Buying good projector is always a costly affair. You have to spend good amount of money and at end you might release you bought something with less features. Projectors are usually recommended for business work. What about home entertainment? Most of people just prefer to go with a big size FULL HDTV that is easy to setup and control. It offers hassle free in connecting set top box, PC, Portable Devices, etc. BenQ has some model that is good for home entertainment. You can also use them for your presentation work. One thing I agree that projectors do need a dedicated placement strategy. If they are not placed well the screen output is not fascinating. Compare to a TV, in Projector we can extend the limit of screen size. It can just give you the cinema type of experience at your home. In this review we are going to talk about BenQ W1080ST projector. A DLP Short Throw Projector, simple to setup and comes with 3D features. Last time we had tested BenQ W1070. Both falls in the Home Theater product line by BenQ. The cost of BenQ 1080ST lies around Rs.1,19,990 (Amazon). BenQ W1080ST offers a 1080p Full HD Resolution. It delivers 10,000:1 Contrast Ratio and 2000 Lumen brightness. The cost might be high here, but in after testing out it looks to be a value for money product. BenQ W1080ST fulfills your need for office as well as home usage. Playing a high resolution video is amazing experience. For theater type effect you need a good surround sound audio system. The integrated speakers are not good and BenQ does not provide 3D glasses with the package. We had received a 3D glass in BenQ W1070. Before moving ahead and checking out the product in more details let’s have a look on the features and specs.
- Full HD 1080P Resolution: Enjoy amazing HD quality output on Blu-Ray and high resolution videos.
- ISFccc Certification : Auto control Day and Night Mode for better viewing experience
- Short Throw Projector: Get screen upto 65.7” from a distance of 1meter.
- 3D Ready – Nvidia 3DTV Technology support. Also supports 3D and Motion sensing gaming.
- Speaker – Integrated 10W speaker for simple audio output.
- Easy Connectivity – Dual HDMI and standard display port for hassle free connection.
- SmartEco & EcoBlank Mode – Green technology support to preserve maximum power.
- Projection System – DLP
- Native Resolution – 1080p (1920 x 1080)
- Brightness – 2000 ANSI Lumen
- Contrast Ratio – 10000:1
- Display Color – 1.07 Billion Colors
- Lens – F= 2.6-2.78, f=10.2-12.24mm
- 16:9 Aspect Ratio – Native 16:9 (5 aspect ratio selectable)
- Projection Ratio – 0.69-0.83 (65.7"@ 1M)
- Image Size (Diagonal) – 38"-300"
- Zoom Ratio – 1.2:1
- Lamp Type – 240W
- Lamp(Normal/Economic Mode/SmartEco Mode) – 3500/5000/6000 hours
- Keystone Adjustment – 1D, Vertical ± 20 degrees
- Projection Offset – 105%±5%
- Resolution Support – up to WUXGA
- Horizontal Frequency – 15K-102KHz
- Vertical Scan Rate – 23-120Hz
- Connectivity – D-sub, HDMI , RCA, S-Video, Component Video, Audio in, USB, RS232 and Integrated speaker
- Dimensions – 312x104x244 mm
- HDTV Compatibility – 480i, 480p, 576i, 567p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
- Video Compatibility – NTSC, PAL, SECAM, SDTV
- Weight – 2.85KG
- Power Supply – AC100 to 240 V, 50 to 60 Hz
Package Content – BenQ W1080ST comes packed with few useful accessories. It has a nice carry bag that can help you to carry it easily with you.
BenQ W1080ST ShortThrow DLP Proector
Carry Bag & Remote Control w/ Battery
Power Cord (by region), User Manual CD /Quick Start Guide /Warranty Card (by region) & VGA(D-sub 15pin) Cable
BenQ W1080ST features a portable design. The dimension is 312x104x244 mm. It is quiet complicated to get stable screen quality if you keep on moving the projector from one place to another. The best place is ceiling. It has a nice glossy finish on the top side with menus keys. Most of the things can be controlled through the remote. The weight is around 2.8kg. Let’s have a look on the entire projector design:
On the front side the first one is IR sensor for the remote, then comes the projection lens (with lens cover) and next to that is the Vent. The vent has a fan fixed inside that draw out hot air. There are overall 3 vent on the entire body. In the center bottom there is a push button. It opens up tiny stand that can help you to life the projector bit up.
Left / Right:
On the left lies a speaker and vent. The same thing is placed on the right also. 10W integrated speakers are good enough to give decent audio output.
At the top side in the lens unit you will get two rings. First is focus and the other one is zoom ring. This model does not comes with lens shift. This was provided in the last reviewed mode W1070.
At the lower end you can see a control panel with separate power button. Using the projector is more comfortable through remote.
At the bottom we have ceiling mount holes. There are not additional screws or a mounting panel comes in the package that can help us to hook this monitor on the ceiling. We have to buy that separately. There are two adjustment footers available. Rotate them to increase the height from backside.
All connectivity ports are placed on the backside. The power cable is placed at the bottom. And above the entire panel consist of various connectivity ports. They are:-
Two HDMI ports for hd video display. You can also connect a blu ray player, pc, laptop, tablet, etc through this to the projector.
12VDC output terminal. This port is for connecting an external device like additional lighting or an electric screen. Component cables are provided to DVD/CD player type of devices. A mini USB port is provided which is not for our use. It is used by the service center.
There are two RGB ports. The regular VGA ports are one of them through which we can connect our laptop and PC. S-Video Input. Another type of video input connection for old digital cameras. Audio L/R Jack – Audio connections for home theater and regular speakers. Audio In/Out jack – Regular 3.5mm audio jacks for various audio devices.
BenQ W1080ST is a decent projector. It looks nice but gets really hot while using. The air is push out from the front side. So if you are sitting somewhere nearby the projector you can feel that. The settings have a Quick Cool option that can help a little when you are not using it.
BenQ W1080ST is a kind of plug and play projector. Just remove it from the box and turn it on. Through VGA the output is bit limited but when you connect it through HDMI you will get much better image quality. The setup requires a bit time. Being a Short Throw Projector adjustment matters the most. I had tested it from different location. Once you are bit used to the settings you can make it from different corners. Below you can see the way it projects the screen.
Making changes in the screen and aspect ratio can be done through the menu keys or with the remote. It has a simple OSD menu through which you can modify many things. The remote also has a SmartEco button. This helps you to save power. It is ideal for those who will be using it for the entirely day.
With different connectivity options you can connect it with various devices. Like a laptop or a pc. HDMI is the most common today. For TV it supports NTSC,PAL, SECAM and SDTV. It is good for the quality purpose. Adding a good screen is necessary here. You can find projectors screens easily online. This screen helps more light reflection compare to walls or other plain surface.
The projectors come with ample of smart features that allow you to get the right resolution as per your need. Being a Slow Throw Projector the placement never creates a big issue. You can put it from a distance of 1meter and get a maximum of 65.7inch of screen. Videos and images are much clear when you watch them from a distance. If you are sitting too near you might not get the right color effect. BenQ W1080ST looks to be designed for those has big screen requirement but does not has enough space for placement. It is portable and lightweight. You can set a small screen by putting the aspect ratio at 4:3. But if you have enough space then you can make it 16:9 with highest resolution available. For PC keep the same on Real and change the screen resolution. For DVD, Blu Ray type of devices these things are adjusted automatically.
Through the menu you can switch from different screen modes and aspect ratio. This helps you to instantly modify the screen size. And if you are using it on a PC, then you can do that through changing the screen resolution. BenQ W1080ST comes with Nvidia 3DTV Technology. You have to buy 3D Glasses separately. This model is capable of giving you rich video output. Adding a surround sound home theater audio is recommended if you are a serious cinema fan. If you are going to use it for office and presentation purpose then integrated speakers are more than enough. It nicely handles dark scene and color quality. It has 6 segment color wheel that provide realistic color effects and rich gray scale that gives more detailed dark images.
The Home Theater setup:
For Cinema type experience a regular HDTV gives you high resolution, Dolby Digital type audio technology and different video modes. In BenQ W1080ST we have more than this except the audio. It lacks Dolby Digital or Theater type audio output. It mostly cover the video part. You can use a third party surround sound system. For connectivity to the projector we have a 3.5mm audio jack only. So it is a bit impossible to add multi-channel speaker set that we get with a blu ray player or TV. It works mostly with PC speakers. That can be a 2.1 or 5.1. Screen resolution is amazing. You can get from 38inch to 300inch image size on this. That is approx a 25feet image size. It depends on the type of port you are have. Like on VGA it can be limited to 8 to 12feet but if you switched to HDMI this increases more. Aspect ratio also affects the screen size. The screen size depends on the output device. If you have a pc with high end graphic card then you can get the maximum size instantly.
BenQ W1080ST produces brilliant image quality. 1080P resolution gives clear and bright detailed pictures. It has 240w lamp. The output changes on the basis of different mode. On Normal mode it offer you 3500hours of output and 5000/6000 on Eco and SmartEco mode. The projector is optimized for dynamic power saving. This is where the SmartEco technology works. It does not affect much picture quality. There will tiny change which is not visible once you turn on this mode. It is good to keep the power usage limited. As per BenQ this technology can help you to save around 70% of the lamp power without affecting the screen quality. Under normal mode the power consumption lies around 296w which is reduced to 163w once SmartEco is enabled. We had found this projector economical in usage. The only thing concern is heating.
BenQ W1080ST is ideal for home and office use both. It comes with composite feature that are required for ideal home cinema experience as well for business presentation. It provides you 3D and Motion sensing support through which you can enjoy your favorite game and movies. The 10W integrated speakers are fair enough for a single room producing a decent audio out up. But not sound effects. Adding a good 2.1 speaker will maximize the viewing benefits. BenQ W1080ST is similar to W1070 that we had tested before. The cost o BenQ W1080ST is around Rs.1,19,990.00 (Amazon). it is a good home entertainment projector. 3D setup required a bit extra skills and you have buy the 3D glasses also. Good audio system (3.5mm) + BenQ W1080ST is enough to setup your own personal home theater.
- Easy Setup
- Amazing Video Picture quality
- Nvidia 3DTV Technology
- No 3D Glasses in the Package
- Average Audio