So Scott and I (
) just attended the BenQ launch event in New York and I have some news concerning the HT3550.
At the event they had a production sample of the HT3550 up and running. This projector was using a new 1.01 firmware that has not yet been released. Most notably, the image was projecting onto a 120" screen in a room that was less than ideal and actually had a good degree of light filtering in from the floor above (glass floor/ceiling). You can see a shot of it in the photo below. Amazingly, this production unit was running in HDR WITH the wide color feature (DCI-P3) engaged. Our contact shared that they have tweaked the user upgrade able firmware to provide a brighter and more usable image while the filter is engaged. This was very apparent in near black and shadow detail. Until I can get a version of this firmware running on my sample I can't speak to what other impacts this revision has on the image.
For those that received early production units that were recalled due to inability to achieve BenQ's promised calibration results: BenQ informed us that after they investigated the issue they discovered that the fault was due to the lens. Apparently, their supplier shipped them a lens that did not meet spec. BenQ has corrected the issue with the supplier and has pulled all effected stock.
To this end I will say: the lens on the production demonstration unit looked sharper around the edges than my sample. In addition, the chromatic aberration that was prevalent on my sample appears to be significantly reduced on the production model.
Last but not least: the iris. I had mentioned in my review and subsequent follow up that the iris exhibited a strange behavior during certain content where it would seemingly 'over react' during bright scenes. This behavior was also observed by
. The good news is, thanks to our feedback, BenQ is still working on the issue and they believe they can fix it with further tweaks to the iris' reaction speed. The bad news is, when a solution is implemented, the unit will need to be sent to BenQ for service. This is due to the iris being tied to the underlying TI chipset.