June 6, 2005
The Texas Instruments DarkChip 3 is currently the DMD of choice in upper-mid to high end home theater projectors, having personally reviewed two such DC3 projectors I can attest to the chips accurate color reproduction, black level and overall excellent image quality.
Joining the small but growing ranks of DC3 projectors is the BenQ PE8720, with the aforementioned Texas Instruments DC3 DMD, 8 segment color wheel, powered lens shift, WXGA resolution (1280×720) and a rather impressive (although potentially misleading) contrast ratio of 5500:1. Availability is said to be “now” but this unit has experienced several delays already and may not actually saturate the dealer base until later this month.
A word about contrast ratios, many times manufacturers will state a max, or burst contrast ratio that sounds quite impressive, and while I have zero doubt the CR of the PE8720 will be excellent keep in mind that contrast ratios aren’t a fixed sum game. Or in other words don’t expect a CR of 5500:1 to necessarily look twice as good as 2750:1, that’s just not how it pans out in the real world.
Retail pricing, is said to be $10,999, but if BenQ’s past practices in regards to retail and street pricing holds true, expect to see it sell for much much less, possibly even SP7210 numbers, ala sub 6k. Even sold at full retail (which wont happen) the PE8720 would come in significantly less than the Marantz VP-12S4, the VP 12S4 was a knockout in my opinion, I’d love to see how the PE 8720 compares. Regardless the 8720 is definitely worth keeping an eye on, and hopefully we’ll be able to arrange a full review.
Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater Projectors