Projector Reviews

BenQ HT9060 4K UHD Home Theater Projector – Hardware 2

BenQ HT9060 – Hardware 2: Control Panel, Remote Control and Menus

HT9060 Control Panel

The HT9060 is typically an installed projector – one that will be ceiling or wall mounted.  As such, using the on board control panel is typically not practical.  That’s fine of course, and typical.  The primary purpose of the control panel will be to use it while installing the projector.  When you – or your professional installer is up on a ladder, adjusting the image size, lens shift, and making other changes in the menus, the Control Panel is conveniently located on the side.  Side or rear placement is typically more desireable than on top (which is a common location for it on portable, and also on many smaller install projectors).

Placing it on the side, puts it at eye level typically for the installer.

Let’s look at the controls:

control panel
The BenQ HT9060 control panel is on the side, near the back. Just behind (and below) all the inputs and connectors.

The control panel on the HT9060 has nine buttons.   That’s three rows of three, plus the power switch which is located on the left side, just below the bottom row.  The panel is relatively small, and not only further toward the back, but lower down than the input area.  Also there’s a small sliding door, to cover the control panel, which you’ll normally have in place.

Navigation consists of the usual four arrows – this time in a diamond layout, with the Enter (OK) button in the center.

From the top left:  First is the Source button.  Then comes the up arrow.  On the right is the Mode button which toggles between picture modes.

The 2nd row consists of the left arrow, the Enter (OK) button, and the right arrow key.

The bottom row, consists of the Back button on the left – which moves you back up a level when navigating the menus (or closes the menus if you are in the top menu).  To its right is the down arrow button, and the far right has the Menu button. That folks is it.   All pretty standard stuff.  Note that the arrow keys only operate when navigating (On Screen Display – OSD).  They do not take on a different function when not in the menus.

Remote Control

remote control
BenQ's remote, is large, well laid out, has a very good backlight, and plenty of range. BenQ's always offered remotes that are "a cut above."

I know it’s a relatively minor thing, but I have long really liked BenQ remotes. Like most companies, BenQ makes a small assortment of remotes, relative to the number of different projectors.  That said, their home theater projectors (as opposed to some entry-level home entertainment projectors), have long had large remotes, with lots of buttons, including shortcuts to key menus…

The HT9060 is as nice a remote as we’ve seen from BenQ. It looks good too, as an added bonus.  More to the point, however, it is backlit, and well laid out. My only real complaint is I would have liked to see an implementation of HDMI-link, which would allow the remote to also control compatible 4K UHD and Blu-ray players, as well as some cable remotes, and other devices. Thus removing a little remote clutter.

On the other hand, as noted on the previous page, the BenQ has all the usual “command and control” interfaces, to be compatible with universal remotes, and be AMX compatible (but interestingly not Crestron compatible which, is more widely found in higher-end home theater installations).

Let’s look at the buttons and capabilities of this BenQ remote:

On each row, starting at the top, we list the buttons from left to right:

Power On, (on the left)

Standby (off) on the right.  Press twice for off.

Next row:

Auto: Adjusts a computer signal automatically as needed

Aspect ratio: Allows adjustment for different aspect ratios, as needed

Test Pattern:  A single test pattern you can use for focusing, and observing contrast

Next row: Unused buttons (remember, most remotes are shared by multiple projectors often with some different features

Source: Let’s you choose your source. Pressing more than once toggles you through the choices or you can use the arrow keys

Default : A reset type button for the feature you are working with (have on-screen).

Navigation: Four arrow keys in a square layout, with a center OK button (Enter)

Back: Takes you back a step in the menu system

Menu: Opens up the menu system

Pic Mode: Shortcut. Lets you select the Picture mode you want (such as Cinema). Press multiple times to toggle or use navigation arrows to choose the desired picture mode.

HDR: A shortcut to the HDR menu where you can affect the tone curve to increase or decrease the amount of HDR. More HDR = darker mid brightness areas compared to fully bright ones.

Cinema Master: Opens a series of BenQ named features including a “Color enhancer”, Skin tone adjustment (they call them Flesh tones). Pixel enhancer adjusts a lot of aspects of 4K content, including color, contrast, detail and textures (we normally leave these settings at default (or if not, more likely to turn them down, than up. The last one in the Cinema Master has the unintelligible names of DCTI/DLTI – they are additional controls that affect multiple aspects of the picture especially on very high contrast images.  I really didn’t mess with these. Have fun.

3D: Toggles on 3D options. Auto is the default, but it can be On (if there is 3D content) or Off.

Invert: This inverts the 3D image between left eye and right if it is distorted (a standard 3D feature)

That takes us to the bottom section of the HT9060 remote control, which consists of 9 buttons in three rows. All of these are shortcuts to major Picture menus:

Bright: Adjusts black levels

Contrast: Adjusts white levels

Dynamic Iris: (This button does not function because there is no Dynamic iris

Color Temp: Adjusts the grayscale – the balance of white between Red, Green, and Blue

Color Manage:

Light Mode: Adjusts “lamp mode” to control the brightness of the laser engine (and therefore, the projector)

Gamma: Adjusts Gamma

Sharp: Adjusts Sharpness

Eco Blank: Blanks the screen

The Menus

BenQ’s menu system is pretty old school.  That is, it is primarily text driven rather than icon oriented.  It is geared for offering for adjustment dozens of controls, making it very efficient.  BenQ’s layout for many years has been very similar to Epson’s, and that’s a good thing.  And why both companies have mostly only added features to their menus, over the past decade, rather than redesigning it.

Missing is the icon heavy, pointer based smart type navigation that is common on today’s smart TVs.  That’s OK.  This is a home theater projector.  Its controls are focused on “projecting” there’s no audio, no navigating cable or satellite boxes, etc.  The BenQ menus control the BenQ.  And do it well.  With one issue of note.

Picture menu
The Main menu - Picture This is the first menu to appear when you hit the menu button. It has most of the color and image controls.

That issue of note is calibrating HDR.  Per Jason, our ISF calibrator, the HT9060 calibrates beautifully when working with the usual SDR content, but the controls are too finiky to be useful in calibrating the HDR modes (HDR10 and HLG – but both behave the same way).  As a result, we primarily are using the default settings for HDR content.

Advanced menu
The Advanced sub-menu accessible from the Picture Menu - has calibration areas, more

As discussed elsewhere in this review, the HT9060 has full calibration controls.  They work great when calibrating in SDR, but are best left alone when watching HDR content.  Jason goes into this in detail in our calibration pages, which follow.

Greyscale menu
Greyscale menu (default settings). The HT9060 calibrates greyscale beautifully (SDR).

The photo player below contains a number of additional menus, starting with the other main calibration menu – the CMS – color management system, for calibrating the individual primary and secondary colors.

In addition please find other menus including the other main menus, along with captions where appropriate.

The documentation provided with the HT9060 provides a bit more detail regarding the various menus.  Overall, BenQ’s documentation is pretty good. There can always be a bit more guidance as to the best use of some controls, but, the manual is well detailed.   Interestingly, though, the manual does not mention the “lamp life.” specifically.

The BenQ HT9060 home theater projector relies on a Philips built LED light engine.  BenQ just states:  20,000 hours, but not in what mode.  In checking with BenQ, they responded to say that the 20,000 hour rating is at full power (Normal).  They point out that with the LED light engine there isn’t a significant difference in “lamp life” going from full power, down to Economic (Eco mode).

So, don’t expect a lot more hours.  What you will get by using Economic mode, is the projector being very quiet.  At full power it is quieter than most, but in low power, it is close enough to silent as to be of no concern.

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