BenQ’s newest budget home theater projector, the HT1075, comes to us with more installation flexibility and improved speakers. Like its predecessor, the W1070, the BenQ HT1075 won’t break the bank, retailing for $1199 and already selling on Amazon for $999. The BenQ HT1075 uses a 1920×1080 DarkChip3 DLP engine along with a 6x speed six-segment RGBRGB color wheel to produce an image. This is also a very bright projector, producing 1251 lumens in low lamp mode and 1832 lumens in normal mode. DLP often offers sharper visuals over other technologies, and that is the case with the BenQ HT1075. Images are sharp and clear, revealing subtle details.
Improvements from W1070
|Inputs:||2x HDMI 1.4a, 1x Component, 1x Composite, 1x DSub|
|Projector Size:||12.2″ x 9.6″ x 4.1″|
|Projector Weight:||6.3 lbs.|
|Review Date:||October 6, 2014|
The biggest improvement in the BenQ HT1075 over the older BenQ W1070 is in placement flexibility. The BenQ HT1075 features horizontal (along with vertical) keystone correction, which allows for a more radical off-center placement. While not ideal for a dedicated home theater setup, this allows for plenty of flexibility when set up in impromptu situations. Is there no coffee table or shelf to place the projector on? Then try placing it on an end table where you’d normally just find old magazines, a lamp, and a coaster. The keystone correction is able to make up for the trapezoid effect, with some sacrifices in image quality. The other improvement is in the remote control. Surprisingly, the W1070 remote was not backlit, making usage in a dark theater environment.. less than ideal. The BenQ HT1075 remote is now backlit and easy to navigate. There are direct function buttons for the important stuff like brightness, contrast, and keystone adjustment. One thing I did notice is that the projector comes setup with a simple menu system, and to see advanced settings, the menu must be switched to advanced mode. This is good for the average user but then confusing for the pro-user. While I never heard of the built-in speaker in the BenQ W1070, improvements were apparently made in the BenQ HT1075 to increase the audio quality. Setup
Although not as ultra-compact as some business projectors, the BenQ HT1075 is about the size of a Blu-ray player or an Xbox One, 12.3” x 4.1” x 9.6” to be specific. At roughly 6 pounds, the BenQ HT1075 makes it easy to cart this projector into another room or over to a friend’s house. The setup of the BenQ HT1075 is a breeze. I opted for an IKEA end table in front of my couch, placed about 9.5 feet from a 110” 16:9 screen. After adjusting the zoom and focus and aiming the projector up a half-inch, only one click of vertical keystone adjustment is necessary. There are 2 HDMI inputs on the back of the projector, allowing me to hook up directly to an Oppo BDP-95 for 3D and movie testing and to my Marantz receiver for gaming. The HDMI 2 input is MHL enabled for connecting to mobile devices. I tested out the BenQ HT1075’s keystone correction by also placing it off to the side of my couch. There’s a keystone button on the remote, making it easy to get to the adjustments. Each direction on the arrow pad adjusts a different direction. There is a lot of play here, 30 steps in each direction, but of course, there are downsides to using it. You will lose some sharpness and resolution along with image size. The projected image is manipulated within the 1920×1080 frame, so each adjustment shrinks the image that ends up on the screen. The image still retained most of the sharpness and was pleasing to the eye. While I would never use this for a permanent setup, it does work well in a pinch.
With Bright Images, Comes Fan Noise
One major drawback of front projectors is that their bright bulbs create a lot of heat, which requires cooling. This usually means a fan to circulate cool air in and hot air out. The good news with the BenQ HT1075 is that when in low lamp mode, with the projector sitting directly in front of me, I was never overly distracted by the fan noise. On normal lamp mode, the unit is producing enough fan noise to be distracting. With how bright the BenQ HT1075 is on low lamp mode, the only time you may need normal mode is with an outdoor setup or open room with ambient lighting. Given the lumen output, I find the fan noise is acceptable on the BenQ HT1075.
Another Kind of Noise
Although common in business projectors, a built-in speaker is not usually found in home theater projectors. That is one area of the BenQ HT1075 that stands apart from the pack. Inside is a small 10-watt speaker that features a resonant chamber for increased bass performance. As a fan of big, encompassing home theater sound, I would recommend against using the built-in 10-watt speaker in the BenQ HT1075 in a dedicated home theater room. It is not quite up to the task of recreating energetic, room-shaking movie soundtracks. However, in a portable situation, such as watching an evening football game outside on a makeshift bedsheet screen, the speaker comes in very handy. There is no need to lug speakers and other audio gear over to a friend’s house for some large front projection gaming; everything is built into the BenQ HT1075.
Light on Rainbow Effect
I have always seen and been irritated by single-chip DLP’s rainbow effect. The BenQ HT1075 features a 6x speed RGBRGB color wheel to help defeat that effect, and I have to say, this projector has been the least fatiguing of any single-chip DLP projector I have watched.
Overall Image Performance
The DLP sharpness and high lumen output mean that for lighter scenes, like the introduction chase in Skyfall, the BenQ HT1075 performs beautifully. All the details from Bond’s face come through on-screen, and fast action sequences retain a lot of detail as well. Out of the box, the performance is good in cinema mode. Colors definitely popped on-screen without feeling fake and over-saturated. The CG elements of Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are excellent via the BenQ. Darker scenes in films like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince struggle on the BenQ HT1075. The lack of high contrast and low black levels leave the image looking flat. It is harder to be pulled into the dark atmosphere of the movie without darker black levels. Like most DLP projectors, the 3D on the BenQ is excellent. The only downside would be that in 3D mode, the lamp is set to high for optimal brightness; this means the fan noise can be a little much. The 3D color mode has a large red tint to compensate for the lenses in the glasses, but even with the glasses on, there is still a slight tint present. Being a DLP, there is virtually no crosstalk present. Watching Gravity, the 3D effect is very good and also non-fatiguing for the viewer. The two small issues with 3D are that there is a more pronounced rainbow effect compared to 2D, and I did see a bit of crosstalk when the parachute deployed on the capsule during reentry in Gravity. It only happens in those very bright, fast-motion sections. Gaming performance was also excellent on the BenQ HT1075. In fact, this is my go-to recommendation for gamers looking for a projector on a budget. The sharp images and below 50ms lag time from the BenQ HT1075, along with all that brightness, make it easy to see your opponent on-screen.
The BenQ HT1075 is currently retailing at $980, and at that price, this little projector delivers a lot of performance. With its exceptionally bright and sharp 1080p images, this is an easy projector to recommend for those on a budget. As a gaming projector, the BenQ HT1075 is an excellent choice.
|Pros:||Sharp and bright, this budget 1080p DLP projector packs a hell of a punch for a small investment. Its flexibility when setting up and built-in speaker allows it to move from room to room and be up and running in minutes. Low lag and the fast response time of DLP make this an ideal gaming projector.|
|Cons:||While the BenQ HT1075 puts out a lot of light and yields a great picture for most scenes, it still lacks in the contrast and black level department. The case also has quite a bit of light leakage.|
|Summary:||If you are looking for a bright projector with sharp visuals, the BenQ HT1075 is an excellent choice. Need a second screen for multiplayer gaming? Both video and audio-wise, the BenQ HT1075 is all you need to haul over to a friend’s house. This is our pick for Best Budget Gaming Projector.|