Projector Reviews

BenQ HT9050 Home Theater Projector Review – Performance

BenQ HT9050 Home Theater Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Affect of Zoom Lens on Brightness, Difference In Brightness and Behavior of Light Modes, Image Noise, A Flashy Problem

Brightness

The 2200-lumen-claiming BenQ HT9050 managed 2619 lumens in its brightest mode (Dynamic) at full wide angle on the zoom. As is typical of projectors that “brightest” mode is heavy on yellow greens, and should only be used when fighting too much ambient light.

More significantly Cinema mode clocks in at 1578 lumens, but that’s at mid-zoom.  We normally only quote mid-zoom, except for the brightest mode.  We do want to show the brightest we measure, for direct comparison to the manufacturer’s claim.  But other than that, we stick to mid-zoom.

Here’s a chart showing each of the modes, and also their color temperature for white…

BenQ HT9050 Brightness Table
These measurements with the lens set to the middle of its zoom range

Affect of Zoom Lens on Brightness

BenQ HT9050 Zoom Table
Note the difference in color temps. The lens zoom would not affect that, so those color temp numbers give you an idea of the margin of error when measuring color temp.

Difference In Brightness and Behavior of Light Modes

Difference In Brightness and Behavior of Light Modes Table

Normal Economic, and SmartEco

Image Noise

As mentioned in the Picture Quality section, the mosquito/background noise is a little more obvious than with most projectors. First, that’s a DLP projector tendency, and second, this is an extremely sharp DLP projector.

If you don’t sit particularly close, you are less likely to notice. I do find it more noticeable when viewing 4K content, and I do sit close – about 8-9 feet to the screen when viewing 4K content at 124” diagonal.

No issues with other types of motion noise. For example, the neighborhood scene near the beginning of RED consists of a slow pan that tortures most projectors. This BenQ behaves about the same as most, a little better than the Epson 5040UB, and noticeably better than almost any 1080p or 4K Sony – all which really hate that scene.

A Flashy Problem

True, I’m working with a pre-production HT9050, but it has one nasty-looking problem. Fortunately, it’s one that goes away quickly after power up.

When it first powers up, after the start up screen goes away, I see the left side of the screen flashing. Very annoying. Now, this is something that should not exist in a full production problem. When I spoke with BenQ about it as I was first working with the HT9050, they were working on the fix. By the time I have published this, however, the HT9050 production units are shipping. So, since I can’t promise that the problem has been eradicated, here’s the scoop:

The flashing on this doesn’t last long – although I think at least once, it lasted more than a minute, maybe two. I have found, though, that just by switching modes, at least after the first 15-20 seconds, seems to make it stop. For example, while writing this paragraph, I powered up the HT9050 and it was flashing. I was on the “Night” user mode setting (Eric named it Night –  it is our calibrated Cinema mode). I switched it to Silence mode (one over) and it stopped. I also saw it stop switching between other modes in previous attempts.

Now I am hopefully assuming that by the time you buy one of these the flashy problem will be gone, but even if not, it’s brief. If you want to rationalize this, think of it this way: The “flashy problem” should be gone before a lamp based projector has been on long enough for color to stabilize. Still, as I said, when it does it, it’s annoying. Still, as I said, when it does it, it’s annoying. This fits into the category of problems described as: “If this is the biggest problem with a projector, life is good!”

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