Projectors

BenQ W7500 Single-Chip DLP Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup of the BenQ W7500 Projector

Most DLP projectors are designed for an inverted ceiling mount and have large lens offsets to accommodate this. The W7500 however gives you generous lens shift around a central axis. You can even install the projector in line with the screen center if you want. I put my review unit on a stand about two feet above the centerline of my 92-inch Carada screen. Throw distance was 11 feet which let me fill the screen with just a little zoom range to spare. My sources were connected exclusively to the HDMI inputs; I did not test the analog connections.

After running the projector for 50 hours I was ready to explore the menus and perform the calibration. There are four preset picture modes, including 3D and three user memories. All modes are fully adjustable. After a few preliminary measurements, I settled on Cinema as the best starting point for calibration.

I noticed that ISF Day and Night modes are available so I obtained the access code from BenQ. Not only is there a full set of calibration controls, you can even perform a CCA procedure if you want. This is a calibration routine unique to DLP displays that uses measurements of the native color along with an offset to dial in color. It's extremely accurate when done properly and much faster than using a traditional CMS. If you want to calibrate your W7500 this way, definitely hire a pro. You can seriously mess up your projector's color if you don't know what you're doing.

The W7500 has a two-point white balance control plus a full color management system and gamma presets. My typical procedure is to adjust levels followed by gamma, white balance, and color gamut. This time though I discovered that the gamma presets interacted with the CMS; something I had not seen before. I wanted to experiment with a new gamma standard, BT.1886, since this projector has so much light output so it required a little more time to dial in. You can read more about my gamma experiments in the benchmark section.

Ultimately, I was able to calibrate the W7500 to a very high standard. The grayscale calibration fixed most of the issues I observed with color so I didn't have to do too much in the CMS besides correct a few luminance errors. I also had to dial the contrast down quite a bit to get the peak light output to a comfortable level. My out-of-box measurement was over 50 foot-Lamberts! I couldn't help wishing for a manual iris but only an automatic one is included. Tweakers may want to consider neutral density filters to improve contrast.

I discovered a couple of other quirks along the way. In the Advanced Setup menu, HDMI Format is set to Auto. I found that in order to see information below black and above white, I had to force the projector into PC mode. Neither the Auto nor Video modes would display the extra signal info. I also experimented a bit with the sharpness and clarity control settings. Normally I would set these at zero to avoid edge enhancement but the W7500 looked a bit soft when I did that. Leaving Sharpness at 1 and Detail Enhancement at 3 provided the best image with only a tiny bit of ringing on vertical lines which I could not remove. Go to Page 4: In Use