With all this discussion, has there been any forum members here that actually bought one or tested one yet?
If not, here is my quick review of the BENQ W1700 4K UHD projector.
The box is smallish made from glossy cardboard, and reminded me more of a data grade than a HT projector. Inside, the projector is packed will in bubble wrap and that white semi closed cell foam used for packing their larger units. You will find a long power cord (3 PIN AU to IEC or jug plug), an instruction booklet with a disc and the remote and batteries.
Set up is fairly simple with this as it designed to sit on a coffee table (mode 1 front), with the lens centered and about 6" (150mm) below the screen frame.
THERE IS NO LENS SHIFT!!!
THIS IS A SHORT THROW DEVICE at a max of about 1.8:1 (16:9 image width divided into the distance from the screen to the lens).
The panel controls are basic and with manual zoom (1.2x?) and focus recessed into the top of the case. The image chip is apparently a new DMD at just 0.47" which it uses to produce the 8.3M pixels needed to make a UHD image. On the back is 2 HDMI ports and where #1 is labeled 2.2. The other would be a standard 1.4. Sorry for going into further detail here but apart of from power, I had no use for the other connections.
Now I did use this with my HUGE anamorphic lens because I needed to test its compatibility with CIH systems. THERE IS NO LETTERBOX MODE! If it were not for the OPPOs 21:9 mode, this would not work for me.
So what I did find neat was the IR sensors seem to pick up the remote signals even when blocked by a huge hunk of glass and alloy. Bonus!
Power up and the projector is fairly quiet for such a small chassis. I did use a Kordz (supposed to be 18gig) HDMI lead direct from port 1 of the OPPO 203 with a second lead from the audio out to the AVR. This means that I don't need to have the latest AVR to use this, although given all the Dolby ATMOS soundtracks, I do want to upgrade sooner than later.
Sync takes about 10secs. Not sure why, but once locked, works well.
The menus are pretty straight forward and BenQ has added an advanced section just below the main user controls. In previous models you had to go right out of the user menu to access the advanced.
THIS PROJECTOR IS BRIGHT! I was getting reading of 33FL or 128 nits last night and, as a result, this projector has a pretty poor black floor. The interesting thing about DLP is that blacks in the image can be inky, but a full black field is never black. And with this projector, it is a medium light grey at best. Also, you are going to want light control in both the room and around the screen. I would recommend black car carpet and not just dark paint on the walls.
I only tested HDR10 and the one DOLBY VISION I have is STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI.
Out of the box this thing has a green push, but the white balance takes care of that and I was able to get a solid x: 0.313, y:0.329 for both Gain and Bias. Grey scale didn't track as flat as I would have liked but I am sure once there is some hours on the lamp (this was new out of the box), it would would stabilize.
In previous DLP UHD projectors, Colour Space has been limited to REC709. This projector has (an almost) P3 colour gamut. The problem is, when you set grey to D6500K or x: 0.313, y:0.329, it messes up the ability to display green at the P3 xy, properly. And during calibration, it did not seem to want to allow me to push red and blue. So there is a compromise to be made here.
As mentioned, the black floor sucks. Peak whites are bright and what I liked was the ability to do the highlights. With my BenQ (older SDR 1080P), I have to use the HDR to SDR converter in the OPPO with the slide set to about 150 nits. This thing however is a light cannon and I was able to push that slide up to 500nits with 400 nits being preferred. In the end, I ran auto and HDR turned ON on the projector and it bypassed the HDR converter. THE SHALLOWS is a very bright disc with lots of white water and sun and this little projector displayed this with no issues.
I found it tended to make darker movies a bit flat. BLADE RUNNER 2049 and THE LAST JEDI didn't have the pop that I can get from the older SDR BenQ. I am sure with more work, there is a solution here.
Is this the be all to end all? NO! Is this a great value for money projector for those on a budget wanting in to the 4K club? YES!
Would I buy this projector? Without the OPPO's 21:9 mode, NO! I can't use it because of no letterbox mode. Simply a deal breaker for me.
Because of the short throw, I would need to ditch my rear row of seats and even though I don't sit there, it would take away from the design of the room. I could mount this on the ceiling and keep the seats, but I have always though that projectors on poles cheapen the look of a HT. Given I will be adding a heap of frame work to the ceiling when I do the ATMOS upgrade, I guess I could hide it up there, but no, I like my long throw and shooting through a port hole.
In a nutshell, the key difference on screen is that there is no jaggies on text with UHD. The wider colour does look nice and the added brightness for highlights works for me. Apart from the mentioned issues, this should be considered a great entry level projector for those wanting UHD.