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BenQ MS517 Projector - Physical Tour

Posted on May 3, 2013 by Eric Pfoutz


The BenQ MS517 is a pretty nice looking projector. It has a nice black piano finish with nice lines. Most, affordable, cost effective projectors are pretty plain, but this unit really stands out. In the front of the projector you will find the lens assembly. It is recessed into the body of the projector. A good characteristic since it prevents accidental damage to the lens. Above the lens is the focus knob and zoom knob. Both recessed, and easy to adjust.

As you move to the top of the projector you will see the control panel. It was nice to see a full control panel that was well labeled and easy to use. The fact that the control panel can control every function in the projector is a really great design feature since losing the remote, or just not having it readily available, can sometimes mean you have little control of the projectors functions. Lower cost projectors can sometimes be very limited in control panel features to save in manufacturing costs. Having full control without a remote might be doubily important in a educational environment where the projector might constantly be moved around to different classrooms, where items can be lost along the way.

The rear of the projector houses all the inputs. The BenQ MS517 accepts a wide array of inputs. It has two VGA inputs and one monitor out. Impressive! It also has a RS232 input for command and control. The standard input for composite and s-video is there as well. There is also a audio in and audio out in a mini dim type input. Quite interesting there is a USB Type B port as well. Also, although you don't see a component input, with a special component to VGA adapter, you can use VGA input 2 as your component video input.

BenQ MS517 Setup

The BenQ MS517 has a simple design, as such is pretty easy to setup. There is only one adjustable foot in the rear of the projector and one quick release height adjustment in the front.


The menu system ranks as one of the nicer ones I have used. Was easy to understand and navigate. The different sections were appropriately labeled and made learning about the projectors functions even easier. Never a bad idea to read over the manual to learn even more, but you could get around pretty easy without it. Of course, read the safety precautions and maintenance in the manual so you can extend the life of the projector and to make operation safe.

BenQ MS517 Menus Slideshow

BenQ MS517 Menus

System setup: Basic

BenQ MS517 Menus

System setup: Advanced

BenQ MS517 Remote Control

The ergonomics behind the remote were very well done. The buttons are of different shapes and sizes based on their function. The navigation buttons are in the standard circular formation with the enter button in the middle. Having a standard, familiar, button system is always a plus. Makes transitioning from one projector to another much easier.

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