Projector Reviews

BenQ TK800 Home Theater Projector Review – Performance

BenQ TK800 Home Theater/Home Entertainment Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Brightness and Color Temperature, Color Temp Readings for Reference Mode, Post Calibration Color Temp Readings for Reference Mode, Gamma Measurement, ECO Mode: Affect of Brightness, Power Consumption, Lens Position: Affect on Brightness


The TK800 came very close to the 3000 lumens it claimed.

Picture Mode Lumens Color Temp. (Kelvin)
Bright 2850 8290K
Vivid TV 2128 9342K
Cinema 1976 7448K
Sport 2142 7633K
Football 2142 7863K
User 1 2128 9369K
User 2 2128 9369K

No question about it, BenQ’s TK800 is a good deal brighter than its “home theater” twin, the HT2550.  The TK800’s RGBW color wheel pumps out a lot more white lumens, although probably slightly less color lumens than the HT2550, to create a home entertainment projector that can cut through more ambient light.  BenQ definitely succeeded!  Consider:

The HT2550’s brightest measured mode was their Bright mode, at 1793 lumens, while this TK800’s least bright mode was even brighter:  Cinema mode at 1976 lumens, almost exactly twice as bright as the HT2550!

Bright mode on this TK800 is 2850 lumens – 50% brighter than the same mode on the other BenQ.  that’s true of most modes on the TK800, except Cinema with the even bigger difference.

The TK800 is truly a light cannon, compared to most competitors.  Even calibrated for “best” mode it managed 1007 lumens, but our 4K HDR calibration came in at 2090 and the Bright mode for non 4K HDR, manages to  dazzle, with 1933 lumens measured!   While 1007 lumens isn’t that much more than the HT2550s (20% more), remember, 1000 lumens is officially enough to fill a typical 150″ diagonal screen in a fully darkened theater.  (Call it an easy 130″ with brightness to spare).

Perhaps more importantly is the good color combined with just over 2000 lumens for HDR, where the extra lumens are really appreciated (and called for)!

Brightness and Color Temperature

The same chart above shows the color temperature of each mode when measured. These numbers are all pre-calibration.  All of the modes are at least a bit cool.  Starting at almost 7500K, with others getting up to even 9000K.  Fortunately those can be dialed down as needed.

Many folks like a cooler temp for sports viewing – I count myself among those, so I tend to prefer something around 7000K but generally not more than 7500K.  I was perfectly happy with Sports / Football modes for my sports viewing pleasure.  Vivid TV sizzles, though, it’s a very interesting, very fun mode, although in theory, the least accurate, with it’s color temp in the 8000-9000+ Kelvin range.

Color Temp Readings for "best" mode: Calibrated Cinema

IRE Range Color Temp. (Kelvin)
100 IRE 6436K
90 IRE 6433K
80 IRE 6488K
70 IRE 6570K
60 IRE 6566K
50 IRE 6547K
40 IRE 6651K
30 IRE 6446K
20 IRE 6494K
10 IRE 6288K

With a target of 6500K, for greyscale balance, post calibration the BenQ TK800 is close to ideal, with a nice tight range, only a bit warm in the very darkest areas (10 IRE), where you are very Not Likely to notice.

Post Calibration Color Temp Readings for 4K with HDR

The measurements below were taken at full power on the lamp.  The brighter ranges are cooler than the lower brightness ranges.  Not sure why Eric couldn’t get the 70 IRE and up to be a bit warmer – closer to D65, but the pictures look pretty good.  I would say when you see the 4K streaming images from Blacklist, showing the building (inside or outside images) you can see that slightly stronger blue intensity to the whites.

IRE Range Color Temp. (Kelvin)
100 IRE 7366K @ 2090 lumens
90 IRE 7374K
80 IRE 7356K
70 IRE 7028K
60 IRE 6650K
50 IRE 6612K
40 IRE 6640K
30 IRE 6662K
20 IRE 6560K
10 IRE 5966K

TK800 Gamma Measurement "best" mode

Pre-Calibration: Average Gamma 2.4 targeting 2.2

Post-Calibration: Average Gamma 2.27

For more casual viewing than movies – I’m thinking sports, or most TV, most prefer a lower gamma which yields a brighter mid-range to the picture.

ECO-Mode: Affect on Brightness, Power Consumption

Power Mode Lumens Color Temp. (Kelvin)
Full Power (Bright Mode) 2850 8290K
ECO Mode (Bright Mode) 1986 8752K

From any color mode, switching from full power (High) to Low power mode, results in a measured drop in lumen output of about 29%.

That, I should point out, is pretty typical with almost all projectors dropping between 25 and 35 percent when going to Eco (Low).

Lens Position: Affect on Brightness

Zoom Picture Mode Lumens
Wide (Zoom Out) Bright 1811
Mid-Zoom Bright 1793
Telephoto (Zoom In) Bright 1713

I’m saving some time here.  This chart is populated with the measurements from our HT2550 review.  Consider that the two projectors have the same lens, and also that the difference between wide-angle and telephoto brightness will be minimal on projectors with very little zoom range (1.2:1 in this case, which is very minimal).  Turns out on the HT2550 the brightness variation as you zoom from wide angle (closest placement to your screen), to the furthest (tele zoom) is only 7%.  Since that is barely visible, I didn’t bother to do the same measurements on the TK800.