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What’s the BenQ W1700?
The BenQ W1700 is the most recent in a quick-rising line of fairly priced 4K projectors. No matter moreover claiming enhance for prime dynamic differ (HDR) playback, it costs merely £1500. This worth appears even greater when it transpires that in some methods the W1700 is definitely gifted.
BenQ W1700 – Design and assemble
The BenQ W1700 is surprisingly small for a 4K projector. Its W353 x H135 x D272mm form makes it comparatively bigger than BenQ’s typical HD projectors, however it certainly’s nonetheless surprisingly espresso-desk nice by means of 4K projector necessities.
It moreover tracks BenQ’s standard design theme of white bodywork and rounded edges and corners. The end result’s a projector which will fortunately reside in a entrance room considerably than a faithful movie cave. That talked about, it deserves the dignity of being positioned in a blacked-out room and partnered with an honest-high quality show.
The projector feels reassuringly heavy for such an fairly priced gadget, and its finish doesn’t actually really feel excessively plasticky or mild-weight.
The BenQ W1700 ships with an excellent faraway. It’s a comfy measurement and features a thoughtful button format. It’s brightly backlit, too, so that you’ll nonetheless use it merely in a dismal room.
Comparable: Very best projectors
BenQ W1700 – Choices
The W1700 is fairly well hooked up for its money. It sports activities two HDMIs, one appropriate with the 4K-pleasant HDCP 2.2 anti-piracy system. There’s moreover a 12V trigger port for firing up, say, a motorised show, plus D-Sub PC and three.5mm audio in/out.
The W1700 delivers its 4K playback using the standard DLP method of illuminating each of its sub-4K set of mirrors multiple events consistent with physique, to ship a 4K impression. Arguments rage over whether or not or not that’s in actuality 4K – even when The usa’s Shopper Era Affiliation (CTA) says it’s. What’s easy is that 4K DLP solutions have often so far delivered crisper, cleaner results than rival ‘pseudo’ 4K solutions.
DLP’s single-chip method moreover means there aren’t any of the sharpness-decreasing, noise-inflicting convergence issues you’ll get with three-chip rival projection methods.
Unusually for £1500, the BenQ W1700 moreover makes use of a lens with a low-dispersion coating, to further reduce colour errors.
The W1700 helps HDR10, the business normal HDR platform, delivered from a 2200 lumens most lamp output and a claimed distinction ratio of 10,000:1.
Projectors historically wrestle with HDR, as a result of a scarcity of each brightness and color vary. Nevertheless, the W1700 boasts a few intriguing HDR-associated options.
First, an ‘Auto HDR Natural Color Rendition’ system claims to compensate for the oversaturated greens and reds typically related to HDR on projectors. The outcome, says BenQ, is a ‘perfectly lifelike colour performance automatically tuned to reflect nature’.
BenQ has additionally tried to deal with HDR projection’s widespread problems with crushed shadow element in darkish HDR areas. A so-referred to as Cinema-Optimized HDR Efficiency claims to retain greyscale accuracy and stability darkish color saturations extra successfully to maintain darkish particulars excessive.
This latter know-how can also be claimed to ship extra punch in brilliant areas than you’d often see with projectors.
A few of this sounds just a little obscure, and hints at some manipulation of the native HDR picture. For as soon as, although, I truly wouldn’t have an issue with BenQ primarily transforming HDR to go well with its projector. Expertise suggests it’s the one method to get an HDR know-how designed for TVs to stay partaking on an reasonably priced projector.
Non-HDR viewing, in the meantime, ought to profit from BenQ’s CinematicColor know-how. This makes use of a mixture of sunshine waveform evaluation, mild leakage suppression and a particular coating on the RGBRGB DLP color wheel to ship colors which might be near the usual dynamic vary Rec 709 normal proper out of the field. Though the projector does additionally help calibration by ISF engineers.
Extra controversial is BenQ’s CinemaMaster Video+ know-how. That is primarily a choice of image enhancement processors targeted on sharpness, color and pores and skin tones. I don’t actually assume they’re wanted, although. Actually, utilizing any of them on pretty excessive settings could make footage look worse.
The BenQ W1700 can deal with 3D in the event you purchase the required 3D glasses (none have been offered for this evaluate).
One final image-associated function is a powerful claimed most lamp lifetime of 15,000 hours. Utilizing the Sensible Eco lamp mode, lamp life drops to 8000 hours – however that’s nonetheless excellent.
Often, I’d solely have to cowl image options when reviewing a projector. Nevertheless, the W1700 additionally homes a strikingly highly effective 5W speaker inside a ‘resonant sound chamber’ housing. There are even a choice of EQ algorithms to regulate the sound to totally different content material varieties (sport, video games, films for instance).
BenQ W1700 – Setup
You could take slightly care when establishing the W1700. Particularly, make sure the projector’s brightness setting is at its impartial mid-level for HDR viewing. Set it larger and the image appears washed out; set it decrease and darkish areas are likely to look in need of element and ‘silhouettey’.
The Pixel Enhancer 4K function additionally causes the image to grow to be excessively noisy if used any greater than its ‘4’ setting.
With each HDR and commonplace dynamic vary content material, I’d recommend setting the lamp to SmartEco. This dynamic distinction function optimises distinction with out seemingly inflicting any distracting brightness ‘jumps’ or lamp flickering.
One of many trickiest selections is between utilizing the default Vivid TV setting with HDR, or the projector’s Cinema preset. The Vivid mode delivers probably the most punchy, dynamic and – in some ways – satisfying HDR picture. The Cinema mode seems much less ‘HDR’, however delivers larger element in brilliant areas and extra pure out-of-the-field colors.
Sadly, there isn’t a completely best setup. Nevertheless, each the Vivid TV and Cinema modes may be improved by the projector’s robust color calibration instruments.
With regards to bodily setup, the BenQ W1700 is okay fairly than sensible. The 1.2x optical zoom is satisfactory somewhat than nice, and there’s no optical picture shifting – vertical or horizontal. This implies many customers should primarily distort the picture with keystone adjustment to get its edges perpendicular. Simply as nicely then that the W1700 carries an honest auto keystone system.
BenQ W1700 – Efficiency
Pushed onerous immediately with 4K HDR playback from 4K Blu-ray, the BenQ W1700 will get off to a robust begin by being impressively brilliant. A lot brighter than many costlier 4K rivals.
This helps it produce engagingly punchy peak brightness with HDR content material. Even higher, the W1700 additionally manages to take care of a better baseline degree of brightness with HDR content material than your typical projector. This instantly makes HDR pictures look persistently extra plausible and lifelike – precisely what HDR is all about.
The additional brightness delivers a way more pronounced distinction between HDR and SDR than you typically get with projectors.
The W1700’s footage additionally look 4K – not fairly as pristinely sharp and detailed as these of Sony’s native 4K SXRD projectors, however comfortably past HD. Sharpness and precision is sweet sufficient, too, to reinforce the sense of depth in 4K photographs.
Additionally contributing to the W1700’s wonderful readability is its spectacular freedom from video noise. Offered you don’t go overboard with the Pixel Enhancer, there’s no extreme grain or edge noise. Neither is there any apparent inexperienced dotting noise in darkish areas of the type typically seen with single-chip DLP projectors. Display uniformity, when it comes to color and sharpness, can also be robust.
Movement is dealt with nicely. There’s no signal of the fizzing pores and skin tones throughout digital camera pans that may now and again be seen with single-chip DLP projectors. Judder appears pure with 24p content material moderately than extreme. And there’s no sense of blurring, or a drop in that pretty 4K-like decision. The W1700’s 4K-succesful HDMI proves able to dealing with the 60fps 4K, HDR pictures of Billy Lynn’s Lengthy Half-Time Stroll, too.
The W1700 continues to look clear and punchy with commonplace dynamic vary sources. That is necessary given that the majority house cinema followers nonetheless have a lot greater Blu-ray than 4K Blu-ray libraries.
HD sources do look markedly softer than native 4K ones. This appears extra an endorsement of the W1700’s ‘native 4K’ claims, although, than an indication of extreme weak spot within the projector’s upscaling.
Color is in the primary one other power of the W1700. It handles the comparatively restricted tonal vary of SDR footage effortlessly. But it additionally, impressively, delivers a real sense of expanded color vary with HDR/extensive color gamut footage. That is regardless of missing an optionally available large color filter reminiscent of Epson’s TW9300.
Thus far, so good. However you possible gained’t be too stunned to study that £1500 doesn’t get you a flawless 4K HDR projector expertise.
The most important problem is black ranges. Predictably, pushing for the kind of brightness HDR ideally wants, the W1700 reveals extra greyness throughout darkish scenes than another non-HDR BenQ projectors.
Fortunately, this doesn’t result in any nice lack of element in darkish areas of HDR footage. Nor does the image really feel painfully in need of distinction, and nor do colors look washed out. There’s little question, nevertheless, that the brilliant elements of combined mild and darkish HDR photographs look much more convincing than the darkish elements. This could given footage a barely unbalanced really feel. Extra full-on darkish scenes additionally look much less pure and filled with depth than shiny ones.
Once in a while, colors can look quite strained in comparatively excessive HDR content material. That is very true with 4K Blu-ray titles corresponding to Pan, which have been mastered to a comparatively aggressive 4000 nits of brightness. When utilizing the default Vivid TV HDR setting, as an example, Black Beard’s purple sash stands out from the remainder of the picture a lot on the W1700 that it virtually appears to glow.
As famous within the Setup part, hopes that this example may be fastened by tweaking the projector’s HDR brightness setting show unfounded. The one option to actually deal with the picture’s color stability with aggressive HDR shows is to shift to the Cinema preset. This additionally improves black ranges barely, and produces extra delicate tonal detailing within the brightest HDR areas.
The Cinema preset has problems with its personal, nevertheless. Particularly, it doesn’t look as dynamic – as ‘HDR’ – because the Vivid TV preset. Colors can nonetheless look a contact ‘blown’ with 4000 nit content material, too.
Nevertheless, within the context of its £1500 worth, the W1700 deserves for us to complete this part of the evaluate on a excessive – or 5!
First, colors look far more pure with the 1000 nits or so peaks used for HDR by nearly all of present HDR content material. Second, the projector runs surprisingly quietly, even in HDR mode, in case you’re utilizing the Sensible Eco lamp setting.
Third, the W1700’s constructed-in sound system is remarkably good. Though its sound inevitably seems bodily dislocated from the onscreen motion, it may go loud with out distorting, makes dialogue sound convincing, and is seldom harsh.
Fourth, contemplating how vibrant it could get, the W1700 suffers impressively little with single-chip DLP’s rainbow impact, the place stripes of color flit round over brilliant highlights or in your peripheral imaginative and prescient.
Lastly, regardless of not having a devoted Recreation mode, the W1700 measures round 33ms of enter lag (image rendering delay). This can be a respectable outcome for a house cinema projector, making it a possible huge-display gaming show.
Why purchase a BenQ W1700?
You will get extra satisfying all-spherical HDR performances from rival projectors – offered you’re prepared to spend considerably extra. The £2999 Epson EH-TW9300 delivers a extra balanced HDR picture and an optionally available color filter, though its pseudo 4K system doesn’t look as sharp. The £2000 Optoma UHD60’s additional brightness provides it an edge, too, regardless of its not so nice black ranges.
Nevertheless, for £1500, the BenQ W1700 is just far more of an all-rounder than you’ve any proper to anticipate a ‘4K’ HDR projector to be.
Though not solely compromise-free, the W1700 is definitely extra watchable with 4K HDR sources than many costlier rivals. In consequence, it’s an ideal entry level into the subsequent era of residence cinema.