At the end of the rainbow is a great projector.
Known as the ‘rainbow effect’, this DLP-specific issue causes brief red, blue or green trails behind moving objects in the scene. It’s most obvious in high-contrast areas, and is caused by the spinning colour wheel used within DLP projectors. The W7000 uses a 4x speed, six-segment wheel, which helps to minimise the effect, but we still clearly noticed it during the opening scenes of The Dark Knight. We’ve observed that heavy computer users and gamers tend to notice the rainbow effect more than ordinary folks, probably caused by spending too much time looking at screens. As a result, we highly recommend testing this projector before buying to see if you’re prone to the problem; if you are, DLP is probably not the projector type you're looking for.
If you are not susceptible to the rainbow effect, this is an excellent projector.
If you’re not part of the rainbow crew, the W7000 has some excellent qualities that set it ahead of similarly-priced LCD projectors. Pixel structure is basically invisible, even at stupidly close range, so it’s perfect for pedantic gamers. On the flipside, this projector packs plenty of detail into the image, with razor-sharp edges. Colour reproduction is excellent for a DLP, as is the contrast ratio. It tends a little towards green in certain colour modes, but this can be tweaked out using the wealth of options for calibration. There are even ISF settings hidden behind a password for perfectionists. Lens shift and a short-throw lens also allow for plenty of flexibility when it comes to mounting the projector. The W7000’s brightness is likewise dazzling, even when used at the extremes of the lens shift feature, making it suited to a medium-sized theatre room; it can however be a tad too bright for small screens.
3D performance is most impressive, especially considering this is BenQ’s first outing into the stereoscopic zone. Where many 3D projectors struggle with cross-talk (aka ghosting), the W7000 beams out a solid image with hardly any shimmering auras. While the unit doesn’t include any 3D glasses in the box, this is a DLP Link-compatible projector, so you don’t necessarily need to buy BenQ’s glasses. The extra brightness comes in handy when projecting in 3D, avoiding the dark images of the first generation of 3D projectors. This brightness could be why the lamp life is around half that of LCD projectors, coming in at just 2,000 hours.
If we weren’t so sensitive to the rainbow effect, the BenQ W7000 would be a frontrunner recommendation for projectors in the mid-range price bracket. Thankfully it’s not a universal problem. Spend an hour or so testing it out in your local showroom – if you can’t see anything for Kermit to sing about, you’ve got yourself an excellent projector.
Special features :
- 2,000 ANSI Lumens
- 50,000:1 contrast ratio
- 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution
- 2,000-hour lamp life
Pros : Excellent 2D and 3D performance.
Cons : Rainbow effect is still noticeable for sensitive viewers.
Verdict : 8/10. Highly Recommended!
Available from BenQ, retailing for $2,800