HC 1200 sRGB DLP Projector
There’s so much good to say about Benq’s HC 1200 sRGB DLP Projector that lets get the negatives, of which there aren’t many, up front. The biggest thing is that there’s no optical lens shift, not lateral or vertical. Yes there is a front loaded bumper that can be used to raise the “aim of the lens” but this means you have to go through all kinds of hoops to get the projector lined up vertically and horizontally with the screen (using a level helps big time here). And for sure anybody that is interested in getting all the resolution out of a projector knows that using the digital keystone to correct for this will fudge the resolution — so none of that.
But with that said, what we have here is a high quality projector that fulfills the purpose of a projector system: providing a Full HD image that is bright enough to handle moderate ambient light when played across a projection screen. As to the “rainbow” effect, few will encounter it, but that’s not to say an individual might have a problem with this (then again, most will not).
A DLP one-chip system generates a fair amount of heat but the fan’s not overly loud and in a normal situation where there is a sound system being used with it, no surface interference noise will result (I don’t count the mono speaker built-in as viable for anything of real volume). What’s important to keep in mind is that the portability of this projector makes it ideal for travel use; combined with the built in templates and functionality makes it useful for boardroom presentations as well.
One of the great strengths of the HC 1200 is that it is color balanced in a superior fashion — the quality being done “out of the box” as it were, and removes a lot of the gross manipulations that are necessary when setting up a new projector. That’s not to say that fine tuning won’t enhance the overall image, but “out of the box” the image is many times closer to a color neutral balance, courtesy of the sRGB (Red, Green, Blue) color standard. A strong addition to improving on that quality is the ability to go “into” the guts and work on the color space — there are a number of options that make for a difference in the overall result of what is being seen. Among them is a 3D mode and a filter for balancing the color output depending on the color of a wall — should no projection screen be handy. Considering its portability, this is a handy feature. As is the built-in filter that does not need regular cleaning to remove dust.
The projector was used to run a lot of movies and TV shows off of Blu-ray disc. Additionally the player’s USB connection was used to play digital files and project streaming films. The main take-away away was a sense off color fidelity — images looked vibrant and “solid” — even with the contrast level turned up a bit past normal “middle of the road”. There was no loss of detail from the contrast hard-delineating objects onscreen. For example, night scenes from Freak Show (American Horror Story) maintained an inky black while not shrouding the characters into inky pools. Blacks overall are black – not a dark grey or thereabouts — and yet fine detail can still be seen inside. That’s not to say that reflective can be superior to transmitted (i.e., a projector versus a TV), but if handled correctly, as is the case with this projector, the image can supply all the details being fed to it without suffering. As to playing videos, a good example of this was The Water Diviner (Warner Bros.) in which skin tones and landscapes look realistic and subtle — wholly believable and viewable. This became even more evident with Warner’s Hot Pursuit, in that the skin tones of Sofia Vergara really popped, yet maintained the subtle nuances that keep skin from looking “chalky.”
A good front projector doesn’t have to have all kinds of special features — the biggest thing is that the picture it presents be as color faithful and well lit as is possible. BenQ’s HC 1200 sRGB DLP Projector is designed with this in mind and, if the company is to be believed, the method in which the color is being created won’t fade over time (as is the case normally with other projectors). About the only other thing worth noting is that the retail price of $2,299.00 is many, many times higher than the street price today: being under $900.00. So you get the value of a more affordable price than would be expected for a color faithful, high resolution projector.