56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
I have been searching for a projector since last black Friday. Over the past year I have had many models reach the top of my list. I did extensive research on all products, 3d glass, cables ect.... The end result was my purchase of the Benq 1080st. I can honestly say it was one of the best purchases of my life. It will truely change the way you watch TV or movies. I use it everyday for TV viewing and 3D movies. I have it about 7 feet from the wall and it displays about 140 inches. Think about that for a second....140 inches of 1080p glory.
Very easy (took maybe 10min, most was moving calbe wires and stuff).
Anyone semi familar with an HD TV should have no problems navigating the menu on the Benq. Changing the colors, brightness and contrast will seem familar. Setting the lamp to the power setting is too easy (econo is still bright enough to use for everything). Setting the zoom and adjusting the focus is easy and fun to play around with. As with most other reviews I would highly recommend an additional sound system of some type.
The TV I replaced was a 46inch Samsung. I can honestly say this has a better picture. It is bright, crisp and clear. If you have some form of Comcast (Xfinity) most show are displayed in 720p. That is no fault of the benq but the original broadcast signal. Still looks really good. Any 3d movie rental on comcast is displayed in 1080i. That looks very close to movie theater 3D. Bluray and Bluray 3D display at 1080p. When I saw the picture for the first time in 1080p 3d, I laughed in hysteria because I could not believe my eyes! It was amazing! The nice thing about the benq is that every time you either change a channel or switch inputs, on the top left of the display it show the input source and image (720p, 1080i or 1080p). That is how I discovered Comcast was broadcasting in 720p and quick call in confrimed this. However you watch or whatever you watch the picture is going to be bright. Adjust the colors alittle and you have a great looking movie theater in your house.
The Benq 1080st projector itself:
Very good quality. The unit feels very well built. It looks nice and sleek. The fan noise to me is almost non-existant. It not nearly as loud as an Xbox 360. It does have a fan to keep everything cool and I would say it is not even as loud as a computer. Really it is a non issue. All the correct inputs are there. I even had a conversation with my friend on how the Benq must have been made so there would be no issues. The people at Benq must really looked at every customer complaint before making the 1080st. It is very impressive.
Very good. At first in to be very honest I was not too impressed. Then I adjusted the brightness down and contrast up, changed the gamma level and adjusted the CMYK color levels up by 12 on each.....my jaw dropped (changing these setting is very easy to do). It has good depth and is very clear. I bought the rechargable 3D glasses and would highly recommend them. The screen does have a red hue when your glasses are not on and 3D is playing, agian a non-issue. It is simply amazing lifting the glasses up on your face and then putting them back down and seeing how the 3D works. Regular boradcast 3D in 720p is not bad at all and if you do plan on gettig a 3D bluray play you will be amazed. No reason to ever to the movies again. I found myself constantly talking through the movie on how great it looked and how it doesnt seem fair to have this in my house.
Overall this is worth every penny. Every single person that has been lucky enough (lol) to see this in my house thinks I spent at least 5k on this projector. Thats what you get from Benq: big picture small price. I have read hundreds of reviews before my purchase of the 1080st. All I have to say is read this review and then buy it. You will be very happy you did. Enjoy!!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2014
This BenQ is my first projector. My first impression once I unboxed the projector and hooked it up was "WOW! This is amazing" even with projecting onto my blank white wall. The colors are vibrant and the brightness and contrast is perfectly acceptable to me. I bought the projector mainly to use outdoors at night for family and friends to watch backyard movies on.
BUT... there is one thing that bothers me. I have played with the focus and find that I cannot achieve an evenly focused image. I specifically wanted a full HD projector and was expecting a razor sharp image because it IS full HD using DLP technology and I am feeding it a full HD signal via HDMI. The focus is slightly off on the upper part of the image compared to the lower part. And vice-verse if I adjust the focus opposite. If I adjust the zoom slightly, the unfocused area changes to another area. For movies, this is not so bad and hardly noticeable. But when projecting text such as the channel guide on DirecTV (running at 1080 res) or from my laptop (also at full HD res), you can see a distinct focus difference from the upper to lower part of the projected image. In the focused area, the image is razor sharp and you can see each pixel clearly. But in the unfocused area, the image is quite soft.
I have a 114" Elite Screens screen coming on Monday and I will see how I can tolerate this focus issue on a proper screen. I realize that in the big picture this projector is not exactly high-end, but I do think the focus COULD be better. It seems to be a quality issue with the lens more than anything else because I can push slightly down on the lens and get a nearly 100% sharp focused image. $899 may not be a lot of money to some folks, but to me, this was a major purchase and I expected a better focus.
The lens/focus issue aside, I am really impressed with this projector. The short throw lens will allow me to use it in the house for a 114" picture at reasonable distance. But I can also take it outside and project a GIANT 200"+ image that is still BRIGHT and vibrant.
My every day use TV is a Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" SXRD that has been ISF calibrated. It has a stunning picture. BUT, after adjusting the settings on this BenQ projector, focus issue ignored, the colors and detail level darn near rival my 70" Sony! I was very impressed. You can tweak and tune the BenQ to give you a vivid eye-popping picture, OR adjust it to be more natural and film-like.
UPDATE: I have to give a HUGE thumbs up to Amazon's customer service. They overnight express shipped me a new projector and it arrived today. This new projector is AWESOME! The focus is 99.9% perfect from top to bottom, corner to corner. Now I am absolutely in love with this BenQ projector!
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2013
This is my first personal projector, otherwise I've only seen other people's and the ones I buy for work presentation setups. But I have to say, in my opinion it is absolutely fantastic, clear crisp picture that even manages to ignore nearly all the light pollution that comes from the door of my split level, the only exception is when the scene is super dark/black for obvious reason, if there is any real light to the scene, you really cant tell.
Like I said, the image is sharp a vivid, great brightness, everything just looks right, I pretty much feel like I have a 100in TV on my wall. Absolutely love the short throw, I have a moderately small man cave and on top of that I wanted to be able to do motion stuff with kinect, wii, etc. so I needed to be able to keep movements from getting in the way, mission accomplished, I can stand 4ft from my screen and not be in the way of the projection, giving me plenty of space to move around.
+Runs very near silent, the only time I notice the fan is when there is nothing else to hear.
+Never used the built in speaker so can't comment but others make it sound like its decent, really though, if you're doing something like this, don't cheat yourself using built in speakers, get a real setup, even if its only like 2.1 or 3.1 or even just a sound bar(they make some pretty good ones these days).
+As others will tell you, adjustments are to account for angels etc are very limited so be careful and get it right.
+I don't feel I notice any of the classic projector visual oddities, I have a pretty nice fixed frame screen from Elite Screens. Check them out, good quality/price and they really aren't that hard to get put together. Manual isn't always 100% clear so be careful but its still pretty good.
+Haven't picked up glasses yet. Looking at some after I finish this review.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2013
the good: i have the projector in a small room, 11 1/2 feet from the wall, and it's projecting a 200" image! call it theater of the absurd, but i like that senselessly huge picture. right now it's projecting onto my wall, with no professional material, and the picture is still superb. crisp, vibrant, and so real. obviously i'll be getting a real screen soon to stop the color bleeding from the uneven surface. i just watched mud in 1080p and it looked just like the movies, with that oh-so-real effect from the DLP chip. the projector is quiet for 33db, i don't notice it on because my stereo conquers the noise. obviously there's a lot of heat coming from it, but this is normal for any projector. there is no motion blur whatsoever, and the contrast and black levels are superb. there is not much light coming from the projector unlike some other ones i've seen. the picture is still overall square which some short throws i have heard of issues with. the pixels are still tiny and not noticeable except from a very close distance.
now, onto why it gets 3 stars....
the bad: there is an issue with consistent focus across the screen, but only if you have it set to the minimal screen size setting. the first one i got had a portion on the top left and bottom right middle that wouldn't come into complete focus, at or around 85% focus, on the smallest screen setting, creating a noticeable blur on text, and a sometimes noticeable blur in motion. when setting the screen to the completely full size, there is absolutely no problem at all with the focus consistency. i thought this may be a quality control issue but the second one is the same way, albeit with less of an issue. the focus all around is pretty good but on the bottom right middle its about 90% focus as compared to 100% focus, again, only with the smallest screen setting. this only occurs when the screen is set to it's minimum size. when i have it set anywhere past this the focus issue is not present. however the room i have it in, i have to have it set to it's minimal picture size, so i don't have a choice, because I don't have a roof mount, i just have it sitting on a desk in the back of the room. so, if you do plan on purchasing this, buy a ceiling mount, or make sure and use it as a short throw project should be used, nice and close to the wall, and you won't have ANY focus issue, because you'll be able to set it to it's maximum screen size. i'm still giving 3 stars because the company shouldn't even allow the screen to get so small if it cannot remain in focus properly.
i also had the 1070 BENQ, which did not have any focus issue, hooked up to my same PC (macbook pro 1080p hookup, I even bought an extra adapter and HDMI cable to verify the issue's source).
overall: i still highly recommend this, but it's getting three stars from me because I"m 2/2 in bad focus on the small pic setting. due to outstanding overall quality and every other good outweighing the bad, i still recommend this projector.
UPDATE: i bought a roof mount and picture is perfect. i also moved some furniture and put it on the floor in the middle of the room to see how the picture would be and it was perfect. so, basically lesson learned is that this project doesn't like to be in the back of the room on the minimal screen size setting. my family came over and watched a couple movies with me, and they're already bought their own!
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
*************** Original Review 6-Feb-2014 *********************
This is my first review on Amazon. Although, I keep buying many items from Amazon and I really liked few of them and were worth giving 5 star rating, none of the item impressed me so much to write a review. But I am so much impressed with this buy that I decided to write my 1st review.
I have already used Vivitek Qumi Q2 and IncrediSonic LED projectors. These are very small size portable projectors with long lasting LED lamp. Although these projectors project good quality image, they can not produce vivid colors. I use to feel like I am watching old days Eastman color movie.
LED technology in projector has still long way to get mature. For this reason, I decided to buy normal lamp projector even though such projectors are not very portable and requires costlier lamp replacements.
After about 2 months research I finalized buying either BENQ W1070 or W1080ST. Both projectors are same except throw distance. Finally I ordered W1080ST.
I got this projector on 23-Jan. It is manufactured in Nov-13 and has FirmWare ver. 1.04. It has backlit(red color) remote.
Here is my observation
1) Image quality is EXCELLENT with vivid colors and as good as what you see in movie theater. I am not using any screen and projecting image on bare wall.
2) Brightness is very good and I can watch movie with few lights on. But with all lights switched off, I feel like I am watching 120 inch LED TV.
Even in movie theater all lights are switched off for better viewing experience. So, do not set your expectations to unrealistic levels. LCD/LED TVs will always have better brightness than projector image.
I always use Smart Eco mode with brightness level 55 and that is more than enough.
3) Projector speaker produce loud enough sound and I am still using it while watching movies. But watching a 120 inch screen with inbuilt speaker is not a good idea and I plan to buy sound system to get a real movie theater feeling. If I connect projector to laptop using VGA cable then sound do not come from projector speaker(it will be from laptop speakers). If I use my chromecast then sound comes from projector speakers.
4) Projector keeps track of lamp hours used and you acn see it in menu.
Do not listen to professional reviewers who criticize this projector for light leakage, fan noise, rainbow effect. Earning bread and butter by criticizing every good product is their job.
5) My observation is that there is minute amount of light leakage but this projector produces image which is 1000 times brighter than leaked light and I won't notice leaked light even in dark scene.
6) Fan noise is very minimum. My laptop fan produces more noise than projector. Maybe projectors which are manufactured in Nov-13 might have lesser fan noise.
7) After watching 100 hrs of movies, I have not yet seen rainbow effect.
8) Remote works fine and it is not necessary to point remote at projector to operate it. Remote has "Light" button on right side and when I press this button entire remote gets illuminated with backlit red color light. Then I can see and press whatever button I want to use. This is nice feature till the time I get familiar with button locations.
I wish BENQ had provided USB port on this projector. They provided all kinds of input/slots but forget to provide a USB port. My Chromecast needs USB power and I have to keep laptop nearby to provide power to it. Projector has Mini USB B port and I need to check if I can power up Chromecast using mini USB B to USB female connector.
Finally, I am Very Happy with this purchase. The last time I was so happy when I was teenager and my father gifted me motor bike.
I already have recommended this projector to many of my colleagues.
*************** Update 25-Jul-2014 *********************
Its been 6 months (330 hrs) I am using this projector. It is still functioning normally. No fan noise, no rainbow effects.
Projector body has ventilation holes and is mostly open and you can see internal circuits quiet easily. This is good for ventilation purpose but
1) If your house is roach\bug infested then be careful. Bugs can easily enter inside and might cause damage to internal circuit.
2) If you plan to use it outdoor\dusty area then dust can easily enter inside and might get gathered around lens.
Just keep it safe from roach, dust and enjoy your movie theater.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
Benq is selling the W1080 with the essential 1.03 firmware, so my original review is being replaced.
This review only covers points which have not been emphasized or even discussed elsewhere.
I purchased the W1080 only after many positive reviews (the best being Projector Central) and Benq releasing firmware allowing for Blu-ray 3D discs projection.
The short throw lens is unique in it offers a 120" diagonal screen from only 6' back! If ceiling mounted the small, white projector is never in the way. Its like having a gigantic flat-panel for less than $900!
Compare this to expensive $5K projectors which typically spew exhaust heat and noise onto your head. Further you cannot sit close to the screen or your head will create an outline on the screen.
The focus on the screen varies according to warm-up time. When cold the focus is worse at the top then corrects itself after 10 minutes. Focus uniformity is good only because the lens is so sharp. The lens in some $4K name brand LCoS projectors will not even resolve the panel's grid lines.
Espon, after many years was finally forced to upgrade their lens in the $3X 5030 projector.
I use Windows File Explorer and List the contents of a large directory with Clear Type turned Off. It's easy to adjust the lens ring for the best overall focus. Once set it stays set. The focus is clearer with no mis-convergence or color fringing, unlike $4X-$10X three chip LCD or LCoS. The higher DLP fill-factor surpasses flat panels which look coarse in comparison.
The killer contrast test is to set the Windows Desktop Background color to Black (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Personalization\Desktop Background>Solid Colors>Black) then open up a White box (Windows File Explorer) and make it small so it only takes up about 1/8 of the screen. Then grab it and move it around the corners of the screen. Do you see a faint white image in the opposite corners?
The optimized W1070/1080 optical path clearly passes this test with flying colors as all the other corners remain black. The cheap lens in my very expensive $5K LCoS projector fails miserably with considerable reflections. The bottom line is the simplified lens in the W1080 is sharper and the picture has better contrast under real-world viewing. While every novice can see the blacks turn milky grey, the experts (really those in charge) at the forums are either blind or choose, as a dealer to remain silent.
First do not pay any attention to the Sound & Vision reviewer's W1070 3D settings as the contrast should be left centered at 50. Otherwise you blow the highlights, for which the reviewer then proceeded to down-rated the projector!
The shorter distance from the projector to the screen pays dividends with a brighter image.
I sit closer with 3D than for 2D (with my directional high-gain screen) and also up higher (maximum office or bar stool height) for a brighter image. This also allows to reach-out-and-touch-someone!
3D is nosier with the fan on high. 144Hz triple flash glasses create a rock stable image with no flicker. I use the 1/2 price DLP® Link 3ACTIVE® 3D Glasses for 144 Hz DLP 3D Projectors. Rechargeable.
The menu has a "Benq" gamma setting which I found best. I turn sharpness to maximum on the 1080 and the 3D player. Brightness can be increased a notch but the jumps are quit coarse.
The small physical size and white color make it blend into the room. I used this white ceiling mount Universal Projector Ceiling Mount for DLP / LCD video projectors (Heavy Duty Steel, White, adjustable height 16.9-Inch - 25.6-Inch, built-in cable management, easy installation) .
On the projector put the lens in the center of the zoom range when selecting ceiling holes as, any small distance errors can then be corrected. For the W1080 the bottom (or top if ceiling mounted) edge of the image is level with the center-line of the lens. It's important to take into account the two offset of the lens when drilling the ceiling mounting holes.
My sample has zero reliability issues with over 250 hours. DLP is a stable technology and TI really came through with all its DSP/image processing experience. Combine this with Chinese products known for value. Thank you.
Excellent in real life IF your system is correctly set-up and working optimally. I use Eco Lamp mode for all 2D. I use Person of Interest and BlackList TV series or opening scene of Hansel and Gretel. If your black level is washed out with a HTPC then try to confirm with a dedicated Blu-ray player. My Nvidia 600 Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/Displayport SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N660OC-2GD has superior blacks while my AMD 7750 ASUS HD7750-1GD5-V2 AMD Radeon HD 7750 VGA 1 GB GDDR5 Graphics Cardis a bit washed out. I will probably try the new AMD R7 260!
Benq W1070 is deservedly a runaway best seller. I think the W1080 has even more benefits but the momentum is with the W1070 as it came out first. Someone i know lit that spark!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2013
I've been researching projectors for the past month or so.
I needed something that was bright to handle the amount of light during the day in my living room.
I considered the Optoma TH1060p b/c of its 4500 lumens and online pics of the picture quality looked awesome in bright light and at night. However, it's also about $450 more than this BenQ projector and since this one is a ST allows me to mount closer which should help during bright daylight hours.
I set it up on a chair right now eager to see how it looked and to make sure it would be bright enough during the day or if I'd need to exchange it for a higher lumens one.
Right now I only have a white sheet up (as I'm debating which screen to get 1.1 or 1.8 gain), so take note of that in the pictures I'm including.
My overall thoughts after watching football and a few tv shows during the day, along with at night Star Trek Blu-Ray.
During the night, the image quality, colors and clarity are AMAZING! My attached pictures were taken with my iPhone so take note of that as the pictures do not do this justice. The pictures actually make some of the image appear brighter than they are, but the colors were phenomenal. Again, it's also projecting onto a white sheet.
The daytime pic is making sure I would be able to enjoy my football games as well. Even during midday the image looks fantastic.
The only time the picture isn't that great and almost terrible is if watching a dark scene when LOTS of ambient light is coming in, in a TV show, think along the lines of American Horror Story.
Most of our TV/movie watching is at dusk/night so while this projector doesn't do well in high ambient light with dark scenes, it's tolerable for me being several hundred dollars less than other models and the ability to mount closer to screen.
Our living room has a bay window opposite the image, along with an open concept floor plan where the next room has 2 more windows that allow a good amount of light in, and also a side window in the viewing room.
Other reviewers commented on some focus issues across the screen. I've had this set up about 5 and 6 ft from the wall and have had no issues with finding focus problems.
The fan noise is perfectly fine too.
On normal lamp setting it's not noticeable unless it's a quite scene, and is ever so slightly quieter on smart-eco mode.
As far as brightness between normal and smart-eco it's hardly noticeable even during the day and since it will prolong the lamp I will likely always run it in smart-eco mode.
Once I get a proper screen up I'll update my pictures.
Oh, and I also played some PS3 games at night projecting a 120" image and it was mind-blowing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
I'm casting 100 inches from maybe 6 feet away from the screen. Simply amazing, if you ask me. I could zoom this thing to at least 120 inches from the same spot, but I thought 100 was plenty!
For a home theater setup, short throw projection is the way to go, folks. It's almost impossible to stand so close (within reason) to the screen to block the image if you've got it ceiling-mounted. It's just so much more feasible for a home setup.
And honestly, when you've got the lights off in the room, it really looks like you're staring at a 100" LCD/LED television. It is bright and vibrant, and for less than half of what even an 80" television setup would cost you. Projector technology has really come a long way, and I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase. I'm already finding myself waiting for movies to be released on blu-ray so I can watch them in my home theater rather than shelling out $40 (tickets/popcorn etc for 2-3 people) to see a movie in the theater.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2013
I would not know what to do without my ben q! when they say short throw they really mean it. I only need 8 feet for a good 125-150" screen.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2014
When properly set up, this projector puts out an incredible picture, given the right source. I've got this hooked up with an elite screens 120" sable frame, with the projector ceiling mounted at a distance just a bit over 6 ft. Couch is about 12 Ft away, and the viewing experience with a 1080p or even 720p source just blows away my 58" plasma. Brightness, color and clarity are comparable to my plasma, but the picture is 4 times the size! One problem, though, is that you won't want to go back to DVD's or other SD sources - the resolution just won't cut it on such a large screen.
Another nice feature that I just discovered after living with this projector for several weeks - you can have separate picture adjustments for 3d mode. This is great because I like to kick up the brightness a bit in 3d since the glasses dims the picture. Just put the projector into 3d mode, then adjust the brightness, contrast, etc to your liking. It will then automatically switch back to your 2d settings when you get out of 3d mode.
Now, for some minor criticisms:
Setting up a projector is inherently more complicated than a flatscreen TV, especially if you're using a fixed frame screen. Budget projectors like this Benq don't have lens shift, so you have to be very careful how you mount it. Basically, when mounting on the ceiling, you want the center of the lens to be at the same height as the top of your screen. This will eliminate the need for keystone adjustments, which can degrade picture quality slightly. Also, make sure you center the projector to your screen. Since many ceiling mounts do not have height adjustments, I had to be very careful in choosing one that placed my projector so that the lens was about 10" from the ceiling, since this is where I wanted my screen.
One other point about this projector: it does not automatically recognize 3D files from my WDTV Live. I have to manually go into the menu and specify sbs or ou 3d format every time I play those files. For some reason, the auto detect option is grayed out. However, my 3d mkv and mp4 files look great when played back with this projector, so I'm willing to put up with the bit of inconvenience. I don't have a 3d capable bluray player, so haven't had a chance to test that out. Maybe the auto detect function may work on 3d blurays?
One other other minor issue: my Logitech Harmony One remote can't turn off the projector. The power off button must be pressed twice to turn off, and I guess the remote sends the signals too quickly for the projector to recognize, so I still need to keep the benq remote around in order to turn it off.
Don't let these minor issues dissuade you from getting this projector, though. For me, I needed the short throw since my room is relatively small, so right away, that requirement eliminates most, if not all, of the competition, especially at this price point. Once you have this thing properly set up though, you'll never want to go out to the movie theater any more!!
I connected a KDLinks HD720 media player that can play Bluray ISO or BDMV with sequential 3d format, and the Benq does automatically recognize the format and go into 3D mode! That also means that 3d from a compatible bluray player should also work this way.