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BenQ SU931 Large Venue Projector Review -- Performance

Posted on July 8, 2016 by Art Feierman
BenQ SU931 LARGE VENUE PROJECTOR REVIEW - PERFORMANCE:  Brightness by Color Mode, Effect of Eco Mode, Heat, Power Use, Audible Noise and Networking, Power Consumption  


BenQ SU931 Projector - Brightness By Color Mode - Mid-Zoom
Pre-set Color Mode Lumens
Bright 6,090
Presentation 4,495
sRGB 4,350
Cinema 3,717
User Defined 5,900

I set the projector up on my test bench and set the horizontal and vertical keystone correction to zero and the zoom set to roughly midway between telephoto and wide-angle. Then, I measured the projector’s brightness by setting up an image that measured 37- by 24-inches and made three brightness readings around the center with an Extech EasyView 31 light meter. When I was done, I normalized the brightness lux readings to a full square meter to yield lumens.



Despite being rated to deliver no more than 39dBA of noise, the SU931 actually is significantly louder, putting out 51dBA at 36-inches from its exhaust grille. This makes it one of the loudest projectors in its class, but using Eco mode drops the noise level to 45dBA. This could present a problem if the SU931 were set up on a tabletop or a wall niche, but for most permanent installations, where the viewers are far away from the projector, this won’t matter.

With a standard RJ-45 networking port, the SU931 can interact with Crestron’s RoomView and AMX control systems. For facilities that are more minimalist, you can directly tap into the projector’s control regime by using a connected computer and a Web browser by typing the SU931’s IP address.

Once you’re connected, you can remotely do everything from selecting the source and adjusting the volume to turning it on or off. On the other hand, you can neither display images, videos or Office files from a network server nor take control of the projector with a phone or tablet app as you can with most Epson projectors.

sm Su931 LAN Info

The SU931's Web-based menu lets you do a lot remotely.


Unfortunately, the SU931 lacks built-in WiFi for tapping into a building’s wireless infrastructure. Other manufacturers have this as an optional accessory that adds between $50 and $100, but not BenQ.

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Because of its high-output lamp, the SU931 uses a lot of power. In Bright mode, I measured its power draw with a Kill A Watt P4480 power meter to be 556-watts. Happily, this drops to 546-watts in sRGB, Presentation and Cinema modes. You can decrease it a further 17-percent to 450-watts in Eco mode, but at the cost of lowering the brightness to 3,700 lumens. While the projector is idle and asleep, it uses 2-watts of power.

The SU931’s lamp is expensive at $500 and is rated to last for 2,000 hours of use. If that holds true and the projector is used for 4 hours a day for the typical 260-day work-year and power costs the national average of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, the SU931’s annual operating expenses will be something like $330, which is on the high side. While every company uses projectors differently this provides an estimate for comparison.


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