Solid, But Pricey, Performance

BenQ CinePro W11000H.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The BenQ W11000H is an updated model of the W11000 that was released in 2016. The “H” in the name tells you the biggest improvement the new 4K projector has over its predecessor, which is support for HDR content - or more specifically, HDR10.

Otherwise, the W11000H is near identical to the W11000. Weighing 15kg and best mounted on the ceiling than the table-top because of its big size, the W11000H sports a flexible 1.5x zoom lens (made of a 14-element, 6-group lens array), with support for both horizontal and vertical lens shift that you operate via manual knobs at the top of the unit. It’s also compatible with Panamorph Paladin anamorphic lenses for those who prefer the 2.4:1 aspect ratio used in cinemas.

BenQ has been chasing color accuracy and standards compliance for its projectors and monitors in recent years, and with the W11000, you’re getting 100% Rec.709 coverage (81% DCI-P3), THX certification (including a THX picture mode), as well as ISFccc-certified day and night viewing modes. The projector is also factory calibrated out of the box.

Connectivity-wise, you get one analog D-Sub and two HDMI ports, though only one of them supports HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2. These are all clearly labelled and placed at one side of the unit, along other standard control interfaces such as RS-232 port, IR, and DC 12V trigger.

The W11000H is a single-chip DLP projector that makes use of a Texas Instruments DLP DMD (digital micromirror device) chip and a technology called XPR. In short, because the chip doesn’t have a true 4K resolution, the system has to rely on an optical actuator to shift pixels at incredibly fast speeds to create an on-screen image with 8.3 million pixels. Sure, purists may not like such pixelshifting approaches, but the fact remains that such tech is key to driving down prices of 4K projectors.

For the most part, I like the picture from the W11000H: contrast is sufficiently high and colors pop without going overboard. I won’t deny that versus native 4K projectors, the W11000H’s picture can look softer at times, but the only time I noticed it was when I was using boring test patterns. This was quickly forgotten when I started to watch real movies, such as BBC’s excellent Planet Earth II and Marvel Studio’s Black Panther in 4K.

Some things did irk me though. For one, the projector was slow to detect signals when I was switching between the HDMI inputs. Since the second HDMI port doesn’t support HDCP 2.2, it’s effectively only good for non-protected content or 1080p playback. The use of a color wheel also means sensitive users will notice the infamous “rainbow effect”.

Finally, when BenQ launched the original W11000 in 2016, it was easily one of the most affordable 4K home theater projectors at the time. But today, at $7,299, the W11000H finds itself competing with similarly-priced models from other makers, such as Sony’s VPL-VW270ES. I can’t help but think that the W11000H today is what the W11000 should have been.

My Reading Room
There are two HDMI ports, but only one supports HDCP 2.2.
My Reading Room
The W11000H offers pretty great image quality - but it’s a tad overpriced.