Posted on November 1, 2018 By Nikki Kahl
BenQ LU950 Installation Laser Projector Review – Special Features: Sealed Light Path, Multi-Screen Projection, Wireless Capabilities, Advanced Networking
As mentioned, the BenQ LU950 has a sealed light path so that no dust can settle inside and create dust blobs. Dust blobs ruin the projected image with visible spots and color decay, and are often costly to clean out. This BenQ’s sealed light path protects the DMD chip, color wheel sensor, laser bank, and other optical components. In addition to the sealed light path, the projector also has an Anti-Dust Accumulation Sensor to resist dust buildup by repelling dust that might settle on the IR sensors and cause flickering, abnormal colors, and even shutdown.
At conferences, conventions, and other large meetings, it is common practice to set up multiple projections of the same content so that the audience can view presentation content from different angles. This allows more people to enjoy the information being presented. Several projectors can be hooked up to the same source, and the BenQ LU950 does this by using HDMI cables.
This is significantly improved over the traditional VGA output, as HDMI signals do not decay over distances. You can easily hook one projector up to the source using one HDMI port, then daisy-chain the HDMIs all the way through your projector lineup. This will allow better accommodation of more people with an improved viewing experience for your large meeting.
Another benefit to this feature is Image Stacking. This allows you to connect two (or more) BenQ LU950s together via the same HDMI In/Out system and, using Lens Shift, shift the images so that they are projecting one on top of the other. Why would you want to do this? It doubles the brightness, which can be a real plus in situations where you need to combat a lot of ambient light. Using two of these $2,799 projectors will often cost less than purchasing a single laser projector with twice the brightness of the LU950.
Many projectors have wireless capabilities these days, but sometimes, using those capabilities can be a pain – they require drivers and installation, an extra dongle or a setup that is less than intuitive. The BenQ LU950 does require an extra device to use wireless, but it’s a zero-software solution, called the BenQ InstaShow WDC10. This plug-and-play device allows up to 16 people to present from any device, and it’s compatible with any OS, so you are set whether you’re a PC or Mac user.
There is a module to plug into the projector, and the InstaShow connects directly to your laptop or desktop computer. It can be used with smartphones and tablets, but you will need a separate adapter to connect the mobile device’s input to the HDMI of the InstaShow. In addition to all of that, if you want to hook up multiple devices to the projector, you’ll need multiple pucks – up to 16.
This is hardly convenient, to be sure (many projectors just have the wireless built in), but there’s a very real reason for it. The BenQ device is super secure and protected from hackers, which is highly desirable for higher education, companies, and government offices where protecting information is of the utmost importance. For that reason, I give the InstaShow an A+.
The BenQ LU950 has an excellent variety of features for advanced networking. The first of which is built-in HDBaseT, which allows for audio, video, and control signals to be run over extremely long distances (several hundred meters) via a single cable. This is done using low-cost CAT5e, CAT6, etc., cabling – the same stuff used for local area networking – and is quite useful in a large venue environment.
The projector is compatible with several integrated software applications that allow for complete control. The LU950 works with Crestron RoomView, Extron XTP, AMX, and PJ Link (primitive, but still worth mentioning). It also works with BenQ’s Multiple Display Administrator (MDA), their proprietary software for multiple-projector management.
Depending on which one of these software applications you choose, you’ll enjoy a host of features. Push notifications, browser monitoring, command and control of the projector using a browser, and more. There are so many options you can choose from for advanced networking – this is an IT team’s dream.
Next up is our discussion of the projector’s hardware, followed by a close look into picture quality for video, text and presentations, and audio quality. After that, we’ll get into how well this projector performs in terms of brightness, contrast, and audible noise. Following the Performance Page, I’ll sum it all up for you, discuss some of the competition, and provide you with pros and cons of the BenQ LU950 installation projector.
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