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BenQ W1000 Home Theater Projector - A First Look Review

Finally!   Yes, we've all been waiting for the BenQ W1000, their $999 1080p entry level projector.  First question is, was it worth the wait? This may surprise some of you, but yes, it was.  My expectations - for the third of the $999 1080p projectors, this BenQ W1000, was for it to be another fairly unremarkable projector.  As it turns out, I've impressed, and that's doubly difficult since I'm coming off of reviewing a pair of over $5000 JVC projectors. It's true, I haven't spent very much time with the BenQ W1000 projector yet, maybe 5 hours of viewing, but I like a lot of what I see. Mike complained about limited grayscale control, but the setup he gave me looks pretty good, it measures flat across the range, but is a touch warm.  I think I found a color  control he missed.  It's cools it off a little.  I like it better.  Gamma looks pretty good, too.  I'm watching sections of Star Trek now, (it's become one of my favorite movies for skin tones and bright scenes.  (The inability to get rid of the pause bar and time marker, when paused, prevents me from choosing dark scenes, since that bar would affect a dynamic iris. Skin tones do look very impressive, especially for an entry level model. And the BenQ W1000 is a light canon. In it's brightest mode, it pushes out over 2100 lumens! And even in best mode, with Brilliant Color on - 1225 lumens and about 600 with it off.  My initial reaction is I like the projector better with Brilliant Color on.  Is it at all, over the top, when on, so far not, but that's always the risk with Brilliant Color. So what we have is an extremely bright projector with lots of punch.  It was just made for Star Trek, with JJ Abrams use of almost always partially blinding lights in almost every scene. Surprisingly, the BenQ W1000 projector even looks very good in Dynamic mode.  Oh, it's the usual compromise, color isn't as accurate, but, not bad for a "Dynamic" mode. I'm seeing some rainbows, but not many, not sure of the color wheel configuration, but whatever it is, I think I'm seeing less with the W1000 projector than with the Vivitek.  I'll have a better feel with more viewing. Black levels are definitely entry level.  How much so, I'll know tomorrow night when I do side by sides against the Vivitek H1080FD - their $999 projector, and the Mitsubishi HC3800 at $1395.  The W1000 projector does not have a dynamic iris. I fired up the BenQ projector late afternoon. (No sun today, in "sunny" California.)  Opened some window shades, and turned on a lot of lights in my room.  With the projector on Dynamic it did a great job.  I immediately thought - I'd better consider just buying one, mounting it on the bottom of the shelf that has my JVC, adding another switch, and use the W1000 for sports. Alas, those basic DLP projectors have limited placement flexibility.  Can't place it back far enough to be within 4 feet of my shelf. Never mind that.  This projector is ideal for a family room where it may have to take on some ambient light, and white walls.  It really has a healthy amount of power.  By the same token it really does look great by way of bright, in my main theater, filling the 128" Firehawk G3, screen, rather effortlessly.  I will cook up some images of my room to illustrate.  They will be in the full review. OK, folks, gotta run.  It's time for the BenQ W1000 to be in the Pictures.  A midnight photo shoot (sounds macabre?) -art

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