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Meet BenQ’s New True 4K DLP Projector With Stunning Cinematic HDR Color

by on January 30, 2017
 

Stephan Jukic – January 30, 2017

BenQ doesn’t have quite the prestige in the 4K home theater projector market that Sony manages with its near monopoly on these rather specialized home entertainment devices but some of the products that BenQ has produced are definitely on the highly impressive side.

The company’s new X12000 DLP home theater projector is as fine an example of BenQ’s capacity for quality as anything we’ve yet seen and it definitely delivers the kinds of specs that a serious home theater buff could love.

Most importantly, the X12000 offers up cinematic 4K resolution and combines it with DCI-P3 wide color gamut of the kind that rivals or even outdoes the best and professional theater screen or HDR 4K TV can offer you. This is something the X12000 pulls off with a mix of technologies for LED luminance and DLP technology.

benq-x12000-1

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing by the way and this technology essentially works by combining color wheels with specialized mirrors to throw a range of colors in a picture at a display surface for improved and much more cinematic color accuracy. The X12000 is the first consumer projector to combine this feature with 4K resolution according to BenQ. We should also note that Digital Light Processing is a 2015 Academy Award of Merit Oscar winning technology that is used in a majority of the world’s professional digital cinemas.

Also, the X12000’s 4K resolution is more or less the real thing, representing a genuine 8.3 million pixels onto the display surface through XPR pixel-switching technology without the use of upscaling or “e-shift” technologies like those found in man cheaper simulated 4K projectors from brands like Epson and JVC. This puts the X12000 much more firmly in competition with Sony’s better HDR projector models even though Sony’s models offer superior, fully native 4K resolution without resorting to pixel manipulation.

Then there are the X12000’s HLD LEDs, which kick out a hefty 2200 lumens of brightness in combination with the projectors beautiful 90%+ DCI-P3 color space coverage to deliver a picture quality which is not only vibrant but also wonderfully bright and as a result extremely rich in contrast quality. Just how much contrast quality? BenQ is specifying about 50,000:1 Dynamic contrast ratios and combines these with a high level of gamma control for particularly robust brightness all across a picture.

benq_w12000_inout

Moving along, the X12000 can project pictures to a surface that’s up to several meters away with a high level of brightness and contrast while also using a 14-element lens array and what the company calls “True Zoom” technology to maintain image quality and optimized zoom/focus on an automatic basis with minimal curvature, blur, or weakening of color and contrast in what’s being displayed. This is helped out by a 1.5X zoom for high levels of display sand room size flexibility.

BenQ hasn’t yet released specific availability details for the X12000 but we do know that it will retail for somewhere around $10,000, so no, you’re not going to be finding a cheaper alternative to most Sony native 4K projector models with this otherwise awesome-sounding piece of home theater technology.

Story by 4k.com

6 comments
 
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  • Zevi Slotkin
    January 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Unfortunately this is not a native 4K DLP chip projector.
    The BenQ website clearly states that it’s a 2716 x 1528 DMD chip outputting 8.3 million pixels via XPR fast-switching technology. I’m sure the image looks great but it is not “the real thing.”
    So the wait for true native 4K DLP home projection continues.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Hello Zevi. Thank you for the detail. This has been added in. The projector does at least however output a full 8.3 million pixels through pixel shifting, unlike other so-called 4K projector models such as JVC’s e-Shift devices which don’t even manage real pixel-shifted 4K

      Reply

      • Taft
        February 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        Pixel shift was called Wobulation back in 2005. It is smoke and mirrors when it comes to resolution. It is 4K compatible not 4K resolution. Better consumer trickery through marketing…

        Reply

    • Graham
      March 9, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      I’m glad to see that SONY monopoly on 4K UHD projectors is coming to the end. Sony Product marketing manager for home theatre projectors, stated that he doesn’t like how Texas Instruments called their new so-called 4K chip a “4K Chip”. Texas Instruments, TI-powered projectors fulfil the definition of 4K if it’s viewed more flexibly than Sony views it. They may squeeze more flashes into a single frame but they do ultimately deliver enough pixels for what could be called 4K UHD at 3840 x 2160 pixels. Other so-called 4K projectors on the other hand don’t even pull this off. In the JVC models, the technology is called e-shift and in the Epson projectors it goes by the name of 4K Enhancement or 4Ke but in both cases, what is actually being done is a 2 million pixel Full HD 1080p sensor getting flashed twice per frame but with the pixels shifting. Thus, with the JVC and Epson projectors, even the use of this 4K upscaling technology produces nothing more than 2K resolution.

      The picture and the price of this new BenQ projector is fantastic. The projector has 14-piece glass lens in six grouping structure including a 6-piece extra low dispersion coating glass lens for 4K images.

      Reply

  • Mike McNamara
    February 4, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Zevi is 100% correct in his statement about the less-than native 4K resolution of the TI DLP660TE 4K UHD DMD used in this Benq and all other models using the same DMD by Benq, Optoma, Vivitek, Acer, and SIM2–just to name a few. Plus, these designs all require an Opto-Mechanical pixel shifting mechanism called the Optical Actuator in order to shift the second 1/2 Frame by 1/2 pixel across the diagonal and increase resolution. They also require two Display Controller chips instead of one to perform the image processing and control the DMD. You can figure it all out for yourself by reading the official TI Spec Sheet for the DMD here (see pg 29 for diagram showing Optical Actuator) : http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/dlps072/dlps072.pdf, or find the Optical Actuator in their original brochure released in Jan. 2016 here: http://www.ti.com/lit/ml/ssnb002/ssnb002.pdf.
    What really bothers me is how TI and DLP partners have refused to openly admit the XPR Technology is pixel-shifting technology. Instead, they made it sound like the rapid switching speed of the mirrors somehow enabled each mirror to project two pixels on screen without the use of pixel shifting. NOT THE CASE. I’ve seen over a dozen presentations, mostly with prototypes, at 4 trade shows in the last year. And while I’ve been impressed by the increased resolution from these projectors (some may even test at true 4K UHD res), I’m also growing tired of the extended delays in production (now going on 1.5 years if units arrive this summer as currently promised), and lack of clarity on the XPR Technology (TI hasn’t created one document explaining what XPR Technology is or includes.)
    As for HDR capability? How will that be possible when the DLPC4422 Display Controllers used in the designs are not capable of creating 10-bit grayscale images on the DMD at speeds required for 4K UHD display. Can 8-bits per color provide HDR imagery? Not in my experience.

    Reply

  • amit pal
    February 5, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Some questions for you Stephen ,
    why benQ has shortlisted the 3d specification in their 4k model ?
    Is it any problem with new 4k dlp chip to display 3d images ?
    Is the hld led light source is replacable in future ? I know the life span of it. But if I want to do that so what’s your answer ?
    Thanking you with waiting.

    Reply

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