BenQ HT9060 4K UHD Home Theater Projector- Performance

Brightness

As is typical of almost all projectors, this BenQ has a mode that is designed for maximum brightness, and, as is typical, heavy on greens (and yellows). This is not a mode you really want to watch unless you have way too much ambient light to use other, less bright modes.

The brightest of those modes – the green-ish one, is appropriately named, Bright mode, although a more common name on many projectors is Dynamic mode. In the case of the BenQ HT9060, it is the 2nd brightest mode,  that looks pretty good.  That one is Vivid, which is geared to tackle more than a modest amount of ambient light.

Please note:  If you are not plugging in our calibration settings (found on the next two pages), you would still choose either User 1 or Cinema mode for the best overall color, but less brightness.

In terms of max brightness, the HT9060 beats its claim.  Here are each of the modes, their measured brightness (and the color temp of white (100 IRE).

Mode: Mid-zoom (unless noted) Lumens Color Temp (100 IRE)
Bright (Wide zoom - max) 2426 7541K
Bright 2050 7541K
Vivid 1801 6992K
Cinema 1790 6952K
Silence 1769 7284K
User 1 (Calibrated) 1166 6603K
User 2 (UnCalibrated) 1165 7437K
HDR 10 (pre and post cal) 1754 7393K

More to the point, in calibrated User 1 mode, brightness, was a very respectable 1380 lumens at full wide angle on the lens. Vivid is definitely significantly brighter still.  Note that Bright mode, at full wide angle measured in at 2426 lumens – or almost 10% above claim.  In a world where most projectors measure between claim, and 25% below claim, kudos to BenQ, for being honest!

This next table shows the drop off in brightness one goes from wide-angle (largest image from the projector’s distance) to telephoto.  I was surprised to see a 39% drop on a 1.5:1 zoom.  I would have expected more like a 25% – 30% drop.  Try to place the HT9060 almost as close to the screen as you can, to get the max brightness out.

ANSI lumen calculations Based on Lens Position

Calibrated mode (User 1) Lumens
Lens zoomed in 1380
Lens at mid-zoom 1166
Lens zoomed out 854

I expected less drop in brightness going from closest to furthest placement position.  This much drop is more typical of projectors with 2:1 zooms not 1.5:1. If you need to place far back, you’ll be giving up more brightness than most competitors, Fortunately the BenQ is slightly brighter than most of those.

Now let’s also look at the effect of the different brightness modes.

Technically there are three: Standard, Economic and Smart Economic

Brightness by Power Mode (User 1) Lumens
Normal 1380
Economic 986 (40% less)
Smart Economic 1380

The reason Smart Economic is the same as Normal, is because it is a mode that adjusts and reduces the brightness of the light engine when not all the lumens are needed – such as with darker scenes. But when measuring the projector, we’re measuring an all white image, so we expect to get the same reading as Normal mode.

HT9060 Brightness by Mode – Mid-Zoom

Picture Mode Lumens Color Temp. (Kelvin)
Bright 2050 7541K
Vivid 1801 6992K
Cinema 1790 6952K
Silence 1769 7284K
User 1 (calibrated) 1166 6603K
User 2 1165 7437K
HDR10 (before and after Calibration) 1754 7393K
HDR10 (in NITS) 157

HT9060 Projector – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Audible Noise, Sharpness

Contrast

With contrast adjusted, the BenQ handles most content without any clipping of near whites, but, at the same time, that’s working in the normal defined range for brightness up to 235 out of 255 brightness scale. That said, some content will intentionally push above that – up to the full 255, perhaps on a flash of lightening, etc. The BenQ will clip that, but then you certainly aren’t likely to notice, unless the content has more than a rare venture into that over 235 range.

I would expect that much of the competition can do a little better in this regard, but it being an issue should be rare, so I count this as minor!

Gamma

Just a quick mention – I’m referring here to our calibrated User 1 for non HDR content. Jason reports that the gamma numbers are a little off. He used 2.6 to get about 2.4 which is considered right for movies. Myself, I would recommend dropping to 2.4 which comes in right around 2.2, a little brighter. I find that better for most content, although some movies revel in the darker mid ranges (gee, much like 4K HDR content.) If you are using a high contrast screen, I’d definitely recommend the lower 2.4 setting.

Audible Noise

It’s been a long time since I have been able to enjoy a really quiet projector. This BenQ HT9060 is just that, it’s a projector that at full power, is quieter than most projectors that come through here when they are in their quiet modes. Oh, Sony’s 4K projectors are also pretty quiet, but not this quiet. My next review is the Sony VW695ES – Sony’s direct competitor to the HT9060. Count on comparison photos of the HT9060 in the Sony review. The Sony has already arrived. This should be fun!

Sharpness

OK, finally a couple of photos for you. Jason dialed back the Sharpness from the default 10 to a more normal 4. Myself, I pushed it up to 6, I am happy for a little extra sharpening some extra perceived sharpness, even if there’s a small cost in terms of image noise.

Like most projectors there are other image processing controls. In BenQ’s case, they are found on the Picture Menu – in the Advanced sub-menu, as CinemaMaster controls. In this case, they offer 4K enhancement algorithms for 1080 content, which they call Pixel Enhancer 4K. It seems to behave like several others, including those from Epson and Sony. Interesting though, that the BenQ’s seems focused on enhancing lower resolution content, while some competitors also target those controls for further “sharpening” 4K content as well.

All considered, and in part thanks to the obviously good “glass” – optics, the BenQ appears very sharp. And, when I watch content off of the Kaleidescape Strato S I’m also reviewing now, the image looks exceptionally clear. Still, the very top of the line Sony’s with their ARC lens (those projectors start at $25K), sport obviously even better optics, which is fine that you can have a great, clear looking image for nicely under $10K, if you have to spend $25K to do better… Well done!

Next up: Our two calibration settings pages, folllowed by our summary.  The summary includes our Pros and Cons and more commentary on the competition!

You May Also Like

News and Comments