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@sage...i mentioned in another thread about cramming more oixels/mirrors into smaller sensors. You mentioned that was to be the trend moving forward.

I think there is a parralel to photo sensors. You cram smaller and more pixels/mirrors whatever into the same size space and you are paying a price somewhere in image quality.

In photography you are introducing noise and reducing the sensors ability to gather light so worse low light capability. There has to be a parallel to projection. There is a reason jumping up to 4k in smaller sensors doesn't yield better black levels than an 8yr old 1080p projector with a similar or slightly larger chip. There's a reason they need DI, lamp dimming and other tricks and gadgets on the smaller chips. So unless you go to larger chips (0.61, 0.66 or greater) and thus larger micromirrors/pixels whatever, you're just not going to see any real improvement in contrast or black levels. It's just physics. And it shouldn't be shocking to anyone.

There's a reason why all the camera companies are cramming larger sensors into smaller bodies. There's a reason why the megapixel wars ended. Because it makes for better image quality. I can't imagine the same wouldn't hold true here as well.

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I see what you’re saying and I think you’re spot on. But, I would add a couple of comments about your post:

Cameras and projectors are a little bit different. By the time the ‘megapixel wars’ (I like that btw :) ) ended, resolution was no longer the issue. For projection, resolution is still very much an issue. The projector industry is under a lot of pressure right now to deliver 4K or be seen as becoming obsolete. 4K is no longer a luxury feature, it’s a requirement for a whole lot of consumers. I hate to say this but: I’m one of them.
Example: We went to see Avengers Endgame today. Don’t worry— no spoilers. The experience, even in our fancy new theater, was blunted by the fact that the movie was very obviously displayed at DCI2K (2048x1080p, basically HD). The pixel grid and overall ‘softness’ or maybe more accurately ‘chunkiness’ of the image was apparent to me throughout the movie. Now that I’m used to the extra clarity that 4K provides it is very obvious to me when I’m not getting it.

Second, projectors are, much like TVs, becoming far more commoditized. There is a lot of demand for more features in smaller, more affordable packages. In a way, the projector market is more comparable to the AVR market. With manufacturers having to cram more and more tech into the box just to compete with one another. While tech is good, I’d gladly take a few less features if it meant more money spent on the optics or even things like lower input lag. Speaking to BenQ, the HT3550 is a fantastic projector but for me, personally, you can take the speakers, the MEMC function and even the media player and just ditch them. Don’t drop the price either— just give me even more performance.
 

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I see what you’re saying and I think you’re spot on. But, I would add a couple of comments about your post:

Cameras and projectors are a little bit different. By the time the ‘megapixel wars’ (I like that btw :) ) ended, resolution was no longer the issue. For projection, resolution is still very much an issue. The projector industry is under a lot of pressure right now to deliver 4K or be seen as becoming obsolete. 4K is no longer a luxury feature, it’s a requirement for a whole lot of consumers. I hate to say this but: I’m one of them.
Example: We went to see Avengers Endgame today. Don’t worry— no spoilers. The experience, even in our fancy new theater, was blunted by the fact that the movie was very obviously displayed at DCI2K (2048x1080p, basically HD). The pixel grid and overall ‘softness’ or maybe more accurately ‘chunkiness’ of the image was apparent to me throughout the movie. Now that I’m used to the extra clarity that 4K provides it is very obvious to me when I’m not getting it.

Second, projectors are, much like TVs, becoming far more commoditized. There is a lot of demand for more features in smaller, more affordable packages. In a way, the projector market is more comparable to the AVR market. With manufacturers having to cram more and more tech into the box just to compete with one another. While tech is good, I’d gladly take a few less features if it meant more money spent on the optics or even things like lower input lag. Speaking to BenQ, the HT3550 is a fantastic projector but for me, personally, you can take the speakers, the MEMC function and even the media player and just ditch them. Don’t drop the price either— just give me even more performance.
I hear you on maintaining relevance in this market. And funny. If I'm going to the movies, I'm either seeing something in Imax or RPX or it better be dirt cheap. Otherwise I'm content watching it at home.

I honestly don't get why they put half the crap they do into $1500 and up projectors. I don't need a smart projector. I'm sure as hell not using it for built in sound. I just want it to be a dumb box that sends a great picture to my screen. That means I want the biggest chip and nicest lens that is financially feasible in my price range. And I want it to be as quiet as possible. If I have to sacrifice motorized controls, fine. At least make the manual ones smoother than something I'd find on my $300 LG.

I would think the vast majority of projector buyers feel the same way. You want cheap sound? Buy an hdmi soundbar. You want wireless and other frills then sell an add on module, but don't make me pay for it when I just care about the picture.

Some TV mfg's make pure displays that do nothing else but take an input. Why is this concept lost on many projectors?



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I hear you on maintaining relevance in this market. And funny. If I'm going to the movies, I'm either seeing something in Imax or RPX or it better be dirt cheap. Otherwise I'm content watching it at home.

I honestly don't get why they put half the crap they do into $1500 and up projectors. I don't need a smart projector. I'm sure as hell not using it for built in sound. I just want it to be a dumb box that sends a great picture to my screen. That means I want the biggest chip and nicest lens that is financially feasible in my price range. And I want it to be as quiet as possible. If I have to sacrifice motorized controls, fine. At least make the manual ones smoother than something I'd find on my $300 LG.

I would think the vast majority of projector buyers feel the same way. You want cheap sound? Buy an hdmi soundbar. You want wireless and other frills then sell an add on module, but don't make me pay for it when I just care about the picture.

Some TV mfg's make pure displays that do nothing else but take an input. Why is this concept lost on many projectors?



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I agree. The issue is projector manufacturers are seeing themselves as TV replacements or TV alternatives. They are trying to overcome all the reasons people DON’T buy projectors: It’s too expensive. It’s too hard to instal. You need a dedicated room. You need an external sound system. There are too many choices. Etc. By making the projector as close to a TV as possible, a manufacturer overcomes a lot of those concerns. I’m going to use the HT3550 as an example again here. While some people see this projector as an upgrade or a solution for their theater— a whole lot of people who don’t post on AVS just look at as a projector. One they could plop on a coffee table and projector on their bare wall. Price plays an important concern here. Typically, lower priced projectors (I’d say $1500-2000 and below) get TV like features as they are more likely to need to be an all-in-one solution. That price point attracts a more casual audience. Whereas higher priced models tend to do without as they will appeal to a more niche audience (which is why those prices start to sky rocket to overcome the more limited sales those models are likely to attract).

True story: at the BenQ launch event one of the areas of the most attention/concernin the Ht3550 demo room was the HT3550’s built in speakers. I heard many journalists and bloggers asking for reps to turn up the volume so they could hear the built in speakers and judge the quality. One guy even walked around the room to listen at different spots. You know what— in my review of the HT3550 I almost forgot to test the speakers. For me, the built in speakers are such an afterthought I barely remember that many of these projectors have them. Right now, the Ht3550 is the heart of my 5.0 (no subs, apartment) home theater system. For other people, the Ht3550 just sits on their coffee table and gets shoved aside when not in use. At $1500 the HT3550 appeals to a lot of different uses.

So the issue isn’t as much the manufacturers as the market. Low priced projectors need to move units to be viable and this need a diverse feature set to appeal to a wide audience. Low volume projectors need to sell at high prices to be viable and thus get things like higher quality optics and better contrast.
 

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I agree. The issue is projector manufacturers are seeing themselves as TV replacements or TV alternatives. They are trying to overcome all the reasons people DON’T buy projectors: It’s too expensive. It’s too hard to instal. You need a dedicated room. You need an external sound system. There are too many choices. Etc. By making the projector as close to a TV as possible, a manufacturer overcomes a lot of those concerns. I’m going to use the HT3550 as an example again here. While some people see this projector as an upgrade or a solution for their theater— a whole lot of people who don’t post on AVS just look at as a projector. One they could plop on a coffee table and projector on their bare wall. Price plays an important concern here. Typically, lower priced projectors (I’d say $1500-2000 and below) get TV like features as they are more likely to need to be an all-in-one solution. That price point attracts a more casual audience. Whereas higher priced models tend to do without as they will appeal to a more niche audience (which is why those prices start to sky rocket to overcome the more limited sales those models are likely to attract).

True story: at the BenQ launch event one of the areas of the most attention/concernin the Ht3550 demo room was the HT3550’s built in speakers. I heard many journalists and bloggers asking for reps to turn up the volume so they could hear the built in speakers and judge the quality. One guy even walked around the room to listen at different spots. You know what— in my review of the HT3550 I almost forgot to test the speakers. For me, the built in speakers are such an afterthought I barely remember that many of these projectors have them. Right now, the Ht3550 is the heart of my 5.0 (no subs, apartment) home theater system. For other people, the Ht3550 just sits on their coffee table and gets shoved aside when not in use. At $1500 the HT3550 appeals to a lot of different uses.

So the issue isn’t as much the manufacturers as the market. Low priced projectors need to move units to be viable and this need a diverse feature set to appeal to a wide audience. Low volume projectors need to sell at high prices to be viable and thus get things like higher quality optics and better contrast.
Sounds like these bloggers/journalists are part of the problem. They should be asking why are they bothering to put speakers on a projector? If a person is going the projector route, don't they most likely have some sort of sound setup, especially when the projector is at the opposite side of the room. Why would any normal person want the sound coming from the farthest point from the screen where they actually want the sound to come from? Hence the hdmi soundbar comment before. I remember Epson combining the bluray player with the projector. It's an extreme rarity when a Multifunction box actually performs well on all if its functions. So why make sacrifices?

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Me too. That’s about my upper limit of acceptance. Feel like I’ll be stuck without many options other than the 5050ub for my price/requirements.
I thought the same thing. Sadly, I find myself less and less happy with the Epson 5050. I have had it for a week (replacing my BenQ 2050). I may just not be a Epson guy.

While watching movies, I cant help but see some ever so mild juddering that tends to give me a headache. I dont use FI as I dont enjoy the soap opera effect. The picture looks dang good, but its just this subtle judder that I cant get over. This is even more evident on a PC as there is a slight blur on small text. Drives me nuts.

I went back to my BenQ 2050 and was amazed that the judder (and my headache) went away. I began to really appreciate what BenQ did with the 2050. For having worse contrast and resolution, they werent dramatically worse on the BenQ. I'm likely returning the 5050 and going to try and get my hands on a 3550 or 5550. Think I am just a DLP guy.
 

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I thought the same thing. Sadly, I find myself less and less happy with the Epson 5050. I have had it for a week (replacing my BenQ 2050). I may just not be a Epson guy.



While watching movies, I cant help but see some ever so mild juddering that tends to give me a headache. I dont use FI as I dont enjoy the soap opera effect. The picture looks dang good, but its just this subtle judder that I cant get over. This is even more evident on a PC as there is a slight blur on small text. Drives me nuts.



I went back to my BenQ 2050 and was amazed that the judder (and my headache) went away. I began to really appreciate what BenQ did with the 2050. For having worse contrast and resolution, they werent dramatically worse on the BenQ. I'm likely returning the 5050 and going to try and get my hands on a 3550 or 5550. Think I am just a DLP guy.
I noticed the same thing when going from the Epson 2045 to the Vivitek 2288. For me the Epson just seemed to have issues with motion clarity, even with frame interpolation on.

That coupled with ghosting bothered me much more than the occasional rainbow I see with DLP.

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Sounds like these bloggers/journalists are part of the problem. They should be asking why are they bothering to put speakers on a projector? If a person is going the projector route, don't they most likely have some sort of sound setup, especially when the projector is at the opposite side of the room. Why would any normal person want the sound coming from the farthest point from the screen where they actually want the sound to come from? Hence the hdmi soundbar comment before. I remember Epson combining the bluray player with the projector. It's an extreme rarity when a Multifunction box actually performs well on all if its functions. So why make sacrifices?

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Most of us on this forum are probably in the same position as you, I know I am. *But*, I only personally know 2 other people with a projector and they both rely on the built in speaker.
I wouldn't do it and you wouldn't do it but there is a demand.

I think putting speakers in a projector sounds a bit old fashioned these days and you make a good point about soundbars etc. but then you've got HDMI and cable issues to worry about.

Also, how much does it cost to put a speaker in a projector? I agree that it's part of the build cost that could be put to better things, but I genuinely have no idea how must cost it adds.
 

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Most of us on this forum are probably in the same position as you, I know I am. *But*, I only personally know 2 other people with a projector and they both rely on the built in speaker.

I wouldn't do it and you wouldn't do it but there is a demand.



I think putting speakers in a projector sounds a bit old fashioned these days and you make a good point about soundbars etc. but then you've got HDMI and cable issues to worry about.



Also, how much does it cost to put a speaker in a projector? I agree that it's part of the build cost that could be put to better things, but I genuinely have no idea how must cost it adds.
I would think if you're not relying on a set up sound system, you'd get much better sound from most portable speakers. I'd bet money any portable speaker around $100 or so would sound better than any built in speaker on a projector, and it could also be placed at the screen so the sound actually comes from the screen. Simple audio out from the projector does the trick even. Wouldn't even have to worry about hdmi. 3.5 or rca (depending on the pj would do the trick). Heck, the Marshall Acton I got for my mom sounds phenomenal. $99.

And I would imagine most speakers in a projector are cheap. 2 to 3". Probably cost a couple bucks if that. $10 for preamp/amp board. I'm sure the whole sound setup is at most $20-30. Heck, you can take a slave 3ch soundbar and for $150 connect a 3ch matrix surround amp. That's purely RCA/3.5mm. And you'd have a LCR up front and could even add a sub for 3.1. Funny enough, that's what I have in the bedroom and loving room. Atlantic tech in the bedroom and 3 in walls in the living room. Though I just repurposed an old Yamaha neo for the LR since it fit behind the TV.

Sometimes I wish I still sold this stuff. Don't think I'd let a customer walk out using the speakers on a projector. A 5 minute A/B comparison would solve that real quick.

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I thought the same thing. Sadly, I find myself less and less happy with the Epson 5050. I have had it for a week (replacing my BenQ 2050). I may just not be a Epson guy.

While watching movies, I cant help but see some ever so mild juddering that tends to give me a headache. I dont use FI as I dont enjoy the soap opera effect. The picture looks dang good, but its just this subtle judder that I cant get over. This is even more evident on a PC as there is a slight blur on small text. Drives me nuts.

I went back to my BenQ 2050 and was amazed that the judder (and my headache) went away. I began to really appreciate what BenQ did with the 2050. For having worse contrast and resolution, they werent dramatically worse on the BenQ. I'm likely returning the 5050 and going to try and get my hands on a 3550 or 5550. Think I am just a DLP guy.
How I agree with that. No headache issues, just dust bunnies galore on Epsons. I had to return several, including some that had dust blobs straight out of the box new. Exhausting.

It's the 3550 or 5550 for me too this year. I'm a DLP convert.
 

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I hear you on maintaining relevance in this market. And funny. If I'm going to the movies, I'm either seeing something in Imax or RPX or it better be dirt cheap. Otherwise I'm content watching it at home.

I honestly don't get why they put half the crap they do into $1500 and up projectors. I don't need a smart projector. I'm sure as hell not using it for built in sound. I just want it to be a dumb box that sends a great picture to my screen. That means I want the biggest chip and nicest lens that is financially feasible in my price range. And I want it to be as quiet as possible. If I have to sacrifice motorized controls, fine. At least make the manual ones smoother than something I'd find on my $300 LG.

I would think the vast majority of projector buyers feel the same way. You want cheap sound? Buy an hdmi soundbar. You want wireless and other frills then sell an add on module, but don't make me pay for it when I just care about the picture.

Some TV mfg's make pure displays that do nothing else but take an input. Why is this concept lost on many projectors?



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I feel the same way about preamp/processors. I'd be much happier with a 2U black box with HDMI switching, Dolby Atmos, test tones, robust DAC and 11.2 line and balanced outs. Instead, I have 1000 functions on my Marantz that I'll never use.
 

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I picked up an HT5550, but there's probably not much value in my opinion since it's my first projector. I don't have much experience at all in this space and no baseline for comparison apart from my television (Panasonic plasma). I certainly can't speak for how it compares to any other projector.

I really value the motion-handling of my plasma and was happy to see that the HT5550 handles motion beautifully. I've kept motion enhancements off for the most part, experimented a little with it set to low and had mixed results. I actually thought some 1080p content looked great with it on, but some unnatural, jerky movement seems to sneak up occassionally which is why I usually skip this feature.

Sharpness and colors are as good as I expected from everything that I'd read. I prefer natural tones to over-saturated colors and Cinema rec. 709/D. Cinema do a great job of reproducing those natural tones. I think the colors on D. Cinema are amazing, but I'm also trying to squeeze every drop of brightness that I can out of this projector, so I've been using Cinema Rec 709 a bit more often for SDR. My rookie mistake was to completely underestimate what "light-controlled room" meant.

The contrast/black levels are fine. I didn't expect them to match my plasma (they don't) and understand that I could get significantly better results from 3LCD or LCoS. I'm not speaking comparatively towards other projectors (because I can't), but as I've been settling in with this projector and this projector alone I was prepared to be overly critical and disappointed in terms of contrast after all that I'd read and I haven't been. I find it to be perfectly acceptable. One factor that I think helps is that I don't feel like I'm losing detail. There are scenes in certain shows where I fear I may be and I'll replay the same scene on my TV to compare and always find they match each other in visible shadow detail. When poor contrast results in lack of detail, that's where I think disappointment would set in for me.

Noise - It's really quiet in eco mode, very easy to tune out and forget it's there. I've used normal mode a bit and, although louder, it's not an offensive sound. I imagine acceptance in normal mode will vary from person to person and also depend on proximity to the projector, but I'm able to get wrapped up enough in a show that it doesn't bother me at all.

Dynamic Iris - This is probably where I have the most mixed feelings about the projector. When it's engaged and working smoothly it makes an appreciable difference. I don't want to turn it off, but unfortunately the jumps in brightness are sometimes too noticeable and also audible. I imagine it's normal that it clicks and grinds as it's engaged? There was a scene in Doom Patrol where the DI was a bit spastic and, while slightly annoying visually, I couldn't quit focusing on the constant clicking and grinding sounds coming from the projector. That was an extreme instance. Most of the time I just wish the algorithm could be better or we had some control over it. Maybe that can be updated in firmware?

Aside from that, I'm experiencing some minor occasional glitches while switching picture modes. It ranges from half the screen going black, to half the screen feeling like it's in a different color mode (maybe WCG only on half the screen?) to HDR mode not engaging. These glitches don't happen often, but they do happen - especially as I'm fiddling with settings so frequently at the moment as its all new. If nothing else, a reboot solves it. I don't know if that's just me paying the early adopter tax or what. If I had these issues with a similarly priced laptop or a TV I'd probably be apt to return it. Seems like some people are hanging onto theirs and waiting for firmware updates, though?

Overall, I'm really happy with picture that this projector produces. I'll probably reach out to BenQ to log the glitches and then see what happens.
 

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Are BenQ projectors always outstripped this badly after launch? Supply has been short and fleeting since the release, and you can only order the HT5550 from one retailer (B&H) and only as a "no returns, no cancellations" special order. I'm just curious 'cause I haven't really watched a projector launch that closely before. Does availability typically settle down after a month or two?
 

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Dynamic Iris - This is probably where I have the most mixed feelings about the projector. When it's engaged and working smoothly it makes an appreciable difference. I don't want to turn it off, but unfortunately the jumps in brightness are sometimes too noticeable and also audible. I imagine it's normal that it clicks and grinds as it's engaged? There was a scene in Doom Patrol where the DI was a bit spastic and, while slightly annoying visually, I couldn't quit focusing on the constant clicking and grinding sounds coming from the projector. That was an extreme instance. Most of the time I just wish the algorithm could be better or we had some control over it. Maybe that can be updated in firmware?

This is what i want to know.... i asked it earlier but no one answered.... i dont have the expeirnce with previous BenQ models to say or not but does BenQ have a good reputation for bringing out firmware for models several months old and updatign them ? Or do they bring a projector out and minimum firmware is released months later?


I did hear that BenQ are workign on a 2.35.1 firmware update. but its the Dynamic Iris that we all want imrpoved
 

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I feel the same way about preamp/processors. I'd be much happier with a 2U black box with HDMI switching, Dolby Atmos, test tones, robust DAC and 11.2 line and balanced outs. Instead, I have 1000 functions on my Marantz that I'll never use.
How do you like your Marantz? I literally just picked up a 7007 for under $300. No remote, but that's what the Harmony is for.

And yes. I went through a few different iterations of a simplistic setup for the LR & BR. Even picked up a cheap mini 5.1 decoder to play around with. One reason why I like my NAD receiver. No extra frills. Just good sound.

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Most of us on this forum are probably in the same position as you, I know I am. *But*, I only personally know 2 other people with a projector and they both rely on the built in speaker.
I wouldn't do it and you wouldn't do it but there is a demand.

I think putting speakers in a projector sounds a bit old fashioned these days and you make a good point about soundbars etc. but then you've got HDMI and cable issues to worry about.

Also, how much does it cost to put a speaker in a projector? I agree that it's part of the build cost that could be put to better things, but I genuinely have no idea how must cost it adds.
I use my PJ speakers all the time for watching the news and youtube channels, etc. For TV and movies I'll use my 5.1 sound system. If I had stereo speakers in the PJs I'd probably use them most TV shows as well.
 

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I use my PJ speakers all the time for watching the news and youtube channels, etc. For TV and movies I'll use my 5.1 sound system. If I had stereo speakers in the PJs I'd probably use them most TV shows as well.
So you don't have everything automated to turn on and setup? No Harmony or other macro remote setup?

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So you don't have everything automated to turn on and setup? No Harmony or other macro remote setup?

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No, I have to use a variety of remotes to get it all working. The simplest setup is using my HTPC for surfing the web since the HDMI audio goes direct to the PJ and it's speaker, which is fine for Youtube. Otherwise, if I want 5.1 sound, I run the TV tuner, BD, HTPC, audio outs to my amp and feed the HDMI to the PJ via a 4-1 switch.
 
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