Posted on February 3, 2016
The $999 BenQ HT3050 is a quality replacement for their aging W1070 and HT1075 home projectors.
The HT3050 is the middle projector of three new home entertainment – home theater entries. We’ve previously reviewed (and liked) the more expensive HT4050, which has extra features but sells for four hundred more. The HT3050 offers a very good value proposition compared to its more expensive sibling, unless you need the extra placement flexibility that the extra cash buys you. There are performance differences as well. A lower end HT2050 rounds out the new entries as the pure entry level home entertainment projector.
The HT3050 is a single chip DLP projector. As you can see from the specs below, it’s pretty bright claiming 2000 lumens, but it isn’t a match for the brightest home entertainment projectors around. It has, however a bit more refined picture, overall, than most of the lower cost DLP projectors. In other words, just above entry level.
The HT3050 is rather nicely equipped. A 1.3:1 manual zoom lens combines with a modest amount (10%) of vertical lens shift (similar to those older two BenQs already mentioned.
You get 3D capabilities, but no 3D glasses are included. No problem, 3rd party glasses are inexpensive.
As you would hope for, there are two HDMI inputs, and one of them supports MHL.
Warranty is one year parts and labor, sadly, that is the minimum for projectors around this price. There are brands offering two years or three years, and others with only one year.
BenQ’s big pitch for this “Colorific” projector is its REC 709 mode. It doesn’t matter what you call it, some might call that mode; Cinema, or Theater or Movie, or??? The point is that BenQ does a very good job, providing rather accurate color right out of the box in their REC 709 mode which is the best looking one.
Because both the HT3050 and it’s big brother, the HT4050 both have REC 709 modes, I had hoped that the same calibration settings for the HT4050 would work for the HT3050. They do not! Normally I would have had the HT3050 calibrated in that case, but at $999, where few will ever bother to pay someone to calibrate their projector, I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble since that REC 709 mode looks so good without any adjustment.
BenQ has kept their “famous” W1070 in the lineup for an extra year or two (as I see it the HT1075 was its replacement), but because of all the good press for the W1070 they’ve kept it alive at least here in the US.
Overall, the HT3050 has to be considered a superior replacement. One noteworthy difference though, is that the HT3050 is a shorter throw projector – it will sit closer to any screen, than the older W1070 and HT1075 could. (That’s a plus for gamers!).
Gaming the HT3050: Just so I don’t forget, the HT3050 has acceptable input lag – measuring in at about 49ms! Not great, but acceptable to all but the most hardcore. More discussion about this on the next page.
Our goal here isn’t to “give away” the key findings of the review. None-the-less, these are the highlights we consider significant
OK, time to look at some of these items in greater detail, as you turn to the Special Features page.
So what’s the input lag actually ? I’m getting confused. In the first page, you said it’s 17ms but in the second page you said it’s 49.7ms. That’s a huge difference. What’s the number actually ?
Uh-oh, my bad. Not sure which is right. I’m out of town, returning to my office Thursday night. I’ll retest the projector and get that straightened out. Sorry about that. -art
No problem at all. Appreciate that. 🙂
Hi Lonelipop The correct amount is 49.7 ms, which is “acceptable” not excellent as originally indicated. I’m not sure how that happened. But last night, I did break out my Leo Bodnar input lag measuring device, that several of us now use.
I got the same results in different modes including Game mode. Turning off Brilliant Color had no impact, nor did smart eco mode. Anyting around 50ms indicates about a 3 frame delay when running 60fps games. Not terrible, but hard core team gamers usually aren’t happy at that level. For the rest of us, it’s typically fine. -art
Thanks a lot ! Think it’ll be fine for me since I do some FPS in PS4 but only offline.
I’m looking to buy it as my first home theatre projector. Do you think it’s the best choice for this price point ? Any other model I should consider ?
thanks a lot for the reviews and for all you guys write in this site: really helpful!! I need a help in the stormy ocean of the projector screens… I would like a suggestion about the right screen type to use with BenQ HT3050. Screen size will be around 90″ (maximum 100″), the projector is in the living room that has white walls and white ceiling but with great light control. I watch mostly movies during the night. Happens that I watch sport during the afternoon but twice a month maybe. I will be around 10 ft from the screen and I will need a pull down screen. Budget is possibly low (few hundred bucks?). Is it the HC gray the right one? Please let me know. Thanks Matteo
P.S. I live in Italy so if you have suggestions about brands they will be most welcome
Good review! Is there a significant difference in sharpness with different zoom settings? In max zoom (near to wall, bit brighter) it should be less sharp then on min zoom (farer from wall, bit darker). Maybe this solves the sharpness loss in corners?
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