best home theater projector under 2000

best home theater projector under 2000

best home theater projector under 2000

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you my thoughts and impressions of the Ben qht 5550 today the Ben qht 5550 is an 8.3 million pixel true 4k HDR projector did I get all that and so I’m looking forward to going through as I usually do with an iPhone walking around the cam the not the camera walking around the projector and sharing with you guys what I think of this projector it’s an awesome 4k HDR projector so this has been a long time coming I’m sorry that this is been delayed but life just got in the way and here we are today so let’s dive into it as they usually do on these reviews I’m gonna walk around the projector for a little bit with my iPhone sharing my overall thoughts and impressions of the hardware the market fit high-level overview of what this projector represents and then we’re going to take a break set some on-screen stuff up and then we’ll get to the conclusion of whether or not you should buy this projector all right so let’s get into some of the specs of this projector the HT 55 50 it’s a 4k HDR projector and a little bit on 4k this is a true 4k 8.3 million uniquely represented pixels on screen it does this by shifting its native 1080p chip four times this is a DLP unit and so you’re gonna get really good mooshed motion smoothness as far as rainbow effects are concerned for those of you who are wondering that this has an RGB RGB color will and so I’m not personally affected by rainbow effect but for those of you who are RGB RGB as well as the color coding on this specific unit tends to be greatly reduced for those sensitive to it I haven’t heard of anyone who’s sensitive to rainbow effect on the HT 55 50 now on HDR let’s talk about that for just a minute I recently reviewed the Ben qht 35 50 and at the time I said it was the best HDR I have seen on a projector due in large part to its Auto tone mapping now the HT 55 50 using the same auto tone mapping technology it also has a improve dynamic iris relative to the HD 3550 and then those custom algorithms that we were talking about with the HT 3550 all of those work in concert to create a very very good HDR image better than the HD 3550 I’m gonna get to my conclusion then hgr in just a bit but spoiler there is that this is among the very best 4k HDR I have seen on a projector now what was really interesting for me when Bank you introduced this projector and why I got excited is because it filled a niche that Behnke wasn’t really represented in before the HT 3550 launched at $1500 and then if you wanted a more refined 4k HDR projector from Ben Q you were looking at either the HT 80 60 or 90 60 both of which cost anywhere from six to eight thousand dollars now with this what you’re getting with the HT 55 50 is a nice black finish which I think that the overall design BenQ typically is very good at their design and this is no exception nice black matte finish which looks just perfectly right at home in an upscale home theater and it’s not too big you know I’m gonna be doing a shoot out of the Epson 5050 you be but you can see just the site profile how much bigger the 50/50 UB is compared to the HT 55 50 and for some that obtrusiveness is going to be a detractor now some other things on the HT 55 50 that are very good relative to other DLP’s in its space as well as even allowing it to compete with the Epsons is the placement flexibility so here we have see if we can get that lens shift lots of it so I think I’m quoting this correctly it’s plus or minus vertical lens shift is plus or minus 63 percent and horizontal lens shift is 27 plus or minus percent and so I’ll just show you it’s very smooth and it’s actuation I’ll go plus here and so I’m not doing the full range here just for the sake of time but it’s very smooth and very easy to get the image from side to side see if we can get that focus on the screen there you go side to side very easy to get that projector image focused as well as where you want it and so placement flexibility is actually really good here are the controls for zoom as well as the come on focus zoom as well as focus there you go right there and so I’m not going to mess that up but right here you twist this ring here for the focus and then this overlay is the zoom so it’s an all new lens the lens is very good very very sharp this sharpness and focus human uniformity as we’re talking about the lens is really very good and so I as far as the hardware is concerned it’s a more mature more grown-up unit compared to the HT 35 15 the HD 35 50 is no slouch I really liked the HT 35 50 with it’s like the the rear looks almost as good as the front the front has no like spillage coming out of the front it does a very good job so I don’t have any complaints for what the HT 35 50 is but the HT 55 50 is just it’s got some meat to it you know and I think it looks really good on a ceiling if I’m being objective I guess that would be subjective alright so let’s talk about in and out we’ve got USB media reader capability so if you wanted to throw some h.264 h.265 files on it h.265 is not officially supported in documentation but i have tested it and it works so if you have some high efficiency video codec files HDR things like that it works pretty well I don’t see the USB media reader being used as much as the HT 35 50 simply just because this is going to be used pretty much 100% of the time and more of a dedicated theater with surround sound so there’s no onboard speakers anymore so if you did want to bring this in the backyard I mean you can I guess it has the optical out as far as audios concern as well as the 3.5 millimeter audio out and so if you wanted to use that for your audio you could from a USB media reader plugged in and so it’s nice that that flexibility is there it also has 2.5 amp power for Roku streaming stick fire TV stick things like that if you wanted to use that as well so that’s there once the projector is powered on the these are actually I’ve used these buttons more than I have on any other venue projector they’re actually pretty darn nice in terms of the the feel of the buttons and where they’re located and so that was a nice touch I did like the buttons on the back and this just as well as just another touch that this is this is more like the HT 80/60 versus the HT 3550 just in terms of the build we’re going to talk about some on-screen stuff as well but overall I’m a big fan as far as the hardware goes and so let’s dive in to on-screen performance all right so first and foremost I know that it’s really hard to reproduce what I’m seeing on a video but one thing as it relates to HD are that the HD 5550 does very well is a lot of things I mean this is a scene that’s very hard to reproduce an HDR because of the warmth in the scene HDR typically tends to overdo the saturation of reds and oranges and it’s doing that against a very dark black background and dark gray in the shadows and another thing that this scene highlights on thor ragnarok is the shadow detail and so and I’ve seen projectors especially last year’s crop of the point four seven inch chips this is a new updated 0.47 dlp DMD which sort of the gray border and all that so what this is doing is it’s leveraging the dynamic iris but more importantly that Dynamis e to the iris and as well as the overall HDR image is the auto tone mapping is making sure that’s really no scene is too damn and for the most part HDR is even brighter than just standard SDR content due to how the auto tone mapping works and so you can see here like the flesh tone even in a dark warm scene is actually really good the sharpness of the chains the lava in the background the shadow detail the rocks it’s a very nice image I can’t really play it rolls my videos gonna take him down on YouTube but I’m gonna thumb through some different scenes here here’s another one again the clipping that is done whoops the clipping that’s done on this image is usually pretty bad and a lot of details lost in the detail in the chest and like the red coming out I’m seeing a little bit of clipping on my iPhone screen I’m not seeing it on my actual projector screen but the detail image on the chair the throne there’s really no part of the image that is just crushed by the dynamic iris and what the auto tone mapping is doing and here’s another close-up really good flesh tone even though we’re we’re in a very dark seem really good sharpness overall the shadow gradation is very good so HDR on this projector is really really good and this is you guys this is out of the box and so here’s another scene of thor ragnarok that shortly follows the beginning opening scene and again I feel like the overall brightness the color the details in the cloud the details in the intricate Asgard architecture in the statue is just a very very well balanced picture I’ll fund through a few different screenshots here as well but and this this is a really good scene to highlight some of the you know how this handles flesh tone and how this handles different colors on screen in relation to that flesh tone so here is Anthony Hopkins and Loki so let’s go back just a few so the overall flesh tone it’s a little bit warmer on my iPhone that I’m seeing than it is on my screen but it does a very good job with flesh tone again this is out of the box right this is the best out of the box 4k HDR image I’ve ever seen just super super balanced and it’s actually pretty darn bright as well so HDR is very good flesh tone is good color is good and then we’re gonna get into some settings and talk a little bit more about that but hopefully you guys can see a little bit get an idea of the on-screen performance of the HD 55 50 here alright so let’s go to some of the on-screen settings now the menu is pretty similar to it’s very similar so it’s pretty much identical to the HT 35 15 what settings are available and all that so I am going to go to advanced the only setting that I changed that was not default was HDR brightness I have a hundred and sixty inch screen and this I was really surprised and pleasantly surprised to find out that even though this is 200 lumens less than the HT 3550 this is plenty bright for my hundred and sixty inch screen so I put it at plus one plus zero is actually not bad it increases the overall contrast of the image but I think a good balance of the image and then I seen with the HDR brightness is that the tone remaps itself so you’re not losing too much contrast would that increase brightness as well now color temperature you have a few different settings they’re color management so there’s a lot of customizations within the Advanced Settings here cinema master I really like the pixel enhancer 4k I think that that has a really nice effect at about eight and if I were to draw any comparisons to how the pixel enhancer 4k setting affects image it’s pretty similar to how the little Darby Darla if you have seen those had those I have one and I’d say that that’s pretty pretty close to the most similar effect that you could have from the pixel enhancer 4k setting let’s talk about motion enhancer 4k now that we’re here so this does create a frame interpolation or CFI BenQ calls it Emmy MC and so it has a low medium high setting I only recommend this setting on sports and it does have a pretty nice effect and some people like it if you don’t mind that slight soap-opera effect i leave it off pretty much all the time but it’s there if you want it color enhancer is nice in SDR I’m going to talk more about that when we go to SDR content dynamic iris so I’m going to turn the dynamic RS on and off so it does you can kind of see how the image changes just a little bit but the dynamic iris you know if you lift it off you will see a brighter or I guess a higher gray level or black level on full dark scenes I leave it on and you know I don’t notice the pumping too much it is a little bit slower than what I noticed on the HT 35 50 but not too bad as far as noise is concerned with the you know music completely silent and if this is mounted like right above your head you might hear it going to work just a little bit I’ve never noticed it with content on the screen so you know your minds just going to vary based on how sensitive you are to picking up on the noise at a dynamic iris would make but I’m just you’re saying that you probably not a big deal and then wide color gamut this is going to turn on the color filter and you know it doesn’t dim too much and that’s kind of what I was expecting going into the HT 5550 is that this is producing a very color accurate this is where you’re gonna get 100% p3 coverage but with it off I think that the main selling point have this projector honestly is the DCI p3 coverage with this off so what they did with the car GB RGB color will is that they introduced a new pure coating on it’s the same pure coating technology that they use on the 80 60 and 90 60 and that actually gets the picture to 96% or 95% should I say p3 coverage now if you are going to sit here and tell me that you can notice a difference in 5% p3 coverage then that’s fine and I know that some people will some video files will but I’m just here telling you for me with my hundred and 60 inch screen I prefer the slightly brighter image with still really really good color on the screen with it off now light mode you have normal economic smart eco just like the HTT 550 you can’t put this into smart eco as well as have the dynamic iris on at the same time so just keep that in mind smart smart eco is leveraging the dynamic black TI technology on the software side so it actually dims the lamp instead of clamps down the iris so some other settings again default is in most cases going to be very very good the color on this thing is just so darn good in the sharpness now let’s talk about contrast now the contrast on this projector is an improvement on the 3550 it’s not going to like knock some black level enthusiasts socks off the Epson 50/50 UB for example has better contrast as well as black levels you just aren’t going to get those inky blacks with a DLP it’s just the nature of the technology so there’s going to be trade-offs now the contrast and black levels are a lot better than last year you know the letter bars that I’m seeing on screen I can hardly see them with my one point no gain screen and the overall perceived contrast on the on screen like the hair the shout out to the left of the couch the robes like the contrast on screen is very good with the content on it the dynamic iris when that clamps down the contrast improves and so I’d say the dynamic contrast you’re gonna want to leave that dynamic iris on is my opinion now what’s it off the native contrast hovers around a thousand thousand to one native contrast which you know based on last year’s 4k DLP chips is is a bit of improvement it’s about 50 percent improvement compared to last year’s DLP 4k chips and so where this projector really shines is the sharpness and there was a scene you know the the Epson 5050 I would do this in my shoot out video but the Epson 5050 you be and the you know I earned it on and I could see the screen door effect I could see individual pixels and everyone says you know it’s so much better but then I turned it on and I could see the pixels because it’s only shifting 1080 the 1080p image twice so there’s only formula individually represented pixels on screen the HT 55 50 does eight point three million pixels on the screen and the lens it just has a super sharp very evenly focused the focus uniformity is very good on it and so I don’t know I I have an image and I’m gonna put this up and editing here so this image of this lizard on this YouTube video that I found it’s it’s pretty apparent as far as the sharpness goes all right so let’s talk about 3d and so 3d is going to be handled just like it is in the HT 3550 and so I just went through I have a bunch of side by side content in my Plex library and so what you need to do on 3d is you need to make sure that your output player this is only for side by side and top bottom 3d content you just need to make sure that your display is set to 1080p resolution instead of 4k so once you do that get into your 3d content and then just press play alright so the 3d content is now on the screen so when you’re at this point and you’re watching your own personal library just like the HT 3550 you go to 3d mode side by side click it and you’re good to go so now it is showing the 3d image here alright and there you go so the 3d image on this projector it’s it’s good I have a hundred and sixty inch screen and I think it was just about the right amount of brightness and so most people they’re gonna have screens around 120 hundred and thirty maybe 100 inches and this will be plenty bright for your 3d setup and the color again that good color is going to transcend into your 3d viewing as well so really really nicely done by Ben Q in the 3d implementation now one more thing to mention about 3d is that if you’re dealing with a 3d blu-ray you just pop in the blu-ray and you’re good to go so you can leave everything in 4k it’ll just automatically pop into frame packing mode on your 3d blu-ray player all right so this is 4k SDR content this is a very very well done video by Jacob and Katie Schwartz on their YouTube channel I love it it’s the Costa Rica 4k this is playing on the shield TV so it’s not an HDR but if I had a Roku this would be HDR this is 4k SDR at 60 frames per second and I wanted to use this to show off the SDR chops on this projector so while this is playing here I’ll go into a few different settings the picture modes ok so you’ve got bright vivid TV cinema and digital cinema and then the user mode so Gregory from passion home cinema put out some really good settings from the user setting that I’m going to share and link to but I’ll get to that so bright just like the HT 3550 a very green kind of unusable image mode I wouldn’t recommend it but it’s there if you need it vivid TV is actually pretty good if you want to watch TV so non color critical viewing the color is actually pretty good and it does put out more lumens relative to the cinema and digital cinema modes so yeah I mean it’s it’s a really nice image on the cinema this is the one that I preferred before Gregory he’s known as crane and abs forums this is the mode I would use most of the time and so to me this is out of the box the best mode for SDR it’s going to give you the best combination of brightness color as well as just I don’t know just an overall balanced image digital cinema this is going to pull over the wide color gamut filter and so it dims down the image but not by much to be honest and the color accuracy is just a lot more natural I’m going to go out of that but you can see just I mean the color is so good on this you know I went to New York City to the launch event of this projector here in the states and we had a hundred and seventy inch screen that we walked into when this was being demoed oh there’s a think it was a infinity war Avengers infinity war as well as lala land and I talked to the Ben Q up on my cake can you fire up a wide color gamut mode just because I thought there was no way that it was producing that bright of an image with the wide color gamut filter on hey kono you know that it’s actually just default settings the wide color gamut modes on really and so this projector does a very good job with its wide color gamut filter mode the colors are just so good on this out of the box and then I’m going to go to the user mode here now the settings Gregory put out there are good I’m gonna thumb through them here so you can see but I think it’s this combination here of the brightness and contrast so brightness 45 you can see there what those settings are and then moving over to all right so the BenQ gamma selection is gonna put a little bit more punch and brightness to the image I think in his settings he had to point to as the preferred gamma selection and to my eye the BenQ gamma selection does just create a little bit more pop in the image just it just makes it pop a little bit more and so I have left it at that color temperature you can see here the different settings so red gain 101 you can go through those 101 99 103 you can take a screenshot of this those are custom settings and then all of these were left I believe at default cinema master 8 see those settings there I’m owed normal so this is a very good image I mean so let me end on this the HT 5550 is it worth the twenty five hundred dollar price tag is that worth an extra thousand dollars compared to the HT thirty five fifty I really like tht thirty five fifty and I think that this yeah I mean it’s better in every way shape form compared to the HD thirty five fifty but it it’s not a huge leap better I think that everything that the HT fifty five fifty does is twenty percent better here thirty percent better there ten percent better here where it really puts the ribbon on the package is the hardware the placement flexibility the lens quality the lens shift and placement flexibility the color will I mean it’s it’s just a better package and so I think that the on screen performance of the HD fifty five fifty gets us about 80% there to its price tag relative to the HT thirty five fifty and then it’s the lime shift the placement flexibility everything else that this has going for that gets us to that twenty five hundred dollar price tag and so if you have a need for the placement flexibility if you want an image that I fill is about twenty percent better than the HT thirty five fifty then definitely spring for the HT fifty five fifty the colors on this are the best I’ve seen on a projector and the image is just fantastic out of the box so I’m going to be doing a shootout with the Epson 50/50 UB and talking a little bit more about how these to compare and so look out for that video but until then let me know what your guys thoughts are of this video and what your thoughts of HD 5550 are in the comments and I’ll try to get to any questions that you guys

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