BenQ states the TK700 has coverage of 96% of the Rec.709 (also known as BT.709) color gamut. I found the color reproduction of TK700 out of the box to be really good. BenQ’s background in color science meant I was not surprised by TK700’s color reproduction.
In the Advanced menu, you will find six user-selected Picture Modes: Bright, Living Room, Game, Sports, Cinema, and User. An additional three automated pictures modes are built into the BenQ TK700 projector: HDR10, HDR Game mode, and HLG. After auto-detecting metadata or EOTF info from HDR content, HDR10 and HDR Game picture mode become activated. HLG Picture mode is switched to automatically anytime metadata or EOTF info from HLG streaming contents is detected. Finally, the 3D Picture mode becomes available when the 3D function is enabled.
You can easily switch to Bright for extra brightness when operating the projector in a well-lit room. The images were slightly oversaturated with a cooler color temperature in this picture mode. However, if you need to cut through a substantial amount of ambient light, the oversaturation may be well worth it.
The images above provide an overall idea of color accuracy. However, when viewing in person, the colors look much better than how the images look on the display of the device you are using to read this review.
The BenQ TK700 is equipped with advanced settings for color adjustment, which are lacking on many lower-priced projectors. The TK700 offers a wide range of adjustments. The projector’s Advanced Color Settings menu can adjust many image parameters, including Gamma, color temperature tuning, HDR brightness, and fine-tune the image using the TK700’s Color Management System (CMS).
BenQ advertises the brightness of the TK700 Gaming Projector at 3,200 ANSI lumens. I also measured the TK700’s brightness. To measure the brightness, I set the projector’s Light Source mode to Normal, its Picture mode to Bright, and its Color Temperature Tune to Native, which is the projector’s brightest setting. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.
At wide zoom for maximum brightness, Bright mode, the TK700 measured 2930 lumens, which was just slightly under BenQ’s TK700 published ANSI lumens specification. The TK700 should be more than bright enough for most intended applications. I measured all six available picture modes at wide zoom; my measurements are below.
BenQ TK700 Projector Settings Brightness
Bright mode provided the most luminous projected image, great for using the projector in higher ambient light settings. Living Room mode provided a balance between color accuracy and brightness. Game mode offers the best gaming experience in well-lit rooms with Audio-Visual presets for FPS games. Sports mode had good brightness for watching sports in a room with significant ambient light. Cinema mode was one of my favorite modes. I found the colors and contrast excellent, even in rooms with a reasonable amount of ambient light. Finally, User mode allows the end-user complete customization of Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, and Brilliant Color. It also opens User Management, allowing quickly loading settings from the previous five modes.
CONTRAST / BLACK LEVEL
The TK700’s blacks were darker than most competitors’ projectors that retail for under $1,500. However, the blacks were still closer to dark gray than deep black. Usually, deep blacks and extreme shadow performance are reserved for projectors designed for dedicated home theater rooms with complete ambient light control. However, the TK700 still produces good darks when ambient light is present, whereas lower lumen projects washout at the slightest trace of ambient light.
When evaluating a projector’s picture, I also like to consider the unit’s likely usage case. Even though the TK700’s black level could be better, projectors like the TK700 are not intended to compete against the top-of-the-line home cinema projectors that are found in dedicated blacked-out home theaters. Instead, the TK700 would most likely be used in a gaming environment or multipurpose room with higher amounts of ambient light, meaning the ability to reproduce deep blacks would not be as critical. The extra brightness would probably be more beneficial to the end-user in higher ambient light environments. As a matter of fact, when paired with my Screen Innovations Solo Pro 2 Unity AT Pure White 1.3 gain screen, the TK700 produced good images even with ambient light coming into my testing environment.
The BenQ TK700’s video quality is good out of the box. However, changing the Picture Mode, Light Source, and Color Temperature Tuning can significantly alter the on-screen image. I toggled the TK700’s Light Source mode from SmartEco to Normal and switched the Picture Mode between Cinema and User to make the best image in my room(s). I used User mode to fine-tune the TK700’s image to better suit my specific viewing environment.
Below are images of various videos and photos in 4K and HD resolution. Like all our photos, they are unadjusted for color. As a result, the images do not appear as good as what the projector actually produced. All images were taken with settings on the TK700 set to Cinema mode and Light Source set to Normal.
Live broadcasts and TV shows will continue to be produced in HD for numerous years, making good upscaling a critical feature. The TK700’s capability to upscale is excellent. Content in 1080p and Sports in 720P looked good on the TK700.
Although most Blu-ray 4K content is available in HDR10, a lot of 4K streaming material is still only 4K SDR. Nevertheless, the TK700 delivered sharp and detailed images without any problems. As previously discussed, the TK700 uses a DMD Texas Instruments (TI) DLP chipset to deliver its 4K (3840 x 2160) displayed resolution.
The BenQ TK700’s pixel-shifting works well. It is challenging to perceive a difference in sharpness when comparing a 4K DLP projector like the TK700 to a native 4K LCD/LCoS model from typical viewing distances. Numerous 4K movies do not have enough fine detail to make the difference between viewing 4K SDR and HD very obvious in the first place. Nevertheless, I would classify the overall picture quality of the BenQ TK700 as pretty good.
The BenQ TK700 is full HD 3D-ready. Moreover, the TK700 allows you to enjoy 3D movies, videos, sporting events, and games in a more realistic way by enhancing the depth of the image when you are wearing a pair of optional compatible 3D glasses.
BenQ has an exclusive light source mode called SmartEco. BenQ states, “BenQ’s exclusive SmartEco® Technology is an ingenious solution that heightens the viewing experience. It automatically adjusts lamp brightness based on content, enhancing brightness and contrast to produce the best possible picture quality. In this way, BenQ DLP Projectors can project deeper true blacks, increasing contrast for clear text and subtle details.” In addition, SmartEco Technology provided a noticeable contrast ratio enhancement.
The single 5-watt chamber speaker audio quality changes from acceptable to quite respectable once you tune the audio settings with User Sound EQ. The TK700 menu system under Audio offers the following presets Standard, Cinema, Music, Game, Sports, and User. In addition, the User mode allows the personalization of the sound settings via the User Sound EQ. The User Sound EQ adjusts the 100Hz, 300Hz,1kHz, 3kHz, and 10kHz bands to fine-tune the sound to the end user’s personal preference.
Also, as previously explained, the TK700 has what BenQ calls Audio Return+ for those of you wanting more immersive sound. When connecting eARC compatible speaker to the projector with HDMI cables, the audio can be returned to these speakers from the TK700’s HDMI port number two. HDMI port one can output audio to external speakers via the eARC function located in HDMI port two. BenQ’s Audio Return+ supports multi-audio outputs including 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos to an external audio system like a soundbar. The following audio output formats are provided to achieve your desired audio performance: LPCM supports 2 channel audio output, RAW supports 5.1 channel audio output, and RAW+ supports Dolby Atmos audio Output. To enjoy the Audio Return+ sound effect, make sure to turn on the eARC function from your soundbar as well. If you do not use Audio Return+, the only other option would be to connect audio via the audio output jack. However, the audio output jack cannot pass the latest immersive surround formats to an external sound system.
While we do not measure audible noise, I did measure the fan noise produced by the TK700 between 31dB and 35dB, depending on the Light Source mode. Surprisingly, ECO was quieter than LampSave at 31dB, and Normal mode was the loudest at 35dB. I could hear the TK700 fan from my seated position with the volume set low. However, I could not hear the fan noise with the projector set to its brightest light source mode with the volume set to an average movie listening level.
You now know that the BenQ TK700 is a 4K HDR, 16ms low input lag (4K@60Hz), Short Throw Console Gaming Projector. BenQ specifically designed the TK700 for competition console gaming. With that in mind, I played Gran Turismo 7, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Extraction, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and numerous other games on the BenQ TK700. So, I will tell you right off the bat that the TK700 provides a fantastic 4K gaming experience.
You can read more about my gaming experience with the BenQ TK700 in our new article series called Gaming On A Projector: Best Games To Play In 2022. The goal of the series is to report on the experience of using projectors for gaming with fast-paced First-Person Shooting (FPS) games, immersive open-world Role-Playing Games (RPG), and Sports Games (SPG). Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Rainbow Six: Extraction, Horizon Forbidden West, and Gran Turismo 7 are just a handful of the games we will be using with projectors.
Game mode is best for playing video games with an optimal Audio-Visual preset for FPS games which allows you to have a perfect gameplay experience, even in an illuminated room, thanks to the TK700’s high lumens.
After the TK700 auto-detects metadata or EOTF info from HDR contents, HDR Game becomes available for selection. HDR Game is used to activate the Game Settings menu for HDR gameplay.
Fast Mode Minimizes the response time between the input source and the displayed image. For the optimized latency, when Fast Mode is activated, 2D Keystone/Aspect Ratio will return to the default settings, and Auto Vertical Keystone will automatically turn off.
When I connected my PlayStation 5 to the TK700 and turned it on, the projector’s Picture Mode automatically switched to HDR Game mode. Switching to HDR Game mode takes advantage of the TK700’s gaming optimizing features. The TK700 puts itself into FPS game mode. Since the TK700 is a purpose-built competition gaming projector for FPS gaming, there is no RPG mode or SPG mode. You can adjust the HDR Brightness setting, which essentially changes visibility to have better quality of dark and bright scenes in-game. Finally, switching the Menu Type from Advanced Menu to Basic Menu allows you to quickly make or check adjustments to some game-optimizing settings on the go during gameplay.
The BenQ TK700 should work great for most gamers, including competitive gamers looking to play games on a giant projector screen. I have a custom built liquid-cooled EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 equipped gaming desktop PC with a 34-inch curved gaming monitor and a Razer Blade 17 4K – GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop. Still, nothing beats gaming on a giant projector screen when you have a capable projector like the BenQ TK700 Gaming Projector.
HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGiG)
Sony and Microsoft initiated the creation of the HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGiG). BenQ is an official member of HGiG along with game developers and publishers such as Electronic Arts (EA), Activision, Ubisoft Entertainment, Epic Games, and Rockstar Games. So, what is HGiG? Here is the mission statement straight from HGiG’s website, “HDR gaming further immerses gamers into the content and has become a strong trend in the industry, but the results are not yet optimal, which in some cases can impact gaming experiences. With a variety of HDR formats across TV displays, volunteering companies joined together to discuss how gaming experiences can provide a more immersive experience through HDR and collaboratively identified a set of best practices for HDR game content developers and game platforms as well as for TV display manufacturers. As a result, HDR content, combined with optimized game platforms and TV displays, will be able to further leverage HDR technology for a truly immersive gaming experience. This collection of best practices proposed in the guideline will be easy to implement and will also support improved operability.”
Following HGiG guidelines or best practices helps the end-user enjoy HDR games from consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox. PlayStation and Xbox all have HDR calibration menus. Go through the reasonably straightforward process contained within, and you are essentially teaching the gaming console the lower and upper contrast limitations of your projector. The problem arises when your projector then attempts to tone map the already tone-mapped image. HGiG intends to prevent this so that once your gaming console has learned the parameters of your projector, it outputs all games accordingly.