So within a week, we have a second announcement from Costa Mesa-based BenQ America Corp., but this one really could be a game-changer. The CineHome HT2550 DLP projector offers home theater enthusiasts 4K UHD HDR capability with what the company claims is “incredible value”.

With a true 8.3 megapixel 4K resolution, the projector boasts 96% of Rec .709 CinematicColor technology, and projection-optimized HDR for what BenQ states is “stunning true-to-life image quality”.

According to Lars Yoder, President, BenQ America Corp., “Homeowners today want to replicate the magic of the big-screen 4K digital cinema at home. The HT2550 makes that possible, delivering striking 4K resolution for spectacular movie nights. Engineered with advanced audio and video enhancements and HDR capabilities, it’s an incredible value for the finest home cinema experience.”

The incorporated 0.47″ single DMD chip DLP technology helps minimize the projector’s profile, and ensures a sleek footprint ideal for modern lifestyles, while also delivering a pure 4K-optimized optical system which, assures BenQ, allows for a color accuracy minus “the artifacts that plague LCD projectors”.

Sporting HDR10 support, HDCP 2.2 copy protection, 2,200 ANSI lumens, and a host of proprietary features, including motion-adaptive pixel enhancement, the company’s own “sophisticated color algorithms”, and CinemaMaster Video+ and CinemaMaster Audio+ techs, giving modest-sized homes the benefits of “world-class cinemas”.

Setup is expected to be a speedy exercise with the HT2550’s auto keystone correction and powerful 1.2X big zoom. Additionally, the PJ can take an HDMI dongle for instant streaming from usual suspects, including Google Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

But the real showstopper is the $2,000 price tag, drawing 4K UHD HDR projection quality within reach of mere mortals. Were we expecting price drops of this magnitude so soon into the game? The proof will be in the pudding when HTF gets round to reviewing the beast, but this news from BenQ looks decidedly promising for the home popcorn brigade.

Available in North America January 2018.

 

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Martin Dew

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FoxyMulder

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A projector using the new 0.47 chip, jury is still out on that and only 96% of Rec.709 and as for true 4K, also debatable.

On a more positive note, nice to see prices dropping.
 
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Dave Upton

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A projector using the new 0.47 chip, jury is still out on that and only 96% of Rec.709 and as for true 4K, also debatable.

On a more positive note, nice to see prices dropping.
I don't consider any of the DLP solutions 4K, more like FauxK - but it's still an improvement on 1080p. The real issue with DLP now is contrast levels, they're just abysmal.
 

FoxyMulder

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I don't consider any of the DLP solutions 4K, more like FauxK - but it's still an improvement on 1080p. The real issue with DLP now is contrast levels, they're just abysmal.
Absolutely agree with you regarding the contrast levels, I would have liked to have seen Texas Instruments address this but they have not and likely never will, DLP produces nice images but it needs contrast and better black levels, just five times better native would be a good start.
 

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I don't consider any of the DLP solutions 4K, more like FauxK - but it's still an improvement on 1080p. The real issue with DLP now is contrast levels, they're just abysmal.
You have to remember that a 4K projector at this price point isn't aiming for the enthusiast crowd who have deep pockets. I'd need to see it in action, but it appears to be quite intriguing, for the price. The average person must be buying more projectors these days, as I even saw them for sale at Walmart, touting their use in a home theater. Mind you, these were absolutely terrible ones that touted 1080p (compatible) in large letters whilst having a native resolution of around 800x600 that is written in fine print, on display in a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory, with a sign on the door saying, "Beware of the Leopard!"
 

FoxyMulder

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This projector is having to shift pixels four times to create the 4K, not the usual two times of the other DLP projectors, it remains to be seen how effective this is and whether it creates any issues.
 

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Has my interest and yeah remains to be seen how effective this is at black levels. I owned a decent BENQ before and it performs well above the price. Sony & JVC have stronger contrast no doubt but $2K? Wow.
 

John Dirk

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This is an interesting product as it seems to be appealing to those who want "affordable 4K" right now, a demographic I would think to be pretty small. In my view those who want 4K today or in the near future are, by definition, knowledgeable early adopters and will probably do their homework and decide to wait for prices to drop on non-compromise models like the Sony VPL-VW285ES. Those who truly want it now will probably not blink at the current price point of the Sony. At the end of the day, $2,000 is still a lot of money for the vast majority of us, regardless of our passion for our hobby. I don't know when I'll take the 4K plunge but when I do it will have to be full 4K.
 

Brian Kidd

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This is an interesting product as it seems to be appealing to those who want "affordable 4K" right now, a demographic I would think to be pretty small.
I don't know, not to go back to Walmart, but they sure are pushing 4K TV's right now. People don't understand that they really won't get any benefit out of a 48" 4K television. They just see bigger numbers and assume it has to be better. Hey, if it helps get more films released on UHD and bring down prices, I'm all for it. I can't afford to upgrade right now, so hopefully it won't end up being a situation like 3D where, by the time I was able to afford a new set, 3D had been abandoned except on the crazy expensive TV's. I can't really afford a really nice projector, so I missed the train. 4K seems to be fairing pretty well.
 

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allows for a color accuracy minus "the artifacts that plague LCD projectors".
If they're gonna take a shot at another projector brand or style, it would be nice if they could specify the problem they see with LCD, and what specifically their projector does that's better by comparison. I have an LCD projector and don't notice any artifacts when viewing it. There very well may be artifacts with some LCD projectors (I don't know firsthand, but I can believe that not every bit of technology is infallible) but it would be nice if BenQ could cite something more than a playground-style taunt.
 

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If they're gonna take a shot at another projector brand or style, it would be nice if they could specify the problem they see with LCD, and what specifically their projector does that's better by comparison. I have an LCD projector and don't notice any artifacts when viewing it.
I agree. I have the Panasonic PT-AE8000U and it produces stellar images. I'm not saying there aren't artifacts but at what point do they become significant?
 

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I agree. I have the Panasonic PT-AE8000U and it produces stellar images. I'm not saying there aren't artifacts but at what point do they become significant?
I just think it would be more useful for the prospective customer - and even though I already have a projector, I'm the guy that all of my friends and acquaintances ask about this stuff, and I try to stay informed so I can give a better answer than "Uhh, I like what I have at home" - to give a concrete example.

To make something up for the sake of providing example, instead of saying "BenQ uses DLP which is great, instead of LCD which kinda sucks," say, "The BenQ uses a kind of technology which produces colorful images without any banding, which can be a more common occurance in LCD." (I have no idea if that's actually true, but just as an example quote.) That gives me, as the potential customer, some information to work with. Identify what the specific problem is with other types of projectors, and then mention specifically what yours does differently to avoid that problem. That's the kind of thing that can interest me as a potential customer.
 

John Dirk

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I don't know, not to go back to Walmart, but they sure are pushing 4K TV's right now. People don't understand that they really won't get any benefit out of a 48" 4K television. They just see bigger numbers and assume it has to be better. Hey, if it helps get more films released on UHD and bring down prices, I'm all for it. I can't afford to upgrade right now, so hopefully it won't end up being a situation like 3D where, by the time I was able to afford a new set, 3D had been abandoned except on the crazy expensive TV's. I can't really afford a really nice projector, so I missed the train. 4K seems to be fairing pretty well.
Brian - That's my point, exactly. The Wal-Mart crowd is not the demographic that will plunk down $2000.00 on a projector. With respect to BenQ, those who can afford to do so will likely be savvy enough to know better than to opt for this one. I would love to take the 4K plunge at this price point but I've been burned on compromise products before. For the time being, my Panny PT-AE8000U is still earning it's keep in grand fashion.

I am also all for advancing the standard as I believe true 4K is a worthy entry into the marketplace and not just a gimmick to enhance TV sales. That said, the price point will need to settle a little more before I'll be coming on board.
 

DaveF

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I'm looking forward to hearing how this performs. This is the first true 4k projector under $5000 that I've heard of. The Sony 285 is $5000. The other projectors in the sub-$5k range are all temporally dithered pseudo-4k devices.
 

John Dirk

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I just think it would be more useful for the prospective customer - and even though I already have a projector, I'm the guy that all of my friends and acquaintances ask about this stuff, and I try to stay informed so I can give a better answer than "Uhh, I like what I have at home" - to give a concrete example.
Agreed. The general pros and cons of DLP vs LCD are well documented. If this projector had anything to offer that generally fixed DLP's known flaws [placement flexibility, rainbow effect, etc.] it would be revolutionary.
 
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