BenQ HT2050 Projector Review

We reviewed two of BenQ’s new projectors for 2015, the HT3050 and HT4050, recently at Reference Home Theater. We found that they offered some improvements over the prior models while keeping the price close to the same. What we didn’t know is that the real star of the new lineup was the BenQ HT2050. For only $800 BenQ has made a 1080p DLP projector with improved contrast and color accuracy that is a no-brainer pick in the price range.

I would pick the HT2050 over the HT3050 and the HT4050 myself. It offers the same level of performance and you get to save enough money to buy yourself a nice projection screen to go with it. Unless you have an issue with DLP rainbows, in which case the Epson 2040 is for you, the BenQ HT2050 is the best value going in projectors today.

Value Leader

Specs
Manufacturer: BenQ
Model: HT2050
Lumens: 2200
Display Type: DLP
Resolution: 1920x1080
Inputs: 2x HDMI 1.4a, Component, Composite, VGA, USB
3D Support: Yes
Projector Size: 15"x4.8"x11"
Projector Weight: 7.2 lbs.
Review Date: February 5, 2016
Price: Check on Amazon
Company Website

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The BenQ HT2050 reminds me a bit of what Sony did with their VPL-HW55ES and VPL-HW40ES projectors a few years ago. The 40ES was identical to the 55ES in performance, it just shaved off a few features that most people didn’t need. But as a consumer you could go out and save almost 40% off the price of the more expensive unit to get one with almost the same performance. The BenQ HT2050 feels that way to me: You lose a few features from the HT3050 and HT4050, but for most people you’re not going to miss them.

The big selling point of the HT3050 and HT4050 over the HT2050 is the pre-calibrated modes. These are setup at the factory to match the Rec.709 standards so you see exactly what you should from the projector. While we love to see this on TVs, projectors are a different story. Your screen material is going to affect how those colors are displayed. It might come through the lens perfectly, but once it reflects off the screen it may no longer be accurate. As a projector lamp ages, this also tends to throw the colors off a bit as well, making this pre-calibrated mode not quite as good as it would be on a TV.

Beyond this you aren’t giving up much. The BenQ HT3050 has MHL support on an HDMI input, but I’ve yet to know anyone that has used that. It also can accept an internal wireless HDMI adapter which some people may want to use. Unless you need one of those features, going with the BenQ HT2050 nets you almost identical performance and saves you $200 as well.

The BenQ HT2050 is a small revision of their prior HT1075 and HT1070 projectors. The biggest change is in the design of the case. It is more stylish than before, with rounded sides and a bit of silver trim to make it stand out. This larger case also has the benefits of reducing the noise by 3dB and reducing light leakage. With the HT1070 and HT1075 I could always notice the light spilling off the side of the projector but not with the HT2050. Otherwise it has the same 1.3x zoom range, a small bit of vertical lens shift, and needs to be aligned above or below the projection screen to line up. The two HDMI inputs are HDMI 1.4a and not HDMI 2.0a, but since this is still a 1080p projector you won’t need to feed it UltraHD content.

Unlike some other projectors in this price range, the BenQ HT2050 includes a backlit remote that is easy to use in the dark. Setting up the BenQ HT2050 is easy provided your screen is in the right position. If you have to angle it to get the image onto the screen, the HT3050 offers some extra keystone correction to help fix that issue. It will introduce some artifacts, but is an option if you cannot align the HT2050.

Fantastic Visuals

Watching the BenQ HT2050, it is flat out one of the best values going in AV today. It puts out a bright, sharp image that looks wonderful up on the screen. I started my testing with The Expendables 3. Unlike the prior films, this one had a sharp, detailed transfer that didn’t rely on soft shots to make the stars appear less wrinkled on-screen. Instead every one of those wrinkles came across, sharp and detailed, onto the screen. Single chip DLPs are sharp projectors compared to three chip LCDs and the BenQ 2050 looks fantastic here.

Moving onto Heat, it was clear that the film is in bad need of a new transfer. It is easy to make out the textures of suits and other fabrics on the BenQ HT2050, but it makes clear how poor the Blu-ray of this film looks. If you’ve never had a projector before and are starting with the BenQ, you might be surprised to find how well it reveals both the good and the bad in a Blu-ray disc. Heat gave me that immersive experience, just like when I saw it in a theater, but the BenQ didn’t hide any of its flaws.

Sports play well on the BenQ HT2050 because it is a DLP. DLP projectors have always been superb with their handling of motion and are free of smearing and other artifacts. Watching some football on it the action was clear and crisp and I was not distracted by rainbow artifacts at all. Setting the BenQ HT2050 into bright mode made it possible to watch with the lights on a bit. I’d still recommend having them off while watching for the best overall image.

To torture test the black levels, I put on Gravity. This serves well as a torture test for two main reasons: it’s set in space, so you want it to be as dark as possible, but it also has stars to display. Here DLPs offer a mixed bag compared to a higher-end LCD and especially LCOS projector. The blacks of space are nowhere near as dark as those options. They’re more a dark gray, but not black. Yet the stars offer up more pop since DLP usually does better in ANSI contrast but not native contrast. This lets DLP offer an image that can be more dynamic in these scenes than one with a higher contrast ratio. That said, while Gravity looks good, those $2,000 and up LCD and LCOS projectors will look better just because of the superior blacks.

I didn’t test video games on the BenQ HT2050, I’m not a gamer, but it did measure in at 33ms of lag. This is better than both the HT3050 and the HT1075, making it a better choice for the fast-twitch gamers among us. Combined with the better motion that DLP offers, the BenQ HT2050 is an ideal video game projector.

Bench Test Data

The BenQ offers a cinema color mode that, after a couple of adjustments, is pretty accurate. First you’ll have to disable Brilliant Color, as it makes colors worse. Next you’ll want to use a test disc and back the contrast down a few clicks. We went from 50 to 45 on ours as the image was running out of red and tinting the whites otherwise. Once you’ve done this you can improve the image a bit by using the white balance or ISF controls, but you’re almost there. Full calibration details, with before and after data, can be found with the link below.

Calibration Details

Improvements

There isn’t much to improve upon in the BenQ HT2050 when you consider the cost. I’d like to see more lens shift, but if it was my only projector I could make it work in my room. It could be faster to sync to a signal over HDMI but when you watch a movie that isn’t going to impact you except for the start.

The one major feature enhancement they can introduce is a fixed iris. This lets you adjust the amount of light coming from the projector. Even in Eco mode I have light output to spare and an iris gets me darker blacks. I don’t need a dynamic iris, just a simple fixed one that will let the lower the light output and black floor while keeping the contrast ratios the same.

Conclusions

With the BenQ HT2050 it is pretty simple: You can’t spend a better $800 on a projector today. The only reason I’d get something else in this price range is if I needed a feature it didn’t offer like MHL or couldn’t deal with DLP rainbows. Otherwise I can combine the BenQ HT2050 with a nice screen and have a 100” projection system for $1,000. That’s a value that wasn’t possible just a couple of years ago and will offer an experience no TV in that price range can.

If you’ve been wanting to make the jump into a projection setup, or move up from an older 720p model, now is a fantastic time to do so. Aside from my small little complaints, the BenQ HT2050 should be your first stop for a projector at $1,000 or less.

Review Summary
Product: BenQ HT2050
Reviewer:
Pros: Fantastic image, very accurate and bright, improved contrast and lower price than HT1075
Cons: Could use a manual iris
Summary: I don't know of a projector under $1,000 that can compete with the BenQ HT2050. It offers up a bright, sharp, accurate image for $800 that is impossible to beat for the price.
Value: 5/5
Performance: 4/5
Overall: 5/5

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Calibration Details

All calibrations are done using CalMAN software from SpectraCal. A DVDO AVLabTPG is usually used for test patterns, though Mobile Forge on an Amazon FireTV is used sometimes as well. Measurements are done with an i1Pro2 and a C6. For projectors, we measure directly from the lens while with TVs we measure off the screen. We target the Rec.709 colorspace and BT.1886 gamma unless otherwise noted.

The best preset mode for the BenQ HT2050 is the Cinema option. After choosing this you should disable Brilliant Color from the Advanced Menu. This lowered our average dE2000 for grayscale, saturations, and the color checker. From our viewing we see no reason to enable this and you should leave it off. After this is done the main issue is that the red channel runs out of energy with the Contrast at 50. You can drop the contrast down from 50 to 45 and it goes away but it reduces the contrast ratio from 1700:1 to 1500:1.

Our pre-calibration measurements don’t include this calibration drop as it isn’t as obvious on first look to people. The main issues pre-calibration are that the grayscale errors get higher the closer we get to 100% because Red starts to run out of headspace compared to blue and green. Gamma is good, but the color errors are a bit high.

Post calibration we just dropped the contrast, verified the brightness, and used the two-point white balance. After adjusting the gain we had no need to adjust the RGB cuts, so it took us 5 minutes at most to do so. This led to as image that was nearly perfect on the charts. There are some small flaws but nothing major. If anything could be improved upon it would be the gamma, but there is no 10-point control to adjust that on the BenQ.

If you have a non-white screen, you might want to get the BenQ HT2050 calibrated. If you have a neutral screen, like the Silver Ticket I used, then you should be OK with Cinema Mode and some small tweaks. The BenQ HT2050 produces an image that measures very well and looks fantastic on-screen.

Calibration Summary
Measurement Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast Ratio: 1719:1 1574:1
Gamma Point: 2.40 2.40
Average Grayscale dE2000: 2.96 0.78
Average Saturations dE2000: 2.64 1.29
Average Color Checker dE2000: 3.75 2.49
Post-Calibration Lumens: 1665
Maximum Lumens: 2531
Summary: Pre-calibration the BenQ is good, but a few small tweaks make it great. You can turn off Brilliant Color, drop the contrast, and you'll have a great image. We didn't even need the ISF mode to achieve the results you see here.

Back to Review

  • Richard Graham Poster

    On an iPhone 6 Plus your website repeatedly refreshes and tells me there was a problem so the webpage was refreshed. This is the only website that does this. Very annoying. Every 5- 10 minutes it refreshes.

  • keith C

    Will you please share with us your calibrated settings. I know the numbers for every unit will be different but pro calibrated numbers are generally better then the default so please consider sharing. I just can’t justify paying $300 to calibrate a projector I paid $700 for.

    • You should just use one of the Blu-ray calibration discs, like Spears & Munsil or Disney WOW, to dial in the settings. We’ve tested and copying pro settings has led to a worse image than using the pre-set settings on the projector or just using a Blu-ray disc. It’s worse with projectors than a TV, since the screen adds another variable to the mix. Thanks.

      • Andrew Rein

        Chris:

        SSCC Projector question 5/9/16

        I am researching a new projector
        for a camera club. We need it to project to a group of about 50-80
        people in a dark room. We mostly show still images at a 4:3 ratio. Our
        budget is about $800-1000. Can you suggest anything? I’ve read that dlp
        is not ideal for still images. Thanks, Andrew

  • Larry Seibold

    How do you think the seemingly nearly identical Viewsonic Pro7827HD stacks up to the BenQ HT2050 for the same price?

    • I tested the Viewsonic, but the contrast ratios are worse, the color is much less accurate, and the gamma controls have random numbers with no actual meaning. I’d pick the BenQ every time.

      • Dan P.

        The Viewsonic pro7827hd has a 3 year warranty, MHL, higher contrast and its 6 months newer. Why wasn’t it on your review on thewirecutter.com?

        • It wasn’t available at the time of the Wirecutter piece. It’ll be on the list for future comparison.

          • Dan P.

            Above you said you tested it, but you would still choose the BenQ? I would go for the HT2050, but my history with that manufacturer proved many HDMI issues and overheating.

          • Sorry, I misread the model number. I tested the 7828, not the 7827. The 7827 adds lens shift and better calibration controls, which could improve image quality, but I haven’t tested it yet. Sorry again for the confusion.

          • Dan P.

            I think the 7827 is a huge step forward from previous Viewsonic models. I would love to see your take on it, but head on with the HT2050. Let me know if there’s any chance of that. I value your input.

          • Perhaps later this summer, but all projector reviews from me are currently on hold as I’m moving next month and have started taking that part of the theater apart.

          • Dan P.

            Thanks. I understand.

          • Dan P.

            Is the HT2050 HDCP compliant?

          • HDCP 2.2? No, it can’t handle 4K content. Prior versions of HDCP? Yes, it handles all the 1080p content fine.

          • Dan P.

            Following your calibration settings above will work in Cinema Mode while watching regular satellite tv as well? In Eco Mode?

            Without the disc can I still calibrate it manually within the general settings?

          • All HDTV content, from Satellite to Blu-ray and so on, should follow the Rec.709 standards, which is what I aim for when calibrating.

          • Dan P.

            How does this compare to the Epson 2040?

          • Unless you have issues with DLP rainbows, get the BenQ. Better contrast ratios, more accurate colors, sharper image, just a better projector overall.

          • Dan P.

            What about the 2 vs 1 year warranty and cheaper bulb? Projectorcentral.com also shows the brightness bs the HT2059 as not being too bad at all.

          • The warranty isn’t a big deal, as I’ve not known anyone to have many issues at all with their BenQ projector. The BenQ bulb is good for 5,000 hours, so even if the bulb is $100 less, that’s $0.02 per hour of use, which is just inconsequential. Having watched both side-by-side, I’d take the BenQ every time.

          • Dan P.

            Was the 2040 not available for review when your article came on thewirecutter.com?

          • Um, the Wirecutter piece says “The BenQ HT2050 offers small improvements over our prior pick, the BenQ HT1075, while the price remains the same. If you can’t deal with DLP rainbows, the Epson 2040 is your best bet for an LCD projector.” and has a section on the Epson 2040.

          • Dan P.

            I just noticed that the Epson 2040 requires a filter while the HT2050 doesn’t. That seems weird. What are your thoughts on the filter setup?

          • I’m not sure how the BenQ design keeps from getting clogged, but we’ve been using the HT1075 and HT2050 long term with no issues from dust.

          • Dan P.

            In your opinion does that mean the Epson is built with lesser quality. Why do they have that?

          • No, it means they’re different designs. One has a DLP engine, one has an LCD, and both have very different light paths because of that. The filter might be necessary with LCD and not DLP because of that.

          • Dan P.

            What are your thoughts on the brand new Optoma HD142X? Specs look great at a really low price.

          • No idea, don’t like to comment on products I haven’t tested.

          • Dan P.

            Was wondering if you heard or read anything good about it. Ok thanks.

          • Dan P.

            Spec and price wise it looks very appealing.
            Features of the Optoma HD142x include:
            • Accurate, rich colors: with both Rec.709 and sRGB color modes, the Optoma HD142x can deliver rich, true and accurate colors for any content
            • Market-leading contrast: 23,000:1: its high contrast ratio means bright whites and dark, detailed blacks in any picture
            • 1080p resolution: high-definition resolution translates to incredible picture detail for movies, games and more
            • Brightness: With 3,000 lumens of brightness, the HD142x can be used in rooms with moderate ambient light, and can light up larger home screens – or walls
            • 3D ready: the Optoma HD142x supports all HDMI 1.4a mandatory 3D formats for playback of 3D content for immersive viewing
            • Integrated sound: it features a 10-watt speaker for integrated audio/video and ultimately consumer ease of use
            • Wireless and device compatibility: MHL devices such as Optoma’s HDCast Pro for wireless streaming, Roku Streaming Stick, and smartphones connect directly to enable users to plays music and videos, view pictures and even share other content seamlessly
            • Consumer friendly pricing: At only $579 (estimated street price), the Optoma HD142x delivers the best price-per-inch for incredible, large screen high-definition entertainment viewing, whether comparing to an HDTV or another high-definition projector

          • Dan P.

            Would you agree that the Epson 2040 suffers more from the screen door effect or is it the same when comparing to the HT2050?

          • No, if anything it’s likely to suffer less. The three LCD panels are separate, so some slight misalignment is common, which would reduce the SDE. Since it’s a single chip DLP, there will be no overlap, and any gaps between mirrors will be visible.

          • Dan P.

            The HT2050 has more of a sharp, crisp image in my opinion. The 2040 looks like a 720P from 14 feet away where the HT2050 still maintains its sharpness.

          • Dan P.

            Since the HT2050 is at end of life will BenQ support it on a limited basis?

          • Um, it’s not End of Life. It was announced in September 2015.

          • Dan P.

            Sure it is here is what they just sent me moments ago. It looks like the last HT2050 was sold earlier today. These projectors are also end of life so we are not getting anymore in. If I do find some refurbished ones available, I will let you know. I apologize. “

          • Dan P.

            How does the TH670 compare to the HT2050. All I need is something that is bright and dependable with nice colors because our basement Rec room has a lot of lighting. When we make sports party get together we have to leave the lights on. I also need vertical lens shifts, but not a deal breaker.

          • I did the TH670 over at Wirecutter and while it was the best at that price range, you can find the HT1075 for almost the same price fairly often, and it performs much better. Higher contrast ratios, lens shift, better colors, etc… Even though the TH670 was the best at the price, our rec was really to save up for the 1075 or HT2050.

          • Dan P.

            What does the extra $200 give me with the HT2050 in your opinion?

          • Over double the contrast ratio, far more accurate color, a wider zoom range, lens shift, an extra HDMI input, and quieter operation.

          • Dan P.

            Sounds like that’s the one. When I’m done using it should I place the lens cap back on or would that mess up the sharpness and picture overall? Does it hurt anything if I leave it off all the time? How often should I dust off the lens if I do that?

          • Only leave it off if you are storing it somewhere there is no chance of it being scratched. If I have it ceiling mounted I’d leave it off, but that’s it. It goes around the lens so it won’t hurt it to put it on and off. I rarely find the need to dust the lens.

          • Dan P.

            Yes mine is ceiling is ceiling mounted so your saying there’s no need to cover the lens? I just wanted to make sure I understood.

          • Correct. You should be fine if no one is doing anything that will damage it up on the ceiling.

          • Dan P.

            Thanks I’ll leave it off and maybe dust it off once in a while with a cloth just in case.

          • Chad F.

            Does your opinion change between the TH670 and the HT2050 (or HT1075) if the application where primarily for outdoor theatre use on a larger 16×9 screen? I spoke with the BenQ service team and they recommended the TH670 or MH530 over the HT1075 due to the increased lumens. Or is that something only relative to “white” lumens? Sorry for the basic question, I am new to all of this. You page has been quite informative.

          • The TH670 will be brighter because of a different color wheel, but much less accurate color because of that. The HT2050 is around 85-90% as bright while still maintaining accurate colors. So if pure brightness is the most important thing, then the TH670 will do better, but it won’t be as accurate as the HT2050.

  • Jaswant Singh Rathore

    hi there… so optoma launched its HD142X few days back with higher contrast ratio of 23,000:1 & 23,000 Lumens at a very competitive price. how is it in comparison with benq HT3050? please suggest as i have to decide in couple of days.

    • I don’t know for sure as I haven’t tested the HD142X. Looking at the design and specs, it looks like the HD142X is designed more around portability, with a shorter throw lens (which often isn’t as good optically as a normal distance lens) and a smaller size to be carried around. The contrast ratio is like most contrast ratios: impossible to achieve in real life, so ignore that. It also looks to lack the lens shift and other things the BenQ has.

      If you’re planning to carry it around all the time, then maybe the Optoma is good (without testing it, of course), but for a fixed home theater install, it’s highly likely the BenQ will out-perform it.

      • Jaswant Singh Rathore

        Thank you so much Chris for the promt reply… so, basically I’ve been doing some research on HD projectors for home and i narrowed down to Benq HT2050, HT3050 & Epson 2040. Now i haven’t seen the rainbow problem in person as this is going to be my first projector… so now m confused which one to buy. Though BenQ 2050 & 3050 has 200$ difference but 3050 has more option and stereo Sound. Epson is cheaper and doesn’t have rainbow effect problem but lacks the color cotrast and sharpness of BenQ. Am really stuck… Please help me out.

        • If you don’t see the rainbow effect yourself, then don’t worry about it. It was much more common before projectors went to 4x and 6x color wheels. I recommend the HT2050 myself as the improvements the HT3050 offers aren’t worth the extra $$$ to me, and both BenQs look much better than the Epson IMO.

          • Jaswant Singh Rathore

            Hey chris… so i bought BenQ HT2050… yippeeee… i guess i disnt mention earlier that i live in india and the voltage input here is 240 volt where as in US its 110. I went through the manual and in the power supply section it says “AC100-240V, 3.5 A, 50-60 Hz”. Does it mean that projector can take 240Volt input or should i use a voltage converter?”

          • It should be fine as most modern electronics gear is 100-240 50/60 so it can work anywhere, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to double check with BenQ.

          • Dan P.

            How does the HT2050 compare to the LG-PF1500 LED projector?

          • Shakeen Subbaiah

            Hi Jaswant,

            Did you get the projector imported from US, how much did it cost you?

          • Jeff

            Hi Jaswant,
            Did it work with the 240V power? I’m thinking of ordering one as well..
            thanks!
            -Jeff

          • Jaswant Singh Rathore

            Hi Jeff,
            yes it worked & its a great experience having a projector. go ahead & order one. :-)

            jaswant.

  • Jim Banville

    Hi :)
    I’ve ordered HT2050. Just sold my Optoma HD25e. Using 100″ silver ticket fixed frame white screen in a living room. Using the projector mostly at night since I can’t control daytime lighting. I know there is a zoom range to help projector placement by a couple feet, but is there an “optimal” ditance? Looking at the calculator on projector central website, it looks like zooming out, in order to place the projector further back (where I prefer it) causes light output to drop. I’m afraid this and using smart Eco mode (which most owners recommend using) will eliminate that “pop” in contrast I was hoping to get that the Optoma lacked. Thanks!

  • Jim Banville

    Jim Banville
    4 minutes ago
    I’ve got my new HT2050 ceiling mounted at the longest throw and full vertical shift (no keystoning) to a 100″ white, fixed frame silver ticket screen. Everything looks great (plenty bright, etc.) except, I can’t get consistent edge to edge focus and I’m seeing color fringing (chromatic aberration, aka CA), mostly in text. The image is perfectly squared up and centered horizontally on the screen, so it isn’t a projector/screen setup issue. Reading a forum thread on the older 1075 version, it was claimed that consistent focus and CA are worse with my exact setup vs using the shortest throw and no vertical lens shift. Now I’m gonna have to take this thing down and do some testing at that shorter distance to verify my unit isn’t defective. My older Optoma HD25e was tack sharp across the entire screen and no CA that I ever noticed!!!! :(
    Also, I was surprised to see that you can’t change the COLOR and TINT controls on this projector from an HDMI source. Those adjustments are greyed out. I’m in cinema mode, brilliant color off and color temp on warm. Looking at color bars through a blue filter, my projector’s default 50 color setting needs adjusting, but I can’t adjust it. Crazy!

    • So not offering Color and Tint adjustments is correct, but here’s the long explanation of why:

      Projectors, TVs, and other display devices all use the RGB system to display colors. Everything is a mix of red, green, and blue and so all colors are represented using those colors. However all video signals, except those from a PC, are sent or stored using the YCbCr (YUV) system.

      Originally Black and White TV only used the Y component, and as color was added, the UV/CbCr components were added. This was done for both backwards compatibility, and to save space when encoding images since Black and White info is more important than color info for human perception. This has continued for these same reasons, and so all video is still stored as YCbCr.

      To display this on a TV, they are combined and a transformation is performed to convert them into RGB for final display. The color and tint controls adjust how the two UV/CbCr components are mixed, and therefore how the final RGB image comes out. When you see the Color and Tint controls disabled, it’s because something is already sending the color in RGB format, since HDMI supports this. So if your Blu-ray player, video game system, media streamer, or anything else uses RGB for output by default, then the BenQ should not show the controls. Otherwise you have to convert RGB back to YCbCr and then back to RGB again, and that can introduce errors.

      So there’s the very long version of why disabling Color and Tint are correct when a projector or TV sees an RGB signal. Some still show them, but you are better off to tell the other devices to send YCbCr instead of RGB if you wish to use those to avoid extra conversions and possible math errors.

      • Jim Banville

        Thanks for that, but what if according to color bars and a filter, or just a blue-only mode and a blue filter, “color” isn’t set correctly? On my HT2050, in cinema mode, Eco lamp and warm color temp, the two blue’s that should blend together on color test patterns, don’t. This is on Spears & Munsil and Disney Wow blu Rays.

        • You should set your sources to be YCbCr instead of RGB, which most will allow. Then those controls should be active, since it’s a YCbCr signal.

  • Dan P.

    How does the HT2050 compare to the Epson 3500? 3500 has more lumens and I keep reading it’s much more sharper.

    • A 3 LCD, or 3 LCOS, or 3 DLP, is almost certain to be less sharp than a single chip DLP like the HT2050. Those have to align three panels incredibly accurately and often there is some chromatic fringing compared to a DLP, but they can have sharper lenses than a cheap DLP.

      • Dan P.

        So your saying the HT2050 still outperforms the Epson 3500 generally speaking?

  • Dale

    What Screen would you recommend for this projector?

    • That really depends upon the situation and use. Is the room dark or light, what size screen, etc…

  • JFDS

    Just to add to the conversation, I’ve been using an
    Optoma HD26 for a year now, I thought the projector looked good, but I just bought the Benq HT2050 and the difference is astonishing.

    The colors are so much brighter with the Benq. The Optoma
    produced a fairly good image quality, but the colors seems washed out. The Benq
    look a lot better out of the box without any calibrations.

    I’m projecting on a 110″ white Elite screen in a pitch-black
    room, I was wondering witch video mode and calibration I should use?

  • I haven’t heard of this from anyone else with the HT1075, and this hasn’t happened with the HT2050 here yet.

  • JLM

    The slideshows have stopped working. I was hoping to see the calibration info for your test model.

    • I noticed this last night and haven’t been able to fix it yet. I updated this review to use thumbnails instead of a slideshow which seems to work, but I’ll be trying to fix that today.

      • JLM

        Thanks. I see the thumbnails now. Love this site (and the wirecutter too)! So many great reviews. I built my first media room with many of the recommendations on this site. My family loves our media room. Keep up the great work.

        • It’s fixed for the moment, but it’s causing the site to be a little slower, so I’ll try to fix the rest of it.

          Thanks for the kind words!

  • James

    So to be clear on recommended settings:
    1) switch to cinema mode
    2) turn off brilliant colors
    3) reduce overall contrast by 5 units
    Am I over looking anything? And so my follow up question then is how does this image compare to the 3050 out of the box or after a few of its own home made adjustments?

    • Pretty much. You only reduce down the contrast until a bit of red push in the grayscale goes away. With a contrast test pattern you’ll see the boxes turn from slightly redish to a more pure gray.

      I didn’t find the 3050 to be that much more accurate at all. The issue with projectors is that the screen is also going to introduce its own color shift in most cases, and the 3050 can’t adjust for that automatically so you’ll have to fix it some anyway to be perfect. But the 2050 was almost as accurate as the 3050, and I wouldn’t pay the extra for the 3050.

      • James

        wow. I really appreciate the explanation. Thank you! That makes sense, and I imagine how the bulb ages is also a variable, right? I can now understand why you’d feel that the 2050 is the most value-driven of the new line-up. I’d have to agree

        • Yes, the light output of the bulb will change over time. It’s why I calibrate my personal projector every 200 hours or so. Light output changes and so does color. Unless you’re going with lasers or LEDs, which remain stable, it happens with every projector.

  • mike

    Probably a dumb question but does anyone know if this does 2d to 3d conversion? I don’t even know if it’s a feature worth having but if it worked decently I think I would use it sometimes.

  • Kyle Brandt

    I currently own a Viewsonic Pro8200…would this be a decent step up? I use a dedicated theater with Silverticket 100″ screen.

    • I haven’t used the Viewsonic so I can’t say, but Ty at CNet reviewed it and said the BenQ HT1070 has a big step up from it and easily worth the $200. Since the HT2050 is two generations improved upon the 1070, it’s likely to perform even better and be worth the step-up.

  • p fritts

    I bought this and the Silver Ticket screen back in November and have been extremely happy with it. I noticed where you said that you re-calibrate every 200 hours or so. How does one without very expensive equipment and Spectracal do that with just Spears and Munsil / Disney WOW when the color and tint are locked out? I’m guessing that means it’s going to just suck worse and worse until the bulb is changed? Or is there a better way? I found the ISF code and put it on ISF Night and when it’s put in blue mode the color bars are perfect. But I guess that will change with the bulb? Thanks for the great article and recommendations!

    • What is likely to drift over time is the brightness, so you can adjust brightness and contrast, and the color temperature. Don’t worry about color and tint, that won’t be affected as much, it’s the 2-point grayscale controls one would want to adjust and you can’t do that without tools correctly. Color and Tint are locked out when you get an RGB signal instead of YCbCr, since technically all they should do it adjust how the projector converts YCbCr to RGB. If it’s already in RGB there is no need to do a conversion.

      • p fritts

        Thanks for the info! Contrast and brightness will be easy to adjust. Perhaps Wirecutter can do a recommended top of the line and budget version of calibration tools lol. Loving this projector!