BenQ W5700: the best 4K HDR projector under €3000?

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The BenQ W5700 4K projector is the best performing projector in the Taiwanese manufacturer’s range and has won the EISA award for best projector 2019-2020, as well as a Hardware Hit from the specialized magazine Les Années Laser. This 4K DLP projector is HDR10 compatible and covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space used in digital cinemas. It has a powerful optical zoom and offers a vertical and horizontal lens shift to easily adjust the image within the projection screen.

The BenQ W5700 won the EISA award for best 4K projector 2019-2020.

Although it was released in April 2019, the €2599 Benq W5700 seems like a very interesting alternative to the much more expensive JVC and Sony 4K projectors.

BenQ W5700: the brand

BenQ is known worldwide for its projectors and also manufactures computer monitors, interactive flat panel displays for businesses and schools, digital cameras and office lighting.

BenQ has built a solid reputation in the world of consumer video projection by shaking up this market with very affordable 1080p HD video projectors. We remember the famous BenQ W1070, and its successors the BenQ W1080 and BenQ W1090, both hailed by the specialized press and acclaimed by home theater enthusiasts with a limited budget. BenQ excels at providing affordable DLP projectors with outstanding image quality and accurate colorimetry, thanks to precise factory calibration. More recently, the manufacturer has democratized 4K projectors with references such as the BenQ W2700 and the BenQ W5700 of this review, both rewarded by an EISA Award 2019-2020 and unanimously acclaimed by the specialized press (read the test of the BenQ W2700).

BenQ W5700: packaging & accessories

The BenQ W5700 projector comes with a remote control and batteries, a power cable and a CD-ROM (user manual).

The BenQ W5700’s box also contains the projector’s factory calibration report. For each projector that leaves their workshops, the engineers test and adjust many parameters with specialized instruments and software. The precise factory color calibration is one of the many advantages of BenQ projectors.

The color temperature (D65), gamma, black, white and neutral gray levels, RGBCMY color tracking, hue, saturation, brightness and colors are all very precisely calibrated on each projector before it is shipped.

As soon as the BenQ W5700 comes out of the box, you can enjoy excellent image quality without going through the settings, simply by selecting the Cinema mode.

The BenQ W5700 projector comes with a backlit remote control that makes it easy to find the desired function in the dark.

BenQ W5700: presentation

The BenQ W5700 4K projector is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s flagship model. It is equipped with the latest generation 0.47″ Texas Instruments DMD chip and covers the entire Rec.709 color space (HD standard), as well as the DCI P3 color space used for film projection in digital theaters. As a result, it can display more than a billion different shades of color.

The BenQ W5700’s contrast ratio reaches 100,000:1 with the dynamic iris enabled and its lamp offers a maximum brightness of 1800 lumens. Its lifespan is estimated at 4000 hours in normal mode and up to 10,000 hours in eco mode.

The BenQ W5700 4K projector has a 1.6x zoom as well as a horizontal and vertical lens shift for easy installation. This 4K BenQ projector can be installed at a distance of 1.80m to 9m from the screen and projects a 2.50m diagonal image at a distance of 3m.

DLP 4K

The BenQ W5700 UHD-4K projector features a next-generation 0.47” DLP/DMD chip capable of displaying a true 4K UHD image (3840 x 2160 pixels) by exploiting the extremely high switching speed of the micro-mirrors that make up its array (native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels). Each pixel displays successively and slightly staggered four pixels of the 4K UHD image received via the projector’s HDMI connector. As each micro-mirror is switched thousands of times per second, the brain perceives the image as if all 8 million pixels were displayed simultaneously. The BenQ W5700 UHD-4K projector is therefore able to display all the details of images from a 4K UHD Blu-ray player or from online video services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

High-quality optics

The BenQ W5700 features an ultra-high resolution optical block consisting of 10 elements organized into 8 groups and placed in a sealed metal cylinder. These optical elements feature a proprietary low-dispersion coating that minimizes chromatic aberration to preserve the clarity and color depth of your favorite 4K UHD content.

The BenQ W5700 projector features a very high-quality optical block that ensures excellent image sharpness.

This optical system guarantees a much higher quality of light diffusion than the optics of HD projectors. Ultra High Definition 4K images can be projected with great detail, intense colors, high brightness and extreme precision across the entire surface of the projection screen.

HDR-PRO, CinemaMaster Video+

The BenQ W5700 4K Ultra HD projector fully covers the Rec.709 color space (the color standard for HD1080p content) as well as the DCI P3 color space (the standard used for digital cinema). The spectators therefore benefit from rich and very nuanced colors (1.07 billion displayable hues). It is equipped with a 6-segment color wheel (RGBRGB), a design that also limits the rainbow effect.

This BenQ 4K projector is also HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) and HLG compatible to display images with a wide dynamic range. The dark and light areas of the image are more nuanced and legible. The BenQ W5700 also incorporates the proprietary technology CinemaMaster Video+ that improves the sharpness of moving images, color accuracy and skin tones, which are very difficult to render and are reproduced here in a very natural way (neither washed out, nor oversaturated).

The BenQ W5700 covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, resulting in rich and accurate colors.

The precise color calibration performed at the factory is one of the major characteristics of BenQ projectors. The BenQ W5700 is no exception and delivers great color accuracy right out of the box. The cinema mode is ideally calibrated for projection in the dark. For this, the brand’s engineers test and adjust numerous settings using specialized tools and software. Color temperature (D65), gamma, black, white and neutral gray levels, RGBCMY color tracking, hue, saturation, brightness and color are all precisely calibrated. 

The benefit for the user is to be able to enjoy excellent image quality with the BenQ W5700, without necessarily having to go through the settings. Of course, it is still possible to calibrate the BenQ W5700 projector yourself via its CMS (Color Management System) menu or to have it calibrated by a professional who will be able to save the settings in the dedicated ISF day and night profiles.

ISF modes are specifically designed to allow professionals to fine-tune the video section of a device to perfectly match its environment. Depending on the viewing conditions, ISF-certified experts configure the device ideally for both day and night viewing. ISF calibration profiles are password protected to prevent them from being accidentally overridden.

10,000h lamp, 1.6x zoom, lens shift

The BenQ W5700 4K projector’s lamp has a maximum brightness of 1800 lumens, which is ideal for a home theater room but also for a darkened living room. The lamp’s lifespan is 4000 hours in normal mode and can reach 10,000 hours in economy mode.

The BenQ W5700 projector has a 1.6x zoom that gives the user a lot of flexibility in terms of placement. An image of 3 meters in diagonal can be obtained by placing the projector at a distance of between 3.55 and 5.70 meters from the screen. Moreover, the horizontal and vertical lens shift gives the user some leeway when aligning the projector in relation to the axis of the projection screen.

The two knobs on the top of the BenQ W5700 let you shift the image horizontally and vertically so that it fits perfectly inside the projection screen.

Automatic keystone correction completes the BenQ 4K projector’s range of image settings. Note that the zoom, focus and lens shift are not motorized and must therefore be adjusted manually, which partly explains the BenQ W5700’s much lower price compared to the Sony VPL-VW270ES and JVC DLA-X7900, for example.

HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2

The BenQ W5700 4K projector is equipped with two HDMI 2.0b (HDCP2.2) inputs that support UHD-4K streams up to 60Hz. It also has two USB multimedia inputs (USB 2.0 and USB 3.0) and a powered USB port for powering a Chromecast Ultra, for example. It is unfortunate, however, that it is not equipped with speakers to play sound from multimedia files read via USB. In this case, you’ll have to use the optical SPDIF output or the stereo mini-jack output to connect the projector to a soundbar or a compact home theater system.

The BenQ W5700 has enough connectors to allow you to enjoy several digital video sources.

There is also a trigger connector to automatically activate a motorized projection screen when the projector is turned on.

BenQ W5700: key specifications

Display

  • Projection system: DLP
  • Native resolution: 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
    Supported resolutions: VGA (640 x 480) to 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
  • Brightness (ANSI lumens): 1,800 ANSI lumens
  • Contrast ratio (FOFO): 100,000:1 (with dynamic iris activated)
  • Display colors: 30 bits (1,07 billion colors)
  • Native image ratio: 16:9 (3 switchable image formats)

Light source

  • Lamp
  • Light source power: 245W
  • Light source lifespan:
    – Normal: 4000 hours
    – Eco: 10,000 hours
    – SmartEco: 8000 hours

Optics

  • Projection ratio: 1.36 – 2.18 (100″ /2.54 diagonal @ 3m)
  • Zoom ratio: 1.6x
  • Lens: F/# = 1.81 – 2.1, f = 14.3 (wide) – 22.9mm
  • 10 elements organized in 8 groups
  • Lens Shift: Vertical:  ± 60% / Horizontal: ± 23%
  • Keystone Correction Adjustment: 1D, Vertical ± 30 degrees
  • Offset: 105%
  • Sharp image size (diagonal): 60″~200″
  • Maximum image size: 300”

Image

  • Picture mode: 
    – ISF Disabled: Bright / Vivid / Cinema (Rec. 709) / D. Cinema / Silence / 3D / User 1 / HDR / HLG
    – ISF Enabled: Bright / Vivid / Cinema (Rec. 709) / D. Cinema/ Silence / ISF Night / ISF Day
  • Color wheel: 6 segments (RGBRGB)
  • Color Wheel Speed:
    – 2D: 96Hz ; 100Hz ; 120Hz
    – 3D: 100Hz, 120Hz
  • Rec.709 Coverage: 100%
  • DCI-P3 Coverage: 100%

Special features

  • Motion Enhancer (MEMC)
  • ISF Day/Night modes
  • CinemaMaster Video+ :
    – Motion Enhancer
    – 4K Pixel Enhancer
    – Color Enhancer
    – Flesh Tone
  • HDR-PRO (HDR10/HLG)

Connectors/interfaces

  • HDMI x 2 (2.0b/HDCP2.2)
  • 1 x USB type A (5V/2.5A power supply)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 type A (media player)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 type A (media player)
  • 1 x USB type mini-B (firmware upgrade)
  • 1 x Audio output (3.5mm mini-jack)
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) (10/100M)
  • 1 x RS232 (DB-9pin) (D-sub 9pin, male)
  • 1 x 12V DC trigger (3.5mm Jack) (trigger)
  • 1 x IR receiver (IR-IN)
  • 1 x Wired remote input (3.5mm mini-jack)

Compatibility

  • TVHD: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2160p
  • 3D compatibility

Power supply

  • Power Supply: VAC 100 ~ 240 (50/60Hz)
  • Typical Power Consumption:
    – Max 405W
    – Normal 330W
    – Eco 247W
  • Standby Power Consumption: 0.5W Max. at 100 ~ 240VAC
  • Network Standby Power Consumption: <2W

General

  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 492 x 168 x 349mm
  • Net weight: 6.5kg
  • Acoustic Noise (standard/Eco.): 32dBA / 26dBA

Included accessories

  • 1 x remote control with batteries (RCV016)
  • 1 x power cable (3m)
  • CD user manual (27 languages)
  • Quick start guide (9 languages)
  • Warranty card (by region)
  • 1 x lens cover

BenQ W5700: calibration

For our review of the BenQ W5700 projector, we used a network media player (nVidia Shield TV Pro) to access various streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video as well as our cloud-based video library via the Plex software. We also connected a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player (Panasonic DP-UB9000 and Pioneer UDP-LX500) to the projector to use the Spears & Munsil calibration Blu-ray and to play the 4K UHD Blu-ray of Mad Max: Fury Road. We used an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable for this. We projected a 100″ (2.54m) diagonal image onto an electric projection screen with the projector placed a little over 3 meters away from the screen.

Installing the projector

With the BenQ W5700’s zoom and lens shift, installation takes only a few minutes. The zoom is manually adjusted by means of a ring around the lens with a protruding tab for easy adjustment. The horizontal and vertical lens shift settings are accessible on the top of the projector. The two circular knobs can be turned in either direction to shift the image.

To do this, we used the test pattern that is displayed by pressing the “pattern” button on the remote control. The projector then displayed a grid to simplify the adjustment of the image. The focus is done manually by turning the ring around the lens.

A word of warning: the lens cover is clipped directly onto this ring… If you put it back on after each projection, be careful not to turn the ring, otherwise you will have to readjust the focus next time you use the projector.

The BenQ W5700 comes with a lens cover that is manually removed.

The BenQ W5700’s lens shift allows you to easily move the image up, down, to the left and to the right without any distortion, while the zoom allows you to increase or decrease the size of the image in a very precise and gradual way.

Image settings

The setting menus of the BenQ W5700 projector offer many possibilities and allow you to contact a professional calibration technician if you have no knowledge in this area. They will be able to create settings that are perfectly adapted to how the room in which the projector is installed is used and store them in the dedicated ISF memory.

The “basic” settings (contrast, light, color…) can be adjusted by the user with the help of a calibration disc such as the Spears & Munsil 4K Blu-ray, for example.

The Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray is a great tool for controlling and correcting an Ultra HD projector or a 4K TV.

The BenQ W5700 projector offers great color accuracy right out of the box, especially in cinema mode, ideally calibrated for projection in the dark. We were able to verify this with the demonstration video available on the calibration disc.

BenQ W5700: our impressions

Mad Max: Fury Road (4K HDR)

As soon as it is taken out of the box and once the image is adjusted and focused, one can only praise the quality of the projected image and the level of detail. Although it is not native 4K, the DLP 4K technology based on an HD matrix with pixel interpolation works wonders.

The interior of the truck driven by Furiosa was very detailed, with a very realistic rendering of the different materials (leather steering wheel, glass dials, metal dashboard…). What a treat!

Just like during the test of the BenQ W2700, we were impressed by the level of realism achieved by the image, whether it was during close-ups on the faces of the protagonists or in the rendering of the materials that make up the costumes and accessories. We could therefore fully admire the work of the technical teams (set designers, costume designers, make-up artists…).

During the car chase scenes in the desert, the different shades of brown, ochre and orange were reproduced with great nuance. The dust clouds created by the vehicles were very well rendered, without any artifacts. In the night scenes with a bluish tint, the contrast was particularly well managed, offering a lot of legibility when the dynamic iris was activated. Without it, the dynamic range of the images was a bit limited with a lower contrast that penalized the overall readability.

The blue night scenes looked particularly good on the screen.

The addition of HDR was particularly appreciated in all the scenes with high contrasts and backlighting, whether it was in the galleries of the Citadel, in the interior of the truck or during the night scenes. A multitude of details could be seen in both the areas of the image that were bathed in light and in those that were immersed in darkness.

Le Mans 66 (4K)

In this movie by James Mangold, which tells the true story of the confrontation between Ford and Ferrari at the 24 Heures du Mans racetrack in the 1960s, the photography work that gives this film such a special atmosphere was perfectly respected. The BenQ W5700 was remarkable when it came to the rendering of the lighting and the very sophisticated colors.

Right from the opening scene, we were immersed in the atmosphere of the race thanks to the BenQ W5700, which projected a realistic picture with magnificent lighting.

From the opening scene, we were taken aboard Carroll Shelby’s car as it raced through the night between the headlights of the competing cars. The tension was palpable on the driver’s face as he raced towards the stands, but also on the faces of the pit crew as the car burst into flames. The BenQ W5700 projector was perfectly at ease in bringing these scenes to life with great realism. The colors were very balanced, the lighting was beautiful. The image was very sharp and detailed while remaining natural with a very pleasant cinematic look. What a treat for the eyes!

Dynamic iris

As with the BenQ W2700, the dynamic iris function of the BenQ W5700 was very effective in adjusting the brightness in real time depending on the scene. It provided more brightness in scenes that required it, without affecting the density of blacks in darker scenes. The video compression phenomenon was limited when switching from a dark scene to a bright scene and vice versa. However, the operation of the dynamic iris is not completely silent: a slight noise can be heard when it opens and closes quickly.

BenQ W5700: compared to…

Sony VPL-VW590ES

Two and half times more expensive than the BenQ, the Sony projector has a motorized lens with a more powerful zoom and a lens shift that offers greater vertical and horizontal adjustment. In practice, this results in an even simpler installation and greater freedom of placement.

Regarding the image, the BenQ, which does not have a native 4K matrix, was in no way inferior to Sony in terms of sharpness and definition. The image is extremely precise and detailed. The color rendering is also a strength of the BenQ W5700, which is perfectly calibrated at the factory and will offer you an excellent result right out of the box without having to go through the settings menus. HDR rendering is also very satisfactory, with better highlights than with the Sony projector in very bright scenes.

Overall, the Sony VPL-VW590ES offers a smoother image that is a little more cinema-like than that of the BenQ, with a colorimetry that is perhaps a little less appealing but still more realistic. However, the difference in price allows the Taiwanese model to come out on top.

JVC DLA-N5

Almost as expensive as the Sony VPL-VW590ES, the JVC DLA-N5 can count on its very effective auto tone mapping function to offer excellent HDR rendering in the highlights, with a result that is a notch above the BenQ. Overall, the image quality is better with the JVC projector, which is excellent in all areas (sharpness, color richness, realism and naturalness of the image) and better contrast. The JVC DLA-N5 is also better when it comes to adjusting the geometry and sharpness of the image thanks to its motorized Lens Shift, Zoom and focus.

However, the price of the two projectors has to be taken into account. The BenQ W5700 is unbeatable in this respect.

BenQ W5700: conclusion

The BenQ W5700 projector impressed us right from the first images thanks to its very well calibrated Cinema mode. This means that once the projector is set up, you can immediately enjoy your movies in excellent conditions. The colors are vivid while remaining natural and the contrast is very satisfactory, especially with the dynamic iris activated.

HDR management allows movies shot with a wide dynamic range to be displayed accurately, offering more detail and nuance in both very dark and very bright scenes. The definition of 4K UHD sources is excellent: the sharpness and level of detail are very satisfactory.

Considering its price, the BenQ W5700 4K HDR projector is without a doubt the model with the best value for money on the market today. In this, the Taiwanese manufacturer remains true to its reputation.

What we liked

  • The range of the lens shift
  • The color calibration in “Cinema” mode
  • The overall quality of HDR images
  • The sharpness and precision of the image

What we would have liked

  • For the dynamic iris to have been silent
  • For the lens cover not to clip onto the focus ring

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