BenQ HT2050A review: Great (big) picture for the money

    If you are purchasing for a projector between $500 and $1,000, put together to face a sea of clones. Sizes, designs and even button layouts are sometimes almost equivalent from one model to the following. But there’s one thing completely different concerning the BenQ HT2050A. Although it has an identical worth because the competitors, it is bigger and there is a extra aesthetically pleasing, curvy design. It appears to be like much less just like the repurposed enterprise projector and extra like one thing you’d need in your home. 

    LikeBright image with nice contrastAccurate, practical coloursLens is shift a rarity at this worth.

    Don’t LikeLens shift and zoom do not regulate farRainbows, in the event that they trouble you

    The distinction is greater than pores and skin deep: This projector’s efficiency is a step above as effectively. Better distinction ratio and coloration than its counterparts create among the finest image high quality I’ve seen on this worth vary. Darker blacks, paired with brilliant whites, all with correct coloration, make for a lovely picture. The cherry on high is a small quantity of vertical lens shift, which is uncommon on this worth vary and virtually nonexistent in single-chip DLP projectors. This means extra folks will be capable of match the projector of their properties.  Just like its predecessor, the BenQ HT2050A is without doubt one of the finest projectors you may get for the value. It at the moment sells for about $699 within the US and £550 within the UK; pricing in Australia is not out there however that works out to about $1,000AU. 

    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Basic specs Native decision: 1080pHDR-compatible: No4K-compatible: No3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 2,200Zoom: Manual (1.3)Lens shift: ManualLamp life (Normal mode): 3,500 hoursLike the opposite projectors on this worth vary, the HT2050A lacks 4K and HDR. It is 3D succesful, although the glasses aren’t included. BenQ claims 2,200 ANSI lumens. I measured roughly 1,591. It’s regular for projectors to measure decrease than their claimed specs. This is a brilliant picture, and roughly the identical because the Epson HC2150. Lens shift on this worth vary is uncommon, and rarer nonetheless with DLP projectors, so its inclusion right here could be one of many HT2050A’s major promoting factors even when it did not look nearly as good because it does. That stated, the lens shift is not lots. BenQ says it adjusts the vertical vary by 10%. So relying the place you place the projector, you may have a number of inches of vertical leeway, however that is it. Still, it undoubtedly helps and is best than the nothing you get with most single-chip DLP projectors.

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    The zoom vary is simply common nevertheless, falling behind the Epson. So you will not be capable of place it fairly as shut, or as far, from the display screen because the HC2150.  Also common is the lamp life, at 3,500 hours in Normal mode. This goes as much as 7,000 hours within the GoodEco mode, which maintains the utmost brightness of the Normal mode however drops lamp energy throughout darkish scenes for a greater black stage. Though you’ll be able to often see this occur, it is quick sufficient that it is wonderful to depart on this mode (until you discover and hate it).
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Connectivity and comfort HDMI inputs: 2PC enter: Analog RGBUSB port: 1 (1.5A energy)Audio enter and output: YesDigital audio output: NoLAN port: No12v set off: YesRS-232 distant port: YesMHL: YesRemote: BacklitBoth HDMI inputs have HDCP 1.4, which means you’ll be able to ship every enter any video supply you need. This is not the case with some opponents, which solely have HDCP 1.4 on one of many HDMI inputs. The USB connection has a claimed 1.5 amp output, letting you energy a streaming stick straight with no exterior energy adapters.  The HT2050A has a number of legacy analog video inputs, which is a rarity as of late. Not solely do you get part video, however composite as effectively. So if you wish to straight join one thing like a Nintendo Wii, or, I do not know, a LaserDisc participant or one thing, you are able to do it with no additional adapters. These connections share RCA analog audio inputs. There’s additionally a 3.5mm audio enter and a 3.5mm audio output, the latter to hook up with an exterior speaker or soundbar. The RS-232 and 12v set off are helpful for these with extra elaborate dwelling theater programs. The distant is backlit with a comparatively dim orange backlight. This is an effective factor: Many of the present crop of projector remotes have a brilliant blue backlight. Using them may be like forming your individual private B-type star when you’re simply attempting to alter the inputs at midnight.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Picture high quality comparisons Epson Home Cinema 2150 Viewsonic PX727HD I in contrast the HT2050A to the Epson HC2150 and the Viewsonic PX727HD. The latter, just like the BenQ, is DLP. The Epson, like nearly all of Epson’s projectors, is LCD. I linked these through a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and seen all of them on a 102-inch 1.0-gain display screen. Right away the variations had been obvious. Firstly, the Viewsonic was far dimmer, and did not have the distinction ratio of the opposite two. This put it at a distant third, so I spend most of my time evaluating the Epson and the BenQ. Both projectors are far brighter than even high-end projectors from a number of years in the past. What’s extra apparent than the numbers would recommend is how a lot better the black stage, and due to this fact the distinction ratio, is on the BenQ. This is obvious when viewing widescreen motion pictures, with the black bars a number of shades darker on the BenQ. Because their mild output is roughly the identical, this offers the HT2050A a bit extra dimensionality to the picture and extra obvious depth.  An excellent instance of that is the contrasty scene in Avengers: Infinity War the place Thor and his pet rabbit assist Tyrion Lannister forge the Stormbreaker battle axe. Nidavellir’s colourful neutron star and magical results are brightly offset in comparison with the darkness of house and the shadows of the forge. These photographs do not look unhealthy on the Epson, however the shadows are way more grey than on the BenQ, giving the latter a extra pleasing look total.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Color is one other level within the BenQ’s favor. It’s just a bit richer and extra practical. Greens particularly look extra pure. The grass within the Battle of Wakanda, additionally in Infinity War, for instance, is only a extra vibrant and practical shade of inexperienced. The blue of the defend wall is a stronger, extra vivid blue, with out the sky trying like sweet. Another place the place the BenQ wins out over the Epson is with movement decision. All LCD-based shows have a point of movement blur. DLP-based projectors do not, due to the way in which they create a picture. This is most blatant in the way in which the BenQ maintains element when issues transfer. Take the camera-panning motion of Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. When there are closeups of Emily Blunt or Tom Cruise’s faces, you’ll be able to nonetheless see wonderful particulars all through.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    On the opposite hand there’s DLP’s long-standing downside: rainbows. These are multicolored trails left by brilliant objects on display screen. You can also discover them in the event you transfer your eyes shortly. Most folks both do not see them, or aren’t bothered by them, so that they is probably not a problem for you. But people who find themselves bothered by them are actually bothered by them. In that case, no single-chip DLP projector is more likely to work. You’ll must go together with an LCD choice just like the Epson HC2150, or a better priced LCOS projector (Sony or JVC) or a way more costly three-chip DLP projector. With its excessive mild output, great-for-its-price distinction ratio and correct coloration, the HT2050A is a good selection for somebody trying to exchange their TV, or who desires a projector for the occasional film night time. The icing on the cake is the lens shift, which ought to enable the 2050 to slot in much more properties than most projectors on this worth vary.
    Geek Box




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    Measurement notes and instructed image settingsBefore calibration the 2050A’s most correct image setting was Cinema, which was OK. Its grayscale wasn’t too near D65, particularly with brighter pictures. This was extremely adjustable, nevertheless, and was simply dialed in to be correct. Colors had been pretty correct out of the field: They had been all near their targets aside from magenta, which was a bit of off, however not badly. Colors, identical to coloration temperature, had been adjustable. And after calibration, they had been far nearer. There’s no iris on the 2050A, nevertheless it does have a variable lamp. Eco mode is about 33% dimmer than Normal mode. The distinction ratio within the Normal and Eco modes averaged 2,094:1, which is fairly good for a projector on this worth vary. The DynamicEco mode, which bases the lamp energy on the typical image stage of the picture, creates a dynamic distinction ratio about 50% larger than the opposite lamp settings, however the distinction ratio inside a single picture remains to be 2,094:1. Best Picture Mode: Cinema Expert settings (instructed): Brightness: 51Distinction: 41Sharpness: 7Color: N/ATint (G/R): N/AColor Temp: NormalGamma Selection: 2.2Brilliant Color: OnNoise Reduction: 7Fast Mode: Off

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