BenQ today announced a pair of new 4K UHD home cinema projectors, including the $2499 W2700, which comes loaded with features including Ultra-HD resolution (delivered by Texas Instruments’ four-flash DLP470TE digital micromirror device), support for High Dynamic Range in HDR10 and HLG flavours, and 95% delivery of the DCI-P3 colour space.

But for many home cinema fans, its smartest feature of all may be that it’s been designed as a direct replacement for the highly successful W1070 and W1070+ projectors. That means users of those models can keep their mounts, their screens, and simply swap in the new 4K W2700 model with the minimum of fuss, and no fiendish screen size and throw distance calculations required.

The demonstrations at the launch were impressive, and we await a unit for full review. Meanwhile we can report on the key specifications, which include UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160, a brightness level of 2000 ANSI lumens, and a full-on full-off contrast ratio of 30,000.

BenQ made much at the launch of the company’s desire for accuracy above all, and for colour in particular. The 30-bit colour of the W2700 achieves 100% of the Rec. 709 colour space, and more — 125%, we were told, if that quite makes sense, since it extends beyond Rec. 709  to achieve 95% of the wider DCI-P3 space. And this is backed by factory colour calibration for every unit (image above) — they come with individual certificates saying so. We have found (and ISF calibrators have confirmed) that previous BenQs have emerged from the box requiring remarkably little colour adjustment, so the W2700 seems likely to continue this achievement.

The W2700 has a 1.3x zoom, with vertical lens shift, delivering a 100-inch image at a distance of 2.5 metres, and BenQ Australia’s Managing Director Martin Moelle described it as being “for living room home cinema”, thereby distinguishing it from the larger W5700 ($3999), which is “born for dedicated AV rooms”. One interesting feature on the W2700 is the ability to raise a cover over the lower portion of the lens (see above), which will reduce reflections from a table surface or, if ceiling mounted, from reflective ceilings. Mind you we forgot to ask what this might do in terms of brightness and image quality, but we’ll let you know in the upcoming review.   

There are twin HDMI inputs, and the W2700 chassis even includes speakers, should you not (as we’d advise) be running a separate sound system capable of matching the bigscreen image for impact. There is also a USB slot for media playback, and also for firmware updates, simplifying the previous update procedure.

One key improvement over early DLP-based 4K projectors is the W2700’s support for true 24Hz as well as 60Hz frame rates. While 50Hz is supported at 1080p, we note that UHD at 50Hz is omitted from the specifications, so await our review to confirm 50Hz behaviour. Pleasingly for those with 3D Blu-ray collections, 3D is supported at 1080p (there is, to our knowledge, no such thing as 4K 3D!).   

A single micromirror on the
DLP470TE from Texas
Instruments, showing its ability
to pivot in two directions and
address four separate
onscreen pixel positions.

The projector uses a six-segment RGBRGB colour wheel, while the UHD resolution is achieved by the same DLP470TE Digital MicroMirror Device (DMD) used in the award-winning TK800 and W1700 projectors. This uses four flashes of 1920 x 1080 from a .47-inch DMD to deliver the full 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution of UHD (commonly now called 4K, though some prefer to keep 4K for the professional 4096 x 2160 resolution).  

BenQ’s President of the Asia-Pacific region Jeffrey Liang, was on hand to present BenQ’s achievements in holding the no.1 spot in DLP projection for a full decade, and the no.1 spot in 4K projection in Asia-Pac and the Middle East, include market shares of 30.8% in Australia, 35.5% in China, a remarkable 37% in Japan, and a collossal 79% in Saudi Arabia.

The BenQ CinePrime W2700 will be available by end-March, with an RRP of $2499. For more information, visit www.benq.com.au