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BenQ HT3050 Home Theater Projector Review - Summary 2

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Art Feierman
BENQ HT3050 PROJECTOR - SUMMARY Page 2: Value Proposition, Bottom Line

HT3050 Value Proposition, Competition

At this $1000 price point there are projectors that are better for some people's needs, while other models may be suit a different group.  With that in mind, I would think the HT3050 to be a top choice for many keeping their budget under $1000.  The HT3050 is a good choice if you are creating a projector friendly room with excellent lighting control. Although it is entry level in terms of black level performance, it's a very good movie projector.

Other competitors include the Optoma HD37 (another single chip DLP) - similar in price.  Overall, I prefer this BenQ, although they are similar in many regards.  I think it a better movie projector than say sports and general HDTV.  Optoma has improved their picture quality in recent years, and I'd say that the HD37 has a little more pop to the image, but I give the BenQ the advantage for a more natural picture when watching movies.  At a few hundred more, the Optoma HD50 aka HD161X is s step up with better black level performance so I favor it in a home theater setup, but you are typically looking to spending $300 - $400 more.

If you are looking to set up in a less than ideal room, but not an overly bright one, the HT3050 has plenty of brightness to play seriously (especially when paired with the right screen), but if you need every last lumen you can get a good deal more on projectors that are, by comparison, just a little "rough around the edges" picture wise.

The Epson HC2040 and HC2045 (wireless HDMI), cost less, and are particularly good for sports, as they also feature creative frame interpolation for smooth motion, a real plus for many sports fans. Like the BenQ they have pretty great color right out of the box in "best" modes.  Those Epsons are also going to have more color and white lumens to outgun the HT3050 in tougher rooms, and a far better warranty for a couple hundred dollars less.  Those two Epsons may have the larger market appeal, but for movies, in a fully darkened theater/cave, the nice black level advantage of the HT3050 wins the day with those who really care.

A lower cost DLP projector with different strengths is the Viewsonic PJD7822HDL.  Its color out of the box isn't as accurate, nor can it quite match the black levels, but they are close enough at that to both be "entry level". The Viewsonic, though is hundreds less, and is far brighter, making it a massive light canon for brighter rooms (in fact a bit too bright for a fully darkened room).  That Viewsonic has a three year warranty. You are paying more for the HT3050, but do get a picture with a better picture quality finish, rather than a brute force solution for bright rooms. (Both projectors have good very value propositions but obviously for different strengths.)

Like the PJD7822HDL, Epson can offer you a no frills high power 3LCD projector for a good deal less.  We haven't yet reviewed the $699 list HC1040, but it puts out 3000 white lumens - AND 3000 color lumens (that would be a lot more color lumens than the Viewsonic), for cutting though ambient light. No 3D on that beast though.  Not a true competitor, as it's strictly a "high brightness" projector, for ambient light conditions.

You could also compare the HT3050 to one of the better "Pocket" LED projectors.  The LG1000 we reviewed is a couple hundred dollars more and not quite half as bright.  That LG can't match the black levels of this BenQ.  You get a solid state LED light engine that will outlast the projector overall, but you are paying a hefty premium for all of that with the LG, making the BenQ the superior value unless you really need a relatively tiny projector.  There are any number of other DLP projectors at or around the price.  Most are overall similar, but I still like the HT3050 best as being particularly strong for use in a home theater environment.

The Bottom Line

The HT3050 is a top choice for an entry level home theater setup (rather than home entertainment).  If you aren't willing to spend, say twice as much or a little more to get into what I call serious home theater projectors - those with "ultra high contrast" black level abilities, this is one fine first home theater projector.  It's a good stepping stone for those hooked on movie watching on the big screen for maximum immersion.  It has the "juice" to handle large screens not just the usual 100" to 110" diagonal sizes, as even 150" is well within its abilities.  Overall color is impressive.

As a home entertainment projector - emphasis on sports and general HDTV, the HT3050 is competitive but at a disadvantage to some due to price, and others due to not being near as bright.

I like the HT3050.  I consider it a better value overall, than the more expensive HT4050 also recently reviewed.  While the HT3050 is brighter than predecessors, it hasn't improved dramatically in other areas, so I would say that while it's definitely a top choice, it isn't the standout that the W1070 was a few years back when first released.  The competition, to put things in perspective, has simply gotten more competitive, especially outside of a dedicated theater.

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