Image: BenQ

With the new X12000 audio-visual projector, BenQ has taken the Ultra High Definition technology used in its lamp-based W11000 projector (full review in the current Sound+Image) and has switched the lamp for the wide-gamut high-brightness output of Philips ColorSpark HLD LEDs promising 20,000-hour long maintenance-free life.


BenQ W12000

As we discovered in our review of the W11000, BenQ has delivered Ultra High Definition projection at a price well below the incumbent Sony by using a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD, the Texas Instruments display technology) with 2716 by 1528 pixels, a total of 4.15 million, slightly more than double the number of pixels in full HD.

Image: BenQ

Then a Texas Instruments technology called XPR comes in — ‘eXpanded Pixel Resolution’. The resolution is doubled by means of an optical actuator which displays each physical pixel twice, each display shifted diagonally by certain amount. This sounds remarkably like the ‘pixel shifting’ technology of some other projectors about which we’ve been either dismissive or grudgingly accepting, depending on the implementation. But DLP switching speed is so fast that the shifted pixels are likely to be more cleanly separated from each other.

Using single-pixel test patterns we confirmed that the technology is capable of delivering actual honest-to-goodness display resolution of 8.3 million pixels. Texas Instruments calls the system ‘DLP 4K UHD DMD’.

The use of a DMD with a native 8.3 megapixels would be possible, but only at the cost of a much larger chip and so a very much larger price.

Image: BenQ

In the X12000 BenQ has taken the DLP 4K UHD DMD system and has added Philips’ ColorSpark HLD LED technology. This method of light generation delivers a wide colour gamut for colour quality, and up to three times brighter front-of-screen performance, notably an advanced High Lumen Density phosphor module claiming green light four times as bright as conventional green LEDs, working in tandem with high-brightness red and blue LEDs. High-grade optics are incorporated in a 14-element lens array structured into six groups.

Image: BenQThe result gives the X12000 projector an impressive 50,000:1 dynamic contrast and 2200 lumens output, allowing use even in bright environments and well-lit rooms. “Cinema-accurate colours” are claimed from the BenQ-exclusive CinematicColor Technology, capable of accurately delivering colours within the DCI-P3 gamut, significantly beyond that of Rec. 709 as used for HDTV.  

It’s a serious cinema projector offering that will be on sale in Australia for $9999.

Product page: BenQ Australia