BenQ W7000 Home Theater Projector Review

The BenQ W7000 projector uses the same overall physical design as the W6000 (2D only), one of my favorite projectors. Physically, for example, there really is only one new connector. The biggest change is of course in the addition of 3D, but there’s almost no physical aspect to that, except for the 3D glasses.

BenQ W7000 Projector - Appearance

Time to take a tour of the BenQ W7000. The BenQ has some sculpted lines, a shiny black finish, and in this case, just a touch of purple trim around the control panel (purple is BenQ’s color). As usual, we start in the front where the center mounted lens sits dead center, and is surrounded by a large cosmetic silver surround. The lens, a 1.5:1 zoom lens, is a manual lens, with zoom and focus accomplished by rotating the two rings around the lens.

Immediately to the right (facing the W7000 projector), is a small joystick which controls the horizontal and vertical lens shift. Also on the front is an exhaust vent (left front), and a front infra-red sensor for the remote control.

The BenQ W7000 has four large screw thread adjustable feet on the bottom. (Thank you for making all four adjustable!)

Moving to the top, you’ll find the Control panel . All the inputs and connectors are located on the back of the W7000 projector. Both will be addressed below.

The W7000 comes with a white remote control, also discussed below.

The top has the lens shift controls, while the control panel is mostly recessed on the side (right side if you are facing the projector). Inputs and other connectors are on the back. There’s a single, fixed, rear foot, on the back bottom.

From the front, the W7000 starts with a centered, recessed. manual, 1.5:1 zoom lens. The focus and zoom controls consist of recessed dials on the top, right behind the lens. Other than the large vents on the front, the only other feature is the front IR sensor for the Epson remote control.

Look down below and you’ll find two screw thread adjustable front feet.

Besides the focus and zoom dials, you will find smaller vertical and horiztonal lens shift dials on the top.

W7000 Control Panel

Moving to the side, the power switch and source selection buttons are up by the front (right side if you are facing the projector). The rest of the Control panel consists of a square recessed panel with a sliding door to cover it.

Slide it out of the way, and there is your basic feature set, a menu button, the navigation buttons in a diamond shape, a Center enter key, and then Enter and Esc keys.

Just above the control panel, actually on the top, are three indicator lights for power, temp and lamp.

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W7000 Projector - Input/Output

Pretty typical of a 2D and 3D capable projector these days, the BenQ W7000 starts off on the left with a pair of HDMI 1.4a inputs for Blu-ray 3D compatibility. Next over are a couple of basic inputs, composite video, and S-video. That’s followed by a USB service port, an RS232 for computer command and control, and a 3D feature – a port for an external 3D emitter.

Further to the right is the composite video input (3 color-coded RCA jacks), and finially, an HD15 connector for analog PC sources (or a 2nd component video).

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W7000 Menus

BenQ’s primary menu has tabs for each of the major menus, with one always open. This is pretty typical. The menu can be moved around the screen, and you have some display options.

BenQ shys away from using another level of menus. This means for things like modes, instead of a menu, you scroll through one by one, only seeing one mode at a time. Time consuming, and no way to skip to the one you want. Of course you aren’t likely to be spending that much time with the menus.

BenQ W7000 Remote Control

I’ve always liked this remote. I mean, give or take a button or two, it’s the same remote I was using 5 years ago with my BenQ projector. It has very good range, upward of 25 feet total with a bounce off of a standard screen. The buttons feel good, they are spaced nicely with different sized buttons. I haven’t held one of these remotes in two plus years, but it all came right back.

About the only disadvantage of sticking with an older design, though, is some newer projector features. It would have been nice to have direct one button access to CFI, their dynamic Detail Enhancement, and other dynamic controls. They do provide access to the preset and user modes, as well as controls such as brightness and color (saturation).

The remote itself is white, I can find it in my theater when the lights are out and I’m watching. The backlight is amber, and just about perfect in illumination.

It’s all good. So, let’s run through the key buttons from top to bottom.

BenQ W7000 Lens Throw

The W7000′s 1.5:1 zoom will let you place the front of the projector as close as 11 feet, 10 inches from a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 screen. Or, the W7000 can be placed as far back as 17 feet, 8 inches from the same sized screen. You can easily calculate distances for other screen sizes, or screen sizes from other distances, based on these numbers.

W7000 Lens Shift

Unlike most older DLP projectors, the W7000 has both horizontal and vertical lens shift. The W6000 it replaces had the same setup, and was pretty unique for the price. As with other projectors, the range of the horizontal and vertical are affected by each other. Since most folks need vertical, here are the maximum numbers for vertical, assuming no horizontal shift is needed. The BenQ W7000 has 0 offset. That says the BenQ projector has just enough vertical lens shift to place the lens even with the top (or bottom) of the screen surface, or anywhere in between.

Anamorphic Lens - Wide Screen

The BenQ W7000 offers 5 aspect ratios, including support for an anamorphic lens. There is a single 12 volt trigger which could be used for controlling a lens sled.

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