W10000 Projector: Audible Noise Levels
Quiet, no, very quiet, exceptionally so for a DLP projector. In low power mode, noise is a non issue. In high power the projector gets a little bit louder, but I doubt that anyone who isn't noise adverse to the extreme, will have any issues, even in high power mode, and even if sitting a few feet from the projector.
BenQ claims 23db in low power, the quietest I have seen claimed for any DLP projector. (This is a large projector, so plenty of room to baffle the sound and keep it quiet.) Even in full power, the BenQ still claims 25db, considered very quiet. Many of the DLP home theater projectors we review, in full power are 30 - 34 db, which is about four to nine times as loud. The rough difference works this way: If you are 1 meter from a 25db projector, the noise will be about the same as being 4 meters from a 31 db projector. Anything under 30 db is considered pretty quiet.
W10000 Projector: Brightness
LCD projector to have overall good black levels, you need a dynamic iris. DLP projectors with Darkchip3 DLP chips are inherently far, far better than any LCD (or LCOS) projector without a dynamic iris. Where I'm going is this. The W10000 doesn't need an iris to deliver great black levels, wherea its essential for the Panasonic PT-AE1000U and Mitsubishi HC5000. Those projectors, with their dynamic irises operating appear much dimmer than the W10000 with its irs fully, or mostly open!
The BenQ is rated 10:000:1 contrast (and probably is closer to 8800:1 at best), however it should still be doing between 6000 and 6500:1 with the iris full open. More to the point, its the black levels that are what's important. Before irises (especially dynamic ones) contrast ratio was an excellent guide to black levels, today it's mostly selling specs are far less relevant.
Cinema mode - default settings; full power on the lamp, iris at default (about 2/3 closed):
173 lumens. switch to low power and you get a slightly greater tha 20% drop to 133 lumens. (This matches up well with the lamp specs - 250 watts at full power, 200 at low power).
Now that sure isn't a lot of lumens, but here's the beauty. Just open the iris up. and bingo, still in cinema mode, full power, you now have 506 lumens, and 402 lumens in low power. Now were talking! Basically, just open the iris and the projector increases in brightnes by 3X!
Of course I did a grayscale calibration on the Cinema mode. (More on that in the Calibration section). Doing so was easy, and cost only about 4% of lumens, netting 478 lumens iris open), still impressive.
The Home Theater mode: In this mode the iris defaults to about half way open, and with lamp at full power, the W10000 measured 311 lumens. Open the iris and 629 lumens!
Family room mode - designed to fight some ambient light, defaults to the iris wide open. With default settings and full power yielded an even 800 lumens. In the hunt for maximum brightness I played around a bit, changing the Family Room Mode's default color from Cool to Native Lamp. Whoa! Lumens now jumped to 1119!
Of course pushed to get out the most lumens, color accuracy tends to suffer. I played around with the color settings for a better color temperature, and still came up with 913 lumens.
To wrap this up, I also measured the Photo mode - 671 lumens, and Gaming mode at 892 lumens. Photo mode had a nice color temperature - looked good on my digial photos.