Projector Reviews

BenQ HT1075 Projector Review – Summary

BENQ HT1075 REVIEW – SUMMARY, Page 1:  Home Entertainment vs Home Theater, Picture Quality, Brightness,
The Bottom Line: Great Projector, But A Bit Disappointing at the same time!

BenQ HT1075 - Home Entertainment or Home Theater Projector?

The HT1075 will appeal to both markets.  Consider home entertainment to differ from home theater, in a less desirable room – perhaps lighter walls ceilings and floors, less than great lighting control, and also consider it more casual viewing.  I don’t really care if you have a family room or a dedicated theater, when your 8 and 10 year olds are watching Frozen, it’s a home entertainment projector.   Bright projectors used to be the domain of home entertainment for having the brightness to carve through some ambient light.  Because 3D demands a lot of extra brightness though, even many of today’s pure “home theater” projectors can reach, or even beat 2000 lumens.  If you are viewing content critically for color, black levels, etc., it’s home theater…

So what have we here?  The HT1075 is actually competent in both worlds.   As  a home entertainment projector it’s not the brightest around but it is pretty bright.  It’s easy to set up, its zoom lens doesn’t have a whole lot of range, but that and some lens shift make setup easy.  Also I should note, that the HT1075 has lots of both vertical and horizontal keystone correction.  Yep, the dreaded keystone correction.  We home theater types hate keystone correction because it degrades the image visibly, although not dramatically.  Guess what, though, the 8 and 10 year olds watching Frozen, won’t notice, or care.   So, let’s say that while I hate the idea of keystone correction when viewing, understand that the “rest of the family” might not care.

Like many new lower cost home projectors the HT1075 supports MHL, which means you can “cut the cord”, and stream your content from wifi (i.e. Netflix), using devices such as Roku sticks or even some Android tablets.  It’s a nice touch, but the picture quality, do remember will definitely be higher coming off of a Blu-ray player.

For a home entertainment projector the HT1075 has about as good color as one could hope for, without any calibration at all, just select Cinema or Standard modes and enjoy.  If your room isn’t a theater or cave, the projector’s lack of impressive black levels won’t really come into play, and that’s the only real weakness the HT1075 has.

Now let’s say you want a projector for your cave or theater, and you are critical of picture quality (would you be reading this, if not)?  Again, the color is excellent right out of the box, especially considering the price range.  But black levels – with no dynamic iris or other improvements is entry level.  That folks is the downside to this projector, also the lack of some other features.

Consider though, that as projectors go, around the $1000 price range, the HT1075 represents a well thought out, and very well performing choice.  You just can’t expect to get everything you’d want in a projector that’s just above “entry level.”

Whether you choose this projector for “home entertainment” or “home theater”, it would seem to be one of the very best choices ou there for the money.

Picture Quality

The color handling is great.  Just plug this projector in, set it for Cinema mode, feed it you satellite/cable, Blu-ray/DVD, or streaming sources, and enjoy color about as good as many projectors are after calibration.  You can improve slightly on the color using our calibration settings, or higher a calibrator (not that  people are going to pay to calibrate a projector in this price range).

The projector lacks some enhancements – there’s no CFI – creative frame interpolation for smooth motion.  That’s particularly nice for sports, but few serious enthusiasts would  use CFI for movies. Nor is there any sophisticated detail enhancement controls.

The one weakness though, is black level performance.  If you want to find flaw with this projector, it’s right there.  If only BenQ would have added a dynamic iris to the HT1075’s feature set.  In this regard, the BenQ is entry level, comparable to other inexpensive DLP projectors and a bit better than lower cost 3LCD projectors, but there are DLP projectors near the price that easily outperform in that one area.  Dark shadow detail is very good, though not exceptional.  Any weaknesses in that regard are minor, and should not be considered when choosing your projector.  Overall, though for a just over $1000 home projector the HT1075 produces a refined image, no rough edges, and particularly good color.

HT1075 Brightness

Light Canon!  This is a projector that can produce over 2000 lumens (just), with especially good color.  It has plenty of brightness for tackling some ambient light, and it has enough brightness that when watching 3D on a 100″ screen I did not consider it in any way dim.  Moving up to my max size of 124″, for 3D I would have liked a bit brighter, but that’s true for just about any home projector I’ve reviewed in the last few years.

If you are going with less than an ideal room, and plan on a screen – not just shining on a wall, chose your screen wisely.  Some screens are especially great at dealing with ambient light, but, unfortunately those cost far more than this projector.  Still there are certain types, such as high contrast gray surfaces that can really help out.  Check out our articles and videos on screen selection.

In a theater type room, I’d go with a high contrast gray screen to help lower the black levels.  Since there are plenty of lumens to spare, the slight loss of screen gain should not be a problem unless you are going very large screen (say over 120″ diagonal).

Brightness – yep, no problem!

The Bottom Line: Great Yet A Bit Disappointing!

The W1070 was/is a great projector value, and so is its replacement, the HT1075, but I do have my issues with it.  Primarily, after waiting about 2 years for this new replacement, although it has improvements, I find that the improvements are mostly minor, and don’t much affect the picture quality.  That combines with what is effectively a price increase, at least for the moment.  the W1070 has been selling online for under $1000 for a long time, and $899 is easy to find.  Figure that you are spending up to $200 more at this time (10/2014) for the HT1075.  No doubt when the W1070’s disappear, the HT1075 price will probably drop below $1000 but we shall have to see.   You see, while they last, the W1070 is the HT1075’s most direct and most challenging competitor, and for most, the better value.

Meantime, what you are getting for your extra couple hundred dollars compared to the W1070, includes  MHL support on HDMI2.  That’s a real nice touch if you plan to use it, and some will, but, most folks won’t.   Then there’s the wireless HD option, but, it is optional, and with a suggested list price of $349, you can definitely buy 3rd party wireless HD for less (say $199), which will work with the HT1075, or, for that matter with the W1070.  I like the addition of the Basic Menu setup, for those challenged by menus, but that’s not going to help with performance.