The BenQ W11000 DLP 4K Projector – This is the first true 4K projector using a single DLP chip; and the only one that puts out the actual 8.3 million pixels -and get this – without costing a 5-figure sum! If you’ve been holding off from investing in a 4K projector due to their exorbitant prices, you may now shortlist the W11000.
Launched at ISSE 2016 at ParkRoyal on Kitchener Road, the BenQ W11000 is the first projector of its kind to be granted THX-Certification! Developed over 18 months, it had passed 200 stringent bench-tests and met very strict standards. Projectors using DLP chips are found in 100% of IMAX cinemas, so indeed, you will be getting cinema-grade performance from this box!
Using DLP chip technology pioneered by Texas Instruments (TI) instead of multi-chip e-shift (like in other projectors) give the W11000 an edge you can’t ignore. Until now, if you need to beam 8.3 million individual pixels on a screen, you’ll have to buy projectors with a 5-figure price tag, like the Sony SXRD Series. More affordable projectors with 4K-ready output may cost much less, but does not actually put 8.3 million pixels on your screen. So how does it work?
Supposed 4K-ready projectors project picture that is actually upscaled Full-HD 1080p. E-shift technology starts from a standard 1080p picture and processes it by moving the pixels up diagonally, quadrupling the pixel count and sharpening the image quality. Even so, this means that 4K-ready projectors are not really putting out 8.3 million pixels, but a glorified version of your 1080p content!
Instead of starting from 1080p picture resolution, the single DLP 4K UHD DMD chip is able to start off at a higher resolution point of 2716 x 1528 pixels. Then, using XPR fast switching technology, the individual pixels on the DLP chip (4.15 million micromirrors, each measuring just 5.4 microns wide) double the output to an actual 8.3 million pixels on your screen – rendering true 4K! This is the first DLP projector that can legally slap the 4K Ultra HD sticker on its box, fully meeting CTA (Consumer Technology Association) benchmarks for 4K UHD displays. And from the demo that we were shown, this projector earned it!
To demonstrate the output prowess of the W11000, we were treated to a few familiar scenes from Life of Pi, which is fantastic. Since this is a movie I have watched a gazillion times, I can reliably use this as a benchmark! The colour was natural and lifelike, and the contrast levels were great! I almost forgot that these images are not coming from a 4K TV, but from a projector! Indeed, the development team tediously fine-tuned the colour to the point that it meets stringent REC. 709 compliance, as part of their quest to get certified by THX. Using a single DLP chip means that even fine lines were sharp and accurate, with no image artefacts.
One gripe I had about the picture was that the black levels were not the best that I’ve encountered. When I fed this back to BenQ’s brand manager, she pointed out that the room was not totally dark, which may have affected the black levels. (That actually made sense)
The other concern I had in mind was that this projector does not have HDR10 or DolbyVision support, which may not be a deal-breaker since projectors with HDR support are usually 5-figure affairs.
Also launched at the show is the THX HD-certified W8000 DLP Full-HD Projector. This will more than meet your requirements if you’re on the market for a good projector, but haven’t been sold on 4K yet! It is the only projector (at this price point) that has interchangeable lenses for different home situations. You can set it up in different room situations, whether in a small cinema room with a Wide Zoom lens; or a Long Zoom lens for a large hall – with maximum viewing distance of 11.1m!
The BenQ W11000 is available from mid-December and retails for S$7,299 (including GST) – a very attractive price for folks who thought that the only way to get 8.3 millions pixels on their screen is to cough out 5-figures! The W8000 is available now for S$3888 (including GST) packed with a Standard Lens.
For sales enquiries, please visit Home Cinemapit Pte Ltd and KEC Sound and Vision Pte Ltd.