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BenQ TH690ST LED Gaming Projector Review – Hardware

Posted on October 9, 2022 by Kam Valentine

The TH690ST measures 14.4-inches wide x 4.6-inches high x 9.6-inches deep (w/o adjustment feet). The TH690ST comes in at 7.9 pounds. That’s a size and weight I would still throw into a backpack and bring to a friend’s house for a gaming session or a movie party.

The window for the IR remote sensor is located on the lower right side of the front panel. An additional IR remote sensor and an ambient light sensor are located on the top of the chassis. Lastly, a treVolo 5-watt speaker is located on the left and right side of the chassis for a nice dual-speaker setup.

The projector’s lens is located on the front panel. To the left side of the lens is an air inlet with an additional air inlet on the projector’s right side. The air outlet is located on the left side of the projector. Depending on the Light Source Mode, the air fan noise produced by the TH690ST I measured was between 37dB and 44dB. ECO was the quietest Light Source Mode at 37dB, and Normal mode was the loudest at 44dB. It should be noted that in my new projector lab, my seating position for the decibel measurements was only 36-inches away from the backside of the projector. Also, I did not notice the fan noise while gaming or watching movies.

Benq Th690St Button Panel - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ TH690St’s chassis-mounted control panel is easy to use if you misplace the remote control.

The top of the chassis has a push-button control panel on it. The control panel has a power off/on button, D-pad on the control panel with an “OK” button that allows for navigating the projector’s menu, an Eco Blank button to momentarily turn off the light source, a Source button, a Menu button, Mode button, and a Back button round out the control panel.


Benq Th690St Connection Panel - Projector Reviews - Image
Connections on the rear of the BenQ TH690ST.

The BenQ TH690ST’s connections and inputs are on the projector’s rear. The rear of the chassis has dual HDMI 2.0b ports with High-Bandwidth Content Protection (HDCP) 2.2. HDCP is designed to protect 4K content from being pirated. HDCP 2.2 essentially creates an encrypted system that ensures a secure connection between the source and the display. In addition, the TH690ST has an RS-232 control port, a USB Type-A port (2.5 A power supply), SPDIF audio output port, an AC power jack, a Kensington anti-theft lock slot, an audio input, and an audio output jack. It should be noted that the USB Type-A port (2.5 A power supply) provides enough output to power/charge a streaming media player.

Benq Smart Projector Dongle - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ TH690ST becomes a smart projector with the BenQ QS01 Certified Android TV (ATV) dongle.

Connect a media streaming stick like the BenQ QS01 If you want to turn the BenQ TH690ST into a smart projector. Purchasing and installing the optional BenQ QS01 Android TV dongle allows the end-user to enjoy Amazon Prime Video, parental control service, and access to all the latest Android apps with Google-certified Android TV. In addition, Netflix can be enjoyed by either casting from a Google Chrome browser, connecting your device with an HDMI cable, or manually installing compatible apps directly from Google Play. The BenQ QS01 allows multi-platform wireless casting (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows computer, or Chromebook).


Benq Th690St Remote Control - Projector Reviews - Image
The BenQ TH690ST remote has all the buttons you need and more to easily operate the projector.

Along with the typical Play, Stop, Forward, Rewind, and Pause buttons, the BenQ remote has an Auto Focus button, D-pad with an “OK” button, On, Off, Keystone, Source, Projector Menu, Picture Mode, Sound Mode, Back, and volume control buttons. In addition, there’s a button with a gaming controller icon; this button selects a preset picture and sound mode for games (Bright/Dark). The only major drawback is the TH690ST remote is not backlit. When I needed to use the remote, it was too dark in my room to see what button(s) I wanted to press. I ended up using my iPhone flashlight anytime I needed to see the remote control’s buttons while I was in the dark.


The TH690ST’s lens is located on the front right side of the projector (as looking at the front of the projector). The lens has a manual zoom ring with a lever to adjust the image size and a manual focus ring to sharpen the image. The TH690ST has a throw ratio of 0.69 ~ 0.83. Even in smaller rooms, the projector’s short throw provides placement flexibility.

Keep in mind that the distance from the projector lens to the screen, the video format, and the zoom setting all factor in the TH690ST’s projected image size. The TH690ST can produce a 100-inch image at 4.9 feet (58.8-inches) away from the projection surface, whether a projection screen or a wall. On page 12 of the User Manual, BenQ says the TH690ST optimal projector image size is 60-inches to 120-inches. BenQ also shows that the TH690ST can project an image as small as 30-inches and as big as 200-inches, but the image quality will be affected.

16:9 Aspect Ratio Throw Distances

Screen SizeMinimum Projection Distance
60 Inches Diagonal36.10 inches (3 feet)
100 Inches Diagonal58.8 inches (4.9 feet)
120 Inches Diagonal72.16 inches (6.01 feet)

The TH690ST has 2D Keystone settings under the Installation menu to help make a perfect alignment. The projector can automatically correct the vertical sides of a distorted image by enabling the Auto Vertical Keystone feature in the Installation menu. Manual horizontal and vertical keystone ±30 degrees is also available. 2D keystone eliminates trapezoid effects when projecting from various locations in a room for an almost effortless projector installation and setup.

I placed the TH690ST on a flat projector stand and moved the projector until the image matched up for a perfect image on my 100-inch (16:9) Elite Screens Aeon fixed-frame projector screen. I suggest spending a few extra minutes setting up any projector and getting the alignment perfect by adjusting the projector’s physical position whenever possible. Using digital keystone correction slightly degrades any projector’s image quality and induces latency. I did not need any keystone correction, but it’s good to know it’s there if it were ever needed.


The menu images in this section represent just a few of the available sub-menus on the BenQ TH690St. I’m showing the menus many would be initially interested in viewing: Picture, Audio, and Installation.

The projector’s menu button cannot be missed as it simply says Menu. The TH690ST’s menu button brings you directly to the projector’s On-Screen Display (OSD) menu. Going into System, which has an icon that looks like an equalizer, you can see Menu Settings. Clicking on Menu Settings allows the end-user to set up the projector Menu Type (OSD menu) as Advanced or Basic. The Advanced OSD menu gives access to the Picture menu, Audio menu, Display menu, Installation menu, System menu, and Information menu. The Basic OSD menu provides quick access to Picture Mode, Sound Mode, Light Source Mode, 2D Keystone, Game Settings, HDR Brightness, Information menu, and Menu Type.

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