Benq ht2050 Projector Review
Things to Love:
For a projector priced at less than $1,000, the BenQ HT2050 has remarkably good image quality. This is mainly thanks to its over-the-top black levels, which provide excellent contrast. Additionally, this model has a shorter-throw lens, which means that it can provide a large image even in a small space.
Things That Could Be a Concern:
Other projectors in the same price range feature a brighter image and better color accuracy without having to make detailed adjustments.
If you're willing to spend in the neighborhood of $800 on a projector and can appreciate the amazing black levels on this unit, then you can't go wrong with the BenQ HT2050.
Even someone who is not a connoisseur of image quality can easily spot the difference between a super-cheap projector that costs $150 and a much-improved model that costs $350. Discerning viewers may even readily tell the difference between a respectable projector that costs $350 and one that will run you $550.
Beyond this point, the law of diminishing returns will take over. While some people may claim that they can spot an appreciable difference in the image quality of a projector that costs $500 and one that costs $1,000 they typically are splitting hairs.
However, the BenQ HT2050 comes in between those two prices, and for certain viewers, it will provide a noticeable improvement in image quality.
This is not BenQ's top-of-the-line model. They sell two others in the same line that are more expensive and have additional features. Most of these features are not particularly useful to the average viewer. For instance, the more expensive projectors from BenQ have pre-set color modes that come from the factory.
This is supposed to optimize your viewing experience for whatever you're doing. What it doesn't take into account is that the screen material on which you view the projected image may drastically change its appearance. A pre-calibrated setting won't do you any good if your screen material renders it muddy.
This is why it makes so much sense to save a few bucks by going with the far more affordable HT2050. Another reason to like this model is its stylish looks. With silver trim, rounded corners and a white case, it is undoubtedly sleek and good-looking. You don't have to feel bad about putting this projector on display.
But in order to get the very best out of it, you need to pick the right projector screen material.
Most people will look at this projector for viewing movies, and there is a good reason why. This particular model features a lower light output, which is sacrificed in order to provide the best-possible black levels.
If you are going to be watching films in total darkness, then this might be one of the best home theater projectors. For projectors priced at less than $1,000, there is no rival for black levels.
Gamers will appreciate the beauty of the BenQ HT2050 as well. The black levels help here, but what really matters to gamers is lag time. With games in which reaction time is critical, a short lag time is imperative.
This one tests at about 33 milliseconds, which translates to two frames at a rate of 60 frames per second. Perhaps this isn't the absolute best projector for gaming, but at this price point, it's tough to beat.
Specs for the BenQ HT2050
- Resolution: 1080P
- Lumens: 2,200
- Type of Display: DLP
- Compatible with 3D: Yes
- Zoom: 1.3X manual
- Lamp Life in Normal Mode: 3,500 hours
- Cost of Replacement Lamp: $270
- 2 HDMI Inputs
- 2 AV Inputs
- 2 USB Ports
- Analog RGB PC Input
- No MHL
- One Built-In Speaker
- Dimensions: 15" X 4.8" X 11"
- Weight: 7.2 pounds
The BenQ 2050 has a lot going for it. Unlike many other DLP projectors, it does not tend to show rainbow artifacts. The one exception to this is when viewing black-and-white films. Nonetheless, many viewers are not troubled by these rainbows.
If you are an individual who has a great deal of difficulty with rainbow artifacts or just finds them irritating, then you are probably better off going with a projector that uses LCD rather than DLP.
Another outstanding feature on the BenQ 2050 is its speaker. For this class and price, you won't get better sound quality than you do with this projector. The quality of the sound system makes this model bigger and heavier than other models in this category.
For the sound quality, it's totally worth it. However, if you are looking for a projector that will promise the ultimate in portability, this may not be your first choice.
The 10-watt speaker will be a definite plus for most consumers. It puts out a sound that is more than adequate for the average family room. It's convenient to have a projector with such a desirable sound system as it saves you from having to invest in additional tech to get comparable sound.
The BenQ HT2050 rates pretty well for picture quality despite having just a single DLP chip. Many LCD models actually have three chips, yet this does not put the HT2050 at a serious disadvantage. If you want to know more about this, check out our DLP vs LCD projectors guide.
Some DLP projectors of this type are really plagued by the red, green and blue color flashes that are known as rainbow artifacts. Moreover, their white brightness does not match their color brightness, which can have a negative impact on the quality of the color and the brightness of color images.
As mentioned earlier, the HT2050 does not have the same level of rainbow-artifact problems as other DLP projectors. This model also does not exhibit enough difference between white brightness and color brightness to make a difference.
As far as image quality goes, the BenQ HT2050 is next door to excellence, especially for the price. Skin tones appear natural, shadows are appropriately detailed and the color accuracy is good.
Where this projector really sets itself apart from the competition is with its black levels. To test its abilities in this department, a really challenging film like "Gravity" is ideal. All those shots of the dark, open expanse of space look incredibly realistic thanks to the BenQ's ability to really make black hues sing.
Of course, this ability only really shines through when you're viewing a movie in a room that is at least as dark as a movie theater. This is a characteristic that you would be more likely to find in a higher-priced LCD projector.
In keeping with the 3D craze of recent years, the BenQ HT2050 is 3D compatible. Unlike some other models, this one does not come with 3D glasses. BenQ does manufacture 3D glasses, with most of them costing in the neighborhood of $60.
If that price seems a bit steep for you, then consider taking a look at Amazon where you can find third-party 3D glasses that are compatible staring at less than $30.
Enthusiasts of the 3D format will be happy to hear that image quality is not affected in this mode. You can still rely on the HT2050 to deliver deep blacks and excellent contrast. If you're 3D enthusiast as well, you might be interested in checking out our list of the best 3D projectors.
Sports fans also favor the BenQ HT2050's capabilities. The action is always crisp and clear without smearing or a rainbow effect. This may be the perfect projector for people who like to host Super Bowl parties and other sporting events at their house, since it might be one of the best sports projectors.
Additional Features to Consider
Setup for this model is straightforward. You'll find a manual 1.3X zoom along with a manual focus feature.
Another feature that may be especially helpful is the vertical lens shift. Without this feature, it's necessary to tilt the projector up or down to get the image centered on the screen. No keystone adjustment is required to produce a square image with the shift feature, which is a tremendous help for keeping artifacts at bay.
This model gives you a total possible vertical adjustment of nine percent, which isn't impressive when compared with top-of-the-line projectors but is remarkable in a model at this price point.
Another plus that comes with the BenQ HT2050 is the short-throw lens. When it comes to projector distance, you could have the screen just 118 inches away from the projector and still get a great image. Other projectors in this class need to be at least 129 inches away from the screen. If you're dealing with a small room, this can make an enormous difference.
You can also check out our list of the best short throw projectors, that are more than suitable for small rooms.
The back panel is the convenient spot where you'll find all of the connections. These include two HDMI ports as well as a composite video port. There's even a VGA port if you want to hook up a component video or a computer.
The USB Type A Port can be used to provide power. This is especially useful if you'll be connecting your projector to the company's Wireless Full HD Kit. Costing about $350, this additional tech makes wireless connections possible.
Since this projector operates best in a pitch-black environment, the inclusion of a backlit remote is a thoughtful touch.