BenQ has been a major player in DLP front projection display technology for years, and the company's latest flagship projector, the W10000, is a one-chip design with Texas Instruments' new 1080p resolution chip. A good-size lamp means the 10000W will drive large screen sizes, which is an important consideration since most of the competitive 1080p resolution projectors are not as bright. This unit also sports an excellent feature package offering plenty of flexibility for setup and picture tuning. The W10000 is one of the top performers in the rarified category of 1080p resolution DLP front projection, and certainly trounces the LCoS projectors we have seen in that price range--including the $5,000 Sony VPL-VW50 "Pearl"--in just about every aspect of picture quality. When you consider that it sells for around $6,000 online, it's also one of the best values in the category.
The BenQ W10000's overall design is basic with a touch of sleekness. It's one of only a few one-chip DLP projectors with the lens assembly located smack in the center of the chassis, which adds to its attractively symmetrical look. The central lens also makes it much easier for installers to mount the projector on the ceiling correctly, relative to the screen. Our review sample was finished in a two-tone silver and white; the sides and rear were all silver, while the front and top were white. The W10000 measures 19.3x7.6x15.4 inches and weighs about 21 pounds.
The remote control has a simple, well thought out design. It's long and thin with complete backlighting for use in darkened theater environments. It has direct access keys for all inputs, aspect ratios, and picture controls. The menu key and navigation arrows are all located directly in the center of the unit. The zoom, focus, and lens shift features are all also directly accessible from the remote. Having these direct access functions will also make touch-panel remote control programming easier for custom installers. The internal menu system is simple and easy to navigate with five pages in total; the first page is devoted to basic picture controls, picture modes, and color-temperature selections.
This projector is feature-packed with utilities to help in setup and fine tuning the picture for optimum performance. A slew of preset picture modes are on board, including Cinema, Home Theater, Family Room, Photo, and Gaming. We chose Home Theater since it provided the closest approximation of a well-calibrated picture. BenQ is one of the few front projection manufacturers, along with high-end label Runco, to offer the ISF Day and Night Mode feature, which allows a technician to set up two locked modes that are fully calibrated.
Under the extended picture settings menu there are a number of selectable color temperatures, including Warm, Normal, Cool, and Lamp Native presets. Warm definitely is the closest to the broadcast standard of 6,500K. There are also two custom color temperature memory slots, labeled User 1 and User 2, that are used during calibration. The Advanced Menu contains the Iris settings, controls for grayscale calibration, 3D color management, and ISF C3 features.
The W10000's connection options are a little limited, namely because it offers only a single HDMI input, where most high-end displays have two or more. This is disappointing because with two inputs you can run your two best digital sources directly to the projector instead of having to switch them through an A/V receiver or switcher.
A component-video input and an RGBHV input with BNC connectors, which can also be configured for component video, are the second-best video connections available. The other obligatory analog video inputs include a single S-Video and one composite-video input. There's also an RS-232 port for custom remote control systems (it resembles a PC mouse connector instead of the traditional 9-pin configuration) and a 12-volt trigger for controlling electric drop-down screens.