You cannot do without a powerful home theatre nowadays if you are addicted to the endless high-resolution content streamed by OTT players. The options: Either invest in a 4K TV or go for a movie-grade projector like the W1700M from BenQ. In spite of its price point, the high-spec device offering active 3D support is worth a look for the excellent viewing experience.
The all-plastic design looks premium, and at 4.2 kg, it is much more compact than many of its genre. There are grills at the front and the sides, and the heat extraction happens through the left grill. The projection lens sits at front right; all physical controls, along with the manual dials for adjusting focus and zoom, are at the top and the connectivity ports are placed at the back. The adjustable foot at the bottom enables the best projection angle while the backlit remote makes it easy to operate it even in the pitch dark. It also has dedicated buttons for 3D, light mode, eco blank, detail enhancer, cinema master and more. But the projector does not come with 3D glasses and one has to shell out Rs 4,250 plus taxes for a pair.
Setting up this projector is easy. Place it on a table, adjust the height for the preferred angle, connect power and content source, and you will be good to go. Otherwise, it can be ceiling-mounted. When used for the first time, the projector prompted me to select from the various projection options such as front, front ceiling, back and back ceiling.
The W1700M uses a 0.47 single-DMD DLP (digital light processing) projection system and features a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and a brightness of 2,000 ANSI Lumens. I had plugged in the Amazon Fire TV Stick to an HDMI port and streamed the content from several apps, including YouTube, Netflix, Hotstar and Prime Video. The projection was far superior to what you would see on a 4K flat-panel television. The content looked sharp with natural-looking and bright colour reproductions. It also worked well across content genres (action, anime, cartoons and more), thanks to a host of projection modes, including bright, vivid TV, cinema and sports. Connectivity was not a problem either as this one comes with two HDMI and a PC VGA port.
The device can be used to project anywhere between 60 inches and over 200 inches. But I kept it close to 150 inches and the experience was amazing. Normal lamp life is close to 4,000 hours, but it goes up to 8,000 hours in the SmartEco mode and 15,000 hours in lamp save. The 5W sound output is decent, but you may have to instal a sound system for a cinematic experience.