Projector Reviews

BenQ HT4050 Projector Review – Hardware Tour 2

BENQ HT4050 PROJECTOR – HARDWARE TOUR – page 2:  Remote Control, Menus, Venting and Light Leakage

This page has been initially published without the menu section completed.  Working on it…

BenQ HT4050 Remote Control

BenQ’s HT4050 remote-control is backlit, full featured.

I do like the HT4050 projector’s remote control, quite a bit.  First of all, it’s white!  If I had a dollar for every minute I’ve spent looking for my black PS3 remote control, I wouldn’t have to write reviews for a living.  In a fully darkened home theater, the HT4050’s remote control is relatively easy to spot.

Range is also pretty good. BenQ claims 30 feet range, and the projector has front and rear remote control sensors.  There’s no place in my 450+ square foot home theater where I have any problem with the remote, and if I open the doors, I can get about 20 feet away, at a less than ideal angle, and still no problem.

Let’s look at the buttons, starting from the top.

There’s the largish green power button for On, and a smaller red one for powering down.  Despite having a separate power down button, you do have to press it twice for shut down.  The only other button on the top row – on the right – is the Light button, which lights up all the buttons with a fairly bright orange.  Please note, that pressing any button on the remote also engages the backlight.

The backlight is on the bright side of things, an orangish red, but not overwhelmingly bright as is the case on some projectors’ remotes – notably Optoma’s bright blue LEDs which are almost blinding in a dark room.  I’d say BenQ got it right.  Also, the letters on the buttons are fairly easy to read with the backlight on, and no problem in a lit up room without the backlight.

No Picture in Picture.   The next six buttons – two rows, are direct links to various menus, but not all the buttons are used.  There’s a working 3D button, Auto, for the auto sync for computer signals, Invert (for the 3D glasses), Eco Blank which blanks the screen, and two more.  If you looked at the image on the right, before reading this, you might have gotten excited about having PIP.  Sorry, the remote may have the buttons, but the HT4050 doesn’t support the feature, so the PIP and Swap buttons are not active.

Next comes navigation.  Four arrow keys in a round formation with the Enter button (labeled “OK”) in the middle.  They are nice sized.  Right below are three buttons.  The two on the left work with the navigation – Back (takes you up a menu level) and Menu.  To the right of those is the Source button, which brings up a list of all the sources.

Three small buttons across come next:  Audio Mute, and Volume Down, and Up.

The next section is primarily for HDMI-Link, which is supported.  As such, you’ll find the necessary buttons for controlling a Blu-ray player, etc., such as play, chapter forward/back, fast forward/back, stop, pause,

That brings up the last nine buttons – found in three rows of three.  Each provides quick access to features:  Keystone, Mode, for color mode selection (Vivid, Rec 709, User 1, etc.), Bright for the brightness slider, Contrast, Color Temp (toggles through the pre-defined color temp settings, Fine Tune (which is a strange name for the usual grayscale color  adjustment of RGB gain and offset), Gamma, Color Manage – which is the CMS – where you can calibrate each of the individual primary and secondary colors, and finally, Sharp, which brings up the Sharpness slider.   Interestingly, BenQ did not provide buttons for their advanced features, such as Smart Eco mode, or Motion Enhancer, Color Enhancer, etc.  Remember, they have two buttons they aren’t using that could have picked up two of those just mentioned.

Bottom Line:  An excellent remote control.  I personally do like having direct access to the different sources, it’s nice when you can just press one button to go from, say, HDMI 1, to HDM2.  After all, for most folks that’s about all the inputs used.  But, I’ll stick with excellent, just not “perfect.”  Good job!

BenQ HT4050 Menus

Like many manufacturers, BenQ’s overall menu structure hasn’t really changed in many years.  That’s probably because theirs is a pretty good layout.  Type size is a little smaller than most, but it’s not so small that anyone would have a problem reading the menus say 20 feet from a 100″ screen.  You can (from the menus) adjust where you want the menus to appear on the screen. Your choices are in the center, or any of the four corners.  A nice touch is you can set how long you want the menus to stay on.  Choose from “until you turn them off” or any five second period from 5 to 30 seconds.

I particularly like that BenQ has included their CFI labeled “Motion Enhancer” and Lamp Power, both on the first main menu, which is the Picture Menu.  That puts virtually everything you might want to adjust, tweak, etc. on just that one menu.  3D and some other items are on other menus, but, this is well thought out.  I normally complain to most manufacturers who put lamp power elsewhere.  Epson recently started moving Lamp Power to their picture menu, matching BenQ.

As is typical, there’s an Advanced menu as a sub-menu on the Picture menu, and as you would expect, you’ll find the color calibration, and other additional image controls hiding there.

The all of the main and most submenus are coming.

HT4050 Venting and Light Leakage

Air intakes to cool the HT3050 are located on the sides while the hot air exhaust exits the projector out of the front  If shelf mounting be sure to leave some clearance on both sides for airflow.

The HT4050 does leak some light out of the front vent.  It’s less than some other competing DLP projectors (3LCD and LCoS projectors rarely have any noticeable light leakage by comparison.  Still, some of the lowest cost 3LCD projectors do also leak some light.  In  a home entertainment setup – living room, bonus room, etc. where some ambient light is present, it’s unlikely you would notice anything.

There’s also some leakage out the lens itself, which can be seen around a projected black frame or a very dark frame like our Bond “night train” scene.  Fortunately, the leakage though the light engine is relatively minor, in fact, compared to BenQ’s own older W1080ST, which leaked a lot, it’s barely worth mentioning as it’s so much less leakage.