The BenQ HT3050 is the closest thing to a movie theater experience we’ve had with any projector that costs less than a thousand bucks. It’s easy to believe it’s impossible to get that kind of experience from the comfort of your home without spending a fortune, but this projector proves that’s not true. With the help of a great home theater projector, like the BenQ HT3050, you absolutely can get that experience and without breaking the bank.
Who It’s For
If you’re the type of person who loves movies of all types and who has a great movie collection at home you want the best possible way to watch them. If you love going to the theater but don’t want to spend all that money (or want to do it in your favorite comfy clothes and with all your own free snacks) then you’re the right person for this home theater system. For those who watch very few at-home movies or who find that movies on their TV are sufficient you may not reap the value of this home theater projector (or any other).
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Things to know about the BenQ HT3050
If you’re looking for a great home theater projector you want something that’s going to give you great benefits and that’s really going to make your experience as awesome as possible. If you’re going to make an investment in the BenQ HT3050, you’ll want to know what’s different about it. Here’s a list for you:
High quality images
One of the best features of this project is that it gives you some great quality with 1080p. It has strong colors because of the wide color palette and 100% Rec. 709 that’s offered. This gives you a total of 15,000: 1 contrast. Not only that but it offers sharpness and brightness to top it all off. What that means is you’re going to feel just like you’re watching on a high quality TV or like you’re watching in the theater (or even better). You shouldn’t have to sacrifice in order to get the great image that you’re looking for.
Very few things are worse than having to listen to a noisy projector while trying to enjoy a movie with friends/family. A lot of projectors can be extremely loud and that most definitely takes away from your movie watching. With this particular projector you don’t have to worry about that because it’s considered ‘whisper quiet.’ That means you’ll barely even realize that it’s doing anything (other than the movie projected on the wall, that is).
Low heat emission
Another drawback that many projectors have is that they emit a large amount of heat while you’re using them. That means that if you’re sitting too close you could get overheated. You also might have to worry about damage to anything near the projector or about getting the room too warm if you’re watching multiple movies.
This projector doesn’t let out that kind of heat emission, which means you won’t have to worry about anything getting too warm. You’ll be able to keep watching as many movies as you want and still stay comfortable at the same time.
Visible in lit spaces
This is a subtle benefit of the BenQ HT3050 but, in our experience, the pictures looked amazing even when we had the lights on. Projectors have evolved very slowly on this front but this projector seems to have nailed it.
Another subtle benefit but you might be surprised to find out how many (expensive) projectors have a volume control issue. The volume is something that can either make or break your entertainment experience.
You want to be able to hear the movie that you’re watching and that means you need something with good volume control and volume options. Luckily, the BenQ HT3050 projector absolutely provides that. You’ll be able to turn the volume up as loud as you could possibly need it. Then, you’ll be able to turn it right back down again when you’re trying to keep the young ones sleeping at nap time or keep the neighbors from being bothered when you’re watching anything early (or late).
Several HDMI inputs
Being able to connect anything that you want directly to your projector makes it a lot easier for you to watch whatever you want and to get the right volume and quality as well. You can connect your videos in different ways and you can even connect external speakers if you want even better quality or different types of volume. No matter what you’re looking for you’ll be able to connect it here, especially with the added features of those HDMI ports. One is even MHL enabled so you can connect your mobile device to your projector to show even more videos.
Large ‘screen’ size
With the BenQ HT3050 projector you’ll be able to get a total ‘screen’ size that’s large enough to really feel like you’re in the middle of your favorite theater. From just 8.4’ you’ll get an image that’s up to 100” in total size and you’ll have a diagonal screen size of 60” to 180”, depending on the overall size you’re looking for.
Easy to use
When it comes to setting up your projector you want to get it done and over with so you can just get on with life, right? Well, that’s not a problem with this system because it’s designed to give you ease of use.
It will only take a few minutes for you to set up the system with the video you want to watch and start playing. That way there’s no learning curve and there’s no need to worry about anyone else using the system either. It’s going to be simple enough that you may even be able to get the young ones using it in no time.
It’s always great when you can cut your expenses down and help the environment while you’re at it. There’s another area where the BenQ HT3050 soars. It’s able to give you up to 7,000 hours of lamp life and offers an auto standby mode. That means if you do stop watching or the machine is idle for too long it actually turns itself to stand-by and makes sure that you’re not using as much power. And all of this through the smart eco technology within the device.
Pros & Cons
So, with all those different features just what should you know? What should you be considering before you decide if this is the right system for you? Well, there are a number of things to think about, but we’re going to go over some of the great things and some of the not-so-great things. That way, you’ll be making the right choice for you and your family. After all, we don’t want you getting a system that’s not going to work for your needs.
There are definitely a lot of great features that you’re going to like with this product as well as a few not-so-great ones that you might want to at least consider before you dive in. Just take a minute to review the features we talked about above as well as the pros and cons we have listed here. You might see something that really makes the decision for you (like maybe the high quality colors or the quiet fan) or something that really pushes you the other way (like the slightly longer input lag or the higher price point to some of the other options out there).
- 2200 lumens is higher than older versions
- Dual 10W speakers vs. mono 10W speakers in older versions
- MHL enabled HDMI port
- Option for wireless module addition
- Calibrated to Rec 709 standards
- Offers horizontal and vertical digital keystones
- Brushed gold front bezel for style
- Offers cinematic color palettes
- 100” image provided from small format
- 60” – 180” diagonal screen size
- Quietist fan in the class
- Smart Eco technology
- Lamp lasts up to 7,000 hours
- Reputable brand product
- 1 year parts and labor warranty
- 8.1 lbs. total weight is heavier than older versions
- Slightly longer input lag than previous versions at 49.7 ms vs. 33.1 ms
- High price point comparative to similar options
- No sleep timer available
- Does not work as well in pitch dark spaces
- Large overall size for projector
- Built-in speakers can be tinny
- Replacements bulbs are expensive
Okay, so let’s say you’re not sure about this projector. Maybe it just doesn’t seem like the right fit for you or it doesn’t seem like the features are what you’re really looking for. Don’t feel discouraged. You’re not out of luck entirely. There are actually plenty of other options out there.
In fact, there are hundreds and maybe even thousands of different projectors that can be a great pick for your needs. Let’s take a look at a few of options and maybe you’ll find something else that will work for you.
Epson Home Cinema 2150
This Epson Home Cinema 2150 is slightly lower in price than the BenQ HT3050 (though not much) and it does have some other great features. It’s able to give you up to 132” diagonal of screen space and it gives you extremely high contrast for great quality. You’ll also have wireless screen mirroring and you can stream content, including through the MHL enabled port. All of this makes it a great option with some really great fixtures. You’ll even have a simple installation and setup process to go along with it.
On the other hand, you’ll find that the normal mode of power does make a bit of noise and you’ll get a lot of hot air blowing out of the vent when you have it going. You’ll also notice that this projector doesn’t have quite the clarity of colors that you’ll get with some other projectors, so you might have some areas that are a little washed out and you may also have a little bit of a problem with the speakers that are built into the unit. These can be a little lower quality and you may want to add your own instead.
Listed among the best budget 1080p projectors, the Optoma HD27 system offers extremely quick input response when you connect it to your gaming console or a high performance PC. That means you shouldn’t have a problem streaming your games. You’ll also have up to 15,000 hours of life to the lamp and you’ll have extremely high quality brightness. Add in the wide range of different colors supported and the clarity of those colors and your game play is going to be better than ever, especially since it connects to just about any gaming console, PC, media player or mobile device.
When you’re running this system all the way at full power you may find that the fan is a bit loud, but it’s not going to detract too much from your game play. It also has a few less customization options than you might want as a hardcore gamer. You only get a single HDR setting and a bit of banding and rainbow effect, but overall you’re going to have a lot of benefits.
If you’re looking for a gaming option rather than a standard movie play option you’ll find a lot of great features here. You can check out our full Optoma HD27 review here.
If you’re looking to really get top of the line you may want to amp up to the BenQ TK800. While some might consider this projector to be leaning towards the pricey side, it comes with some of the absolute best features that you could ask for, including the best possible colors no matter what the lighting in your environment. You’ll have 3 million pixels, which give you 4k UHD image quality and you’re going to have a lightweight and super simple system, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring it out. Add in dedicated channels for different types of viewing and you’re going to have about everything you could possibly want.
On the other side of things, you’re only going to have limited HDR support and you won’t have any SPDIF output. You also won’t have horizontal keystone adjustments or lens shifts. There’s also a border around the outside if you aren’t careful about adjusting your screen size to overfill the screen. You’ll also notice that there’s a bit of noise when it’s running, though this is usually drowned out by the sound of the video that you’re watching itself.
Although we haven’t tested the Vankyo V600 yet, we feel comfortable listing it as an alternative based on our research and the words of several credible sources.
This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 1080p option to get you started with projectors for your videos and games. It offers a good amount of brightness and the lamp is designed to last approximately 7,000 hours. On top of that you’ll have 2 HDMI ports and one of them is considered a premium audio, which connects to streaming devices and mobile devices as well.
The drawbacks here are that this device only gives you a contrast ratio of 5,000:1 and can be a little heavier than others (though not too much). It’s also only able to use digital zoom with no optical options. The fan is quite loud on this one and you’ll notice that focus and the keystone adjustments are going to be relatively basic. On top of that, there’s no way to reorient for rear projection or ceiling mounting other than flipping the device itself around, which can be a bit difficult for some. Still, you’ll have a good budget option that can get the job done and give you good quality overall.
Overall, there are a number of different projectors out there and while the BenQ HT3050 may not be for everyone, it’s definitely a great option to consider. It offers great quality to the picture, a large image and some excellent color variation. Not only that but you’ll get the quietest fan available in the market and eco technology. You’ll just have to counter the price and the fact that there’s no sleep timer. So it’s going to be up to you whether you want this one or one of our top alternatives.