Projectors

BenQ W7500 Single-Chip DLP Projector

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The BenQ W7500 Projector In Use

For movie-watching, I try to select titles that represent the best and worst quality transfers. I like to see a display show the bad as well as the good, but if a projector can do a decent job with a poorly mastered Blu-ray, all the better.

I mentioned previously that BenQ uses a 6X color wheel to combat the rainbow effect. While I am not in the one percent group that sees them all the time, I can observe the effect if I flick my eyes back and forth while watching a white-on-black grid pattern. With the W7500 and its high-speed color wheel, I was unable to see any rainbows even when I moved my eyes quickly. The extra rotational speed really does make a difference. If you have crossed DLPs off your list because of the rainbow effect, you might want to test a W7500 and see if it suits you.

I started with the new release of Fried Green Tomatoes. This film switches between past and present and has a slightly different color palette for each period. The warmer tones of the flashback sequences rendered nicely with just a tiny bit of red push. The transfer keeps the original film grain intact and it was very present though not to the point of distraction. Close-up shots looked nice and sharp with good color detail while the wide-angle pans were softer and grainier. This disc has a little bit of black crush at times but the W7500 didn't look too murky with this content. I did miss the rich blacks I'm accustomed to from LCD and LCoS projectors but the auto-iris did a decent job of improving contrast.

Turning to one of the worst Blu-ray transfers I've ever seen, I cued up Force 10 From Navarone. This disc has every color error and video artifact in the book and unfortunately, the W7500 didn't do it any favors. The red push was intensified by the poor color of this transfer. In this case, I'd have to say the BenQ made the Blu-ray look a little worse than I've seen on other projectors.

I had just seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the first time on Blu-ray and I remarked on how incredibly dark it was. Most of the competition sequences take place at night and though the detail is there, it takes a fine display to show it all. While the W7500's black levels aren't reference quality, its detail rendering is quite good. Nothing was crushed and I didn't observe any softness. It was actually nice not to have to strain to see everything! While I still prefer the deepest blacks possible, this projector would give you a shot at watching this film with the lights on!

I finished up my 2D watching with Star Trek Into Darkness. Its opening scene takes place on a very red alien planet. While the W7500 made these reds a little more intense, there was no loss of detail and the extra saturation was not objectionable. The all-important flesh tones held up just fine and detail was solid. And contrast looked fantastic. The grayish blacks didn't bother me as much on this reference-level title.

3D Movies

Since my Star Trek Into Darkness package included a 3D version of the film, a back-to-back comparison was a no-brainer. The W7500 did a great job with this material. While this isn't a great example of 3D, it looked about as good as it could here. Colors were still nice and saturated despite the reduced light output of around 66 percent. When you insert a 3D Blu-ray, the projector automatically kicks into the 3D picture mode and turns the lamp up to its high setting. You can still use the frame interpolation if you want although it gives motion the same un-natural look as it does in 2D.

Avatar is still, and will be for some time, the benchmark 3D title. Depth cues are done perfectly and the sense of immersion is something you won't see in any other film. Contrast is fantastic with nice deep blacks and bright highlights. I kept the Dynamic Black option turned on and it definitely made a difference to the positive. After watching Avatar I'd have to say this is the best 3D I've seen on a projector to date. Go to Page 5: On The Bench