BenQ HT3550 True 4K Home Cinema Projector Review - Page 10 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #271 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by subacabra View Post
I'm assuming the final production units will ship with this new 1.01 firmware?
Man, I've been so patient but I'm really itching to get this. Just hope all the bugs are worked out and I get a good one.
That's the plan but 1.01 will be user upgradeable so even if it doesn't ship with that firmware you can update yourself through the USB port.

The iris improvement is something they are working on. The first shipment will definitely not have that implemented as it hasn't been developed yet. Assuming they do find a satisfying solution that improves performance here they will have you ship your unit to one of their service centers to receive the update.

It should be mentioned here that the iris pumping is something that few are experiencing. It is HEAVILY content dependent. Scott didn't find any issues here, Art of projectorreviews has so far not mentioned any issues and neither has Chris Majestic. I've seen it and so has @BrandonH . So I wouldn't assume this will be an issue for you but it's something you should be aware of.
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post #272 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wk11793 View Post
No wasn't you actually - it was a number of users on multiple threads. One was about the 3550 vs Epson 4050UB and a user said "Unless you are an avid gamer, I would stay away from DLP projectors. Their contrast is abysmal"

In another thread the OP was asking about upgrading their Sony HW40ES and one user said the contrast and black levels on DLP are "non existent" and another again used the term "abysmal."

Granted these are higher end projectors so maybe there's some bias there. I don't doubt the higher end models have better contrast but I never found the W1070 horrible. I still have moments where the picture wows me, it's just in dark scenes when the black bars become noticeable I feel like it ruins the immersion. My bedroom TV has much better blacks but I still prefer watching on my projector because it feels so much more cinematic than what I can get on a TV. Still though, I wish I had the ability to sample other units just to get an idea of what the PQ could be.
Agree on all points.
As an absolute contrast reference I compare to my father-in-laws OLED, but even with that fantastic picture I would rather watch movies on my lowly DLP with 4X the screen area.
Limited throw distance restricts me to the W2700 but I am still very much looking forward to the upgrade.
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post #273 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 08:47 PM
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BenQ HT3550 True 4K Home Cinema Projector Review

So most won’t bother going through the exercise, some won’t even notice it and others will have to wait for a turnaround and get a “refurbished” unit. Small percentage so collateral damage. The beauty of this forum is the valuable data and sharing of information. Appreciate the candid feedback from your trip.




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post #274 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by home4sale2 View Post
Why on earth would they ship these out without a fix? This means the fix is a while out if they’re willing to ship stuff back and forth in the promised future. I never had a benq. Do these guys stand behind their products?


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The HT3550 isn't broken. IMO, the performance of it's iris is excellent the majority of the time. Sometimes, with certain content, it's not. I talked about this in my review. As far as I know I'm the first reviewer-- maybe the only reviewer-- who has complained about this. So it's not something everyone is seeing. I see it and that's why I mentioned it in my review. So YOU could make an informed decision before you buy.

Again, as I mentioned above, this isn't an issue for the rest of the early reviewers. So, of course, BenQ is going to sell the projector. I'm just happy they are working on a solution to this as I really like the HT3550 and I'd like to see this area of it's performance improved.

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post #275 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by home4sale2 View Post
So most won’t bother going through the exercise, some won’t even notice it and others will have to wait for a turnaround and get a “refurbished” unit. Small percentage so collateral damage. The beauty of this forum is the valuable data and sharing of information. Appreciate the candid feedback from your trip.




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No worries!

You won't get a refurbished unit. You will get YOUR unit updated with a new firmware. Again, assuming there is an improvement to be made.

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post #276 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
Nothing wrong with staying with something you’re happy with.

I seem to be alone here but the calibrated modes are my favorite part of the HT3550. This is where the projector offers it’s best color and contrast. Given: these modes are intended for a dark, light controlled room. But if you don’t have that you can still enjoy the Ht3550 outside it’s calibrated modes as it is a very bright display.

So many DLPs are compromised towards offering a bright image. Few 1080p DLPs even offer an RGBRGB colorwheel anymore. I guess the thought is: if you can’t afford a top dollar projector you probably don’t have a decent space to project in. For the two years I ran my HT2050 in our condo I never took it out of Eco. Sure, SmartEco offered greater contrast but it was too damn bright! Lol! It was only after moving into our apartment that I even started experimenting with SmartEco.

If you have a nice space and a ‘smaller’ screen you’re going to appreciate the calibrated modes. And just think: you could spend thousands more on a JVC with similar lumen output and that’s a selling feature!

I guess what I’m trying to say is I wouldn’t look at the fact that the Ht3550 offers MORE ways to use it as a negative. Take the calibrated modes away and what do you get? Still the best 4K DLP at $1500. Just my opinion. My excitement is still high but I get that that is because I actually get to SEE it whereas everyone else is just reading my review. At it’s price: this is the best 4K projector on the market. If you can budget a little more... I saw Epson dropped the 4010 to $1800 over the weekend and that’s a compelling price. I’d have a tough time deciding between the two myself as the Epson has a lot of things I don’t like about it (it’s not as sharp, motion is not as crisp and the fact you have to manually select HDR is dumb) but it’s in the conversation as those are two of the best deals going on 4K below 2 grand.

Every year when new product launches we go through the same cycle. At this point we seem to be entering the trough of the gartner cycle— or at least that’s my guess based on my perusing of the other thread.
I am using Cinema Mode as I need more brightness in my 126" 1.0 gain white screen,
although the calibrated report of HT3550 isn't look good as HT1075, HT3550 does projecting much better image than HT1075.

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post #277 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chhanthony View Post
I am using Cinema Mode as I need more brightness in my 126" 1.0 gain white screen,
although the calibrated report of HT3550 isn't look good as HT1075, HT3550 does projecting much better image than HT1075.
If you read my post from earlier in the night you'll see that BenQ has managed to squeeze more lumens from the P3 mode. They were pushing a 120" screen with some ambient light. What knock-on effect this has on the rest of the picture I can't say for sure except to say it looked nice in the demo.

I have a 1.1 gain 100" and the current wide color feature provides sufficient output as long as I keep the lamp at normal. Will have to see about the new firmware.

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post #278 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tonybradley View Post
Will the Customer be responsible for shipping charges? How will the Customers be alerted to when this is resolved to ship back? Wonder if it will take a few days, weeks or a month between shipping it and them resolving and sending back?

If one were not to buy this PJ yet, but in the future, how would it be known if the one purchased has this fix?
Sorry Tony, I was responding to someone else and I quoted you by accident. I'm all over the place trying to respond to posts. Here's your answers:

No you won't. Assuming there is a firmware update implemented and you choose to send your unit for the update it would be covered under warranty.

I'm not sure as that most likely has to do with current demands on their repair center but my update took less than a week.

The firmware is on the underlying TI chipset so... you won't.

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post #279 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
If you read my post from earlier in the night you'll see that BenQ has managed to squeeze more lumens from the P3 mode. They were pushing a 120" screen with some ambient light. What knock-on effect this has on the rest of the picture I can't say for sure except to say it looked nice in the demo.

I have a 1.1 gain 100" and the current wide color feature provides sufficient output as long as I keep the lamp at normal. Will have to see about the new firmware.
So, can lumens squeeze by firmware update or have to send back to BenQ, I also read there are early products be recalled, but there is no such call back service in Hong Kong, the sale in final, no recall this thing in Hong Kong.

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post #280 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
Agree on all points.
As an absolute contrast reference I compare to my father-in-laws OLED, but even with that fantastic picture I would rather watch movies on my lowly DLP with 4X the screen area.
Limited throw distance restricts me to the W2700 but I am still very much looking forward to the upgrade.
Maybe one day they'll sell an OLED in a tube you can just unroll on your wall to the tune of 120".

But until then I'm with you.

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post #281 of 507 Old 03-21-2019, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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So, can lumens squeeze by firmware update or have to send back to BenQ, I also read there are early products be recalled, but there is no such call back service in Hong Kong, the sale in final, no recall this thing in Hong Kong.
It's user upgradeable.

The recall was due to the lens not meeting spec. Sorry, I didn't ask about anything but US stock and now I'm feeling quite embarrassed about that...

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Go to bed
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chhanthony View Post
So, can lumens squeeze by firmware update or have to send back to BenQ, I also read there are early products be recalled, but there is no such call back service in Hong Kong, the sale in final, no recall this thing in Hong Kong.
It's user upgradeable.

The recall was due to the lens not meeting spec. Sorry, I didn't ask about anything but US stock and now I'm feeling quite embarrassed about that...
Good to hear it is user upgradable.

Thanks a lot!

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Go to bed


Ugh... I’m trying but every 10 minutes some thing on the other side of the wall makes a loud slamming noise and wakes me up.
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post #285 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 04:53 AM
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Ugh... I’m trying but every 10 minutes some thing on the other side of the wall makes a loud slamming noise and wakes me up.


So you go to bed late and I see you’re up and posting already on another thread. Love your commitment to this Sage. Thanks man.


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post #286 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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BenQ HT3550 True 4K Home Cinema Projector Review

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So you go to bed late and I see you’re up and posting already on another thread. Love your commitment to this Sage. Thanks man.


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I used to say I could sleep almost anywhere. I’ve gotten a little older and that has changed. New York is a constant cacophony. I’ve gotten to the point where sirens actually mean alert to me again and not just the background noise of life. Plus, I’m out here specifically for this reason so I figured I’ll make the most of it.

But I have my limits. Certain threads I’ll avoid wading in on and I take frequent breaks. AVS is, believe it or not, my last ‘social media’ platform. No more twitter, no instagram and I finally cancelled my Facebook early last year. I’ve decided I’d rather just talk to people in real life and avoid the drama that has consumed online social media interaction. So I might have a bit more online time to spend here than I do most simply because I don’t spend a lot of time online.

And I’m still way behind on my post count compared to some others who have been here for less time!

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post #287 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 05:55 AM
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No more twitter, no instagram and I finally cancelled my Facebook early last year. I’ve decided I’d rather just talk to people in real life and avoid the drama that has consumed online social media interaction.
My wife did the same...though she kept instagram since she likes looking at the pictures. She is far happier because of it.
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post #288 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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No wasn't you actually - it was a number of users on multiple threads. One was about the 3550 vs Epson 4050UB and a user said "Unless you are an avid gamer, I would stay away from DLP projectors. Their contrast is abysmal"



In another thread the OP was asking about upgrading their Sony HW40ES and one user said the contrast and black levels on DLP are "non existent" and another again used the term "abysmal."



Granted these are higher end projectors so maybe there's some bias there. I don't doubt the higher end models have better contrast but I never found the W1070 horrible. I still have moments where the picture wows me, it's just in dark scenes when the black bars become noticeable I feel like it ruins the immersion. My bedroom TV has much better blacks but I still prefer watching on my projector because it feels so much more cinematic than what I can get on a TV. Still though, I wish I had the ability to sample other units just to get an idea of what the PQ could be.


This is all about expectations.

Boiled down to it’s simplest argument: contrast costs money. The more money you can spend the better contrast/blacks you can expect. In the $3000 and less price range there aren’t many projectors that can claim high contrast ratios. The Sony 45Es being one of them. The apparently discontinued and heavily discounted Epson 5040ub being another. But both of these projectors offer tradeoffs— the Sony is 1080p only and the 5040ub is ‘half’ 4K and lacks current features such as auto detecting HDR and full bandwidth HDMI. Projectors like the BenQ HT3550 and Epson 4010 both have native contrast specs more in line with projectors costing hundreds less but both include advanced features like a dynamic iris and HDR tone mapping to squeeze more performance here.

If you go in expecting flat screen contrast ratios you’re going to be disappointed. If you have enough money to throw at the problem a JVC will get you closer than most projectors but there are compromises here as well— Like you’ll really want a bat cave to enjoy that projector in.

Projectors are all about big screens and fun. Sometimes we get a little serious around here and that’s fine too but it’s important to remember the trade offs. This HT3550 is the price of a middle of the road TV and yet it can produce a 4K/HDR image well in excess of 120”. It won’t have the blacks of your FALD LCD and definitely not of your OLED but at this price does anyone really expect it to?

You should see an improvement in contrast over your old HD BenQ. If you’re looking for more it might make sense to spend more.
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I am trying to figure out if this projector can create the screen size I want at the throw distance I need...and am failing. I have about a 19' throw and a 106" screen, will this projector do that? I currently have a Panasonic 4000U projector and want to step up to 4K and all the extras that come with it.

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post #290 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightBlade View Post
I am trying to figure out if this projector can create the screen size I want at the throw distance I need...and am failing. I have about a 19' throw and a 106" screen, will this projector do that? I currently have a Panasonic 4000U projector and want to step up to 4K and all the extras that come with it.
Think you'll need to shorten up your distance or look at a different pj. Maybe Epson or Optoma? Epson 4010 would do it.

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post #291 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 06:40 AM
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Think you'll need to shorten up your distance or look at a different pj. Maybe Epson or Optoma? Epson 4010 would do it.

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Agreed, this is a relatively short throw projector. From that far back you'd have something like a 230" screen.
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post #292 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to figure out if this projector can create the screen size I want at the throw distance I need...and am failing. I have about a 19' throw and a 106" screen, will this projector do that? I currently have a Panasonic 4000U projector and want to step up to 4K and all the extras that come with it.


No it won’t.

This is a ‘shorter’ throw projector capable of targeting a 100” in under 9 ft. It doesn’t have the throw or enough zoom range to target that small a screen from that far away. Sorry.

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
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post #293 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 09:56 AM
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If you read my post from earlier in the night you'll see that BenQ has managed to squeeze more lumens from the P3 mode. They were pushing a 120" screen with some ambient light. What knock-on effect this has on the rest of the picture I can't say for sure except to say it looked nice in the demo.

I have a 1.1 gain 100" and the current wide color feature provides sufficient output as long as I keep the lamp at normal. Will have to see about the new firmware.
Any chance they were using a 1.3-1.4 gain screen at the demo?

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post #294 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wk11793 View Post
I don't have a dedicated theater room so not a ton I can do but I do have black velvet surrounding the first few feet around the screen which helps a lot with the contrast. Recently tried experimenting with an ND filter to lower the black floor which helps a bit too. I used to have masking borders on the top and bottom of the screen which was great but I switched to an acoustically transparent screen so I can't use them anymore. The W1070 is also super bright - I think I measured 38 ftl at its brightest setting.
My Viewsonic is similar in lumen output and with a 110” screen.

That’s why I went with a point .5 gain gray screen. I’m half way to perfect black before I even turn on the projector.

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post #295 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Any chance they were using a 1.3-1.4 gain screen at the demo?


All the screens were Stewart and I’m not sure if anyone measured the gain. I didn’t see any hot spotting though so if it was a positive gain it wasn’t much higher than that.
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post #296 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
All the screens were Stewart and I’m not sure if anyone measured the gain. I didn’t see any hot spotting though so if it was a positive gain it wasn’t much higher than that.
With the shorter throw steeper angle and a mild gain like 1.3 on a premium screen like Stewart I doubt any hot spotting would be viewable. Just from the little I have seen about this projector I would think a 1.3 to a 120” screen would be perfect in a lights out theater. It would give you some room for lamp dimming.

If I had one I would mount a motorized 1.3 white screen in front of a low gain neutral gray and you would have the best of both worlds. Or better yet a fixed frame 1.3 with a neutral gray roll down in front for some lights on in the brighter modes would even be better.

I wonder if you could find out what screen they were using?

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post #297 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 05:54 PM
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With the shorter throw steeper angle
What do you mean by angle?
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post #298 of 507 Old 03-22-2019, 06:08 PM
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What do you mean by angle?
With a short throw projector if you think of a line drawn from the lens to the center of the screen and then the same angle drawn where the line leaves the screen will fall quite a bit below the line from the viewers eyes to the screen. In this case if there is a hot (warm) spot it will be more visible from a lower eye position.

All screens even the best wide viewing angle reference screens loose brightness off to the edges. Our eyes don’t pick up on it until it becomes a problem. That point some say is when the gain reaches about 1.3.

With a long throw projector the light is coming in closer to the angle of the eyes.

That’s the angle I mentioned.
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Hi. Did we make a final determination on native 24 fps output in 3D? I saw that they found a way to do it in 2D, and I'm thankful for that. But I think I can infer that the solution they came up with would not be possible when displaying 3D. Do I have that right?


I have enjoyed the 3D capabilities of the HT2050, and losing 24 Hz playback would be a bit of a downgrade, but ultimately we're talking about only a small percentage of movies.


3:2 judder won't kill me for those few occasions if the HT3550 is clearly an upgrade in all my *other* use case scenarios, which it sounds like it is.
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Hi. Did we make a final determination on native 24 fps output in 3D? I saw that they found a way to do it in 2D, and I'm thankful for that. But I think I can infer that the solution they came up with would not be possible when displaying 3D. Do I have that right?


I have enjoyed the 3D capabilities of the HT2050, and losing 24 Hz playback would be a bit of a downgrade, but ultimately we're talking about only a small percentage of movies.


3:2 judder won't kill me for those few occasions if the HT3550 is clearly an upgrade in all my *other* use case scenarios, which it sounds like it is.


3D is always native 24fps as the projector runs in a special 1080p 3D mode.

But so to is 2D. When in 4K 2D the projector throttles the color wheel oh so slightly to allow for native 24fps! As far as I know this is the first lamp based 4K DLP to allow for native 24fps playback. Motion is exceptionally smooth and film looks wonderful!

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