It’s not difficult to see why BenQ are so successful at what they do. With every release, improvements can be seen, and one gets the feeling that a lot of time is spent thinking about how to build on past performance. With BenQ HT3050 I was questioning whether this could be the case, since the previous release, the HT2050 was an astounding model. Excited to find out, I managed to get a hold of one, and the following BenQ HT3050 review, is a description of what I found.
Main Features of the Benq HT3050:
The BenQ HT3050 is a DLP projector, with 2000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 15000.1. Resolution is 1980x1080p and there are various resolution modes like 720p 1080i, 1080p, 576p and 576i. It has 3 HDMI connections, 2 MHL connections and is also compatible with S-Video. The lamp life is 3500 hours in normal mode and 5000 hours in ECO mode, noise level comes to a reading of 29 decibels, the speakers are 20.0 W mono and the zoom on the lens goes all the way up to 130.1. It has a six segment wheel for displaying color and has glass optics.
- Great HD – It meets the Rec.709 standard, which means straightaway, without any sort of re-calibration on the users part, it will display pure cinematic color.
- Good Lamp life. Even if one used it in normal mode every time, at 3500 hours, it is quite competitive.
- Both horizontal and vertical Keystone
- Better fan, so less noise from the projector while viewing
- Huge screen size up 180 inches
- 20.0 W speakers. Surely the best on the market presently and some built-in enhanced sound technology
- Excellent short throw. The HT 3050 allows the buyer to place the projector only 8.4 feet back and still view on a 100 inch screen
- Quick set-up
- It’s not wireless, which is a problem for some people, but one can make it wireless buy purchasing an accessory.
- Some rainbows are present when using the BenQ HT3050 for watching old movies. rainbows are colours that can be seen, faintly on screen during viewing. These are however, not very noticeable and once again, are only a factor when watching old films
- 2000 lumens which is less than some projectors out there, but more than many others, and the performance level of the lumens is excellent
Size and Design:
The measurements of the BenQ HT3050 are 13.8 length by 10.9 width and it has 4.8 inches in depth. These are standard measurements for a BenQ projector and as such it’s practical as well as portable. At 8.1 pounds it could not be considered a heavy projector, so purchasers who want to transport it to another location will not be faced with difficulties. The design is also standard BenQ, in that it’s expertly finished and has a good appearance in the living room next to ones other equipment.
The first thing I noticed when testing out the HT3050 was how easy it was to set-up. You choose which menu you want out of basic and advanced, connect your laptop, computer, tablet, phone, games console or Blu-ray player, and within a few minutes you’re up and running.
Putting a movie in, I saw that it is in fact absolutely cinematic standard color and clarity without any adjustment. This is achieved by BenQ’s careful and considered calibration of the machine to Rec.709 requirements. Rec.709 is the accepted international standard for colors and display, so the BenQ HT3050 represents a true reproduction of cinematic splendor. Its not just down to the calibration either; the glass optic lens and the color wheel really complement the calibration of the HT3050 and help to produce what is phenomenal quality in terms of picture clarity.
I was slightly concerned about the lumens; at 2000 lumens you’re looking at closing the curtains on a very bright day, but excluding those circumstances the HT3050 will display pictures at optimum level always. For example, I viewed a movie with the blinds in my office open, in the afternoon and observed no lapses in quality. So, all in all, the performance level of the lumens is very high and after you’ve seen the cinematic picture the BenQ HT3050 produces, you won’t mind closing the curtains on an extremely bright day.
The next test I wanted to do was on the short throw. This is how far back a projector needs to be to throw up images of a certain size. The information on BenQ’s website included boasts of 100 inches screen size at only 8.4 feet back, and I was skeptical. Relieved I was to find that this was absolutely true, so for those who want a system this advanced, but don’t have a large room, this will be a welcome inclusion. I should point out that this is also one of the best short throws I’ve ever seen in a system and I expect in the next 5 years all projectors to have this capability.
Finally I looked at the speakers, and they are the single biggest improvement BenQ have introduced here. The sound is a massive 20 Watts, compared to the industry average of 10 Watts, and they are powered by MaxxAudio. This is the amazing new technology that enables Hollywood studio’s to create massive booms and wonderful stereo surround sound for the cinema. The result of all this is the most glorious cinematic movie viewing one can ever imagine to have without spending money at the cinema.
The BenQ HT3050 is incredibly well priced, and while some might point to the 2000 lumens as a problem, the lumens will only matter or come into the equation on very bright days and one can’t close the curtains. What BenQ are offering here is the chance to own a piece of equipment that will bring the cinema into the home. They are offering sound that cannot be reproduced on any TV I’ve ever tested, using technology only the Hollywood studio’s previously had access to. They are offering a picture expertly calibrated and delivered outrageously well through their 6 speed color wheel and glass lens. I actually went to the cinema a few days after watching a movie on this, and was disappointed in the picture compared to the HT3050.