BenQ W5700 / HT5550 4K 100% DCI-P3 Projector Announcement and Owner’s Thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 987 Old 03-19-2019, 06:31 AM
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This review brings up an interesting question. Do the streaming services, DTV Now in particular, use HDR or HLG, in their video? Directv satellite uses HLG for their 4K. Are they forced to set up an entirely different encoding/decoding process for their Now service. Can you put HLG in a stream? Will Channel 104 look different depending on whether you are on satellite or lan?

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post #62 of 987 Old 03-19-2019, 09:41 AM
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In Vincent's video he mentions there is significant light loss for using the P3Filter to achieve 100% DCI - 1000+ lumens drop

That is a massive drop from 1800 lumens to 600-700 and will make the filter not worth using in almost all scenarios. That's assuming a brand new lamp as it will dim over time.

BenQ should post what percentage of P3 the projector will handle without the filter.
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post #63 of 987 Old 03-19-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post
In Vincent's video he mentions there is significant light loss for using the P3Filter to achieve 100% DCI - 1000+ lumens drop

That is a massive drop from 1800 lumens to 600-700 and will make the filter not worth using in almost all scenarios. That's assuming a brand new lamp as it will dim over time.

BenQ should post what percentage of P3 the projector will handle without the filter.
I asked the same question a few times in the 3550 threads a couple weeks ago. The answer is kind of it looks wonderful with it engaged or not but it looks more wonderful with it engaged.

They say some testing will be going on over the next few weeks and we should know more. I’m just guessing it’s going to be more like Rec.709 without it but I really don’t know. On one hand I hear the brightness is a good thing as it is needed for HDR and then on the other hand to get the gamut you need to loose the brightness.

From what I have read so far you need a very good room and then a 100” screen or smaller to get the best benefits.

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post #64 of 987 Old 03-20-2019, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I asked the same question a few times in the 3550 threads a couple weeks ago. The answer is kind of it looks wonderful with it engaged or not but it looks more wonderful with it engaged.

They say some testing will be going on over the next few weeks and we should know more. I’m just guessing it’s going to be more like Rec.709 without it but I really don’t know. On one hand I hear the brightness is a good thing as it is needed for HDR and then on the other hand to get the gamut you need to loose the brightness.

From what I have read so far you need a very good room and then a 100” screen or smaller to get the best benefits.
a few years ago, some folks here were discussing how a lamp based DLP with a color wheel could achieve WCG. the opinion at the time is that it would cost a significant amount of light loss with a filter. it's interesting to see that it was an accurate prediction.

I'm curious if it only achieves R709 without the filter. The Sony and JVC's are ~90% P3 without the filter so they get pretty close with no impact to lumen output. My RS600 filter only uses ~10% light and looks great with HDR content.

hopefully Vincent will do a review on one of these and provide the deep dive details - out of the box calibration and specific details on the lumen loss with the filter & color gamut coverage without.
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post #65 of 987 Old 03-20-2019, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post
a few years ago, some folks here were discussing how a lamp based DLP with a color wheel could achieve WCG. the opinion at the time is that it would cost a significant amount of light loss with a filter. it's interesting to see that it was an accurate prediction.

I'm curious if it only achieves R709 without the filter. The Sony and JVC's are ~90% P3 without the filter so they get pretty close with no impact to lumen output. My RS600 filter only uses ~10% light and looks great with HDR content.

hopefully Vincent will do a review on one of these and provide the deep dive details - out of the box calibration and specific details on the lumen loss with the filter & color gamut coverage without.
Sometimes you can get a clue if you look at the total power consumption of a projector and compare that to lumens. Sure there is some overhead that I would think are pretty much constant fans and electronics. I have always looked at the cheaper DLPs where 250w in a RGBCYW or RGBW gets you a 3000 lumen rating and a 300w RGBRGB gets you about 2000 lumens rating.

I wonder if the better projectors you mentioned have a better filtered lamp as a source or a permanent filter in place. They are not trying to be two things at once.

I don’t really know and as you mentioned someone taking a good look that has the right equipment should be able to tell us the whole story.

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post #66 of 987 Old 03-20-2019, 03:15 PM
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US product page is finally up: https://www.benq.com/en-us/projector...ma/ht5550.html

All the specs were already known, but I'm not sure if I had noticed the 24p (without 3:2 pulldown) confirmation before:

Quote:
To enjoy the authentic movie shot exactly as the director intended, HT5550 supports 24 frames per second (fps) playback which can accept high definition sources without judder in HDR mode to preserve the purity of the original image, so your 4K movies can be displayed at the correct cadence, without the need for pulldowns which distort playback of the source video.

The model is also in their projector calculator now: http://projectorcalculator.benq.com/

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post #67 of 987 Old 03-20-2019, 08:44 PM
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Don't see how input lag will be any good when they are basically using the same chip, hope I'm wrong though.
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post #68 of 987 Old 03-21-2019, 07:42 PM
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BenQ W5700 / HT5550 4K 100% DCI-P3 Projector Announcement and Owner’s Thread

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Originally Posted by gecko316 View Post
Don't see how input lag will be any good when they are basically using the same chip, hope I'm wrong though.

@scottyroo basically kicked me for not bringing my bodnar tester to the event tonight.



My bad.



I'm sure Scott will have more to say as he spent a good deal more time with the HT5550 tonight than I did. But I'll drop my observations here for what they're worth.



The HT5550 will be sold through SnapAV. MSRP will be $2499



At the event tonight they had the HT5550 projecting onto a 170" (!!!) screen and that was WITH the filter engaged. Apparently the filter on the HT5550 causes far less a drop in lumens as it does on the HT3550 because the HT5550 is so close to P3 without the filter. BenQ claims the HT5550 can achieve 95% of the P3 color gamut with just the color wheel. With the filter engaged that coverage jumps to 100%. BenQ continued to revisit their commitment to color and color accuracy throughout the event.



BenQ touted the HT5550's high quality lens and that certainly showed in the presentation. I don't think BenQ's engineers ever intended this thing to power such a massive screen but even when I got up and stood close to the screen I could see no evidence of softness or loss of focus. Still, I didn't get to stare at test patterns.



Scott was able to confirm the iris would clamp 100% on a full black field and we were told the HT5550 uses a different iris than the HT3550. That being said, I don't think either of us saw much of an improvement here over the HT3550. It's a possibility that the unusually large screen was a contributing factor-- Talking to one of the employees at the event they explained they had to bump up HDR brightness to squeeze a bit more out of this 1800 lumen projector. HDR brightness is essentially an HDR tone mapping "gamma" control. Adjusting that particular feature really shouldn't effect black levels but it's a possibility they adjusted other settings as well. In either case, after Kraine's comments about seeing a significant improvement in blacks over the HT3550 I think we were both maybe expecting a little more here. Contrast overall was quite good and I was really impressed with the overall motion handling. I'm a sucker for clean motion and the HT5550 exhibited the same improvements here as the HT3550.



For the comments about the LED in the front. The LED was quite large but not at all bright. IDK, I'd have to see the projector in a more controlled space to see if this is really an issue.



That will probably be my last comments on this model as I don't expect to review one and it's availability will be limited to the single pro-av outlet. My lane tends more towards the 'put it in your cart' end of the spectrum.


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post #69 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
The HT5550 will be sold through SnapAV. MSRP will be $2499
Thank you so much for the info sage. Do you happen to know when they expect to have this projector available?

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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
At the event tonight they had the HT5550 projecting onto a 170" (!!!) screen and that was WITH the filter engaged. Apparently the filter on the HT5550 causes far less a drop in lumens as it does on the HT3550 because the HT5550 is so close to P3 without the filter. BenQ claims the HT5550 can achieve 95% of the P3 color gamut with just the color wheel. With the filter engaged that coverage jumps to 100%.
Great news about the native 95% P3 coverage without the extra filter engaged. That will definitely help with the 1800 lumens.

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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
That being said, I don't think either of us saw much of an improvement here over the HT3550. It's a possibility that the unusually large screen was a contributing factor-- Talking to one of the employees at the event they explained they had to bump up HDR brightness to squeeze a bit more out of this 1800 lumen projector ..... I don't expect to review one
Disappointing about the black floor and that you won't get to review it. Hopefully someone will be able to compare it to the 3550 soon.

Thanks again!

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post #70 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
The HT5550 will be sold through SnapAV. MSRP will be $2499
Looks like they have a 25% restocking fee. Ouch. Not even sure if they would sell direct to consumers.

BenQ would probably sell a lot more of these if you could just order these at B&H or something....

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post #71 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 10:12 AM
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BenQ W5700 / HT5550 4K 100% DCI-P3 Projector Announcement and Owner’s Thread

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Originally Posted by robl2 View Post
Thank you so much for the info sage. Do you happen to know when they expect to have this projector available?







Great news about the native 95% P3 coverage without the extra filter engaged. That will definitely help with the 1800 lumens.







Disappointing about the black floor and that you won't get to review it. Hopefully someone will be able to compare it to the 3550 soon.



Thanks again!


I don’t have a release date yet.

Color was excellent. HDR looked good despite the insane screen. It was funny, directly overhead the HT3550 they had a three chip DLP the size of a small Volkswagen. It had to weigh 200lbs. Seeing this tiny (by comparison) projector underneath that behemoth targeting the same screen was humorous.

I mean, I wouldn’t turn one down if BenQ offered it. But I doubt that will happen considering the intended market. This is a model that they are more selling to the installer than the end customer. If this ever comes to retail then we’ll see.

As for the black floor— I don’t want to sound sarcastic as that is NOT my intention but at this point I think it’s pretty clear what DLP does well and what it doesn’t. If you are looking for an affordable projector with a super sharp image and excellent motion clarity: DLP is your answer. If you want flatscreen like black levels and cost is no object: an LCOS would make more sense.

With all that said, BenQ did say that in a similar environment the HT5550 should have better contrast/blacks owing to the better lens that is centrally mounted.


Oh!

One thing I forgot to mention: we talked about why the .47 vs the .66 DMD.
According to BenQ, they did extensive testing with both DMDs and found that with a quality lens the difference in clarity between the two was very small. By sticking with the smaller DMD it allowed them to pack in more value for the same price. That makes sense as this is very close to the price of the UHD65 but BenQ was able to add the iris, vertical AND horizontal lens shift as well as the new lens assembly. Benq does with the .66 DMD but only in their high end 8000 and 9000 series models.

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post #72 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 11:28 AM
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With all that said, BenQ did say that in a similar environment the HT3550 should have better contrast/blacks owing to the better lens that is centrally mounted.
HT5550, right?
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post #73 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robl2 View Post
Looks like they have a 25% restocking fee. Ouch. Not even sure if they would sell direct to consumers.



BenQ would probably sell a lot more of these if you could just order these at B&H or something....


I will do a proper write up in my discussions regarding the HT5550 soon. I am pretty sure I asked all of your guys’ questions you had.

I was told this will also be available online via BenQDirect which is awesome. Historically, direct customers are the first to get their units.
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post #74 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 12:11 PM
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I was told this will also be available online via BenQDirect which is awesome.
If that's the case then I'll likely order one right away as their return policy looks nice (but no mention on lamp runtime?)

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post #75 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
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HT5550, right?


Right. Sorry. I updated my post.

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post #76 of 987 Old 03-22-2019, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyroo View Post
I was told this will also be available online via BenQDirect which is awesome. Historically, direct customers are the first to get their units.

I am so glad to hear this - the 5550 is exactly what I need, and a simple way to acquire one.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by robl2 View Post
Looks like they have a 25% restocking fee. Ouch. Not even sure if they would sell direct to consumers.



BenQ would probably sell a lot more of these if you could just order these at B&H or something....
SnapAV is for installers/resellers only. Heck, I do a handful of installations a year and sent them my invoices, and they shot me down.

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post #78 of 987 Old 03-23-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyroo View Post
I will do a proper write up in my discussions regarding the HT5550 soon. I am pretty sure I asked all of your guys’ questions you had.

I was told this will also be available online via BenQDirect which is awesome. Historically, direct customers are the first to get their units.
Your writeup will be in this tread?
I'm waiting
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This brief video shows the USB-based firmware update procedure for the HT5550:


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post #80 of 987 Old 03-24-2019, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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After getting back late Friday night and spending some time with the family, I have finally come up for air to provide some thoughts on the HT5550 from my experience at BenQ’s launch event in NYC.

To preface, I have been reviewing the HT3550 on my 160” screen in my dedicated theater for the last 6 weeks. It is phenomenal piece of kit and the HDR is the best I've seen from a projector. However, many of you have heard about the approx 50% hit on lumen output for the HT3550 to hit 95% DCI-P3 coverage. While the HT3550's wide color mode has a nice picture with good color, it is just too dim for my liking on a 160” screen. It is more suited for screens 100" or smaller in a dark room. However, the HDR implementation is simply amazing on the HT3550 even when it is not in P3 mode. With that context about 95% DCI-P3 = dim picture in mind, I was skeptical about the HT5550 being a fit for people like me who want a bright image on a big screen.

Sage11x and I walked over to the event together and the venue was pretty cool, not gonna lie. The venue was buttoned up as it was, but then the ushers directed us to the cellar of the building. It felt like I was going to some prohibition-era meet up... in a good way! The cellar area was surprisingly bright and airy. The event was a casual affair with two separate screening rooms fro the HT5550 and HT3550. Guests were open to move to either room and enjoy some light fare and drinks in the social room. The HT5550 screening room was a proper screening room with a 170" screen that held about 40-50. The HT3550's room was more of a conference room off to the side with poor lighting.

I walked into the screening room and the HT5550 was playing Avengers Infinity War on a 170” screen. After seeing the bright image on a 170" screen I was encouraged that this HT5550 might have light cannon chops after all. The HDR presentation was smooth, bright, and had balanced color. This was impressive especially given the light situation and the large screen. Even in this proper screening room, the light control wasn’t great. However, I was impressed that the image was still good and bright. It was being projected onto a Stewart white screen. I would say the gain was neutral at 1.0, but did not confirm. Surely this image was too bright to be in wide-color mode, so I went to a BenQ rep and asked if he could put it into DCI-P3 mode. “It already is”, he said. My jaw commenced in hitting the floor.

This was the moment that I realized this projector was not a simple high-end repackaging of the HT3550. This was a different projector. How in the world did BenQ get a 170" image so bright with a 100% DCI-P3 filter in the light path? The answer, I was told, has to do with the all-new color wheel of the HT5550. And for what it's worth, I was told that every setting was in default except for HDR Brightness was set to +1.

I settled in and watched about 30 minutes combined of Avengers and La La Land. I waited for crowds to die down so I got to play with and have hands on time with the HT5550. I noted that with the wide color filter removed, the image is even brighter. To accomplish this, BenQ has engineered a new “Pure Coating” process for the color wheel. The end result is better color at a higher brightness. In fact, BenQ claims it can still achieve 95% P3 Color Space coverage with the new color wheel alone. No filter. This 95% coverage is a feat that the HT3550 can only accomplish at the cost of 50% lumen output. When the HT5550 filter is slid into place, BenQ claims 100% DCI-P3 coverage, without a huge loss to lumen output. The net-net of it is that the HT5550's 100% DCI-P3 mode is brighter than the HT3550's 95% DCI-P3 mode. More color. Higher brightness. That's good, right?

Without measurement equipment handy, my ESTIMATE is that the HT5550 is achieving 95% coverage (no filter) at 1400-1500 lumens and 100% coverage at 1000-1100 lumens. Don’t quote me on that but I am betting that will be close to accurate. For comparison, the HT3550’s 95% P3 mode is approximtately 700 lumens on the sample unit I am testing. To be fair, BenQ has a 1.0.1 firmware update prepared for HT3550 production units that will boost lumens on the wide color mode setting. A rematch might be necessary to compare apples to apples.

The HDR implementation on the HT5550 seemed similar to what I saw on the HT3550. This is a good thing. Adding in the improved color brightness, I think the HT5550 HDR implementation could be even better. Several clips of La La Land highlighted the dynamic pops of color against a black background. This is really where the P3 filter shined with better handling of hues in the green range. Additionally, there was no over-saturation or hot-spotting of colors. I watched a scene early in the film where Emma Stone returns home and the bathroom is flush with red undertones. The entire image is bathed in soft red light, and yet the flesh tones and her blue dress are still very balanced. In addition, and the gradation of the dark red shadows as well as shadow detail were very good. This was a very difficult HDR scene to handle and the dynamic tone mapping in concert with the Iris and P3 filter did an admirable job faithfully reproducing the scene.

Black levels were hard to get a good feel for with the poor light control of the room. You aren’t getting a DLP for fantastic blacks but they seemed very good considering the setting. I tried to snap a video of the Dynamic Iris actuation expecting the Iris was in the same location as the HT3550. However, I couldn’t see it on the front of the lens array. I was told the Iris implementation is different than the HT3550 and is closer to the light engine. The Iris, I’m told is superior to that of the HT3550 and can close to 100% for infinite FOFO contrast levels. I believe that is where the increased dynamic contrast spec is coming from relative to the HT3550. I did not see a scene to confirm this. I didn’t notice any excessive pumping or aggressiveness of the Iris. I was also told there will be a setting exclusive to the HT5550 that will allow for adjust the Iris speed. All told, I have a sneaking suspicion that the black floor will be similar to the HT3550 with content on screen, but will hold out judgement until measured by the pros.

On the hardware side, the unit’s build quality and design is beautiful. It’s the perfect size for a home theater projector, in my opinion. It’s right between the size of the HT3550 and the recent crop of humungo Epsons. The design's ratios feel very balanced. The lens is near flush with the front of the display. The textured lens ring is very elegant and BenQ is claiming that is to help disperse reflections. I don't really buy that since the front 90% of the projector is a already covered in a light-absorbing/dispersing matte black. 1% of the front facing display is that textured ring so I'd rather they just call it an aesthetic touch, and a nice one at that. The flush lens should allow for A-lenses. The lens adjustments also feel incredibly solid. Zoom and focus adjustments seemed heavy and smooth. As far as on-screen benefits from the lens, the sharpness and focus uniformity seemed good on screen but I did not get to test with text or patterns on the screen. I also put my nose to the screen and tried to find fuzzy areas and/or aberration. I couldn’t find any.

The horizontal and vertical lens shift range is good. Not Epson good, but very good for the DLP crop. Vertical shift is buttery smooth, similar to the adjustments of zoom and focus. Horizontal shift felt like the vertical shift of my HT3550 sample unit; kinda meh. Some hesitant dead spots, but it allowed you to get where you need to go horizontally. I tested various combinations of horizontal and vertical lens shift and the unit seems happy to have the image in any combination of horizontal and vertical shifts.

In my limited time with the menu, I wasn’t able to find settings for blanking and 21:9 stretching. I don’t imagine blanking will be possible since that is hardware. However if there is enough demand for a 21:9 stretch mode, that could be addressed in a USB firmware update. The menu is the look and feel of the HT3550 which is a slightly smoothed out and snappier version of last year's models. I hope BenQ updates their menu UI soon. A designer can spend 3-4 days on the UX design and take a design queue from LG. The menu layout on LG's projector is beautiful.

Someone here requested testing CFI artifacts. I wasn’t able to test CFI artifacts. Sorry.

Motion handling was VERY good. As Sage confirmed, the new BenQ 4K shifters can achieve native 4k 24hz without a pull down by throttling the color wheel to 96hz. This is done without introduction of RBE, but then again, I'm not sensitive to it in the first place so YMMV.

The HT5550 is an interesting projector because I cannot recall the last home theater projector BenQ launched in the $2,000- $3,000 space, if ever. They’ve never had anything to directly compete with the $2,500 Epsons. BenQ has always had a $1,500 ceiling for their consumer retail lines and $7,000+ in their pro-channel lines. At $2,499, the HT5550 represents their first entry into the affordable pro/installer setups. I am not sure I will have a review unit to test yet but if I so, I’ll be sure to field questions and test this in as many ways as I can.

All in all, my skepticism going into the event about the HT5550 being too dim of a projector relative to color accuracy was debunked, at least for now. As far as critical viewing / reference level color projectors go, from my limited viewing it seemed to me that this will have plenty of light output for the dedicated theater rooms this will be targeted for.

Price will be $2,499. Launching next month. Exclusive channel/installer vendor will be SnapAV (love them). Also available on BenQDirect.com. Fantastic news for those looking to get this direct to to consumer.

"The Bunker" | Dedicated Theater Build Under Suspended Slab Garage
Testing: BenQ HT5550 | Epson 5050UB | 160" Dragonfly™ Fixed AT Screen
Denon X6300H | 9.4.4 (7.2.4 Discrete) | 9x Episode 900 Series LCR/Surrounds | 4x Episode 1700 Series ATMOS Heights | 4x Episode 12" Evo Subs
Sony X700 | Xbox One X | NVIDIA Shield TV

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After getting back late Friday night and spending some time with the family, I have finally come up for air to provide some thoughts on the HT5550 from my experience at BenQ’s launch event in NYC.

To preface, I have been reviewing the HT3550 on my 160” screen in my dedicated theater for the last 6 weeks. It is phenomenal piece of kit and the HDR is the best I've seen from a projector. However, many of you have heard about the approx 50% hit on lumen output for the HT3550 to hit 95% DCI-P3 coverage. While the HT3550's wide color mode has a nice picture with good color, it is just too dim for my liking on a 160” screen. It is more suited for screens 100" or smaller in a dark room. However, the HDR implementation is simply amazing on the HT3550 even when it is not in P3 mode. With that context about 95% DCI-P3 = dim picture in mind, I was skeptical about the HT5550 being a fit for people like me who want a bright image on a big screen.

Sage11x and I walked over to the event together and the venue was pretty cool, not gonna lie. The venue was buttoned up as it was, but then the ushers directed us to the cellar of the building. It felt like I was going to some prohibition-era meet up... in a good way! The cellar area was surprisingly bright and airy. The event was a casual affair with two separate screening rooms fro the HT5550 and HT3550. Guests were open to move to either room and enjoy some light fare and drinks in the social room. The HT5550 screening room was a proper screening room with a 170" screen that held about 40-50. The HT3550's room was more of a conference room off to the side with poor lighting.

I walked into the screening room and the HT5550 was playing Avengers Infinity War on a 170” screen. After seeing the bright image on a 170" screen I was encouraged that this HT5550 might have light cannon chops after all. The HDR presentation was smooth, bright, and had balanced color. This was impressive especially given the light situation and the large screen. Even in this proper screening room, the light control wasn’t great. However, I was impressed that the image was still good and bright. It was being projected onto a Stewart white screen. I would say the gain was neutral at 1.0, but did not confirm. Surely this image was too bright to be in wide-color mode, so I went to a BenQ rep and asked if he could put it into DCI-P3 mode. “It already is”, he said. My jaw commenced in hitting the floor.

This was the moment that I realized this projector was not a simple high-end repackaging of the HT3550. This was a different projector. How in the world did BenQ get a 170" image so bright with a 100% DCI-P3 filter in the light path? The answer, I was told, has to do with the all-new color wheel of the HT5550. And for what it's worth, I was told that every setting was in default except for HDR Brightness was set to +1.

I settled in and watched about 30 minutes combined of Avengers and La La Land. I waited for crowds to die down so I got to play with and have hands on time with the HT5550. I noted that with the wide color filter removed, the image is even brighter. To accomplish this, BenQ has engineered a new “Pure Coating” process for the color wheel. The end result is better color at a higher brightness. In fact, BenQ claims it can still achieve 95% P3 Color Space coverage with the new color wheel alone. No filter. This 95% coverage is a feat that the HT3550 can only accomplish at the cost of 50% lumen output. When the HT5550 filter is slid into place, BenQ claims 100% DCI-P3 coverage, without a huge loss to lumen output. The net-net of it is that the HT5550's 100% DCI-P3 mode is brighter than the HT3550's 95% DCI-P3 mode. More color. Higher brightness. That's good, right?

Without measurement equipment handy, my ESTIMATE is that the HT5550 is achieving 95% coverage (no filter) at 1400-1500 lumens and 100% coverage at 1000-1100 lumens. Don’t quote me on that but I am betting that will be close to accurate. For comparison, the HT3550’s 95% P3 mode is approximtately 700 lumens on the sample unit I am testing. To be fair, BenQ has a 1.0.1 firmware update prepared for HT3550 production units that will boost lumens on the wide color mode setting. A rematch might be necessary to compare apples to apples.

The HDR implementation on the HT5550 seemed similar to what I saw on the HT3550. This is a good thing. Adding in the improved color brightness, I think the HT5550 HDR implementation could be even better. Several clips of La La Land highlighted the dynamic pops of color against a black background. This is really where the P3 filter shined with better handling of hues in the green range. Additionally, there was no over-saturation or hot-spotting of colors. I watched a scene early in the film where Emma Stone returns home and the bathroom is flush with red undertones. The entire image is bathed in soft red light, and yet the flesh tones and her blue dress are still very balanced. In addition, and the gradation of the dark red shadows as well as shadow detail were very good. This was a very difficult HDR scene to handle and the dynamic tone mapping in concert with the Iris and P3 filter did an admirable job faithfully reproducing the scene.

Black levels were hard to get a good feel for with the poor light control of the room. You aren’t getting a DLP for fantastic blacks but they seemed very good considering the setting. I tried to snap a video of the Dynamic Iris actuation expecting the Iris was in the same location as the HT3550. However, I couldn’t see it on the front of the lens array. I was told the Iris implementation is different than the HT3550 and is closer to the light engine. The Iris, I’m told is superior to that of the HT3550 and can close to 100% for infinite FOFO contrast levels. I believe that is where the increased dynamic contrast spec is coming from relative to the HT3550. I did not see a scene to confirm this. I didn’t notice any excessive pumping or aggressiveness of the Iris. I was also told there will be a setting exclusive to the HT5550 that will allow for adjust the Iris speed. All told, I have a sneaking suspicion that the black floor will be similar to the HT3550 with content on screen, but will hold out judgement until measured by the pros.

On the hardware side, the unit’s build quality and design is beautiful. It’s the perfect size for a home theater projector, in my opinion. It’s right between the size of the HT3550 and the recent crop of humungo Epsons. The design's ratios feel very balanced. The lens is near flush with the front of the display. The textured lens ring is very elegant and BenQ is claiming that is to help disperse reflections. I don't really buy that since the front 90% of the projector is a already covered in a light-absorbing/dispersing matte black. 1% of the front facing display is that textured ring so I'd rather they just call it an aesthetic touch, and a nice one at that. The flush lens should allow for A-lenses. The lens adjustments also feel incredibly solid. Zoom and focus adjustments seemed heavy and smooth. As far as on-screen benefits from the lens, the sharpness and focus uniformity seemed good on screen but I did not get to test with text or patterns on the screen. I also put my nose to the screen and tried to find fuzzy areas and/or aberration. I couldn’t find any.

The horizontal and vertical lens shift range is good. Not Epson good, but very good for the DLP crop. Vertical shift is buttery smooth, similar to the adjustments of zoom and focus. Horizontal shift felt like the vertical shift of my HT3550 sample unit; kinda meh. Some hesitant dead spots, but it allowed you to get where you need to go horizontally. I tested various combinations of horizontal and vertical lens shift and the unit seems happy to have the image in any combination of horizontal and vertical shifts.

In my limited time with the menu, I wasn’t able to find settings for blanking and 21:9 stretching. I don’t imagine blanking will be possible since that is hardware. However if there is enough demand for a 21:9 stretch mode, that could be addressed in a USB firmware update. The menu is the look and feel of the HT3550 which is a slightly smoothed out and snappier version of last year's models. I hope BenQ updates their menu UI soon. A designer can spend 3-4 days on the UX design and take a design queue from LG. The menu layout on LG's projector is beautiful.

Someone here requested testing CFI artifacts. I wasn’t able to test CFI artifacts. Sorry.

Motion handling was VERY good. As Sage confirmed, the new BenQ 4K shifters can achieve native 4k 24hz without a pull down by throttling the color wheel to 96hz. This is done without introduction of RBE, but then again, I'm not sensitive to it in the first place so YMMV.

The HT5550 is an interesting projector because I cannot recall the last home theater projector BenQ launched in the $2,000- $3,000 space, if ever. They’ve never had anything to directly compete with the $2,500 Epsons. BenQ has always had a $1,500 ceiling for their consumer retail lines and $7,000+ in their pro-channel lines. At $2,499, the HT5550 represents their first entry into the affordable pro/installer setups. I am not sure I will have a review unit to test yet but if I so, I’ll be sure to field questions and test this in as many ways as I can.

All in all, my skepticism going into the event about the HT5550 being too dim of a projector relative to color accuracy was debunked, at least for now. As far as critical viewing / reference level color projectors go, from my limited viewing it seemed to me that this will have plenty of light output for the dedicated theater rooms this will be targeted for.

Price will be $2,499. Launching next month. Exclusive channel/installer vendor will be SnapAV (love them). Also available on BenQDirect.com. Fantastic news for those looking to get this direct to to consumer.

Scott - thank you for taking the time for the review. I currently have the HT3550 on order, but after reading this and other info, wondering if I should get the HT5550 instead. My new projector will replace my W1070. Knowing the HT3550 is a direct mount in same space for same picture, would I need to reposition the HT5550 for same screen (121").

Thanks again!
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post #82 of 987 Old 03-24-2019, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Scott - thank you for taking the time for the review. I currently have the HT3550 on order, but after reading this and other info, wondering if I should get the HT5550 instead. My new projector will replace my W1070. Knowing the HT3550 is a direct mount in same space for same picture, would I need to reposition the HT5550 for same screen (121").



Thanks again!


I’d be careful calling what I posted a review. Far from it, it was my first hands on impressions and limited at that. But thank you for the kind words! I think you’ll be happy with the HT3550.


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"The Bunker" | Dedicated Theater Build Under Suspended Slab Garage
Testing: BenQ HT5550 | Epson 5050UB | 160" Dragonfly™ Fixed AT Screen
Denon X6300H | 9.4.4 (7.2.4 Discrete) | 9x Episode 900 Series LCR/Surrounds | 4x Episode 1700 Series ATMOS Heights | 4x Episode 12" Evo Subs
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I’d be careful calling what I posted a review. Far from it, it was my first hands on impressions and limited at that. But thank you for the kind words! I think you’ll be happy with the HT3550.


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Ok.... your well educated observations on the HT5550??
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post #84 of 987 Old 03-24-2019, 05:01 PM
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Thanks a lot @scottyroo ! Hopefully we'll have some more info on black floor soon
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post #85 of 987 Old 03-24-2019, 05:29 PM
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Kinda makes me happy my 2050a arrives this week. This seems like it could be next projector in a year or so. Will see how much I miss my JVC,and while I won't get the same black level, it seems like it would improve on the 3550 and be brighter with better colors to boot.

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post #86 of 987 Old 03-24-2019, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Kinda makes me happy my 2050a arrives this week. This seems like it could be next projector in a year or so. Will see how much I miss my JVC,and while I won't get the same black level, it seems like it would improve on the 3550 and be brighter with better colors to boot.

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The only caveat being that the HT3550 is overall brighter in Non-WCG mode, the WCG isn’t for everyone and is still going to be more for critical viewing.

Personally, I’m more interested in the HT5550’s ability to do 95% P3 without the filter engaged. It seems this would be the mode I would leave it in as it can nearly achieve the HT3550’s full brightness output without the filter engaged but also have 95% coverage at the same time. Best of both worlds?

"The Bunker" | Dedicated Theater Build Under Suspended Slab Garage
Testing: BenQ HT5550 | Epson 5050UB | 160" Dragonfly™ Fixed AT Screen
Denon X6300H | 9.4.4 (7.2.4 Discrete) | 9x Episode 900 Series LCR/Surrounds | 4x Episode 1700 Series ATMOS Heights | 4x Episode 12" Evo Subs
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The only caveat being that the HT3550 is overall brighter in Non-WCG mode, the WCG isn’t for everyone and is still going to be more for critical viewing.

Personally, I’m more interested in the HT5550’s ability to do 95% P3 without the filter engaged. It seems this would be the mode I would leave it in as it can nearly achieve the HT3550’s full brightness output without the filter engaged but also have 95% coverage at the same time. Best of both worlds?
My screen is only 120", a bit smaller than yours. And by the time I'm done in the room, I'll even have more light control than I did with the JVC. Going to do velvet curtains on the walls covering the front two thirds of the wall. Covers two doors on one and a window on another. Contemplating black polyester ceiling panels too. With the better iris, I'm guessing I'll get some (not all) of my missing black levels back and some improved color as well.

I think I read your screen was a bit larger so you'd need more lumens to fill it. Imagining my shorter throw helps in that department too.

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My screen is only 120", a bit smaller than yours. And by the time I'm done in the room, I'll even have more light control than I did with the JVC. Going to do velvet curtains on the walls covering the front two thirds of the wall. Covers two doors on one and a window on another. Contemplating black polyester ceiling panels too. With the better iris, I'm guessing I'll get some (not all) of my missing black levels back and some improved color as well.

I think I read your screen was a bit larger so you'd need more lumens to fill it. Imagining my shorter throw helps in that department too.

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Yep! I have a 160”


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"The Bunker" | Dedicated Theater Build Under Suspended Slab Garage
Testing: BenQ HT5550 | Epson 5050UB | 160" Dragonfly™ Fixed AT Screen
Denon X6300H | 9.4.4 (7.2.4 Discrete) | 9x Episode 900 Series LCR/Surrounds | 4x Episode 1700 Series ATMOS Heights | 4x Episode 12" Evo Subs
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Scott - thank you for taking the time for the review. I currently have the HT3550 on order, but after reading this and other info, wondering if I should get the HT5550 instead. My new projector will replace my W1070. Knowing the HT3550 is a direct mount in same space for same picture, would I need to reposition the HT5550 for same screen (121").
Thadius, not Scott, but for your 121" screen, it appears the HT5550 can be positioned anywhere between 12' and 19'3" - the W1070 between 10'2" and 13'3" for the same screen size.

I'll be upgrading to the HT5550 from my 1070, pushing it back almost 2 1/2 feet to get a better throw ratio for my A-lens. It looks like one can use the zoom approach for a scope screen with this projector too given it's generous lens shift.

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@scottyroo thanks for the write up on the HT5550. Could you tell me what you noticed about fan noise from the projector - if you even noticed in that room.

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