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BenQ PE7700 - Image Quality

Posted on January 28, 2006 by Art Feierman

BenQ PE7700 - Image Quality

This section will be expanded over the next couple of weeks (I'm leaving on vacation in two days).

The first thing to say, is that it seems that the BenQ PE7700 projector builds on the great performance that the PE8700+ already is known for.

Projector Brightness

The first, most evident thing is that the PE7700 plus appears to be a brighter projector. At 1100 lumens, it is rated 100 lumens brighter than the 8700+, but seems to do better than that. I will try to get measurements in the update, but I would guess that it is about 20% brighter than the 8700+ projector I used. The images here are filling my 140" matte white screen. The BenQ projector was set to HT mode for the left image, and to Family Room on the one on the right. The images are under exposed in terms of showing off the room lighting because the screen is very bright.

When you consider again, the size of this screen, you begin to realize how capable the PE7700 will be at handling moderate ambient light on, say, a 92" or 100" screen. I used for the side by side shots, or the one mounted in my ceiling. Certainly it is light years brighter than say, a Panasonic AE700u with the Panasonic in its best (dimmest) mode. The PE7700 projector handles my 140" screen better than the Panasonic does on a 106", and that's a big difference. So if you like particularly bright, and/or a really large screen, or need to fight more than the tiniest amount of ambient light, this has got to be a top choice. I know of no other HT projector with 720 native resolution that is brighter, without spending at least a thousand more (Sanyo PLV70 - an LCD widescreen projector).

The PE7700 has a low lamp mode (advanced menu), which will extend your lamp life from 2000 to 3000 hours. If you are using a 100" or smaller screen, and have a dedicated, dark room, you should be able to take advantage of the savings. Of course this is a lot of personal preference.

Color Modes

Of the 5 preset color modes, 3 are of interest for normal HT. Cinema (the default), is the darkest and probably provides the highest contrast ratio. The first DVD I watched on it was Star Wars II, and I found the Cinema setting to be very faithful, even before any calibration.

Next is Home Theater, which on first glance was my preferred choice on HDTV content including Jay Leno, some travelogs, and hi-def sports. The color balance was a bit different, and an overall higher gamma was apparent. I was really impressed with this mode. I also viewed some of Star Wars II in HT, and I found something extraordinary:

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