BenQ W20000 1080p, DLP, Home Theater Projector Review

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Talk about “same old, same old”, when you have something that works well, stick to it. I have owned several BenQ home projectors, going back 4+ years, and always liked the remote. Other than a couple of minor changes to adapt to each new projector, it looks, and cooks, like the same one I used way back when, and that’s a good thing. It’s a pretty long remote, though not very wide, it’s thin, lightweight, and has very well spaced buttons, using different sizes and shapes to easily differentiate without having to turn on the really nice, bright orange backlight. From the top, on the left, is a big red Power button, all by itself. Press once for On, and twice to shut down. The next two rows of three buttons each, are for the seven input sources. One button handles two, and that’s HDMI1/HDMI2. Being picky, I would have favored those two sources to have their own buttons, and doubling up the S-video and composite video, as very few people are likely to be using those, except perhaps gamers. Next comes two rows with five buttons total. Those buttons handle the different aspect ratios. Right below them, in the center, is a single button that lets you toggle through the different color presets. In a slight arc, below that, are four buttons relating to the user memories. From the left, User 1, User 2 (or ISF Night), User 3 (or ISF Day), and finally Default which brings back the factory default settings. Right below, in the middle of the remote (top to bottom) are the four arrow keys for menu navigation in a curved “diamond” layout, with a large Enter button in the center. Immediately below, on the left, is the Menu button, and across from it, the Exit button. The next row is four round buttons across. These provide direct access to key image controls: Brightness, Contrast, Color (saturation) and Temperature (color temp). Next comes two more rows of three, with slightly larger round buttons, which control features including Picture in Picture, Size, Position, then Active, Iris, and Lens (vertical lens shift).

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W20000 Lens Throw and Lens Shift

As mentioned previously, the BenQ W20000 (and the less expensive Darkchip1 W5000), have vertical lens shift, something very rare in under $10,000 DLP home theater projectors, but very much standard fare for 3LCD and LCoS projectors. Draw an imaginary line parallel to the floor from the top of your screen’s surface (not the frame), and another, from the bottom of the screen surface. The BenQ W20000 can be placed at any height between those two points. The center of the lens, not the top or the bottom of the projector, is the exact point on the projector that needs to be somewhere at or between those two points. That’s a good amount of lens shift, although many 3LCD and LCoS projectors can go a bit higher or lower. The only real drawback to not having more range, is for folks that will ceiling mount in a room with very high ceilings. With more lens shift, the projector can be placed higher – on a shorter pole. Since no one is likely to use a projector this good on a table top, pretty much everyone will ceiling mount or shelf mount on their back wall.

And that takes us to the throw distance range of the W20000. Measured from the front of the lens, to fill a 100″ diagonal screen, this BenQ projector can be as close as 13.4 feet, and as far back as almost 16.1 feet. That’s a limited amount of range (20% – 1.2:1 zoom ratio), but typical of DLP projectors. Thanks to the relatively long throw of the zoom, the projector can sit further back from a given sized screen, than most DLP projectors. This means that many, but not all, will be able to shelf mount the projector if desired.

Bottom Line: From a placement standpoint, the W20000 stands out among the DLP competition, as it, along with the W5000 can be shelf mounted. I can’t think of any other DLP’s in the price range, which can be shelf mounted. Beyond that, basically every 3LCD and LCoS projector has more zoom range, and at least as much lens shift. Still, it’s great to see a DLP that can be on a shelf. (My old BenQ PE8720 – in the same basic box, was shelf mounted in my room, when I owned it.)

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