What a difference only a few years makes in the home theater market, specifically with Laser TV-style ultra-short throw projectors. Ultra-short throw projectors offer so much of the convenience and performance of a flat-panel television but with the ability to project a much bigger image. The BenQ V5000i takes color, contrast, and brightness performance to a new level in light-controlled spaces with color and contrast that is simply stunning. The V5000i is the first BenQ projector to use an RGB laser light source, and the improvement in color performance is noticeable compared to the previous model. The V5000i largely owes its new picture performance to the new triple laser light source BenQ uses. BenQ lists the projector as able to cover 95% of the BT.2020 and 98% of the DCI-P3 color spaces.
Projectors that use RGB triple laser light sources tend to produce some degree of color fringing, resulting in red and blue highlights around the edges of objects projected onscreen. Fringing is a form of chromatic aberration typically caused by the projector lens. It is most visible when displaying text and other high-contrast content, like lighter objects against a black background or the reverse. Typically, as long as you watch the projector from an acceptable distance, in this case, 1.4X the screen's height, fringing should not be noticeable. The amount of fringing on the V5000i is higher than that of competitive models, so if you sit any closer than the manufacturer's recommended 11.2 feet distance, it is quite noticeable.
The V5000i is a smart projector with the company's newest and most powerful streaming stick, the BenQ QS-02. The QS-02 eliminates the biggest flaw of the QS-01 by offering users a native Netflix Android TV streaming app; otherwise, this device is very similar. What does not change is the Android TV’s slow interface. I’ve talked about this in previous BenQ projector reviews. The delay from pressing a button on the remote to an onscreen action is most irritating when typing using the Android TV on-screen keyboard with the V5000i remote. The good news is that this can be fixed by adding a more powerful Google TV stick or Apple TV device.
For a limited time, BenQ is including a high-gain Fresnel ALR (ambient light rejecting) screen. ALR screens are designed to filter most light hitting the screen from sources other than the projector. Fresnel ALR screens offer significant performance advantages compared to a white matte screen, providing better screen brightness while filtering out ambient light. The SNS21’s 1.5X gain comes at the expense of wide viewing angles, reducing the typical 150-degree viewing angle to 45 degrees.
The included 100-inch high-gain screen games look stunning even in rooms with uncontrolled ambient light sources. The V5000i is not the brightest UST projector. Still, BenQ makes full use of the projector's 2,500 ANSI lumens of brightness, allowing the projector to be used for lights on viewing with far less impact on color and black-level performance than I expected.
In addition to home theater, the BenQ V5000i is an excellent gaming projector that accepts 4K 120Hz signals from modern consoles like the PS5 and Xbox. The projector downconverts the 120 Hz signal to display at 4K 60 Hz with an input lag of just 17.9 ms in the projector's GAME mode. The V5000i also supports 1080p 120 Hz gaming with an input lag of 13 ms and 1080p 240 Hz gaming with an input lag of just 5 ms. The V5000i is an excellent gaming projector.
The built-in 20-watt (15W x2 woofers and 5W x2 full range speakers) Trevolo sound system provides amazing audio performance, providing the biggest and most dynamic sound of any ultra-short throw projector I have previously reviewed. If you want bigger sound, the V5000i has analog and digital audio outputs and eARC connectivity for connecting to external sound solutions. Users should enjoy the sound that this projector is capable of producing.
The BenQ V5000i is an excellent Laser TV projector perfect for blockbuster home theater content of playing the latest console games. The V5000i is highly competitive, packaged with the BenQ SNS21 high-gain Fresnel ALR screen for $3,499 MSRP. For a limited time, BenQ offers free screen installation at no additional cost. The V5000i is an incredible value and worth serious consideration for your next home entertainment projector.
AWOL VISION LTV3000 PRO $3,999 MSRP
The AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro sells for $3,999 and includes a 100-inch 1.1X high-gain Fresnel screen that provides excellent lights on viewing. Brightness between these two systems is similar since the BenQ is rated at 2,500 ANSI lumens compared to the AWOL Vision's 3,000 ANSI lumens. Still, the BenQ SNS21 screen offers a higher 1.4X gain.
I recently reviewed the LTV-3000 projector and can report that the projector's color fringing is visibly lower than the BenQ, which makes for an overall sharper displayed image between the two projectors.
The LTV-3000 Pro, as with all previous models, supports HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG, whereas the BenQ V5000i stops at HDR10+ and does not support Dolby Vision. AWOL Vision lists the projector's contrast as 2,500:1 when using the company's Enhanced Adaptive Black Level setting. Both the LTV3000 and the V5000i offered excellent black-level performance.
The LTV-3000 Pro features a big-sounding 36-watt sound system capable of very dynamic sound, but the bigger chassis on the V5000i leaves more room for audio components and offers the best on-board sound I’ve heard in any current projector. The AWOL Vision sounds good for a Laser TV, but the BenQ offers next-level audio quality, especially in bass performance.
AWOL Vision uses Amazon Fire TV OS as its streaming and application solution. The included Firestick 4K Max is an excellent performer. The Firestick and the BenQ QS-02 offer similar features, but the Amazon device is better in speed and overall eco-system than the QS-02.
The other big change in the LTV-3000 Pro is adding what AWOL Vision calls Smart Room Ready functionality. The AWOL Vision LTV-3000 Pro is now seamlessly integrated with Control4 and other projector control and management solutions. AWOL addition of this functionality allows projector features like power, volume, HDMI source switching, and more to be managed through platforms like PJLink, Control 4, SAVANT, and Crestron.
Hisense PX2-Pro $2998 MSRP
The Hisense PX2-PRO and the BenQ V5000i offer comparable features and benefits. Both projectors use bright triple laser light sources and can display the full BT2020 color gamut. The BenQ’s brightness is 2,500 ANSI, with the Hisense rated at 2,400 ANSI lumens.
We talk a lot about Hisense and their excellent understanding of color science, but in this comparison, the color performance of the V5000i is on par with Hisense.
Both the V5000i and the PX2-PRO offer digital focus adjustment. The BenQ projector can display up to a 100-inch image. In contrast, the Hisense goes up to 130 inches.
Both projectors support HDR-encoded content. However, the Hisense PX2-PRO supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content. The BenQ V5000i does not support Dolby Vision but does support HDR10+.
Both projectors offer big onboard sound systems that easily compete with entry-level soundbars, but once again, I like that Hisense supports Dolby Atmos sound where BenQ does not.
While it is very nice that BenQ has included a QS-02 Android TV stick with the projector, Hisense has partnered with Google to provide users with a fully integrated Google TV OS experience with access to the entire gamut of Google and Google-compatible services, including live TV, built into the projector.