New light source, new powers
When BenQ unveiled the W11000 late last year, I praised the company for delivering a relatively affordable 4K UHD home theater projector (THX-certified, too!) but lamented that it’s somewhat not very futureproof, as it misses things like HDR and wide color gamut support. Fast forward half a year and the Taiwanese company is now addressing at least one of my concerns with the new X12000.
In a nutshell, the X12000 is the W11000 but with an LED-based light source. Instead of a 240W Philips lamp, the X12000 turns to Philips’ ColorSpark HLD (High Lumen Density) LED as its light source. There are several advantages to this change. For one, the X12000 lasts longer, up to 20,000 hours as compared to 6,000 hours on the W11000. Maintenance is also easier because there’s no lamp to deal with, and startup and shutdown times are shortened due to the faster responsiveness of LEDs. Maximum brightness remains at 2,200 ANSI lumens.
Color performance also gets a boost. Unlike the W11000 that only supports the Rec.709 HDTV standard, the X12000 is capable of the much larger DCI-P3 color space. Strangely though, the X12000 doesn’t do HDR. I pressed BenQ for a reason, and was essentially told that between no HDR and a poorly implemented HDR, the company has chosen the former. I can only posit that it’s constrained by the projector’s brightness, native contrast (BenQ lists a dynamic CR of 50,000:1), and/or the limits of the dimming algorithm. After all, a projector isn’t like a TV, ensuring HDR performance from 100 inches to 300 inches from a small DMD chip is no mean feat.
Otherwise, the X12000 is very similar to the W11000. It still uses the combination of a Texas Instruments DLP 4K UHD DMD (digital micromirror) chip with a native pixel resolution of 2,716 x 1,528 and an XPR tech with super-fast switching to get 8.3 million addressable pixels. The lens system remains the same as the one on the W11000, so you still get a generous 1.5x zoom, manual horizontal and vertical lens shift, and support for optional anamorphic lenses.
The BenQ X12000 is priced at S$9,299. Interested buyers can approach Home Cinemapit Pte Ltd and Music Image Pte Ltd.
LU9715 & LU9235
In addition to the X12000, BenQ has also announced the LU9715 WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) laser projector.
Designed for large venue applications, the LU9715 is a 1-chip DLP projector with a BlueCore laser module capable of a high light output of 8,000 lumens. You also get benefits often associated with laser projectors, such as fast startup, up to 20,000-hour light source lifespan, and the flexibility to mount the projector upside down or in a portrait orientation. In order to get purer whites and RGBY colors, the LU9715 uses two color wheels. BenQ lists the LU9715’s dynamic contrast ratio at 100,000:1.
Additionally, there are eight optional lenses (including an ultra-short-throw lens with a 0.38:1 throw ratio) that you can use with the LU9715. The projector is equipped with powered zoom, focus, and horizontal/vertical lens shift systems, and can do edge blending and color matching in a multi-projector setup. Other niceties include a liquid cooling system, HDBaseT support (one cable that combines AV and control signals from multiple sources), 3G-SDI connectivity, and compatibility with Creston, AMX, and PJ Link control systems.
There’s also an LU9235 that sits a notch below the LU9715. This is also a 1-chip DLP projector with a native WUXGA resolution and a BlueCore laser light source, but with a slightly lower maximum brightness of 6,000 ANSI lumens. Unlike the LU9715, it doesn’t have a motorized lens unit (so zoom and focus controls have to be done by hand), and lacks lens memory and edge blending functions. The LU9235 has its own set of five optional lenses that you can choose from for diverse applications.
Lastly, BenQ also briefly mentioned the LK970, which is a 5,000-lumen pro AV DLP projector. This LK970 also uses the BlueCore laser light source and has a long zoom lens, but more importantly, it’s a 4K projector. The LK970 wasn’t shown at the press event, but I was told that it’d arrive in Singapore sometime later this year.
As with most B2B projectors, buyers interested to get the LU9715 and LU9235 are advised to reach out to their favorite system installers or BenQ directly for pricing details.