BenQ HT6050 Home Projector Review – Special Features 2

BENQ HT6050 DLP PROJECTOR SPECIAL FEATURES: CFI, THX and ISF certifications, Brilliant Color, 3D, Optional Wireless Kit, Input Lag for Gaming, Long Warranty

 

Creative Frame Interpolation - CFI - aka "smooth motion"

BenQ offers CFI on the HT6050 for smoother motion. BenQ calls their CFI implementation Motion Enhancer – seems everyone feels obligated to name their CFI and often pretend like their the only manufacturer that offers “smooth motion.” Marketeers!   I do not recommend BenQ’s CFI for movies, it provides a good bit of that “soap opera” aka “live digital video” effect. That’s typical though of most companies’ CFI solutions, even in their lowest settings.

Movie lovers generally do not approve of using CFI, although once in a while a company has one that isn’t too noticeable (Sony comes to mind, but I still don’t use theirs when I’m watching a movie).  The point is movies are mostly “filmed” at 24fps giving movies a certain amount of judder. CFI removes that, and can noticeably change the feel of a scene, by smoothing rough motion, thus altering “the director’s intent.”

Personally, I find CFI is best for things like sports viewing. BenQ’s implementation is fine there, I spent the better part of two weekends watching football on the HT6050 with Motion Enhancer engaged, and had no complaint.

HT6050 THX and ISF certifications

BenQ claims the HT6050 is the first single chip DLP to get THX certification. Many projectors are ISF Certified. What does that buy you?

With ISF it indicates that all the controls are there to accomplish a high quality calibration, for best picture, and also two extra savable modes for “ISF Day”, and “ISF Night.” Those are password protected so a professional – ISF certified – calibrator can access.  And users can’t screw them up. (unless the calibrator gives them the password, which they aren’t supposed to do).  THX, on the other hand seems to include having the projector ship with settings that create a really good picture.

We have reviewed many projectors that are THX certified, and while their THX modes all look good, we also find that they are not nearly as color accurate as having a calibrator do it. Some of that is no doubt due to lamp variation, but its more than that. We expect calibrated projectors to be D65, with an average grayscale temp of 6500K, we have found that most of the THX modes run cooloer than that, typically just over 7000K. Although that’s not a big miss, it definitely isn’t “on the money.”

As a result, to me, THX means you definitely will have a very good looking mode, but one that can definitely be improved. THX may not even be the mode with the best color on some projectors.  BenQ touts REC709 color (the HDTV standard, etc.) they should be referring to their THX mode.

Bottom Line: Two certifications that provide some extra value, but not enough that simply having these certifications means a better projector.

Brilliant Color

Brilliant Color is TI’s (Texas Instruments – makers of the DLP chips) processing that affects several aspects (color, brightness, contrast saturation, and who knows what else…) to provide more “pop” to the image. With some DLP projectors Brilliant Color may come stepped – a choice of 1-10 settings or perhaps only 3. With the BenQ HT6050 (and other BenQ models), they give you On or Off.

As Brilliant Color often affects the gray scale balance (between red, green and blue), we base our calibrations, in terms of Brilliant Color, based on what allows for the best calibration. In the case of this BenQ, that is with Brilliant Color turned off, and THX mode.

3D

Pretty typical stuff when it comes to 3D. The HT6050 support HDMI 1.4 and with that, it enables the projector to work with 3D Blu-ray (frame packing) as well as other 3D standards, There are still some lower end HT projectors that don’t support Blu-ray 3D.

3D on the BenQ is pretty clean – no ghosting, aka “crosstalk” as is typical of DLPs. It is more of an issue for 3LCD and LCoS, as their panels are slower than DLP chips are.

The HT6050 uses DLP-Link for 3D, which embeds the sync into the picture itself (you will notice blacks look dark red if in 3D and you don’t have your glasses on).  That’s fine, but looking away from the screen for a couple of seconds loses the sync.  I prefer the RF 3D used by most projectors.  That’s a 3rd party option for this (and many other DLP projectors). You’ll find a RF emitter connector on the back for hooking up one of those emitters.  I did all my watching with 3D DLP-Link glasses provided by BenQ.

Optional Wireless Kit – Wireless HDMI

BenQ offers the Wireless FHD kit (part number is WDP01), for lossless, wireless, HDMI. We did not receive a wireless kit to test, but we’ll take their word that it is lossless, because of the technology they use. It is also supposed to be very fast, not affecting input lag – which is critical for good gaming. Per BenQ, using the kit does not change the input lag.

Is the HT6050 A Projector for Gamers

BenQ has long been big on supporting gaming, with some low input lag projectors and a line of gaming LCD monitors. In other words, “BenQ takes their gaming seriously,” at least with certain models.

Unfortunately, this HT6050 isn’t ideal for gaming.  The input lag of the HT6050 was 79.2ms per our Leo Bodnar Input Lag testing device.  That was after turning off everything in sight that can slow down processing, including turning off Motion Enhancer (CFI looks at least one frame ahead, which is a significant lag, right there), turning off 3D sensing, etc.

Now for people playing many “slow” games (solitaire and all other card games, board games, etc), the almost 80ms input lag (about 1/12 of a second) doesn’t matter.  But if you are a hard core serious gamer, playing 1st Person Shooters, team games, auto racing, then we generally consider about 50ms as slow as serious folks will tolerate, aka “acceptable”.  We consider mid 30ms times to be good, under 20 ms to be really good, and anything well under 10 (rare in projectors but common for gaming monitors) to be ideal.

Bottom line on gaming:  There are competing projectors that have half the input lag.  Many of us may be fine with the HT6050, but serious “fast game” gamers who would find those “good enough” won’t have this BenQ HT6050 on their short list of choices for projecting games.  This is an area, where BenQ knows how to do it “right” (for gamers) but not in this particular model.  BenQ’s least expensive home projectors are faster.

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