BenQ W20000 Projector - Review

BenQ W20000 Projector - Review

BenQ W20000 Projector - ReviewIn the past, BenQ's products have always been remembered for their value-for-money proposition. These have included its extensive range of affordable yet competent projectors and LCD TVs. This, however, may be a thing of the past taking into consideration some of its recent releases. Most notably, the S$12,999 (US$8,551.97) W20000 full-HD projector which took the crown for one of the priciest 1080p DLPs in town. Having said that, this latest entry is by far the most promising DLP around, combining a stylish shell and a powerful video engine.

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Forget the usual fluff you read on colorful brochures and ads. As far as good picture quality is concerned, there are only a few key factors that differentiate the real McCoy from the pretenders. The DarkChip 3 engine-based W20000 seems to fall under the former with a future-proofed full-HD resolution and a DLP class-leading 20,000:1 dynamic contrast. These, coupled with Texas Instruments' BrilliantColor technology-enhanced 1.07 billion color palette and 1,200 ANSI lumens brightness, deliver plenty of "fire power" for this beamer to stand out among the crowd.

Another major upgrade which will put a smile on any videophiles' face is a switch from Faroudja DCDi to a higher-end Silicon Optix HQV Reon processor. This is a tried-and-proven video chip that has won accolades for its artifacts- and jaggy-free DVD deinterlacing (interlace to progressive video signal conversion) and upscaling. For Hollywood-tuned hues, professional color calibration is catered via Imaging Science Foundation Certified Calibration Controls or ISFccc. This delivers ISF Day and ISF Night picture modes tailored to compensate for your in-room lighting conditions.

Connectivity-wise, you will have access to two HDMI 1.2 terminals compatible with standard 50/60Hz 1080p signals, as well as native film-centric 24Hz flavor. For backward compatibility with older equipment, there are also dual sets of component-video sockets (one of which doubles as a PC input) and legacy S-video and composite jacks, too. On a separate note, this BenQ is one of the rare DLP sets to ship with a powered vertical lens shift function. This gives users leeway to offset vertically off-centered projector-to-screen setups, including ceiling and shelf-mounting.


For all its enticing video prowess and value-added motorized controls, the W20000 is slapped by an uptight S$12,999 (US$8,551.97) price tag; a move definitely unexpected from a brand well-regarded for its value-for-money offerings. Having said that, it's right smack in the middle of the pack between the premium Marantz VP15S1 and pricey InFocus PlayBig IN82, both sporting lower contrast and a lesser processor. At such pricing, we are pretty sure BenQ could have done a better job by shortening the mid-long throw distance. With the current measly 1.2x zoom, you will need at least a 4m depth to cast a theatrical 100-inch projection.


On the one hand, we're delighted with the goodies that the BenQ W20000 has to offer under its shiny white hood. On the other hand, it's taking us quite a while to get accustomed to the attached five-figure price ticket. Could BenQ be taking a cue from Pioneer and the latter's excellent but pricey Kuro plasma TVs? Only time will tell. But if you're on the verge of upgrading your 480p projector and are on the lookout for a high-performance DLP entry, do take a look at this Taiwanese beauty with a feisty punch.