I say interesting because the BenQ handling HDR is anything but dim. If I have a complaint, I think it is a little too bright. This required me to do most viewing on the -2 setting for HDR – the lowest – and the dimmest looking. And it still appears brighter than other projectors.
HDR implementations on projectors are always a challenge. Like with most LCD TV displays projectors aren’t as bright as the specs for HDR call for, so there is always some inherent compromise.
One thing to take note of: That compromise tends to play out like this: The brighter the HDR looks the less HDR, and more like good old SDR it looks. Those brighter scenes (and darker ones), will seem more similar to SDR, if comparing 4K with HDR to the same scene in 1080p (which would be SDR – Standard Dynamic Range).
I’ve concluded (by comparisons) that the BenQ’s HDR isn’t all that accurate – too bright in several areas – I’ve compared it directly or indirectly with not only the Epson UB (direct), but three native 4K projectors: The $10K and $40K Sony models and a native $10K JVC (the JVC directly too). All those others tend to reproduce very dark scenes similarly, and also bright ones. The BenQ looks brighter in all cases.
Here’s the thing. It may not be as accurate in this regard, but it does look really good!
How Can That Be?
No matter, consider this similar situation with audio gear. Most people like speakers that sound great on the music they like. Most don’t care if the speaker is highly accurate, just that it sounds good.
Well, that’s the BenQ’s HDR characteristics as I see it. It may not be as “on the money” as the others, but darn if it doesn’t make for a great picture!
There are definitely darker scenes in Passengers, and other movies where I prefer the HT5550’s picture with HDR over how the Epson 5050UB handles the same scene, despite the Epson probably being the more “perfect” at HDR, and in general having the better black levels.
One difference between being a hardcore enthusiast (like me) vs a perfectionist. The perfectionist demands accuracy, and faithfulness to the original, and will give up other things to achieve that (including brightness, fancy features, etc.)
BenQ’s HDR: Overall, well done. Extremely watchable if not the most accurate HDR.