RIO Snares Highly Rated BenQ W3000 Projector Distribution Deal
Days after snaring the rights to several leading sound brands Melbourne based distributor Rio has snared the rights to the W3000 BenQ home cinema projector.
BenQ a leading Taiwanese Company, are renowned for their monitors and projectors.
ChannelNews content partner Trusted Reviews recently rated the W3000 four out of five. They described it as “another great home-entertainment projector”
The big benefit that BenQ delivers is their sub $4,000 price tag for a projector that spec wise easily sits alongside significantly more expensive projectors from manufacturers such as Epson.
It uses better lens glass than the previous model, BenQ W2000 projector.
The new projector adds horizontal as well as vertical optical image shifting; introduces motion interpolation processing; offers more optical zoom; and ships with a pair of 3D glasses.
The silver fascia top contrasts tastefully with the gloss white of the projector’s other sides.
The W3000’s rear is crowded with connections. Among the highlights are two HDMIs, a D-SUB PC port, and RS-232 control port, a component video input, a composite video input, a 12V trigger output, a stereo audio input and a 3D Sync output.
The projector features a built-in 3D transmitter, which you can take advantage of using the active-shutter glasses included in the box.
You can also get an optional wireless HD system for the W3000, which would enable you to transmit HD video from source to the projector.
The W3000’s basic picture specifications find it rocking a Full HD single-chip DLP engine capable of hitting a peak brightness of 2000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. This contrast figure is slightly down on the W2000’s 15,000:1 – although, the W3000 certainly makes up for this in the form of some extras that the W2000 lacked.
Heading up the feature list is the Cinematic Colour system. First seen on the W2000, this technology claims to deliver a picture that gets very close to the Rec. 709 video industry standard right out of the box.
It’s built around a series of manual calibrations of every W3000 on the production line; software optimisation of the blacks, whites and greys; plus, a specially angled 6x speed RGB colour wheel, which has been coated in a new type of phosphor found to deliver the most accurate colour results.
Also carried over from the W2000 is BenQ’s surprisingly effective CinemaMaster audio system. Here, the combination of 10W speakers housed in resonant sound chambers with powerful audio processing delivers a powerful yet effectively dispersed soundstage than anything you’d usually hear from built-in projector audio systems.
One of the W3000’s key features over the W2000 is Motion Enhancer processing, which can interpolate extra frames of image data to reduce common projection issues such as jitter, blurring and image lag.
The W3000’s video processing also includes “enhancers” for both colour, detail/sharpness and flesh tones.
BENQ W3000 – SETUP
The W3000 is an impressively flexible projector. Particularly gratifying is the discovery of a generous 1.6x optical zoom, and both vertical and horizontal image-shifting to help you achieve the best picture possible, whether your projector is sat above, below or to the side of your screen’s centre.
The W3000 is also packed with picture calibration tools, including management of the six primary and secondary colours as well as white balance and gamma controls. So substantial are its setup aids, in fact, that the projector has been endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) as a model that can be professionally calibrated by one of its engineers.
However, most of these features are redundant with the existence of an accurate Rec. 709 mode right out the box. And so it proves for the most part, with the Cinema (Rec. 709) picture pre-set doing a superb job of delivering not only impressively accurate colours, but also a well-nuanced and balanced image with minimum input from you.
The W3000 subtly improves on the previous model in a number of picture areas, adding up to an overall step up in performance that makes it well worth the extra outlay.
For starters, the W3000 is capable of producing deeper black levels than the W2000, leaving less greyness hanging over dark scenes so that they look instantly more immersive and cinematic.
The enhanced black-level response also means, critically, that you can see far more detail in dark areas. In fact, for me the W3000 is in a class of its own in this price bracket of the market. In terms of contrast and shadow detail handling, it reveals subtleties and a sense of depth during dark scenes that other, similarly affordable projectors just can’t deliver.
It’s great, too, to see the projector’s rendition of black colours looking so neutral, with no infusion of the blue or green undertones that affect lesser projectors.
The W3000’s deft shadow detailing also means that dark scenes look far more “equal” of bright scenes than is usually the case with affordable projectors, making for a more consistent viewing experience with films that regularly shift between dark and light scenes.
Dark scenes also seem slightly less infiltrated by the gentle green speckling noise associated with single-chip DLP projector systems. Nor is there any sign of the fizzing noise over moving skin tones that was once a common flaw with single-chip DLP projectors.
Actually, the W3000’s pictures in general are startlingly free of almost all types of noise.
Even natural grain in films such as 300 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows prove no challenge to the W3000’s optics and processing. It’s even possible to run the motion processing on its low level without grain starting to look forced and unnatural.
I’m not implying here that the W3000’s pictures are in any way soft. On the contrary, they do a brilliant job of bringing out every pixel of detail, texture and definition from a good-quality HD source.
The point is that they do so naturally, without looking processed and without revealing any hint of the DLP chipset’s pixel structure.
And now to what movie fans will actually consider the W3000’s crowning glory: its excellent colour handling. Using the Cinema picture pre-set with minimum manual adjustment, colours look gorgeously natural in terms of both the natural feel to their tones and the outstanding subtlety with which even the finest blends are handled. This means there’s pretty much zero striping or blocking, even over tricky skin tones.
The tonal balance is immaculately judged too, with no hue standing out unnaturally above the rest. As a result, you always take in the image as a whole rather than having your eye drawn to specific areas of exaggerated colour.
Actually, the precision of the W3000’s colour handling is also the reason behind its images looking so detailed and full of depth.
Movement in the frame is handled well even if you don’t use the W3000’s motion processing system. And finally, it’s important to stress that despite the impressive black-level response and focus on accurate colours, pictures still look bright and punchy.
If the W3000 is exceptional with 2D content, it’s outstanding with 3D for its money.
The projector’s contrast performance also holds up well in 3D, which means dark 3D scenes avoid the relatively flat look they can suffer on displays with less contrast.
There was a time when reviewing the sound quality of a projector – assuming it had speakers built in at all – was a pointless task; the majority sounded uniformly poor. Recently, though, this has started to change.
The W3000 plays its part in this shift by delivering a soundstage that offers more clarity, detail and distortion-free volume than you’d ever expect a projector to manage.
One other noteworthy aspect of the W3000’s performance is its low running noise. In the Eco lamp setting it isn’t possible to hear the cooling fans at all, but even in the Smart Eco and Normal lamp modes the noise remains subtle enough not to become a distraction.
SHOULD I BUY A BENQ W3000?
If you’re a movie fan, then you’ll struggle to find better picture quality in a projector that costs less than $4,000.
The W3000 is, for the most part, another great home-entertainment projector from BenQ. Aside from the input lag issues, for which BenQ will hopefully develop a fix soon, the W3000 presents class-leading performance for the price.