Projector Reviews Images

BenQ HT3650 4K DLP Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on January 2, 2024 by Philip Boyle
BenQ-HT-3650-award-1 - Projector Reviews Images
The BenQ HT3560 is an affordable 4K home theater projector with excellent picture quality.

The BenQ HT3560 is a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160p) DLP (digital light processing) projector that has an MSRP of $1,599. The HT3560 offers a manufacturer-rated brightness of 2,200 ANSI lumens and displays colors that cover 95% of the DCI-P3 and 100% of the Rec.709 color gamuts. 

The BenQ HT3560 is one the company's newest versions of their highly successful line of UHP lamp-based home theater projectors and a direct successor to models like the TK850i and the HT3550.  The new HT3560 is almost identical to the company's previous model, the HT3550, which we have reviewed here at Projector Reviews. Using a Texas Instruments, pixel shifting 0.47" DMD DLP system that displays a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160p) on screen.

The HT3560 is not the first UHP lamp-based 4K projector we have been fortunate enough to put through its paces here at projector reviews. We have done detailed testing of the BenQ models that share the HT3560 design aesthetics. Previous models like the HT3550 and TK850i were praised for their ability to create a remarkably good 4K image. This is largely due to the BenQ features like the company's Auto Tone Mapping and Color Mapping technologies combined with BenQ’s Dynamic Iris technology, which allow this projector to display high-quality, natural-looking images out of the box.

The HT3560 is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary update to the HT3550. The BenQ HT3560 shares a remarkably similar design, feature set, and performance to its highly regarded 2021 predecessor. BenQ has added support for HDR10+, an open-source alternative to Dolby Vision HDR that performs similarly. The HT3560 supports BenQ technologies like HDR-PRO and Dynamic Black to help create a cinema-grade experience in your home. 

A lot has changed in the projection industry over the last two years, with newer, more affordable, and higher-quality laser and LED light sources now available that can outperform lamp-based projectors.

But lamp-based projectors are far from going the way of the Dodo. BenQ is one of the world's biggest proponents and developers of high-output LED light sources. Yet, the company still produces a significant portion of its home theater, gaming, and cinema projectors powered by ultra-high performance lamps, and there are good reasons why.

Let's discuss why the BenQ HT3560 is worth considering as a new addition or upgrade to your existing 1080p home theater projector.

  • BenQ_HT3560_Mfr#1 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Mfr#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Mfr#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Mfr#4 - Projector Reviews Images
BenQ HT3560 Specs
Price$1,699 MSRP
TechnologyDLP
Displayed Resolution4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim2200 ANSI Lumens
Light SourceLamp
Contrast50,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3X
Sound System5 Watt x2 Stereo
Dimensions(WxHXD) 14.9 x 4.9 x 10.35 inch
Weight9.25 lbs. (4.2 kg)

 

Overview

BenQ-HT3560-Ceiling-Mount - Projector Reviews Images
The BenQ HT3560 picture quality and feature set are designed to appeal to value-conscious home theater enthusiasts

Right before the holidays, BenQ sent us several new projectors to evaluate. Each projector's feature set is designed to appeal to a specific type of projector customer. The HT3560 targets value-conscious home theater enthusiasts who care about good black levels and accurate color reproduction.

The HT3560 is one of BenQ's latest series of affordable 4K home theater projectors. The HT3560 may be in the entry-level range of 4K projectors, but it is a good quality 4K home theater with an incredibly good image. Those readers familiar with BenQ models like the HT3550 and 3550i, as well as the non-smart version of this projector, the TK850, will see a very familiar-looking projector with a similar feature set with incremental improvements.

Let’s start with the core technologies that BenQ carries over and, in some cases, have improved compared to previous lamp-based models in this class.

The BenQ Ht3560 uses a Texas Instruments,0.47" DMD DLP with XPR pixel shifting technology to display a 4K (3840 x 2160p) image. While Benq calls the HT3560 a "True 4K" projector, to be clear, the 0.47 in DMD at the heart of the HT3560 has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which is Full HD. Texas Instruments adds an XPR module on top of the DMD that shifts the light coming off the DMD to create four separate displayed pixels from one single mirror, which is how the 4K “displayed” image is created.

Some BenQ projectors use native 1,920 x 1,080 DMD devices that produce a Full HD displayed image with no pixel shifting, like the BenQ HT2060 that I recently reviewed. BenQ also makes projectors that produce a Full HD displayed image from a DMD device with a lower mirror count using pixel-shifting technologies like XPR.

Currently, there are no consumer single-chip DLP projectors with native 4K DMD devices available. But if there were, and that day is coming, they would be far more expensive than their pixel-shifting counterparts.

Search the internet, and you can find countless websites, forums, and articles discussing native vs. pixels shifting DLP DMDs and whether you can see a difference between the two types of Digital Micromirror Devices and why one is better or worse. A DMD device, native or not, is not the only component or technology in a video projector that creates what the human brain translates as detail, noise, or picture quality.

BenQ_HT3560_HDRPro1 - Projector Reviews Images
BenQ HDR-PRO technology overcomes brightness constraints to provide authentic HDR performance.

The HT3560 is a 4K home cinema projector powered by BenQ's exclusive CinematicColor and HDR-PRO technologies designed for AV content fanatics and movie enthusiasts with 4K image quality and cinematic color reproduction.

The BenQ HT3560’s light source provides a wide yet accurate color capability that BenQ's true colors as originally filmed. BenQ calls this CinematicColor an exclusive design that allows users to reproduce 95% DCI-P3 and 100% Rec.709 color performance. Whether you're watching movies or your favorite shows, the picture quality is top-notch, with vibrant colors and incredible detail in bright and dark scenes.

The HT3560's HDR support also allows BenQ to offer a FILMMAKER mode as a picture preset option on the projector. By turning off all image enhancement by post-processing and preserving the correct aspect ratios, colors, and frame rates, FILMMAKER mode enables projectors to display the movie and streaming content precisely as the filmmaker intended.

BenQ_CinematicColor#1 - Projector Reviews Images
95% DCI-P3 and 100% Rec.709 color space

Whether watching movies or television shows, BenQ's exclusive CinematicColor and HDR-PRO technologies should provide accurate color reproduction and an exceptional range of brightness in both bright and dark scenes. This bright and dark balance is accomplished by leveraging BenQ's enhanced HDR tone mapping via the company's DYNAMIC BLACK technology to increase contrast and dynamic range in HDR mode.

In today's 4K environment, most 4K content, such as Blu-rays and streaming movies, are produced and mastered in High Dynamic Range (HDR) and DCI- P3, a wide color gamut standard defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) for professional digital cinemas.

Thanks to an additional “cinema filter,” the HT3560 optimizes displayed picture quality. Using this cinema filter expands the projector's color gamut (color space) so that the HT3560 can project colors that projectors without the filter simply cannot. The cinema filter lowers the projector's lumen output (brightness), mostly white lumens, bringing the color lumen count closer to the white lumen count.

BenQ_DynamicBlack#1 - Projector Reviews Images
HDR projectors can have a higher peak brightness and more dazzling highlights with deeper shadows.

In today's 4K environment, most 4K content, such as Blu-rays and streaming movies, are produced and mastered in High Dynamic Range (HDR) and DCI-P3, a wide color gamut standard defined by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) for professional digital cinemas.

Thanks to an additional “cinema filter,” the HT3560 optimizes displayed picture quality. Using this cinema filter expands the projector's color gamut (color space) so that the HT3560 can project colors that projectors without the filter simply cannot. The cinema filter lowers the projector's lumen output (brightness), mostly white lumens, bringing the color lumen count closer to the white lumen count.

BenQ_EnhancementTech#1 - Projector Reviews Images

BenQ has packed the HT3560 with many of the company's best image enhancement and processing technologies designed to improve the displayed image in a wide range of content. With the WIDE COLOR GAMUT option enabled in HDR mode, BenQ's Local Contrast Enhancer divides video content into different zones, allowing it to dim the dark parts of the screen without affecting the bright areas.

Contrast enhancement can bring out lifelike colors and greater detail in bright and shadowy areas on your 4K big screen, resulting in a great-looking image, especially when watching movies, especially in the dark. The company has also developed and deployed custom algorithms designed to improve a range of video elements.

Pixel enhancement is designed to enhance image clarity and sharpness by addressing issues related to the display of individual pixels. BenQ motion-adaptive edge enhancement detects color changes between objects and backgrounds to produce sharp edges and precise surface textures. Pixel enhancement uses algorithms that analyze and optimize the appearance of pixels, resulting in a wide range of improvements, including sharpening edges, improving contrast, or addressing other factors that influence the perceived quality of the image.

BenQ motion enhancement inserts 36 interpolated frames between sequences to produce seamless, vivid 60 frames-per-second videos. Motion Enhancer eliminates laggy images, jittery playback, and blurry shadows, which can occur during fast-paced scenes in movies, sports, or video games. BenQ algorithms interpolate frames or adjust the display to reduce the perceived motion artifacts.

BenQ flesh tone enhancement provides a smart hue adjustment for only calibrating people's skin color, not other colors in the image. It prevents discoloration of skin tones from the light of the projection beam, portraying every skin tone in its most beautiful shade, resulting in a more lifelike and realistic look to a range of skin tones.

BenQ’s color enhancer modulates complex color algorithms to flawlessly render saturated colors, fine gradients, intermediate hues, and subtle pigments. BenQ allows users to fine-tune the saturation of colors with greater flexibility. BenQ’s color enhancer enables the HT3560 to render video with appropriately saturated colors, fine gradients, intermediate hues, and subtle pigments.

These are only a few features and technologies that allow the HT3560 to process and display such a range of stunning images.

BenQ_HT2060_EasySetup - Projector Reviews Images

Like most of the other BenQ projectors I have tested, the BenQ HT3560 has an Advanced Color Settings menu where the end-user can jump into the Color Management system to fine-tune the color adjustments. A comprehensive CMS (Color Management System) is typically not a feature offered in many lower-priced projectors. The HT3560 provides a wide range of adjustments. The projector's ACS (Advanced Color Settings) menu can adjust many image parameters, including Gamma Selection, Color Temperature Tuning, Color Management, Light Source mode, HDR Brightness, and Noise Reduction.

The HT3560 provides 1.3X zoom, vertical lens shift (+10% max.), and 2D keystone correction for easy installation, setup, and operation. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) On-Screen Resolution
  • 3D fully supported
  • 15,000 hours of light source life in SmartEco Mode (10K Eco, 4K Normal)
  • 10-Element, 8-Group Lens Array
  • 1.3x Zoom and 1.13 to 1.47:1 Throw Ratio
  • Vertical lens shift (Manual) +10%
  • 2D Keystone, (Auto) Vertical ± 30 degrees; (Manual) Horizontal ± 30 degrees
  • Three (3) HDMI 2.0b (2.0b/HDCP2.2) Inputs
  • Input lag 17.9ms (1080P 60Hz), 17.9ms (4K 60Hz), 21ms (1080p120Hz), 8.7ms (1080P 240Hz)
  • HDMI eARC, Dolby Atmos
  • Audio in (3.5mm Mini Jack) (x2), Audio out (3.5mm Mini Jack) (x1)
  • USB Type A (x2) 1.5A/2.5A
  • Built-In TreVolo 10-Watt (5W x2) stereo speakers
  • New HDR10+ technology adds dynamic metadata to HDR10 source files
  • HDR10+, HDR10 & HLG compatibility
  • Brightness of 2,200 ANSI lumens
  • Contrast ratio 50,000:1 (Dynamic Iris)
  • DCI-P3 coverage 95%, Rec. 709 coverage 100% color accuracy
  • Dynamic-Iris provides improved black levels
  • Dimensions (WxHXD) 14.9 x 4.9 x 10.35 inch (380 x 127 x 263 mm)
  • Weight: 9.25 lbs. (4.2 kg)

HARDWARE

The BenQ HT3560 is identical to the previous models like the HT3550, HT3550i, and TK850i. The HT3560 is a two-toned, mostly matte white projector with a metal finish semi-gloss front panel. Despite more and more projectors taking new design language, I think there is something to the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Also, sticking with an established design allows BenQ to save money and invest in improving the projector's feature set.

The BenQ HT3560 measures (WxHxD) 14.9 x 4.9 x 10.35 inches (380 x 127 x 263 mm) and weighs 9.25 lbs. (4.2 kg).

CHASSIS

  • BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_PJBProdShot#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_PJBProdShot#7 - Projector Reviews Images

The lens, an ambient light sensor, and ventilation are on the projector's front panel. The right and left sides of the projector have more ventilation, and the rear is where all the inputs and connections are located.

The projector's control panel is easily accessible on the top rear of the projector. From this control panel, users can adjust settings, control all the projector's menu-based functions, and even power the projector on and off. The location and design of the control panel make it easy to operate the projector without the remote control and, if necessary, even when mounted on the ceiling.

The HT3560 provides manual vertical lens shift, zoom, and focus capabilities. These allow users to fine-tune the position of the projected image without physically moving the entire projector. This flexibility makes setting up the projector according to different room configurations or mounting preferences convenient.

The projector's ventilation design helps keep the projector from overheating during extended use. Additionally, the HT3560 incorporates noise control mechanisms, ensuring minimal fan noise and minimizing distractions during your viewing sessions.

The HT3560 does not have a HDMI media stick but will support all external media devices. BenQ has removed the projector's onboard media player feature, so the projector will not recognize media on any USB drives, which is unfortunate.

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot_Inputs - Projector Reviews Images

The BenQ HT3560 includes three (3) HDMI 2.0b ports with HDCP 2.2 copy projection. HDMI input #2 provides eARC functionality. There are USB Type-A ports and one USB micro port, which can be used to install updated firmware. One is for PC-free presentations and more, using the built-in media player that supports a range of video and audio codecs and still-image formats, including JPEG, BMP, and PNG.

The projector features two (2) 3.5 mm stereo mini audio inputs and one (1) 3.5 mm stereo audio out. The HDMI inputs carry audio and an S/PDIF or Toslink optical digital audio output.

The rear panel holds a standard 12-volt trigger for a motorized screen (or other uses), enabling the screen to automatically lower or raise when the BenQ HT3560 is powered on or off.

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot_CtrlPanel - Projector Reviews Images

The HT3659’s control panel is located on the top near the back; a Power On/Off button (Press once to power on, press twice to power down) is located furthest to the right. A small LED light indicating power status is just above it. There are two more indicator lights as you move to the right from the Power light, labeled Temperature and Lamp.

Directly to the right of the Power button is the navigation area, consisting of the four arrow keys in a round formation. The enter button (labeled “OK”) is in the middle. All the arrows take on other jobs when you aren’t in the menu system. The up and down arrows let you adjust keystone correction, while the left and right arrows control volume down and up, respectively.

The three remaining buttons activate the Menu, while the one to the left is the Back button, which takes you back up one level in the menu system when pressed. The Source button is to the right of the Menu button, allowing you to select between the various sources you have connected to the TK850i. However, the projector does have an Auto-Source option, which will automatically go to the active live source it finds.

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot_Remote - Projector Reviews Images

The remote control BenQ included with the HT3560 has been around for as long as this projector body style. The remote is a traditional candy bar-style remote. Like most BenQ remotes, the button assignment is logically laid out and intuitive. By today's standards, this remote is large, but the size is just right for me.

The remote is backlit, and unlike most modern backlit remotes, the light is bright and will stay lit for about ten seconds once a button is pressed. What’s not to like about that? This remote is far better than the more modern BenQ backlit remotes with newer BenQ projectors like the V4550i and the new V5000i. The newer BenQ remotes feel more comfortable in hand, but compared to this remote, their backlight is dim and only stays on for about three seconds.

At the top are three buttons: a green power-on button, the backlight control button, and a red power-off button. Why two separate buttons for power?

The next row features a one-touch keystone control, the Default button, which resets whatever feature you are adjusting, and a test pattern button.

The photo above shows you the rest of the buttons and functions.

THE LENS

The HT3560 uses a lens system made for 4K and high-quality glass designed to display a realistic image. BenQ uses a 10-element, 8-group lens array for greater light penetration for long-lasting 4K intensity. The optics on this projector work well, showing no visible artifacts or typical chromatic aberration in lower-price projectors. The BenQ HT3560 showed no issues with the sharpness of the image, maintaining a very sharp-looking image even into the corners of the screen.

Manual lens zoom, focus, and shift controls are accessed from the top of the projector. The zoom range of the HT3560 is 1.3:1, giving the user enough flexibility that the projector can be mounted or placed on a table as close as 8.2” from a 100-inch screen. The vertical lens shift range is +10% vertical.

Lens shift allows users to easily keep the image properly fit into a screen that may already be mounted higher than the projector can reach without raising it. Keystone correction allows the projector to be digitally squared to the screen, but we recommend you avoid using keystone correction unless necessary, as it affects image quality by reducing sharpness.

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot_Lens - Projector Reviews Images

The lens has a 1.13-1.47:1 throw ratio. The unit's shorter throw distance makes it a great solution for small spaces because it can project a big picture even if you don't have much room. You can make a 100-inch screen by placing the projector just 8.3 feet away. You can use the lens shift feature to adjust the picture to align perfectly with the screen. It lets you move the picture up and down without losing quality.

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot_Throw - Projector Reviews Images

MENUS

  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#1 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#5 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#6 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Menu#7 - Projector Reviews Images

BenQ projectors have well-organized menus, so you can find what you're looking for without any trouble. Navigation is straightforward. The menus offer quick access to important functions, so you can easily switch inputs or change the picture mode. With BenQ projectors, the menus are designed to be user-friendly and make getting the best performance from your projector a breeze.

Like other BenQ projectors of its class, this unit works on two different menu interfaces. The first is the BenQ basic menu, allowing users to control the most common projector features. The second is the advanced menu, which allows full access to the projector's electronic features and adjustments.
The menu is typical BenQ; it is easy to navigate with a sensible layout.

PERFORMANCE

The HT3560 is fully configurable with all the controls and adjustments typically found on a BenQ home entertainment projector, including detailed adjustments for calibration. Projector Reviews highly recommends a professional calibration to get the best performance from any projector. Calibrating the projector ensures users get the best performance possible for their screen and environment. Professional calibration opens access to the projector's ISF modes. If professional calibration is within your budget, do it by all means.

BenQ has included five SDR preset picture modes and two HDR modes, not counting the two ISF modes that can only be unlocked by a professional calibrator. I'll go into these in more detail in the brightness section below.

COLOR REPRODUCTION

  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#9 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#8 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#6 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#4 - Projector Reviews Images

While Laser and LED projectors often have a color gamut advantage, the HT3560’s UHP lamp displays natural, balanced, out-of-the-box colors. The Benq HT3650 comes precalibrated from the factory, so the color reproduction of several picture modes, including CINEMA, FILMMAKER, and USER, was excellent. 

The first content I played on the projector was the new MAX series, The Gilded Age, and I was blown away. I’ve gotten used to the hyper-saturated colors found on new laser or LED DLP projectors in this projector's price range, but the color on the HT3560 just blew me away when watching this content. The HT3560’s color performance also stands out when watching content from National Geographic Presents on Disney+.

Skin tones look excellent rather than oversaturated yellow or red. Was the color perfectly balanced? No, it was not, but overall, BenQ has done very well with the overall color balance. BenQ has been perfecting its color science for years, and it shows on this projector.

  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#10 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#11 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#4 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#7 - Projector Reviews Images

It is doubtful that someone would spend hundreds of dollars to calibrate a $1699 projector like the BenQ HT3560. The good news the CINEMA picture mode color reproduction is so good that most customers will be happy with its picture quality out of the box. Since the HT360 targets home theater enthusiasts, we measured the projector's color accuracy before and after adjustment using Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Since your room and screen material significantly impact the overall picture, we don't recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, your settings would probably be different. Also, the color characteristics of different individual projectors can vary. Therefore, copying someone else's results can be detrimental to the picture quality rather than improving it. The charts below shows my measurements before and after calibration.

If you want to make quick BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, and SHARPNESS adjustments to improve the picture quality of your projector in your room, several free test patterns are available on the Murideo website and their YouTube channel. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website.

Also, check out our YouTube video on utilizing several test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

BenQ-HT3650-Calibration-Pre-SDR-Results

The CINEMA, FILMAKER, and USER picture modes all delivered excellent picture quality. I used FILMAKER, which worked best in a very dark environment, and CINEMA is a great option in a room with some ambient light.

While the CINEMA mode was the most accurate out of the box, we chose to calibrate the projector’s USER picture mode. In the USER mode, the picture quality was very good, but it was a little warm, and the colors were slightly over-saturated.

The HT3650 includes a complete suite of color calibration adjustments, which makes finetuning the projector color reproduction quick and easy.

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Gamma: 1.94
  • Color Temperature: 6414K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 5.8
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 5.4

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

BenQ-HT3650-Calibration-Post-SDR-Results

Reducing the Brightness setting brought the Gamma closer to my target of 2.2. Increasing the Contrast also allows me to maintain most of the light output even after calibration.

Since the projector’s color temperature was already close to my target of 6500K, I left the Color Temperature setting at its default of Normal. Increasing Green gain results in good RGB balance, which could be improved further using the Advanced Color Temperature Tuning (10pt white balance) adjustments.

Several colors were oversaturated, and there was some color shift, so the unit's very responsive Color Management (CMS) adjustments were used to correct these issues quickly. The result was outstanding color tracking.

  • Picture Mode: USER
  • Gamma: 2.19
  • Color Temperature: 6481K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.8
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 0.5

The HT3560i uses a six-segment RGBRGB color wheel, which is one of the reasons this projector's out-of-the-box picture looks so good. Unfortunately, the downside of a six-segment color wheel is the typical sacrifice of some light output, thus the 2,200 ANSI lumens brightness rating. 

In addition to the color range boost provided by the RGBRGB color wheel, the HT3560 also makes excellent use of tone and color mapping to increase color depth even further. That’s unsurprising, as BenQ has a history of focusing on color performance.

You can see the beautifully saturated colors this projector can produce in the shots from Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy.

The HT3560 is not the brightest projector available under $2,000. For movie enthusiasts who plan on viewing content in a dark space, sacrificing a little brightness for better color reproduction and black levels is worth it.  The projector's overall color performance and BenQ's comprehensive calibration tools put this projector at the top of my recommendation list.

BRIGHTNESS

  • BenQ_HT3560_Brights#5 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Brights#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Brights#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Brights#4 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_Brights#5 - Projector Reviews Images

The BenQ HT3560 has a manufacturer-rated brightness of 2,200 ANSI lumens. ANSI lumens is the standard of choice for measuring brightness at Projector Reviews. To measure the HT3560's maximum light output, I switched the projector to its brightest picture mode, BRIGHT, and ensured the UHP lamp light source was set to its highest preset. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the screen.

At wide zoom, the BenQ HT3560 produced a brightness of 2,194 ANSI lumens, which is so close to the manufacturer's rated brightness that it falls in the margin of error, so I’m going to say that BenQ’s brightness estimate is spot on.

For the other modes available on the HT3560, I've compiled the results of my measurements below for your reference.

BenQ HT3560 Brightness

Picture ModesBrightness Measured (ANSI Lumens) Average Color Temperature  
BRIGHT (SDR)2,1948813K
LIVING ROOM (SDR)1,2497251K
FILMMAKER (SDR)7266782K
CINEMA (SDR)1,0836502K
USER (SDR)6516414K

 

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#1 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#4 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#6 - Projector Reviews Images

The HT3560 displayed some of the best black levels I’ve seen from a projector of its type and class. I’m not claiming this projector will produce the inky smooth blacks found on higher-end LCOS projectors, but the HT3560 delivers a displayed black/deep gray that is deeper than many of its competitors. The projector displays an impressive range of shadow details often lost on other projectors in this price and class and some more expensive projectors. Blacks were nice and deeper than expected, with plenty of subtle shadow details visible.

The BenQ HT3560 has a published dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000:1. The higher dynamic contrast is predominantly due to the effective use of the projector’s Dynamic Iris technology. The HT3560’s Dynamic Iris makes a difference in this projector’s black-level performance.

As is typically the case with DLP projectors, the black levels of the HT3560 were a deeper dark gray than pure black. When it comes to accurately reproducing subtle shadow details, the BenQ HT3560 did a remarkably good job shining in displayed contrast when compared to competitive projectors in its class.

Optoma-ML1080-Dynamic-Contrast-On-1

SDR

  • BenQ_HT2060_SDR#1 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_SDR#2 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_SDR#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_SDR#4 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT2060_SDR#5 - Projector Reviews Images

Above are screenshots of a variety of videos and movies. Like all our photos, they are not adjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector produced.

Since most live broadcast content and TV shows will continue to be produced in HD for years, most broadcast content will look excellent on the HT3560's native full-HD display. The HT3560 did a superb job upscaling 720p and 1080p. I even threw a DVD at it, and the picture looked watchable on my 100-inch screen.

So, how does the HT3560 look out of the box? BenQ has done very well with the overall color balance with SDR content. Regarding HD content, especially YouTube and live-action streaming, I found that this specific HD content can look soft, but even with that, this DLP projector performs better than most DLP. Colors are a “little” skewed to the reds and oranges, but that is to be expected from DLP, and as I said in the COLOR section, red and orange hues are nowhere near as dramatic as many of other DLP projectors, even BenQ models.

HDR

  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#9 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#12 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#10 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#8 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#7 - Projector Reviews Images

HDR on a projector is extremely hard to do because of the limited brightness of these displays, but that said, BenQ, with its HDR-PRO, does better than most when displaying HDR content. The new HT3560 can detect and display HDR10+ content from different sources, including 4K Blu-ray and various streaming services.

The HT3560 has a wide color gamut with the projector's ability to cover 95% of the DCI-P3 color space. HDR content can look stunning with this projector’s Local Contrast Enhancer. BenQ also includes an HDR BRIGHTNESS control that allows users to manually change the projector's HDR tone mapping to fit their tastes.

HDR Pre and Post Calibration Measurements

BenQ-HT3650-HDR-Calibration-Post-Pre-Results

HDR on the BenQ HT3560 is handled extremely well. BenQ leveraged its expertise to improve HDR tone mapping in this new generation of projectors.

The unit did a good job displaying bright highlight details and still delivering good onscreen brightness. 

The HT3560s HDR-PRO tone and color mapping make a visible difference in the displayed picture quality. Skin tones can look better in some scenes compared to others, but this can easily be addressed with a professional calibration. Certainly, this projector has all the image calibration tools needed to perform a top-notch calibration job.

I use the HDR FILMMAKER mode when viewing modern HDR material, but its color temperature was cool. Reducing the Green Gain and increasing the RED Gain improved the RGB balance when viewing HDR content. 

The Bottom Line on Picture Quality is that I was very pleased overall. The HT3560 offers some of the best black levels in its class of DLP 4K projectors.

GAMING

The HT3560 comes with a FAST mode, which is even better than a GAME mode because every preset mode on the projector can play low input lag gaming. The HT3560 offers an excellent input lag of 17.9ms (1080P 60Hz), 17.9ms (4K 60Hz), 21ms (1080p120Hz), 8.7ms (1080P 240Hz). These input lag numbers are not as fast as BenQ’s X-Series line of gaming projectors but are still impressive. Certainly more than good enough for most casual to even console gamers.

Gaming on the HT3560 on a giant screen with low input lag is fun. There was no visible delay between pushing a button and seeing the corresponding action on-screen.

SOUND QUALITY

BenQ_HT3560_Sound#1 - Projector Reviews Images

The chambered 5-watt TreVolo x 2-speaker system produces some big sounds. It gets loud without distortion and can tune the audio settings with User Sound EQ. The HT3560's audio offers the following presets: Standard, Cinema, Music, Game, Sports, and User.

The User mode allows you to personalize the sound settings. When selecting the User mode, you may make manual adjustments with the User EQ function. You can adjust the 100 Hz, 300 Hz,1k Hz, 3k Hz, and 10k Hz bands and adjust the levels according to your preference.

The HT3560’s sound system does not produce a more directional sound than the wide sound stage found on BenQ gaming projectors. Still, it does offer a far better dynamic range than is typically found on competitor's projectors with similar sound hardware and software.

The fan noise produced by the HT3560 is comparable to that of other lamp-based projectors I’ve reviewed. The HT3560 produces 30dB in Normal mode and 28dB in Eco Mode. I never found the fan noise from the HT3560 to be an issue or distracting, especially when the Light Mode is set to ECO.

SUMMARY

BenQ_HT3560_PJBProdShot - Projector Reviews Images

At $1699 MSRP, the BenQ HT3560 is an excellent 4K HDR-capable projector and stands out from the DLP pack when it comes to good black levels with shadow details. The out-of-the-box color on this projector is very good as well.

While it does display DLP’s tendency to lean towards the reds, the red over-saturation level was much less than that of other DLP projectors I’ve reviewed. BenQ has a solid history of color management with their Cinecolor system, which is largely why the visual color accuracy is so good on this projector. 1080p picture quality is very good out of the box and, if calibrated, can be excellent.  The fan noise at full power was noticeable but not distracting.

When it comes to 4K with HDR, the HT3560 looks incredible. The projector's color and tone mapping help display an incredibly detailed and colorful image. The out-of-the-box performance is a step above so many competitive DLP projectors. I'm not saying it's perfect, but with the HT3560, BenQ has upped the entry-level 4K home theater game quite a bit.

BenQ_4-VisualModes#1 - Projector Reviews Images

The HT3560 has more than enough inputs and connections for almost any setup. BenQ offers three HDMI 2.0b inputs, one with eARC and one with 4K 120 Hz support, plus USB for playing content through the projector's internal media player. The only thing the HT3560 needs is a media dongle for streaming and networking. The lack of a streaming device can be solved by purchasing any affordable Android TV stick for well under $50.

BenQ has improved the sound of the TreVolo 5-watt x2 sound system, with the built-in speaker providing decent volume. Unfortunately, a pair of 5-watt speakers in a small box is no replacement for an entry-level sound bar or step-up external sound system. I’m a strong proponent of investing as much into your audio as you do for video to have the best home theater experience.

  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#1 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Blacks#7 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3650_HDR#3 - Projector Reviews Images
  • BenQ_HT3560_Color#5 - Projector Reviews Images

The HT3560 is primarily a home theater projector displaying a wide range of movie and television content beautifully, but the projector does more. BenQ has not only improved the picture performance, but the lower input lag ratings make it a very capable gaming projector and I’m not just talking about casual games. The HT3560 does an excellent job with my favorite first-person shooters.

COMPETITION

XGIMI HORIZON ULTRA $1,699 MSRP

The XGIMI Horizon Ultra is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $1699. The XGIMI Horizon Ultra, offers a brightness of 2300 ISO lumens which, based on our testing, comes out to 2335 ANSI lumens of brightness. Based on the Horizon Ultras hybrid laser and LED light source, this projector should perform better than the BenQ in color capability and operation in a room with moderate ambient light.

XGIMI has always been focused on expanding the projection market to include those users who don't typically seek out projectors. Since XGIMI's goal is to broaden the user base of projectors beyond the traditional market, projectors like the Horizon Ultra include all the features found in conventional flat-panel TVs, including Android TV and built-in sound systems. In addition, they are ultra-compact units that can be quickly set up in any room and projected onto a screen or a wall (even one painted a color). The fact that the XGIMI is a smart projector gives it another advantage over the BenQ.

XGIMI’s non-traditional approach to designing home entertainment projectors is helping the company become a leading global projector manufacturer. The Horizon Ultra is XGIMI's new flagship home projector, so it included several technical firsts highlighting their engineering expertise. Although the shape of each projector is different, the overall volume of the two units is about the same, so I’m going to call this point a draw.

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with an automatic iris that improves the unit's black level when viewed in a darker environment while maximizing the projector’s brightness in rooms with ambient light when the black level is not as important. However, the Horizon Ultra cannot match the native contrast and deep black levels of more expensive 3LCD & LCOS-based projectors. I have to give the black-level edge to BenQ between the HT3560 and the Horizon Ultra. Black levels on the BenQ are visually better, with excellent dark area detail compared to the XGIMI.

The Horizon Ultra offers outstanding picture quality for its price point and is the best projector we have reviewed from XGIMI. It is feature-packed (optical zoom, Iris, Hybrid Laser-LED light source), which is an amazing value. The Horizon Ultra is one of the best sub-$2000 projectors on the market today.

BenQ-HT-3650-award-2 - Projector Reviews Images

Projector Reviews continue to be impressed with the picture quality of the BenQ projectors we have reviewed. The HT3560 is among the best-performing sub $2,000 projectors I reviewed this year. Don’t let the fact that this is a lamp-driven projector put you off because, in the right space, the UHP light source puts out more than enough light. The only downside to the lamp is the noticeable rainbow effect caused by the color wheel. 

Still, if you’re not sensitive to the rainbow effect, and most people are not, then the HT3560 is a great choice for a full-featured projector that produces an excellent picture. The color quality is excellent, and black levels are better than many LED and Laser-based projectors that sell in this same price range.

PROS

  • The $1699 MSRP makes this projector an incredible value, considering the 4K resolution, advanced features, and performance BenQ provides.
  • New BenQ HDR-PRO technology adds support for HDR10+ which adds dynamic metadata to HDR10 source files for better
  • Texas Instruments 0.47-inch DLP DMD displays 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160p) images.
  • The UHP (Ultra High Performance) provides excellent color and contrast and can last between 4000 to 15,000 hours, depending on its use.
  • 2D auto vertical keystone combined with manual horizontal keystone provides a professionally squared image from various locations.
  • 2,200 ANSI lumens light output helps create bright, colorful images, even in rooms with small amounts of room light but this projector is at its best in a light-controlled room.
  • The 50,000:1 (FOFO) dynamic contrast ratio creates deep blacks with good dark area details.
  • 3D content is fully supported.
  • 1.3x zoom ratio makes for an easy setup.
  • Input lag is 17.9ms (1080P 60Hz), 17.9ms (4K 60Hz), 21ms (1080p120Hz), 8.7ms (1080P 240Hz) for high-quality gaming performance.
  • The built-in, Trevolo-tuned, 5-watt stereo sound system with adjustable EQ performs like BenQ gaming projectors with decent mid-bass and good stereo imaging.
  • eARC for Dolby Atmos audio pass-through, transmitting original full-resolution audio signals to your sound system via one HDMI cable.

CONS

  • No wired or wireless networking.
  • No BenQ QS-02 or any streaming device is included.
  • Some rainbow effects are noticeable if you are sensitive to them.

BENQ HT3560 – SPECIFICATIONS

BenQ_HT3560_Featured#1 - Projector Reviews Images
Full Specifications
Projector ModelHT3560
Price$1,69.99 MSRP
Imager TypeDLP (0.47" DMD)
Displayed Resolution3,840 x 2,160 pixels (4K UHD)
Native Resolution1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p)
Brightness 2,200 ANSI Lumens
Light Source TypeLamp
Light Source Life4,000 hours (Normal), 10,000 (Eco), 15,000 (Smart Eco)
Contrast Ratio50,000:1 (Dynamic Iris)
Zoom Lens Ratio1.3X
Power Zoom/FocusNo (manual)
Lens ShiftYes Vertical
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio16:9
Built-in Rechargeable BatteryNo
DVI or HDMIHDMI
3DYes
Blu-Ray 3DYes
Sound SystemTreVolo tuned 5-watt x2 speaker 
Noise Level (-dB)30/28 dB
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityNo
BusinessNo
ClassroomNo
PortableYes
Special FeaturesHDR10+, Vertical Lens Shift, eARC
NetworkingNo
Dimensions (HxWxD)(WxHxD) 14.9 x 4.9 x 10.35 inch (380 x 127 x 263 mm)
Weight9.25 lbs. (4.2 kg)
WarrantyLimited Three (3) Year

 

© 2023 Projector Reviews

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram