When you're selecting a projector for your home theatre, often we're restricted by budget. But what if you're not? What would be the ultimate projector to have in your small screen cinema at home? Introducing the BenQ W11000H, a massive 4K projector that's packed with features and ready to send movies, games and really whatever you want, in the very best quality to the biggest wall you have available.
If you want to entertain your friends and family, while also making the jealous of your setup, this is a great place to start. The W111000 is BenQ's flagship consumer projector and as such offers the best image quality, even landing THX Certification. After spending a few weeks with it, it's time to detail my thoughts on the projector and let you know if it's worth the money, because the price tag is a whole lot of money.
Size does matter
The body of the W11000H is essentially a copy of the W11000 we reviewed back in 2016. It's big, bold and unapologetic for its size (470.7mm wide x 224.9mm heigh and 564.7mm deep). The black chassis is constructed with one thing in mind, absolute focus on delivering the best picture quality through the massive lens at the front.
The projection system runs down the center, with a front-facing ventilation system that sucks air in, flows it through the components to cool them, then vents the hot air out the other side. This airflow design means the W11000H’s is great not only for subtle ceiling-mounted installations where the back is close to the wall, but also find to be placed discreetly in cabinetry, or wall inset.
The body is large in size, but in terms of colour scheme is a nice blend of matt-black and grey plastics that mean it doesn't grab headlines, instead letting the picture do the talking, just like at commercial cinemas.
The top of the projector is broken up, only by 2 control knobs that adjust the physical vertical (65%) and horizontal (27%) shifting of the lens. Cheaper models can offer some software adjustments, but they've got nothing on the ability to physically dial in the adjustments, quick and easily. This level of adjustment is most important when you're dealing with an existing mount that can't be moved, of course if you get the chance to design a new home, you'll design it with placement of a projector in mind.
In terms of the control panel, the W11000H’s offers an port component that separates the power and video signal to eliminate interference. On the same side, there's a control interface that is available by sliding the cover open, in the event you lose your remote, or run out of battery and need to operate things manually. The only other compartment is the bulb replacement panel on top, but given the lamp life, you won't be needing this for years.
Forget the price, what will it do for you?
Let's face it, you don't buy this projector for the design, you buy it for the features, namely the amazing 4K picture quality. The BenQ W11000H is a DLP projector that uses 4.15 million micromirrors and XPR dual-position actuator fast switching and to produce it's 3840 x 2160 resolution. The black levels on this projector are amazing, helped by sending great source material like a UHD Blue-ray with HDR via the Xbox One X. From games to movies, this projector is easily the best I've seen from a consumer projector.
The list of features available of the W11000H but that doesn't mean setup needs to be complex. When unboxing the projector, I was met with a THX certification card that gave me confidence the projector was configured to operate to the best of its abilities, without the owner needing to be an expert, or pay for one. Of course there's custom controls if you want to adjust to your environment, but I found the built-in display modes were more than adequate of providing a brilliant experience.
In terms of inputs on offer, there's 2x HDMI (HDMI 1: HDMI 2.0 & HDCP 2.2; HDMI 2: HDMI 1.4a & HDCP 1.4), PC (VGA), USB (Type mini B for firmware upgrades), LAN, RS232 (for servicing), DC 12V Trigger for triggering external devices such as an electric screen or light control, etc. There's also an IR in port if you need to run an IR extension to a better location.
Controlling the W11000H is made easy thanks to a very capable remote. Also large in size, the remote is a big upgrade on BenQ's cheaper consumer range, with a added feeling of substance and premium finishes align with the price point of the device. Importantly it feels good in the hand, albeit not particularly ergonomic, you can reach almost all common functions without moving your hand.
Now let's take a look at the detail of the features on offer:
THX Certified Genuine Cinema Performance
Reserved only for best-in-class AV systems, THX Certification guarantees accurate content reproduction as directors intended. With 100% Rec.709 color accuracy, precise gamma, ideal color temperature, enhanced uniformity, super high native contrast ratio, and pre-calibrated THX Mode, W11000H produces the most accurate out-of-the-box picture quality possible.
Supercharged by HDR10 support with BenQ exclusive Auto HDR Color Rendition and Cinema-Optimized technology, W11000H’s High Dynamic Range performance offers greater brightness, contrast range, and image optimization in a single step, bringing out every detail in 4K video content for superior cinema enjoyment.
Image Integrity and Color Accuracy
With single DMD DLP technology to avoid inherent alignment issues of multiple panels, W11000H presents image integrity and accurate color, especially with ultrafine 4K pixels much smaller than 1080p pixels. W11000H generates razor-sharp images and accurate colors devoid of artifacting such as blur, shadowing, and interference patterns for immaculate clarity.
Precision 14-Element 6-Group Lens Array
Super-high resolution 14-element lens array is structured into six groups with metal barrel and cell framework, far outshining 1080p projector technology with greater light penetration for long-lasting 4K intensity with heart-stopping color performance, clarity, and sharpness across the entire screen.
4K-Optimized Lens for Pure Clarity
With class-leading lens architecture, s optical engine is specifically designed for spectacular 4K image quality, offering True Zoom function and presenting the best viewing quality with flawless optics.
Immaculate True Zoom
W11000H’s True Zoom system adjusts automatically to follow focus adjustments, optimizing the zoom ratio to deliver visually perfect focus without blemish. The three focusing lens groups adjust simultaneously with the zoom lens group to negate any curved field for immaculate cinematic performance and high-precision clarity at every corner of the image.
Flawless Optics for Superb Image Quality
The BenQ 4K optical system uses only the highest grade glass for superior light penetration and realistic image quality. Proprietary low-dispersion lens coatings minimize chromatic aberration, so you can enjoy your favorite 4K UHD content in brilliant clarity.
100% Rec.709 for Color Accuracy
Ready to be amazed by BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology to bring total visual enjoyment to your home theater. Indulge in the most refined colors of truest image production with factory calibrated 100% Rec.709 color coverage. It’s time to turn your living room into a world class cinema.
6X RGBRGB Color Wheel
Of all DLP projector components, the color wheel has the greatest effect on color. Achieving perfect balance between color accuracy and brightness requires high precision and stringent quality control. Because even nanometer differences create great differences to color spectrum, BenQ CinematicColor™ uses precise nanometer-level references to test over 20 combinations of color wheel angle and coating. Each color wheel is carefully fabricated with high-pure-color coatings to meet Rec. 709 color gamut requirements and reproduce the true color of Hollywood films.
Only BenQ Provides a Factory Calibration Report
Using special instruments and software, each CinematicColor™ projector is tested and adjusted for precise D65 color temperature, gamma, black level, white level, neutral gray, RGBCMY color tracking, hue, saturation, brightness and output from different interfaces based on ITU-R Rec. 709. Collecting all data for individual CinematicColor™ factory calibration reports, we are the industry’s only brand to adopt such high standards of color gamut and gamma calibration to exceed Rec.709 standards.
Dynamic Black Technology and Active Iris
Active iris controls the amount of light through the optical system for ideal contrast. Dynamic Black™ analyzes scene brightness levels to optimize light output and contrast. Bringing out subtle details in shadows and preventing bright scenes from washout, W11000H delivers impressive contrast for true blacks and amazing picture depth, details, and clarity.
Cinematic Wide 2.4:1 Anamorphic Format
Available at local BenQ dealers, optional Panamorph Paladin anamorphic lens delivers the immersive 2.4:1 aspect ratio of commercial cinemas without letterboxing, delivering 2 million more pixels for increased brightness and detail to recreate full cinema experiences right at home. *Select “Anamorphic 2.4:1” or “Anamorphic 16:9” in menu with anamorphic lens.
Room for improvement
While BenQ get a lot of things right with this projector, nothing is perfect and there's a couple of areas that could be improved in future versions.
On more than one occasion I went to the rumpus to play some Xbox and turned on the projector then the Xbox and was left waiting for the projector bulb to warm up before displaying the image. Given projectors face increasing competition from larger and larger TVs, I'd love to see start up times receiving the same attention to detail that they have in recent TV generations.
When it comes to shutting down the problem isn't so bad as you're typically turning off the projector, then leaving the room, say after a movie has finished, but again, the cooling of the bulb takes a number of minutes.
In larger, more elaborate setups, like those homes with Control4 automation, this problem isn't likely to be as severe, given you're probably waiting for your projector screen to magically descend from the ceiling and the blinds to close themselves while your butler delivers you and your family perfectly roasted, buttered and lightly salted popcorn.
If you go into your home theatre once a week to watch a movie, then this is unlikely to be an issue, but if you attempt to make this your daily display, turning it on and off multiple times a day, I can tell you, this gets frustrating fast.
The projector only has 2 HDMI inputs which is typically not an issue given most people would run HDMI sources into an amplifier, then 1 HDMI out to the projector. While that may be common, there are 2 inputs and switching between them should be a delightful experience, instead the new source is not recognised for what feels like an eternity. With my Samsung Q7F, switching inputs is as fast as switching channels and there's no reason expectations should be any different here.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
This projector lands firmly at the top of the consumer range and as such, you should set your expectations of pricing accordingly. The BenQ W11000H 4K Projector with HDR, will cost you A$8,999.00.
For that price, know that you're buying a brilliant piece of electronics, one that'll ensure you have the best projector in the street, or probably in most cities.
Given BenQ's own efforts at the entry level of 4K projectors, it is really hard to justify that cost at around triple the price tag. The W11000H is a fantastic projector, but is it 3 times as good ?
If you've got some more cash to splash, there is also an option to add a 2.4:1 anamorphic lens to the projector to deliver the aspect ratio offered at commercial cinemas. While we weren't able to review this, the idea here is a good one, block the overshoot of the projector and have your home cinema be as close to the real thing as possible.
To buy the W11000H, head to BenQ's website and click on 'Find a Store'.
What BenQ have created here is simply stunning. Easily the best consumer projector I've seen with amazing image quality. Of course the premium price tag will scare many away, but if you're looking at the best, not the best value, then I definitely recommend the BenQ W11000H 4K Projector.