes, where detail was excellent. The kayaking scenes – most impressive, seemed to be off a tad, on color, but I’ve found that to be the case with every projector tested, so I have to believe that the slight reddishness is inherent to the DVD.
The Tonight Show: Classic HDTV, not as razor sharp as some live sporting and concert events or travelogue type HDTV content, but the network does a good job (do they need better cameras or processing?) Flesh tones were on the money, watching is a pleasure.
Soccer on HDTV:
I got to watch part of a Soccer game on one of the INHD channels on cable. The game provided me with the sharpest images I have yet seen on the PE7800, so I quickly switched back to my PE8700, and finally could see a sharpness difference between the 7800’s Matterhorn chip (1024x576) and the Mustang HD2 chip (1280x720). Certainly not a night and day difference, but recognizable even with the delay it takes for me to go from one projector to the other.
More importantly, it makes me realize how badly we need to see the next generation DVDs which should be at least 1280x720 progressive resolution (wouldn’t it be something to get a true 1920x1080 source on DVD?)! I now stare at my 150+ DVD collection wondering how much I will spend replacing many of them in a couple of years!
Since the PE7800 and the PE8700 BenQ perform so similarly, I’ll deal with the big question in the summary section: Is the 8700 worth the extra $1000+?