Projector Reviews

BenQ W1500 Projector – Performance

BENQ W1500 PERFORMANCE PAGE 1:  BRIGHTNESS AND COLOR TEMPERATURE

Header Content
Mode Lumens Color Temp
Dynamic 1713 7197
Standard 1564 6247
Cinema 1597 6252
Cinema in Eco 995 6640
User 1 1564 6233
User 2 1564 6233
User 3 1564 6248

The chart above shows Mike’s measurements for each of the modes.  As you can see, Standard and User 1, 2, and 3 are apparently the same, with just minor variations in Mike’s measurements.

The BenQ W1500 measured 1713 lumens in its brightest mode – Dynamic.  Keep in mind that’s at midpoint on the zoom.  That’s a whole lot of lumens.  There are some brighter projectors, but none that have measured more than 2400, and only a few over 2000 lumens, compared to this BenQ’s 1927 lumens at full wide angle on the zoom.

One of the nice things is that the BenQ is almost as bright calibrated as uncalibrated.   Being calibrated costs barely more than 10% of brightness compared to brightest mode.  In fact, the calibrated mode, proved to be virtually identical in brightness to the pre-calibration Cinema mode on which it was based!

BenQ W1500 - Calibrated Brightness

BenQ W1500 Brightness:  Calibrated:  1581 Lumens (midpoint on zoom)

Post calibration, the overall image got a little bit warmer.  Note however, that white; 100 IRE barely changed, while the rest of the IRE levels increased typically by about 200 IRE.  Also note that in eco mode, the projector is already closer to the ideal 6500K across the range.

As a result of the calibration extremely bright areas such as a sunlit face, might be a touch more reddish than ideal, while the balance is close to dead on for the rest of the range.

Almost 1600 lumens at mid-point on the zoom is bright.  True, there are low cost cross-over projectors like the Viewsonic PJD7820HD, that measure at brightest, over 3000 lumens, but those cross-over projectors have clear slices in their color wheels.  Notice that the measured 3000 lumens plus Viewsonic, when calibrated comes up over 100 lumens less bright than this BenQ calibrated.

Don’t confuse the W1500 with one of those business type DLP projectors (with their clear slice color wheels, that dramatically boost brightness at the cost of color, the W1500’s color always looks better than projectors like that!  (Even when they too get calibrated, but that’s because they typically don’t calibrate that well.  Of course, most of those are sub $1000, but not all!

Affect of Zoom Lens setting on W1500 Brightness

Zoom Lens Position – As it Affects Brightness – Dynamic Mode
Zoom Position Lumens
Zoom Out (wide angle) 1927
Mid-Point 1713
Zoom In (telephoto) 1403

Moving the projector back from the closest placement that would fill your screen, to filling it with the zoom at the middle of it’s range, as you can see from the table above, results in a drop of about 11%.

Going from full wide-angle to full telephoto, by comparison results in a drop of about 27%.  Those differences will be consistent no matter which mode you are working from

Affect of Brilliant Color on Brightness – Cinema Mode
Brilliant Color On 1597 lumens
Brilliant Color Off 1202 lumens

As we always expect, when a DLP projector sports Brilliant Color (created by Texas Instruments), in one variation or another, having Brilliant Color On, results in more measured lumens (and a bit less natural of an image.

In the case of the W1500 projector from BenQ, Brilliant Color comes in two flavors – On, or Off.  Mike measured Brilliant Color both turned on, and off, for Cinema mode.

BenQ W1500 Eco Mode- Affect on Brightness

BenQ W1500  Brightness:  Normal vs Eco-mode
Cinema Mode @ Full power 1597
Cinema Mode @ Eco 955

The BenQ W1500 has an unusually large drop in brightness when switching to Eco-mode.  Most projectors drop 25-35%.

The W1500 drops from 1597 to 955 lumens, which represents a drop of an almost perfect 40%. Even so, 955 lumens would be too bright for some folks if they were filling a typical 100″ 16:9 screen with a 1.3 gain, when viewing it a good, dark theater type environment.  Mind you, most people would not have a problem with that much brightness, most folks complain about not enough brightness, but that won’t be the problem here.

Color Temp - Across Brightness Range - Cinema Mode - at Full and Eco

W1500 Projector Color Temp – Cinema mode – Pre-Calibration
IRE Full Power Eco-Mode
100 6252K 6640K
80 6245K 6494K
50 6197K 6472K
30 6260K 6506K

For out of the box best color, note that Eco-mode is a touch cooler, and closer to the ideal 6500K!

Color Temp - Across Brightness Range - Post Calibration

Post Calibration Color Temp Measurements
Brightness (IRE) Color Temp
100 IRE 6286K
90 6451K
80 6459K
70 6426K
60 6428K
50 6458K
40 6430K
30 6454K
20 6525K

With the exception of white (100 IRE) which barely changed with the calibration, the numbers are very tight, post-calibration.  The color temperature averages within 50K of target, which is to say, very close!  No wonder color looks so good!