If you love your movies, there’s nothing better than creating cinema conditions in your home to enjoy them. The BenQ W1700 4K projector can help you do just that and at an affordable price.
The BenQ CineHome W1700 4K projector is priced at just $2,499 and also adds in HDR (high dynamic range) to provide surprisingly high picture quality.
For our review, we set up the BenQ W1700 in our home theatre and aimed it at our 150-inch screen.
Our daily drive projector is a Sony 4K non-HDR model that produces absolutely superb results – even without HDR.
So you can say our eyes are used to viewing high-quality images from a projector.
We set up the BenQ unit about 4.5m away from the screen to create an image big enough to fill our screen.
Users also have the option, like we did, to mount the projector to a ceiling bracket for that true cinema feel.
Set up controls are fairly straightforward and allow users to adjust screen size and focus.
On the rear panel are two HDMI ports – and thankfully one was HDCP 2.2 compatible – so we could connect our 4K UHD player.
This connection also linked the projector to our receiver and home theatre system to become part of our speaker set-up.
There are speakers on board the projector as well.
Naturally they don’t compare to our speaker system but, nonetheless, they do provide a decent solution to the casual viewer who wants to create a big-screen experience quickly and easily.
The BenQ CineHome W1700 is a DLP projector and has 8.3-megapixel true 4K UHD resolution along with that handy HDR.
Now this is where the BenQ projector showed it can well and truly punch above its weight.
We were amazed at the image quality.
And our amazement wasn’t just limited to the picture’s brightness and quality but also the accurate colour rendering and contrast thanks to that ever-present HDR. The BenQ W1700 projector can handle HDR10.
All the 4K movies we watched through the projector were all optimised for HDR so you are getting brighter whites, detailed blacks and everything in between.
We watched a wide selection of movies which all tested the projector’s abilities in different ways.
And whether we were watching animation, action movies, close-ups of actors or sci-fi special effects, the BenQ projector did a great job.
No, it didn’t offer the same quality as our Sony 4K projector, which costs six times as much, but it wasn’t far off it.
The black levels on the BenQ projector was one area that it fell down slightly and often came up as grey. But at this price – that’s definitely not a deal breaker – the overall picture quality is still extremely watchable.
There are a few viewing modes to choose from and we picked Vivid over Cinema because it delivered brighter and punchy colours.
Cinema mode pulled back the colour saturation slightly and actually improved the blacks a little as well.
Gamers will also be pleased to know the BenQ projector also has a Game Mode which reduces lag down to about 33ms which is a respectable result for a projector.
Naturally 4K sources looked impressive through the BenQ projector. The colour was smooth and even across the entire screen.
When we switched to full HD Blu-ray, it exposed one of the product’s weaknesses – which is upscaling.
One of the strengths of the Sony 4K projector is its incredible upscaling which can take full HD content and bring it to near 4K quality.
In the BenQ’s case you notice the drop-off in quality as you went from 4K to full HD.
The brightness and picture quality were still there but it just wasn’t 4K. But even at full high definition the projector was still impressive.
In the past, setting up a dedicated home theatre system wasn’t a cheap exercise but now, thanks to improvements in technology and quality – and for products like the BenQ W1700 4K projector – it’s now within reach for a lot more people.
The BenQ W1700 4K projector certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck and gives the more expensive models a good run for their money.