BenQ GV1 – Using a Stylish Projector During the Clampdown

For weeks we all have been turning inward for home-based diversions. We discovered the fun of virtual murder mystery parties, and we are cooking a wider palette than before. Like most people, the consumption of TV and movies has accelerated. That gave us the opportunity to change up our delivery technology with BenQ’s GV1 projector.

The unit looks like the seemingly ubiquitous portable speakers proliferating everywhere, which was likely intentional. We had a blast of warm weather recently, and we set up the GV1 for an outdoor movie night.

The out of the box experience was fairly simple. Hooking up a laptop to deliver the video source is fairly painless. The top piece of the GV1 has a tilt design, allowing for a 15% range of motion. We sat around our patio and projected “The Shawshank Redemption” on the wall. The keystone feature made sure the initially trapezoidal (or is that a rhombus?) image was squared up. Focus is handled by a button on the side.

The GV1 uses digital light processing (DLP) technology for maximal color reproduction and improved clarity. The top of the unit has two volume buttons, a power button and a fourth button for selecting between projector and speaker functionality.

Portability is limited to some degree if you aren’t using direct power, as the brightness is dimmed to extend battery life.

Because of the simplified design choices of the main unit, you will need the supplied remote control too get the GV1 operational. The remote is fortunately small and fairly well designed.

The growing design choice of a lighted remote makes life easier, and we missed that functionality in our outdoor setting. But once we were up and running, we enjoyed the unfolding drama about possible hope in a prison setting. It turned out to be a timely film choice in this life during clampdown.

Our ideal screen size was about 55” for a bright and colorful image. The GV1 can throw a larger image, but as with all projectors brightness falls off as the image size increases.

Similarly, at only 5 watts the sound can be rather thin in an outdoor setting. This is to be expected in such a small form factor (3” x 3” x 6” and 25 ounces). As summer approaches, we will likely use the GV1 outdoors only with animated films requiring little dialogue (think “The Pink Panther”) or classic comedies from the triumvirate of Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.

Indoors, the GV1 is a fun addition for enjoying video in different places. It comes with a generous three year warranty.

The BenQ GV1 has a sub $400 price point, which provides a compelling balance of price point and functionality.


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.