Sure, televisions have had it easy when it came to HDR, but the slow-to-take-off projectors are off to a flying start and the latest BenQ could well be a tipping point for mid-end, big-screen entertainment at home.
The more expensive and accomplished of the two new projectors that Benq launched last month, the W5700 is marginally more expensive than the smaller W2700 but is distinguished primarily by its headlining feature of supporting 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Using the new Texas Instruments 0.47in DLP chip that promises true 4K resolution with 8.3 million pixels, the W5700 is one of the first of the kind of projectors that are capable of reproducing the Wide Colour Gamut along with 4K and HDR, equipped to handle the latest, uncompressed UHD Blu-ray discs.
Aesthetically, the W5700 instantly evokes images of a serious home-theatre built around a dedicated room as opposed to a family room where you just need a large picture.
Spec wise, it’s a bit down on brightness compared to the W2700 but it also focuses more on colour accuracy than outright lumens. It is rated at 1800 lumens but part of its suite of HDR Pro technology is the specific setting for HDR Brightness, Wide Colour Gamut mode and Dynamic Iris, all of which combine to provide a stellar 4K picture on your screen. On our 140in Milan Classic line screen, the W5700 delivered an evenly balanced, rich and detailed picture that only took a few minutes to set up.
Thanks to both horizontal and vertical lens shift, it provides enough flexibility in installation and with its centrally mounted lens. Hooded to deter dust build-up, it is important to note that 4K projectors need to have quality optics to ensure the resolution from the chip is transferred to the screen unadulterated and the W5700 delivers with a precision 11-piece all-glass lens system that has been made specifically for true-4K.
BYE BYE, LED!
There is a ton of fine-tuning options you can choose to indulge in but even the out-of-the-box performance is acceptable. We reigned in some of the 4K enhancement, turned off any motion processing and with a quick colour/contrast/brightness tweak, settled in with Deadpool 2 on our Sony UHD player. The opening scene right before the bad guys get dismembered has Deadpool on a rooftop of a building and everything from a little oil spill on the floor to his textured suit is almost touchable in its clarity and detail. HDR10 works its magic once you get the colour temperature right, which in this case isn’t that hard at all. There is genuine pop in the colour without blooming or loss of depth.
Switch to regular HD, the colours on the American Sniper Blu-ray disc look as natural as on the best examples out there, TV or projector. The washed out colour palette is preserved perfectly without any artificial saturation and motion is 24fps smooth, judder and artefact-free. The blacks could’ve been deeper and although there is Dynamic Iris and WCG at your disposal, you do miss the absolute inky darkness of a night sky that is seen on some of the more accomplished and expensive options. It still does a fantastic job of showing off shadow detail so nothing is missing really. The key words here are ‘more expensive’ because at this price, the W5700 could emerge victorious in any group test of comparable projectors, it’s that good!
Then there are some features goodies too like the USB 3.0 media reader built-in for playback of 4K movies right off a pen drive. It also supports 3D in case you have glasses lying around and its fan noise is kept well under check too. Hot keys on the remote for HDR and CinemaMaster help to get around key settings quickly make it easier while a Delta E of less than 3 ensures that the colours are as natural and faithful to the original source as can be.
Be it a mid-end or a high-end install, the BenQ W5700 will leave you breathless with its naturalness and HDR implementation.