With an ever-growing lineup of impressive projectors hitting the market over the past few years, only the ones with incredible image quality stand out from the competition. Equipped with state-of-the-art DLP technology and casting a Cinematic Color Rec. 709 picture quality, the BenQ HT3050 is one of the best projectors of 2017 priced just under $1,000.
BenQ’s Intelligent Design
Why is it one of the best projectors? The HT3050 has an HD display resolution of 1920 x 1080p and a contrast ratio of 15,000:1. With a display size anywhere between 60″ – 180″ for maintaining crystal clear “Cinematic Color Rec. 709” quality, the BenQ projector “looks as good as real life.” If you’re interested in having a late night neighborhood screening of Friday the 13th on Halloween, then you can scale the image all the way up to 300″ – although image resolution is compromised.
Built around a single DLP chip instead of the standard 3 LCD’s, the HT3050 offers viewers a 1.3x zoom function and a color standard that is second-to-none in its price range. With a vertical lens shift that allows you to move the image up and down without moving the projector, the HT3050 projects 2,000 lumens that literally pops out of the screen. Considered to be an elite projector when the lights are out, this affordable system is the ideal home entertainment center companion – especially if you have stereo surround sound.
Armed with a full arsenal of ports that include RGB component slots with L/R audio, two HDMI 1.4 MHL ports, one LAN, a PC connection, one USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio in/out, the BenQ HT3050 is a highly-compatible projector whether it’s gaming or connecting to Sonos speakers. Since we’re on the subject, the HT3050 has a rather impressive sub-10ms response time for gaming with little to no blurring during connectivity. As projectors go, the gaming performance is top notch.
If there’s any downside to the BenQ HT3050 home theater projector is would have to be its user interface. Not a deal breaker per se, but the choice to use an onboard display versus the contemporary “dashboard-style” interface was a bit misguided. From the initial Keystone setup to repositioning images to fit on the screen, there seems to be a disconnect between the remote and the menu options in settings. Some of the functionality is only stored in the settings and others only on the remote. So you really need to know your remote to get the most out of the HT3050.
With that being said, what the HT3050 lacks in user interface proficiency it more than makes up for with incredible image quality. As the post-production industry standard for how shows and movies are color balanced, the Rec. 709 feature means a consistent viewing experience across any device. Whether it’s the all-glass cinema-grade lens or the 15,000:1 contrast, the HT3050 meets the baseline standard metrics for cinematic image quality. The inclusion of the Cinematic Color Rec catapults BenQ’s project to entirely new level – differentiating itself from the competition when it comes to picture quality.
As for the speakers, there are mixed reviews on their performance. Opting for stereo sound instead of mono, the two opposing 10W speakers are noticeably louder than the competition but some say it lacks much-needed bass – making it a bit unbalanced on high volume levels. This problem goes away, of course, if you already have the home theater set up already in place.