BenQ has announced its newest home theater projector, the W1500, which it claims is the first to feature onboard 5GHz wireless video.
The W1500 uses the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) standard and competes directly with the WirelessHD system used by Epson. The company claims that any HDMI device or even an iPad (with an HDMI adaptor) can be used with the BenQ. The package includes an HDMI dongle that communicates via WHDI to the projector. As an aside, it's interesting to note that the compatible products detailed on the official WHDI site are largely unavailable as the list hasn't been updated in two years.
At a demonstration of the W1500, the company showed a video running from an iPad with the WHDI dongle attached and the picture appeared a little juddery, though it's hard to determine if it was the video or the wireless system.
Wireless shenanigans aside, the more important imaging specs seem pretty impressive. Color is a focus according to the company, and the DarkChip3 DLP system uses a six-segment color wheel with an image that adheres to the Rec. 709 standard. The W1500 offers two ISF calibration modes and is capable of a 2,200-lumen brightness. The company says the lamp can last up to 6,000 hours using the power-saving SmartEco features.
The W1500 features stereo 10W speakers and audio inputs and outputs, plus vertical lens shift. BenQ says the projector has a 1.6x zoom and its short throw lens is capable of a projecting an image 84 inches across from 6 feet away.
The BenQ's nearest competitor is the PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e which comes with four wireless inputs (no dongles) but which is possibly nearing the end of its life given the appearance of the '30 models.
The BenQ W1500 is available now for a retail price of $2,299 but has a street price of around $1,600.
Updated 11-8-2013: Added information about the HDMI dongle included in the package.