Quick and dirty first impressions after hooking my HT3550 up last night. Keep in mind, my impressions are in comparison to the first and only projector I ever had, which is an Epson 8350. Also keep in mind that the Epson has been calibrated not only using the Disney WOW disc, but I have a colorimeter and calibration software that I used to get color and grayscale tracking correct. My screen is Seymour acoustically transparent fabric and it's 16:9 at 106". I sit 11' back from it. My room has good overall light control. Black ceiling, black rug between my row of theater seats and the screen. The walls are the same ribbed fabric you see in many commercial theaters. It's more of a tan/brown color though. The theater seats are black.
I did the math, took careful measurements and had my mount in place before the projector arrived. Setup was easy and went well. I got it all leveled up and turned the pattern screen on. Using the pattern screen, I was able to get the projector turned properly toward the screen, and then went back and forth with setting the zoom and height offset. Worked perfectly. I initially had issues with setting the proper projector location configuration, but got that worked out for HDMI 1 and 2.
My first Bluray was the UHD version of Planet Earth 2. All I can say is WOW! The clarity and overall picture quality floored me. Like looking out a window. The 3550 trounces the Epson 8350 in clarity, brightness, image quality, you name it. Now my bulb was probably at half life with the Epson, but even in ECO / Cinema mode the 3550 is much brighter.
Next my wife and I watched Survivor that had just recorded on my Dish Hopper. Holy brightness! Still in ECO / Cinema. There's only so much polish you can put on a turd, but the upscaling and clarity of the 3550 was something to behold, even on Dish. There's nothing a projector can do with the abundance of compression artifacts on Dish, but the overall improvement is hard to believe. Text is so crisp it's like reading from a computer monitor. Not used to this at all!
After I politely got the wife to leave the room after watching Survivor, I checked out Assassin's Creed which I've been playing on my standard PS4. Did my PS4 just turn into a PS5? This is just stupid good! I usually avoided playing the game "at night" within the game because it just wasn't enjoyable. The 3550 is a revelation. I now am left wondering that the heck was wrong with my 3850. Oh yes, lag. It's there. I noticed the difference right away from going from mid 30's lag to whatever the 3550 is at. I did not try to turn off any processing or try to reduce it in any way yet. As it is, I know I'll get used to it and it won't be a problem. I don't play first person shooters, so that's probably a good thing.
Finally I put in my standard Bluray copy of Prometheus. Since the movie is in 2.35:1, I wanted to see how noticeable the top and bottom letterboxing was. Here was where my Epson was more comparable to the BenQ. The 3550 wins here too though. The black levels and contrast of the 3550 to me, are what I would consider good. I've heard the word "abysmal" thrown around lately, and it's a gross misuse of that word, at least in the context of this projector. I was able to view the movie in D. Cinema and thought it looked fantastic. For me, the picture is still plenty bright. Really, it's right where I would expect it to be.
Can't wait to get home tonight and start exploring more with this projector.
Now some negatives. Fan noise is louder than I'm used to. It's not terrible, but I may look into some type of hush box in the future. The projector is literally 2-3 feet above my head. Like many others have mentioned, the projector seems to have some switching bugs going on. I've experienced the half screen and other anomalies. I made the mistake of changing the HDMI setting from automatic, and this totally screwed up the picture. In fact I ended up having to pull the plug on the projector after I couldn't get it to shut down. Not something I did casually! In the end, one of the best features of this projector may be the ability to update the firmware via USB. It clearly will require future firmware updates, because at the moment the firmware is not ready for prime time for a typical (non AVS) user.
Last edited by curtlots; 04-11-2019 at 12:20 PM.