In the age of 4K we see all the buzzwords floating around. To have the best experience you need a 4K screen with HDR support, the right HDMI wires and of course the console/4K Blu-ray player that supports it. While most people look to televisions as the screen of choice, projectors can provide an even bigger screen experience. This is where the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector comes in
The problem with a new 4K projector of course is the cost, as with all new technology, the price tag is high. At the recommended price of £1599 this projector may still be expensive for some, but for those looking to take their home cinema to the next edge, they may just be willing to pay it. When it comes to projectors, it is also fairly cheap for a 4K one too.
I was lucky to be offered the chance to review the projector, which I would be testing with an Xbox One X. This gave me access not only to 4K movies and television shows on 4K Blu-ray, Netflix and Amazon Prime but also to the latest 4K games.
I’m a fan of shooting games, especially those like Call of Duty: WW2 where fast reactions are needed. Knowing that projectors can have a slight delay, I was a little worried by this. Thankfully though there is no noticeable delay between the action on the screen and my actions, and playing on a big screen is very immersive, sometimes a little too immersive at times.
There are plenty of options to play with on the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector, but when you get them set just right, the results are quite spectacular. Getting HDR set-up right and seeing Call of Duty: WW2 in 4K was a very impressive sight. I also tested other games like Forza Motorsport 7 which was even more impressive. Being one of Microsoft’s flagship Xbox One X titles though, that comes as no surprise.
Movies and Television
My main testing for movies and television was done using Netflix and the projector didn’t let me down. Watching Netflix’s Dark on the projector looked just fine, and at no time did I feel the picture wasn’t bright enough. I did find though that the darker the room you are in the better the picture will look. Saying that though, even in a bright room the image is still strong enough.
I’ve found that when watching Netflix or other on demand services right now, the projector is my first choice. I like the big screen feel, especially when there is no quality loss in having the image projected onto a bigger screen area.
The specifications for the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector are impressive, full of buzzwords, but thankfully it lives up to the hype:
- 4K UHD with a 3840×2160 resolution
- Projector-optimised HDR
- CineMaster Video+
- Benq Q CinematicColor Technology
- Auto Vertical Keystroke collection
- Smart Power Saving to improve lamp life (up to 15,000hrs)
For the less technical minded, all you really need to take notice of is that it is 4K and supports HDR. The lamp life is also important of course, as having to replace the lamp can be a costly process. Thankfully this will be something that happens less.
What is noticeable when watching and playing on the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector is how strong the image quality is, especially when HDR is on. It should be noted that if HDR is left on without the support, things can feel a little too bright. This is easily fixed by turning it to standard image without HDR. When the support is there though, the difference is noticeable.
Messing with the menu options for the projector is an interesting process, but when you get the settings right, the results are good. I did find times when things felt a little off with my setup, but changing a few options remedied any issues I had. It was just a case of getting the settings right.
Often the speaker system that comes with projectors don’t live up to what the user is expecting for the home cinema experience. This isn’t much of a problem though as there are plenty of sound systems to deal with the surround sound that people no doubt yearn for. For people who choose to stick to the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector sound system though, it actually isn’t that bad.
There is plenty of power in the 5W speakers, and Benq are using CineMaster Audio+ 2 to handle getting it out at a suitable quality. Trying it out with games, movies, and television shows I found the audio to be good, though a little too powerful at times for the room I was in. It is definitely adequate for those looking for the projector to handle the audio for them.
One thing to note is that the fans used for the projector cooling are audible, but only in a quiet environment. When the speakers are pumping out noise you tend not to notice them, unless you are specifically listening out for them. Another thing to note while mentioning the cooling is that the projector does push out quite a bit of hot air, but this should be no surprise with the work it is doing.
Another important issue for home cinema enthusiasts are the connections that are available on the back of the projector. With two HDMI ports, only one of them is HDMI 2.0/2.2 with the other HDMI 1.4. There are also two USB ports available, A D-sub 15pin connection for PC and audio in and out.
While it may have been better to have two HDMI 2.0/2.2 connections available I personally didn’t have a problem with this. I’m sure if people do, they can easily find a workaround to remedy this issue.
From the testing that I’ve done, I found the BenQ W1700 True 4K HDR Home Cinema Projector to be a very good fit for the home cinema experience. Not only does it give stand out performance for watching movies on the big screen, but also takes your gaming to the next level. With more and more 4K content coming out, this is a perfect projector to show it off in its full glory.