The Art of Home Theater Projectors

BenQ W1000 Home Theater Projector – A First Look Review

Finally!   Yes, we’ve all been waiting for the BenQ W1000, their $999 1080p entry level projector.  First question is, was it worth the wait?

This may surprise some of you, but yes, it was.  My expectations – for the third of the $999 1080p projectors, this BenQ W1000, was for it to be another fairly unremarkable projector.  As it turns out, I’ve impressed, and that’s doubly difficult since I’m coming off of reviewing a pair of over $5000 JVC projectors.

It’s true, I haven’t spent very much time with the BenQ W1000 projector yet, maybe 5 hours of viewing, but I like a lot of what I see.

Mike complained about limited grayscale control, but the setup he gave me looks pretty good, it measures flat across the range, but is a touch warm.  I think I found a color  control he missed.  It’s cools it off a little.  I like it better.  Gamma looks pretty good, too.  I’m watching sections of Star Trek now, (it’s become one of my favorite movies for skin tones and bright scenes.  (The inability to get rid of the pause bar and time marker, when paused, prevents me from choosing dark scenes, since that bar would affect a dynamic iris.

Skin tones do look very impressive, especially for an entry level model.

And the BenQ W1000 is a light canon.

In it’s brightest mode, it pushes out over 2100 lumens!

And even in best mode, with Brilliant Color on – 1225 lumens and about 600 with it off.  My initial reaction is I like the projector better with Brilliant Color on.  Is it at all, over the top, when on, so far not, but that’s always the risk with Brilliant Color.

So what we have is an extremely bright projector with lots of punch.  It was just made for Star Trek, with JJ Abrams use of almost always partially blinding lights in almost every scene.

Surprisingly, the BenQ W1000 projector even looks very good in Dynamic mode.  Oh, it’s the usual compromise, color isn’t as accurate, but, not bad for a “Dynamic” mode.

I’m seeing some rainbows, but not many, not sure of the color wheel configuration, but whatever it is, I think I’m seeing less with the W1000 projector than with the Vivitek.  I’ll have a better feel with more viewing.

Black levels are definitely entry level.  How much so, I’ll know tomorrow night when I do side by sides against the Vivitek H1080FD – their $999 projector, and the Mitsubishi HC3800 at $1395.  The W1000 projector does not have a dynamic iris.

I fired up the BenQ projector late afternoon. (No sun today, in “sunny” California.)  Opened some window shades, and turned on a lot of lights in my room.  With the projector on Dynamic it did a great job.  I immediately thought – I’d better consider just buying one, mounting it on the bottom of the shelf that has my JVC, adding another switch, and use the W1000 for sports.

Alas, those basic DLP projectors have limited placement flexibility.  Can’t place it back far enough to be within 4 feet of my shelf.

Never mind that.  This projector is ideal for a family room where it may have to take on some ambient light, and white walls.  It really has a healthy amount of power.  By the same token it really does look great by way of bright, in my main theater, filling the 128″ Firehawk G3, screen, rather effortlessly.  I will cook up some images of my room to illustrate.  They will be in the full review.

OK, folks, gotta run.  It’s time for the BenQ W1000 to be in the Pictures.  A midnight photo shoot (sounds macabre?)

News And Comments

  • Steve

    Hey Art

    Glad you got a chance to review the W1000. I had gotten a 3800 and was rather disappointed in brightness in eco mode and high mode was fairly loud. After reading your review I just ordered the W1000 and am returning the 3800. The 3800 was really nice looking in high power mode but afraid after the bulb dims I would be disappointed like I am with eco mode. I really appreciate the realism you bring to your reviews. Not everyone is an enthusiast and if you do things other than just watch movies in a batcave (which most do) it is great to hear how the projectors perform in a varied enviornment. Hope my experience is as good as yours with the W1000.



  • PatB

    Off topic: at least off the BENQ W1000 topic.

    I believe that you have a couple 3D or 3D ready projectors on hand and have been waiting to get some 3D content. Yesterday I heard that The Masters is to be broadcast by Comcast in 3D. I don’t care much about golf and even less about Tiger Woods’ sex life, but I am aflame over 3D. How about an article or even just a blog post?

  • Matthieu

    Hi Art
    The W6500 is out.
    When can we see your review of that beamer.
    It seems to have that Red Lamp and a 60.000:1 contrast.
    Can’t wait for what you think of it.

    Kind regards:


    • Lisa Feierman

      BenQ US says they do not intend to sell the W6500 here. Got that from a VP a few weeks ago. -art

  • Brandon

    Hi Art,

    For HD sport viewing, which would you prefer, Benq 1000 or Epson 705D? I know both are bright and I just want something for sports while I wait for the new projectors to hit the market next month. Or would you suggest another projector in this price range for sport viewing in the daytime with moderate ambient light.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hmm, I’d take the BenQ, for the less visible pixels of DLP…

      Or maybe get an all-in-one, if that would come in handy even after you get your new main projector…