BenQ W5000 DLP 1080p Home Theater Projector Review: Overview and Physical Attributes
2-28-08- Art Feierman
Update 6-30-11: We recently reviewed the BenQ W6000, the replacement of the W5000. Click here to read the projector review of the new BenQ projector.
This review will be updated over the next few days, with HDTV images, menus, and more comments (not to mention some well needed proofing). -art
I was impressed with the W5000 from the first moment I turned it on. As is usual, before any testing and calibration, I viewed the W5000 in action, on segments of a number of movies (mostly Blu-ray), and HDTV, to get an initial feel for the projector, and get a handle of how good it is, "out-of-the-box" without any calibration. With my 1080p Projector Comparison Report due out next, I pretty much had figured out which projectors would take honors in the price range that the W5000 competes with. By the time the review was finished, it caused me to change my thinking. For the final results, of our Best In Class awards, you'll have to stay tuned for the report itself.
In an attempt to paint a broad picture of what the BenQ W5000 home theater projector has to offer, here are some highlights:
BenQ W5000 Projector Highlights:
- Extremely sharp image
- Very good "out of the box" color performance in Cinema mode
- Limited zoom lens (1.2:1) typical for DLP projectors
- Vertical lens shift - a real plus, and rare for DLP projectors
- Brighter than most competitors
- Brilliant Color adds brightness and dynamics, but sometimes degrades picture quality a little too much
- Only a one year warranty
- Very competitive, provides an excellent value proposition
- Street price around $3000 - as of 2/2008
I'm a BenQ fan, having owned two in the past. The W5000, like others before it, provides a very sharp image, seems very well built, and offers lens shift, a valuable feature rarely found on "affordable" DLP projectors. Of the current 1080p DLP "powered" projectors, reviewed so far, it is one of two standouts. The other being Optoma's extremely bright HD81-LV, the brightest home theater projector under $10,000, and over twice the W5000's price. Of course we expect the step up, BenQ W20000 projector, which claims higher contrast, to also join this "stand out" group, when we finally review it.
BenQ W5000 Home Cinema Projector: Basic Specs
Technology: Single chip DLP
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 1200 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: Vertical
Lamp life: 3000 hours at low power, 2000 hours at full lamp power
Weight: 21.2 lbs. ( 9.6 Kg)
Warranty: One Year Parts and Labor standard
Click here to view more complete W5000 Specs specifications and brochure.
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BenQ W5000 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour
The W5000 projector, from the outside, looks almost identical to a number of other BenQ home theater projectors, including, the BenQ PE8720 (a higher end 720p projector), as well as the last generation 1080p projectors; the W9000 and W10000, as well as their top of the line W20000 projector.
Cosmetically the major difference is in the trim rings around the lens. The W5000 lacks the motorized zoom and focus that most of those listed offer, but still provides motorized lens shift.
From the front, the large zoom lens is center mounted with an outer focus ring, and inner zoom ring, for setup. The W5000 claims a 1.2:1 zoom ratio, slightly better than previous BenQ 1080p projectors (1.15:1), and slightly less versatile, than their 720p PE8720, which sported a 1.35:1 zoom. The 1.2:1 range is typical for DLP projectors, and far less than the typical 1.8:1 to 2.1:1 found on most LCoS (Sony and JVC projectors), and 3LCD projectors. Also to be found on the front, is the front Infra-red sensor for the remote control. Below the front, are two screw thread adjustable feet. The W5000 has its exhaust vents in the front, so shelf mounting is definitely an option if your screen size and room dimensions, match up. Some, who desire to shelf mount in the rear of the room, may find that they have to select a screen within a certain size range, to match with the distance to the shelf, and the limited range of the zoom. In my own room, for example, with my 128" diagonal screen, and the rear wall being 20.5 feet back, the W5000 works just fine. If my room was only 17 feet deep, my screen would be too large, and if my room was 24 feet deep, my screen would be a little too small.
There are two adjustable feet below the front left and right. Also a front infra-red sensor for the remote control.
Moving to the top, BenQ uses the same layout for the control panel as found on all the other mentioned BenQ home theater projectors. As you can see from this image, the four navigational arrow keys are in a diamond configuration, toward the front, and right behind the three indicator lights for Power, Temp, and Lamp.
When not in the menus, the up/down arrows control the motorized lens shift, and the left/right arrows handle keystone correction (best avoided). Further back are two rows of three buttons each. The first row offers Power, Menu, and Source, while the second row has a (preset) mode button for toggling between preset modes, as well as an Enter and Exit buttons for menu navigation.
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The BenQ W5000 has a sealed light path, but it still has a filter system. BenQ recommends cleaning the filter every 500 hours, a very reasonable request. A warning menu will pop up, to remind you.
That takes us to the back for the input panel. The BenQ W5000 projector is fairly typical. It offers two HDMI inputs but they are HDMI 1.2.1, not the newer HDMI 1.3 (which supports Deep Color), a component video, the usual composite and S-video inputs, as well as 5 BNC jacks for a 2nd component video source, an RGBHV source, or a computer input (with the right adapter). Lastly, there is a 12 volt screen trigger, and an RS-232 for command and control, with remote systems.
Overall, the W5000 is one of the largest home theater projectors, but an impressive one, especially with that large lens hood. It is about the size of the JVC RS1 and RS2, but a little taller, and finished in off white, and silver, making it appear bulkier than the JVC, which is finished in black. No doubt some would prefer the W5000 to have a darker finish, but we can't all get what we want.
The W5000 is most impressive, though, when watching content, so it's time to consider this BenQ W5000 projector's image quality.