Help me Rhonda ,,, these are good projectors ...

We have been hovering around this brand for a few years … they have always been the fringe solution for us in the past rather than the go to recommendation for a Home Theatre client,

They were prolific but perhaps a bit confusing and frankly the name connotations made them suspect … I mean BenQ  … like what sort of nouveau Asian Invasion Brand is that anyway … what is this pretentious usurper into our Sony and Sim2 landscape?

So I got taken away to Sydney a little while ago and locked into a dark room where I was made to see the error of my ways …

It turns out that BenQ is an Acronym where this Taiwanese high tech conglomerate is trying to sound all friendly and family … oh god our industry is so riddled with them. This is rather an odd one though:

Bringing enjoyment ‘n Quality to L.i.f.e … (the L.I.F.E is a silent acronym … Living better.  Increasing efficiency. Feeling healthier. Enhancing learning …)

I guess this is how a country like Taiwan that so straddles the worlds cultures develops its own culture ....

It transpires as well that BenQ are enormous in the world of projectors. For 10 years they have been the number one maker of DLP projectors in the world and are by far the largest supplier of 4K projectors in the Asia Pacific region with 34% of total supplied in 2018.

It turns out as well that they have a quite remarkable litany of media awards in this category from the critical industry and enthusiast publications.

So although they are a market leader in DLP 4K tech this new range of projectors for the home theatre enthusiast is really about the quality of their products colour rendition. To this they have trademarked “Cinematic Color” with the addition of Long Lasting as a dig against the relative half-life performance of DLP and LCD projectors.

While in the Sydney dark room I was plentifully bombarded with endorsements for BenQ from Filmmakers in the local industry scene. Jake Pollack was on hand to express his cinematographic delight at using BenQ for his production.

This facility for these new Ht projectors is based around their colour gamut reproduction capabilities with W5700 being entirely DCI-P3 compliant to enable proper UHDR compatibility. This is 25% improved on the prevailing Rec709 specification.

This all getting very acronymic I’m afraid but the W5700 supports the high dynamic range (HDR) content designed both for Blu Ray and the Live Broadcast HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) that has been developed by the BBC and NHK. You will see this on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games for example.

Mainstream HLG content is coming from YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and DirecTV amongst others.

The BenQ W5700 is the main thrust of their new theatre range. At $4000 its right in the heart of the price point for a high quality middle Australia home theatre set up.


Physically the W5700 is in the black rectangle with in vent and out vent central lens configuration that was first promulgated by the original triangular Sharp Z90 projector in the early noughties. This form factor is shared by most of the serious HT projectors now because … it works …

A couple of nice points … the finish is a cinematic matt black deliberately designed for low reflectivity in a screen environment. There is a protruding lip one the lens edge like a 1960’s Holden headlight that is very simply and cleverly there to catch dust that would otherwise gather on the lens when ceiling mounted.

The lensing is cool… there is a lot of plastic around on the market at this price range. The W5700 is a six group, eleven element glass array mounted in a metal barrel manufactured with extreme precision and coated with an optical low dispersion material. You don’t get a sharp long lasting picture without this basic piece of good optical technology that is often the last thing that the sales blurb on projectors talks about at this market level.

Another minor piece of ante upmanship on the W5700 is the use of a dynamic iris that can auto optimise the image via content detection for high brightness or high contrast performance.

Like it’s competitors from Sony and particularly the Epson this BenQ has very reasonable setup flexibility that make this generation of projectors a joy to install in comparison with erstwhile designs. It tends to the long throw situation for a dedicated room with the projector mounted at the back of the cinema space out of sight line of the users.

As a final point on the W5700 each one is ISF calibrated for exact out of the box colour reference.

The w2700 is the entry point 4K DLP model with a sell price of $2499. This designed as an upgrade for the enormously successful W1700 1080P model and as such is rather targeted at those more compact households where they would be inclined to pull out the projector for a special film night, sit it on a table and put a sport event or special movie or … very much its heart and soul … a video game …

This retains 95% of the DCI-P3 specification and is a very bright running machine. It doesn’t have that ultimate fierce clarity that the W5700 possesses but is very easy to set up. A shorter throw device than the W5700 it still has a glass lens array rather than the plastic of its contemporaries. Befitting its potential tabletop application the 2700 has speakers and the ability to play USB files, a very nice touch when you look at it closely is the half lens cover that prevents light reflection issues from a table top or near ceiling installation.

The USB port by the way is 3.0 spec with full range media capabilities and also serves as a firmware upgrade.

It turns out that Rising Sun Pictures who are the Australian CGI producers for much of the Marvel Comics type movies and are completely nuts about their colour and definition requirements for displays have actually chosen BenQs as being the best performing projectors for client show and tells and in their editing rooms.

They actually use W2700’s in their review rooms connected to Linux and Mac workstations. Apparently and unsurprisingly for this type of work there is a whole lot of gaming done in downtime along with 4K Netflix Streaming that the little W2700s also get fully worked on. The W2700 comes factory calibarated to Rec709 colour space and closely matches the Visual FX colour output calibration requirements.

They played us a piece of Alitia Battle Angel in 4K HDR … I can’t wait to see this movie.

The last one of this new trio of home cinema devices is the fabulous XVZ12000H

This is a hallmark projector … not cheap at $10K but it is cheap in comparison to devices that may have preceded it with this level of performance and utility and longevity.

So the 12000 is LED based rather than powered by a halogen globe. This not only gives magnificent dynamic range and colour purity but means that there is no globe replacement, the device runs vastly cooler and quieter, the luminosity half life issues and ongoing linear degradation of the globe based products are completely obviated. Allied to the DLP technology that remains the industry standard for longevity and durability this projector represents a big step off the conventional treadmill of obsolescence and limited product life that plague much of this product category.

The 12000 is not for the those who don’t appreciate the value of a good cinema, however if you have already owned a projector and are ready for the next level you really need to come and have a go on this THX specification Cinema device.

Suffice to say we liked it so much that we were able to replace another product that retailed at over twice its price in our store demonstration line up.