BenQ’s $2499 HT5550 4K UHD projector is really the BenQ that I’ve been waiting for (2-3 years?) No, it isn’t a 2-year-old projector, it has just started shipping about a month or so ago, relative to this HT5550 review going live. It certainly fits into the BenQ line-up as a potential star performer. The HT5550 is a serious home theater, not home entertainment!
Some Background leading up to the new BenQ HT5550
BenQ has long done well in the home entertainment projector space, but perhaps their best success in terms of home projectors has been a long-running sequence of models that started about a decade ago with the W1070, (and several since) a low cost 1080p projector that simply handled color and picture quality better than any of the other DLPs near the price. We long recommended that series as the best “entry-level” home theater choice.
Going about that far back though, BenQ also had their W6000 a favorite of mine. The W6000 and its successors, the W7000, W7500, etc. were in my book the best home theater choices for more serious than entry-level – they had a good dynamic iris, so were the projectors that could best compete with the Epson UB projectors of their day.
Well, folks, the W6000 series successor is here in the form of the HT5550. It gets a W designation overseas where it is the BenQ W5700. The similarities to the older series are obvious: Dynamic iris for improved dark scene/black level performance), a zoom with a good amount of range (1.6:1 zoom), and a moderate amount of lens shift. This new HT5550 also has a 1.6:1 zoom and a healthy amount of lens shift for placement flexibility. Unlike those predecessors, though the HT5550 is a 4K UHD projector, not a basic 1080p. True, it uses 1920x1080px4 pixel shifting, but that’s what we call 4K UHD – not to be confused with real, native 4K – which costs a whole lot more.
And the HT5550 serves up some pretty darn good color, an area BenQ has long emphasized. The HT5550 is part of their Cinematic series.