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BenQ MP512-ST Short-Throw Projector

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C-Sniper 29th March 2009, 09:13 Quote
never heard of a libing room before ;)

Interesting projector though. However i can only see them for use in Movies theaters and Classrooms. Somehow the idea of watching TV over a projector just hasn't appealed to me.
notatoad 29th March 2009, 10:06 Quote
it seems pretty silly of them to include HDMI and not component. i'd think on a unit that couldn't do HD you'd be a lot more likely to want component inputs.
perplekks45 29th March 2009, 14:41 Quote
No HD? Not interesting for me then. You can get 1080p projector for roughly double that price and to be honest, I think it's worth it.
Dr. Strangelove 29th March 2009, 14:59 Quote
Funny enough a few days ago I was planing to start a thread and ask why you guys had not reviewed any projectors, since it seems a likely component of a home theatre setup (and then forgot to do it). Are you going to look at any true HD projectors?

Also I might have missed it but I didn't see any mention of how noisy the projector is, which I think is one of the major issues with projectors? also might be a good idea to include average bulb life and replacement price, since often the bulbs are bloody expensive to replace.
Grimloon 29th March 2009, 17:12 Quote
Another who hasn't heard of a "libing room" - is this somewhere you have "libations" or simply ad lib?

I agree with Dr Strangelove here - what's the cooling fan noise level? Bulb life? Replacement cost? Details please!

A friend of mine runs a full HD projector on a 96" screen and it's truly glorious, the prior incarnation was as limited as this one as far as resolution is concerned, it just didn't have any inputs other than component or VGA. What's the point of a projector that will accept an HDMI input if it simply can't display it? The current one is 720P (1080I signals accepted but downscaled, 1080P wasn't within his budget ) and a joy to use (especially if you're console gaming on split screen). Let's just say that a lot of LAN sessions get held at his gaff and leave it at that.

As far as audio goes, why on earth would you want internal speakers? If you have the cash for a projector then you can usually afford halfway decent speakers so why not use them? Most would so why bother adding them in the first place?
whisperwolf 29th March 2009, 17:50 Quote
is there some part of this review missing because the first page really doesn't seem to flow onto the second page? if there isn't it seems lacking in a few details for a review, the first page is mostly about your projector, TV licensing and how people think projectors aren't HD, and then the second page goes on about how this isn't a HD projector.
Flibblebot 29th March 2009, 19:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove
Also I might have missed it but I didn't see any mention of how noisy the projector is, which I think is one of the major issues with projectors? also might be a good idea to include average bulb life and replacement price, since often the bulbs are bloody expensive to replace.
Most projectors designed for home use are fairly quiet, you certainly wouldn't be able to hear them over a game or movie. According to BenQ's website, quiet mode fan noise is 26dB, which wouldn't be that noticeable when watching or playing.

Most projector bulbs will last for somewhere around the 2,500-3000 hour mark - BenQ themselves quote 4000 hours, but it will start to deteriorate around 3-3500 hours in real world usage.

The bulbs cost around £200 RRP to replace.


The real problem with projectors sold as cheap home projectors tend to be repurposed office projectors, so they invariably have none of the resolution or colour gamut of a proper HD cinema projector. Save your pennies up for a real HD projector, the difference between something like this and a "proper" projector is worlds apart.
Xir 29th March 2009, 21:11 Quote
Quote:
That said, you're not going to find a decent HD-capable projector for under £400.

Well this one isn't HD capable...but over 400pounds...

So which one would you recommend as a cheap entry into HD?
Jasio 29th March 2009, 21:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
No HD? Not interesting for me then. You can get 1080p projector for roughly double that price and to be honest, I think it's worth it.

Agreed. The fantastic Panasonic AE2000/3000U can be had for about $2500 USD, a fantastic price for what's considered to be a projector that bests even $6k-8k range projectors.
Bindibadgi 29th March 2009, 23:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove
Also I might have missed it but I didn't see any mention of how noisy the projector is, which I think is one of the major issues with projectors? also might be a good idea to include average bulb life and replacement price, since often the bulbs are bloody expensive to replace.
Most projectors designed for home use are fairly quiet, you certainly wouldn't be able to hear them over a game or movie. According to BenQ's website, quiet mode fan noise is 26dB, which wouldn't be that noticeable when watching or playing.

Most projector bulbs will last for somewhere around the 2,500-3000 hour mark - BenQ themselves quote 4000 hours, but it will start to deteriorate around 3-3500 hours in real world usage.

The bulbs cost around £200 RRP to replace.


The real problem with projectors sold as cheap home projectors tend to be repurposed office projectors, so they invariably have none of the resolution or colour gamut of a proper HD cinema projector. Save your pennies up for a real HD projector, the difference between something like this and a "proper" projector is worlds apart.

Cheers! :)

It has a surprisingly good colour gamut and white quality, but I won't pretend to know how it compares against real HTPC projectors. Projectors aren't really my field, but Benq asked us to take a look at it - and it's cheap, so we thought our readers might want to know.

A lot of you will want TrueHD anyway, it's only of interest if you particularly need a short throw and MUST have a huge screen.
Faulk_Wulf 29th March 2009, 23:35 Quote
Wait wait wait... I'm confused by something here.
You says it has HDMI port, but go on to say it isn't an HD projector?
Doesn't an HDMI port automatically mean it supports HD content?
Bindibadgi 29th March 2009, 23:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulk_Wulf
Wait wait wait... I'm confused by something here.
You says it has HDMI port, but go on to say it isn't an HD projector?
Doesn't an HDMI port automatically mean it supports HD content?

It does support HD content. Plug any HD devise into it like a PS3 and the PS3 will set itself to 1080p but the projector will downscale it to 800x600 (or appropriate 16:9). It looks fine - surprisingly so - it's just not "TrueHD"
perplekks45 30th March 2009, 00:22 Quote
Any chance of you taking a picture of the quality, Bindi?
Bindibadgi 30th March 2009, 00:38 Quote
Benq had it taken back a few weeks ago: we literally had it for a couple of weeks. I finished the review last month.

I tried shooting it but they didn't turn out so well :( It's difficult because you can't appreciate the black level and colour is dependent on the camera CCD/grain-ISO factor.
Veles 30th March 2009, 01:34 Quote
I think you guys should definitely do more projector reviews;)
perplekks45 30th March 2009, 05:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
I think you guys should definitely do more projector reviews;)
Agreed.

Shame about the quality-showing pictures.
Faulk_Wulf 30th March 2009, 06:23 Quote
Thanks for the explanation! I agree: More projectors!
Da_Rude_Baboon 30th March 2009, 11:38 Quote
Quote:
Shame about the quality-showing pictures.

Whats the point as it will not be representative of the real thing? The camera alters the image and its then compressed into a web friendly jpeg. Thats why all the pictures of displays in magazines and advertisements use simulated images.
Stickeh 30th March 2009, 11:50 Quote
5-50k televisions?
i've picked up a 50" for 700, and a 52 for a little over 9.
Flibblebot 30th March 2009, 13:02 Quote
Panny's 103" plasma costs over £60k, including a stand and compulsory site survey
mrdoogso 30th March 2009, 16:51 Quote
Clive, great to see bit-tech doing some reviews on projectors. I would love to see more budget price HD projector reviews.. especially geared towards HD gaming and general home theater use. I currently own a 40 inch telley but am being drawn by the idea of 100+ inches of gaming goodness for around £600. A lab head-to-head between 3 budget HD projectors would be something to jump up and down about while clapping like to giddy 3 year old....... Cheers !!!
Xir 30th March 2009, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdoogso
Clive, great to see bit-tech doing some reviews on projectors. I would love to see more budget price HD projector reviews.. especially geared towards HD gaming and general home theater use. I currently own a 40 inch telley but am being drawn by the idea of 100+ inches of gaming goodness for around £600. A lab head-to-head between 3 budget HD projectors would be something to jump up and down about while clapping like to giddy 3 year old....... Cheers !!!

+1 :D
LordPyrinc 31st March 2009, 02:52 Quote
I purchased a 40" LCD Samsung thats 1080p with the 120hz refresh rate for 1700 US$ back in November. While I could've gotten other equivalent sized LCDs for much cheaper, the Samsung had me sold on the vibrant colors and the 50,000 : 1 contrast ratio with a 4ms response rate. Full specs can be found here

http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=televisions&type=televisions&subtype=lcdtv&model_cd=LN40A650A1FXZA

When I looked at this one side by side comparison in the store with many other LCD flatpanels the picture quality and color was really tops. If you got the dough, they have even bigger sizes of this model.

DISCLAIMER: No I do not work for Samsung or have any financial ties to the company. I just really like this TV.
flaunt 31st March 2009, 08:32 Quote
"If you’re a HD fanboy then this review is over for you, sorry! "

Lol, HD fanboy? Gotta say that's the first time I've heard that one. Makes me wonder if the author has ever seen anything in full HD glory, especially at the dimensions a projector can produce. Clearly though, if you require the beautiful picture a good HD set can produce you're just a "fanboy."
rallyartuk 12th May 2009, 19:34 Quote
Nice to read the review on MP512ST. I am wondering, why you say that there is no Component input on it. The VGA D-sub input is the component input. Just buy a cable D-Sub to 3 RCA for connecting it. The manual also explains it.

I am researching on buying a cheap projector for viewing cinema at home. I have narrowed down to Benq 522ST (XGA 1024x768 resolution, less HDMI port when compared with 512st) and Optoma HD65 (1200 x 720), both are below 900 US$. Even though 522ST is not a home cinema projector, I am seriously considering it for buying for its short throw capability and lamp life.

Any recommendations?
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