Revisiting input lag – after all, it’s in the title of this article, we want to reiterate that yes, it’s important for gamers to consider. We could even safely consider it table stakes. To that end, we’re told future projectors from BenQ will offer a “Fast Mode,” designed to operate at 16.7 milliseconds of lag at 60hz, which by any account is an incredibly smooth experience. But then again, we must also consider that you can have the fastest game lag in the world, but if you can’t see what’s going on around you, it doesn’t matter how little lag you’re experiencing, death or loss in the game is imminent. That’s where BenQ’s heavy focus on the visual and audio aspects of gaming is a reimagination of what a great gaming projector should look like, and why BenQ spent so much time ensuring each style of gameplay has the absolute best picture quality possible, optimized for each unique style of play.
It also brings us to another aspect that would-be projector gamers should consider in their purchasing decisions: high dynamic range (HDR). The human eye is more sensitive to color and contrast than it is to resolution, and the inclusion of HDR in upcoming BenQ projectors means you see everything in the bright AND dark areas. Now we’re not going to say that HDR is more important than resolution, but we will make the argument that 1080p with higher contrast is going to be better for gamers than 4K without HDR. Perhaps even more exciting is that future projectors will almost certainly offer super low-lag gaming in 4K, so players can have an amazing low-lag gaming experience with incredible clarity. No more sacrificing picture quality for a gaming advantage, and that’s a win for everyone.
But aside from picture quality alone, we should take a moment to explore arguably the next most important aspect of gaming, audio. Projectors aren’t necessarily considered the pinnacle of audio performance, and for good reason, they simply don’t match the power an AV sound system or a soundbar can offer in a small box, but that’s not to say that they can’t offer compelling audio performance. Upcoming projectors from BenQ take a fresh look at how audio can improve the gaming experience, and we have to say, it’s sounding very impressive.
Revisiting the different gaming modes we highlighted earlier in this article, first-person shooter, role playing, sports, and user customized modes, each specific game mode also manipulates how audio is delivered from the projector. Once again, the idea isn’t necessarily to focus on the game itself, but how the storytelling component of the game can be best portrayed using audio as a way to highlight some of the key aspects of the game. A great example is with role playing mode, which better amplifies deep bass from the projector, making monster roars and 50 caliber sniper rounds more guttural and impactful. Areas like voice are enhanced when using sports mode so the player can better understand what the announcer is saying in the game. Whereas surround effects are more accurately placed when users access first-person shooter mode, which helps you better locate where other players are in relation to you in the game, making you a more effective player.
Perhaps the best part of gaming with a purpose-built gaming projector is breathing life into all of your gaming consoles, old and new. Just imagine Mario Kart on a 100-inch screen with the family, this completely changes the game and takes away your parents’ excuse of “not being able to see well,” nice try mom. And that’s the whole point, how do we make gaming a more immersive and exciting experience?
The size of the screen certainly helps a lot, but so does the ability to intelligently adjust the projector's video and audio output to best match each game’s performance. Previously there were many obstacles that made projectors not as ideally suited to gaming as monitors or TVs, we’re pleased to see many—dare we say all—of these barriers adequately removed.
As we’ve mentioned multiple times in this feature on gaming projectors, we’re very excited to get our hands on upcoming BenQ gaming projectors so we can test for ourselves the efficacy of each of these new features. If our previous experience with BenQ has any bearing on what we see in the future, we expect extremely positive results. And at face value, the new projector offerings present a very compelling reason to consider upgrading to a projector instead of a new TV to meet your gaming needs, but we’re looking forward to trying their new line to see what they’re really capable of.