Projector Reviews

BenQ TK800 4K UHD Home Entertainment Projector Review-Special Features 2

BenQ TK800 4K UHD Home Entertainment Projector Review-Special Features 2: Picture Quality: HDR Controls, Color Wheel Speed/Segments, Auto Source Search, 

HDR Controls

There are two controls found on the menus. On the Display menu is a basic choice of Auto, HDR or SDR (everything before HDR).

I imagine just about everyone will leave it on Auto unless they are fooling around with the projector.

HDR Control Menu
This 4K HDR image is a placeholder - I intended to show the HDR Control menu, but it wasn't uploaded before I left town

The other control appears as the first item on the Picture menu’s usual Advanced sub-menu.  The 4K Brightness item appears on the menu when HDR content is playing.  It’s hidden, otherwise.  That menu offers five settings from +2 to -2.  I found 0, overall to be my preferred, most of the time. I also spent a lot of time with +1, perfect for a movie that otherwise comes across as a bit dim looking.  We can argue that the darker image is closer to the HDR ideal, but, while the theory is great, you have to enjoy the view, play a little, and settle on what makes you happy.   

Color Wheel – Segments and Speed

color wheel

There are two main aspects of a color wheel for any lamp based single chip DLP projector.  The color segments on the wheel, and the speed of the wheel.

The TK800 uses an RGBW color wheel, which I think of as a business education projector color wheel, or perhaps, in this case, a “home entertainment” color wheel as opposed to a “home theater” one (implying a more serious projector).

As mentioned at the beginning of the review, the main difference between this projector and its HT2550 sibling, is that wheel. The other BenQ has the “home theater” RGBRGB wheel, less white lumens, but slightly more vibrant colors.

No problem with that, BenQ offers two models, same price, pick the right one for your room setup and viewing habits.

The other aspect is the speed. For those of us who are “rainbow sensitive,” we see flecks of rainbow color when white objects pass in front of dark objects on the screen (or vice versa).  The slower the wheel, the more frequent we see them.  With a fast color wheel, which both these BenQ’s have, I rarely can spot a rainbow. Oh, sometimes if I move my head quickly while watching those high contrast motion scenes, I can spot them, but, by comparison, the rather excellent Acer VL7860 – a laser 4K UHD projector (my previous review), has a slow wheel, and I saw the artifacts more often than not.  I recommended that projector, but as I said, I could never own one because of the RBE. (RainBow Effect.)

BenQ does not publish a speed, but I figure 4X or 5X.  Many projectors are still using 2X or 3X speed wheels, and for me, those don’t cut it!

Fortunately, most folks aren’t RBE sensitive.  How many are?  There’s no good info, but I figure 5% or a bit more.  

Well, if you are one of us RBE folks, be cheered, these BenQs have nice fast color wheels, so RBE should be fairly rare.  

The bottom line on the color wheel:  Fast which is great!  Segments – the TK800s setup delivers very good color and extra (mostly white) brightness.  If you are going into a room where there’s almost always more than minor ambient light, the TK800s configuration should be the way to go.  If you have that cave/home theater, and like your movies with no significant ambient light at all, then the HT2550 is for you.  It’s that simple since this color wheel is the only real performance difference.

Auto Source Search

This BenQ TK800 (and the HT2550), as well as most projectors, offer an Auto source search feature (no matter what they call it).  It’s job, when you power up, is to find the first input source that is live – has content.  It should skip by any devices hooked up, that are turned off.

Two things:

With all the copy protection, especially on 4K commercial content (which has a lot), projectors (and many LCD TVs) switch slowly.  

Taking a number of seconds longer to handle that HDCP copy protection, often means you hear audio from your TV or sound system before the picture finally shows up.

Some projectors are better than others at handling.

Of late, with my high-end receiver sending everything to the BenQ through just one HDMI, means no need to use it, since I currently don’t have other sources for the projector to look at.

Problem with both BenQ’s, is sometimes they just never find the active source when auto source is on, even when the projector is already on that source, with Blu-ray UHD discs and maybe other sources.  Now my system here is more convoluted than most, so quite likely you wouldn’t have a problem anyway, but some other 4K capable projectors have less or no problem at all.

When firing up a movie, your disc player, be it Blu-ray, or 4K Blu-ray UHD, changes resolutions between menus, previews, warnings, etc.  That tends to trip up displays, and often a projector just can’t get enough time to lock on, before the Auto source assumes no good signal and switches to the next source.

So, if you are using a receiver to switch your sources, definitely, I recommend turning it off.  If not, and you have two or three sources plugged into the TK800 (two HDMI’s and a ?), then try it, but, especially, if handling 4K content, I suspect you’ll have some issues so turn it off.

BTW even off, I encountered a problem a few times, where it still wouldn’t put up the picture, while the sound was playing.  If that should happen, I found the cure.  Press the source button, (and assuming its on HDMI1), press HDMI 1. That seems to make it start it’s attempt fresh, and that worked for me.