BenQ TK800M 4K Sports Projector Review
4K is the biggest craze right now - especially with projectors. Everyone wants one with it (and why shouldn’t they?), but 4K projectors are quite expensive since they’re still relatively new and are usually the best projectors out there today. Luckily, not all high-quality 4K projectors are very expensive. That’s where BenQ comes in.
BenQ has been delivering strong and powerful 4K projectors recently including the TK800, HT2550, and HT3550. Now, they’ve come out with another great 4K projector, an upgrade of the TK800 - the TK800M. The TK800M is a projector dedicated to watching live sports in 4K. Equipped with HDR, high brightness, and a lot of colors, all coming in at a budget price, the TK800M is a high-quality 4K projector that is hard to turn down.
In this review we do a deep dive into the technical aspects of this projector. Full Disclaimer - I actually tried this unit and we're still using it.
Overall I think it's a fantastic choice for anyone looking to build a gaming room or just have a high quality projector for your home theater. We definitely recommend it and plan on adding it to our best gaming projector review as well.
If you enjoy watching live sports, want to use your projector in a room with ambient light, or want to experience amazing 4K then you’ll love this projector. Here, we’ll go over everything about the TK800M including its specs, pros, cons, image quality, gaming ability, and differences from the TK800.
- L x W x H → 10.71” x 13.9” x 5.31”
- Weight → 9.2 lbs
- Display Technology → DLP
- Connectivity Technology → HDMI, USB, RS232
- Image Brightness → 3000 lumens
- Contrast Ratio → 10,000:1
- Resolution → True 4K UHD (3840x2160)
- Lamp Life → 4,000/8,000/10,000/15,000 hours (Normal, SmartEco, Eco, LampSave)
The TK800M is chocked full of amazing features integrated for one of the best sports watching experiences out there. If you want amazing 4K resolution at a budget price that will last a long time - up to 15,000 hours - you’ll really love this projector. This projector produces beautiful 4K UHD with its 8.3 million distinct pixels from BenQ’s great pixel-shifting technology.
With great 4K also comes great HDR compatibility. The TK800M uses True 4K HDR for immersive live sports. This HDR is hyper-realistic and projector optimized - using HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) to bring out every detail in your 4K images. Using image optimization and automatic HDR color rendition, your images will be clear and crisp with a greater brightness and contrast range.
That’s not to say it even needs more brightness. The TK800M comes with a high 3,000 lumens that are perfectly balanced with its vivid colors perfect for well-lit environments. With this, you don’t even have to turn off the lights to enjoy the game in all of its glory. Using a new 4K color wheel with 96% of Rec. 709 color space and 120Hz refresh rate to eliminate image blur, you’ll be able to experience sharp and vividly colorful images that are perfect whether for the game or not.
Obviously, the TK800M is dedicated to the game. With Football and Sport modes, you’ll experience more realistic flesh tones, more balanced colors, and stronger, accentuated sounds to make you feel as if you’re truly there.
This is the actual size of the projector sitting on a fairly small plant stand. It fits pretty well on any small sized stand making setup quick
There’s even more to the TK800M. Its build has great features including a 1.1x zoom, an auto keystone to easily get rid of the trapezoid effect, and a lightweight, eco-friendly design that is very sleek, nice to look at, and easy to set up. The TK800M even brings crystal clear images to the table with its all-glass 4K-optimized 7-element 4-group lens array. This allows for better light penetration and stronger image clarity and sharpness.
Here is another angle from the same table.
Lastly, while most projector speakers are horrible, the TK800M has a powerful 5-watt speaker that is used by Hollywood studios. With its CinemaMaster Audio+2, you’ll get deeper bass, long-lasting sensual sounds, and better-detailed sounds - including pure vocals. It has many sound modes overall including Football, Sport, Cinema, Music, Game, and User modes.
Differences from the TK800
A couple of common questions that come up around the TK800M are: “What are the differences between the TK800M and its predecessor the TK800?” and “Is it worth the additional money?” While the second question is subjective, this model comes at a great price for a 4K projector with no loss in quality compared to others out there. Regardless, of course, there are a few differences between the two models, though they look very similar.
The first is that the throw ratio is a little different. The TK800 has a throw ratio of 1.47-1.76 (100”@10.67ft) while the TK800M’s throw ratio is 1.50-1.65 (100”@10.83ft). So, you can not only put the TK800 closer but also farther than the TK800M. Also, the TK800 has a 1.2x zoom, while the TK800M has a 1.1x - so when it comes to distance projection, the TK800 is again a little better.
It’s opposite with picture quality. The TK800 uses only 92% of Rec. 709, while the TK800M uses 96%, which is much better - allowing for more vivid and realistic colors - all coming from a new and upgraded 4K color wheel. The TK800M even has a better 4K experience in general with both HDR10 and HLG, while the TK800 only has HDR10. This brings better color and contrast to the TK800M.
View from the back.
It even fixed a problem with the TK800 where there’d be a light border around its images. Though people usually ignored it, this is no longer a problem for the TK800M. Lastly, unlike the TK800, you can switch modes for HDR with the M.
Still, the TK800 is a cheaper option and is ranked as our best gaming and value 4K projector. Overall, the TK800M beats it out in 4K quality, and we’d say the high quality is worth its price.
Pros and Cons
Now for the big one: pros and cons. Starting with its build, the TK800M uses a beautiful “optical system of new 7-element, 4-group all-glass lens low-dispersion coatings to minimize chromatic aberration.” These, basically, produce razor-sharp images.
Following this, the TK800M has really nice focus with a 1.1x zoom and a good throw distance of 10.83 to 12.14 ft. Even though this is very good, it is a downgrade from the TK800’s 1.2x zoom and larger throw, making this projector’s placement not as flexible as its predecessor’s. Luckily, it does have an auto keystone to fix your images if they appear trapezoidal upon set-up.
Unfortunately, the TK800M also lacks a lens shift, which only adds to why its flexibility isn’t seen as great. There’s even a little issue with its recessed lens causing light rings/reflections onto the screen. Still, the lens and images are great.
Continuing with its build, the TK800M has many sound modes with its Hollywood speakers. This allows for many variations, and just in general better, more resonant sound than most. They are still projector speakers in the end, so, like most, they produce only mono sound. Like with all projectors, we suggest you just get your own surround sound system. If you don’t, know that these speakers are at least still better than most.
We’ll go more into picture quality later, but we’ll also cover it quickly here. One thing rarely mentioned about the TK800M is that it’s 3D compatible. The 3D is pretty good but is overshadowed by its outstanding 4K quality. This is some of the best 4K you can get, and it comes at a great price. Alongside 4K is HDR10 and HLG - which add so much to live sports experiences, gaming, movies, etc. Packed alongside its 96% of Rec. 709 colors, all of its images are very vivid and immersive.
This projector is great for rooms with ambient light… and that sadly means that it’s not great in dark rooms. It was made for you to watch in rooms with light, being very bright and extremely sharp. This means that its contrast and black levels aren’t great. Black levels are directly affected by brightness. The better your black levels, the better you can see details in the darker parts of your images.
Since this was made for brighter rooms and live sports, which really doesn’t have dark/black image portions, it’s not surprising that it has bad black levels. Once again, this is more for sports and is not entirely like your traditional home theater projector which is mostly only good in the darkest of rooms. Regardless, you can still use this in dark rooms if you want to. Just know that the darker parts of your images will be harder to see.
Obviously, this projector is phenomenal when it comes to live events - such as sports. With HLG and 4K quality, live immersion is inevitable. Not only is the TK800M good for sports, but it’s also pretty good for gamers - which we’ll get into in the next section. Overall, it comes at a great value price with a lot of great quality. If you like watching live sports, want 4K, and/or have an ambient room then this is for you.
Here’s an in-depth video on the TK800M:
The TK800M isn’t the best for gaming in general, but it looks and is amazing for 4K gaming. With a little less lag than the TK800, the M has ~40-44ms lag. While under 20ms is ideal, this is still not very noticeable and makes for amazing gameplay.
Your games will look beautiful off of this with its vivid colors and beautiful 4K HDR. It will look as if your game is coming to life in front of you. It only helps that the TK800M has a great frame rate and comes with a Game Mode which brings powerful bass and crisp highs that entangle you into the game.
If you’re looking for immersive gameplay with beautiful 4K images, this is it, even if it costs a little more lag.
The TK800M has a great picture quality that is hard not to like. With a high 3,000 lumens and its 7-element 4-group lens arrangement, the TK800M is very bright and extremely sharp. Its images will light up your screen and you’ll be able to see immense detail and tiny specificities when watching sports, playing games, or watching movies.
With 8.3 million pixels from its 3840x2160 true 4K UHD resolution, the TK800M produces very clear and crisp images with a huge reduction of 1080p pixel blur. Using single-DMD DLP technology, the TK800M avoids alignment issues of multiple panels and has great image integrity and color accuracy. This helps to create those razor-sharp images and uses realistic colors to get rid of blur, shadowing, and interference problems.
A lot comes with its 4K in general - including its high amount of color from the Rec. 709 and HDR. With balanced brightness and color, its images are very vivid and lit up. Its Rec. 709 comes from a new upgraded 4K color wheel that delivers a strong color performance. This 96% is greater than a mass majority of projectors out there. It works to reproduce very vivid colors with nanometer-level precision pure color coatings, as well as balance color accuracy and brightness alongside its ultra 120Hz refresh rate which works to eliminate image blur.
Projection quality is awesome. Keep in mind this is on a regular wall without any sort of screen. That being said projecting onto your wall definitely works well.
The projector-optimized HDR brings both HDR10 and HLG to the stage - bringing along high brightness, a bigger contrast range, and image optimization that works amazing with 4K images. If you haven’t gotten this yet, 4K is phenomenal on this projector.
As mentioned before, the TK800M also has good 3D compatibility. It’s rarely talked about, compared to how great its 4K is, mainly because it’s not really advertised as a 3D projector. Still, its 3D is very good and encaptivating and if you’re interested in watching 3D movies then this would be great. The only problem with this is that the TK800M isn’t a normal home theater projector.
The TK800M was made for live sports watching - and that means rooms with ambient light. It’s not good for dark rooms at all because of its brightness and bad contrast and black levels. Not only is its contrast and black levels just not great because it’s made for rooms with ambient light, but also because it’s a DLP projector. DLP projectors are known for not having great contrast and black levels. Besides, this projector was made for 4K and sports - not dark rooms and traditional home theater movie watching. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it in these rooms, though.
So, it’s quite obvious that this projector is bright, sharp, and amazing with 4K. Blasting out beautiful colors with the ability to last up to 15,000 hours, the TK800M will last you a long time and delight your screen with high-quality images at a great price. If you’re interested in 4K gaming, have an ambient room, or you’re a big live sports fan then this projector should be at the top of your list.
BenQ. 4K Sports Projector with HDR10/HLG, 3000 Lumen | TK800M. BenQ. March 2019.