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BenQ HT4050 Projector Review - Performance

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Art Feierman
BENQ HT4050 PROJECTOR - PERFORMANCE:  Measured Brightness, Color Temp, Lens Positioning, Brilliant Color, Post Calibration Brightness

HT4050 Brightness Measurements

HT4050 Brightness by Color Mode: Default settings, lens at mid-zoom
Mode Lumens
Bright 2127
Vivid 1790
REC 709 1387
Game 1831
User 1, 2 1387

Relating to the first table.  Bright mode, is easily the brightest, but as with almost all projectors, overly strong on greens.  It's not a very pretty mode, use only in emergencies - when overwhelmed with ambient light.  Overall, the color temp is very cool, with reds almost absent.

Vivid, on the other hand looks great, it's vibrant, and colors are good. At mid zoom it still managed almost 1800 lumens, and more at full wide angle on the zoom.  This is your go-to mode for dealing with ambient light.  Brilliant Color defaults to on, in this mode.

REC 709 is excellent, it's your "best" mode, and almost dead on the money, while providing a still impressive almost 1400 lumens, which means about 1500 at full wide angle.  Nice and bright.  Great for movies, HDTV, everything, just switch to Vivid if you have that extra ambient light and need more.  Brilliant Color is Off on REC 709.

Game - very cool, but way better color than Bright.  Didn't really use much.  Vivid preferred.

While REC 709 was excellent, very close to the standard, we did calibrate the HT4050, based on REC 709, and put those changes into User 1, which was used for all but the football photos in this review.

Color Temps of Different Modes

Color Temp by Mode, "right out of the box" with no adjustments (100 IRE)
Mode Color Temp
Bright 7932K
Vivid 6912K
Game 8637K
REC 709, User 1,2 6447K

As you can see, the REC 709 and User modes are right there where they should be, with the target being 6500K.  That's about as close as any projector gets, "right out of the box."  Vivid is just a tad cooler, less red/more blue.  I personally also prefer that slightly cooler look for my sports viewing.  User 1 and 2 default to the same as REC 709, but you can turn them into whatever you want...

Affect of Zoom Lens on Brightness

HT4050 Lens Position vs Brightness in Lumens
Wide Angle (closest) 2373
Mid Zoom 2127
Telephoto (furthest) 1888

As you can see there's about a 10% drop off in brightness from full wide angle on the zoom - which places the projector as close as is possible to your screen, and the mid-point setting on the zoom.  Overall, from full wide angle to full telephoto, the drop is just over 20%, so that positioning won't have a huge difference on brightness.  Still, if your room is challenging in terms of ambient light, closer positioning is a bit better.

HT4050 Eco Mode, Brilliant Color's Affect on Brightness

First there's Eco mode.  This is easy.  Switch to Eco mode, and you get a drop off of about 31% in brightness.  There's also the usual slight shift in color temp.  (our measurements, and calibration are with the lamp at full power).

Brilliant Color Affects the picture via a number of methods giving a punchier look to things, but, in terms of it's affect on brightness, that varies a lot from one model of projector to another.

With the HT4050, engaging Brilliant Color increases brightness by approximately 26%.  That explains almost all of the difference between the brightness of the REC 709 mode and Vivid, with probably the slightly cooler image in Vivid, responsible for the remaining 50 or so lumens.

HT4050 Post Calibration Color Accuracy, Brightness

HT4050 Post Calibration Color (IRE)
IRE Color Temp
100 (white) 6343
90 6516
80 6526
70 6515
60 6506
50 6507
40 6557
30 6517
20 (very dark gray) 6580

Wow, with the exception of full white (100 IRE) all of the brightness range we can measure:  a) vary only by 74 degrees Kelvin, and b) are all within 80 of 6500K.  Full white is a touch warm, at 6343, but that still translates into less than a 250K range.  No wonder the HT4050 picture looks very accurate and natural!

Pre, and Post Calibration CIE charts are found in this review's calibration pages.

Once calibrated the HT4050 measured 1360 lumens, only a drop of 27 lumens - roughly 2%.  That's a minimal drop, one that small because the color "right out of the box" of the HT4050 is so close to being on the money.  Again, that's mid-zoom, so very close to 1500 lumens at full wide angle placement!

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