Projector Reviews

BenQ HT1075 Projector Review – Special Features

HT1075 PROJECTOR REVIEW – SPECIAL FEATURES:  Single Chip DLP, Lens Shift, Projector Lamp modes, MHL

Single Chip DLP Design, 3D

Every so often it makes sense to discuss the underlying technology. In the case of the BenQ HT1075 it’s the single chip DLP design.  Now there are several articles on our site that describes the plusses and minuses of each of the major technologies (others include 3LCD, and LCoS), but I’ll take a moment to point out the strengths (and weakness) of the HT1075’s single DLP design.

The big advantage of single chip DLP projectors is that there is a single chip, rather than three (one for each primary color) found with LCD and LCoS designs  This means no convergence issues, so that “all else being equal” single chip DLP projectors tend to be sharper.  And less expensive to build, all else being equal.  Often offsetting that advantage, remember, you aren’t going to get the high quality optics found on $3000 or $8000 projectors on a projector barely above entry level.

All considered the projector is sharp, but at the same time I suspect the lens itself could be better, provide more clarity.  Hard to describe but the HT1075 just doesn’t scream “razor sharp.”  The only phrase I can think of, and I don’t like using it, would be to say that it seems to be a touch hazy, compared to higher end projectors.  Still, it is very good for a projector in its price range.

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The primary downside to single chip DLP projectors is the use of a color wheel, and that allows some folks to see the dreaded “rainbow effect” which can be an issue when white moves across a dark background, or the inverse.  What you see are “flashes” of mostly red and green (blue too, but is darker, harder to notice).  The BenQ’s color wheel is a good deal faster than most other low cost projectors.  Per BenQ is is a six color segment, 6x speed wheel.  That’s about as fast as they come.  I am rainbow sensitive, and can tell you that this BenQ does really well in this regard.  I’ve noticed rainbows only once in a while, while viewing, but not enough to bother me.  I can’t say that for most $1000 price range DLP projectors.  If you are rainbow sensitive, this is probably the best single chip DLP projector in the price range to own.

One technical “side effect” of a color wheel – when I take all these photos of projected scenes, I have to shoot at slow speeds – 1/15th  of a second or slower, or it affects the color, as at higher speeds the shutter isn’t open for the time needed for one full revolution.  At medium speeds you might get a repeat of one of the color slices or part of one, but not all.   Mostly I shoot at 1/8th of a second or slower to play it safe.

Also tying into DLP technology, the HT1075 uses DLP-link technology for transmitting the sync for 3D to the glasses.  That does create some range limitations, and generally I’ve found IR, and better still, RF based 3D syncing to be superior in terms of the picture quality  For another trade-off though, single chip DLP projectors are essentially crosstalk free, for a particularly clean 3D image.

HT1075 Lens Shift

The HT1075 projector offers a small amount of vertical lens shift.  The control is hidden below a sliding panel just behind the recessed focus and zoom.  Once uncovered, it’s a small screw head, hard to grip, and best adjusted with a standard screwdriver.

There’s enough lens shift to give you some vertical placement flexibility for ceiling mounting so that the projector doesn’t have to hang down too far if you have tall ceilings. For table top operation, the lens shift allows the center of the lens to be even with the bottom of the screen to a foot or so below the screen (depending on screen size – see the numbers in the Hardware Tour section.  More shift would be better, but kudos to BenQ for providing some lens shift.  Lens shift it seems is easier to implement with other technologies than with the light engines used for DLP.

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Projector Lamp Modes

OK, depending on the projector lamp mode selected, per their brochure, this BenQ claims 3500 hours in full power mode, 5000 hours in eco mode, and, up to 6000 hours in Smart Eco mode

The 6000 mode is one that will essentially reduce power consumption (mostly to the lamp) by 70% when there’s no source, and apparently sometimes when the source material isn’t remotely bright such as the source is projecting a very dim image.  And sure, that should add additional hours to the lamp life.  If you’ve got a screen saver going on your satellite or cable box, or the projector and source are on when you broke for dinner and either are fairly bright, that’s not going to get you into that lamp saving mode.  I have found the DirecTV screen saver to be dim enough that I’ve seen the saving 70% message.  The normal Eco mode claims a reduction of 30%.  That should match pretty closely with Mike’s measurements on the Calibration page.  All considered, Smart Eco, may only provide benefits some of the time even if selected, so figure 5000 hours as a “reliable” eco mode.

For almost all users, except those running only at full lamp power, I’m thinking you can expect the 3500 to 5000 hours is what to hope for.  That’s very good!  Few projector models out there  can expect more than 5000 hours in normal or eco mode use.  A few years back 2000 hours was the standard for full power, 3000 for eco.

MHL and Audio on the HT1075 Projector

MHL is a feature showing up in almost all new lower cost home entertainment projectors.  It is basically a “mobile” HDMI solution.  My best example would be to plug in a Roku stick into HDMI2 which is the one that supports MHL.

My Roku stick talks to my home Wifi, and allows me to watch Netflix and a great many other “channels,” without a satellite box/cable box, etc.  The images shown here were taken of the screen, when I dragged the HT1075 outside a few evenings ago, and projected content onto a portable outdoor screen – the classic summer movie night.  Or in this case, a rerun of 30 Rock!  For more about that portable screen, click here.

30 Rock on a summer night outside, Source – Roku stick over Wifi. Projector HT1075, outdoor screen Vapex ProjectoScreen 120HD is 120″ diagonal! A great “summer family night” solution


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