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BenQ HT3050 Projector BenQ HT3050
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15000:1 Contrast Ratio
2000 Lumens
Full HD 3D
$987 Street Price
$1,399 MSRP

BenQ HT3050 and HT2050
Projector Review

Evan Powell, October 30, 2015
The BenQ HT3050 is one of three new full HD 1080p resolution home theater projectors being released by BenQ this fall. Priced at $999, it is the middle option, being a step up from the HT2050 at $799, and flanked on the high side by the HT4050 at $1,399. Since the HT3050 and HT2050 are the same basic projector with some noteworthy variances, this review will focus on the relative merits of these two models. We will address the HT4050, which is a different projector altogether, in a different review.

HT3050 vs. HT2050: The Differences

The HT3050 and HT2050 are built on the same platform, but they each have unique characteristics, as follows:

1. The HT3050 Cinema mode is more carefully calibrated to target Rec 709 standards while the HT2050's Cinema mode is not.

2. On the HT3050, one of the HDMI ports is MHL enabled. The HT2050 does not have this feature. The HT3050 also has the option to add a wireless module that uses a third HDMI port inside the case. This port is also MHL-enabled. The wireless module will be available for $399 beginning in January, 2016.

3. The 3050 has dual 10W speakers for much more robust onboard stereo audio; the 2050 has only one mono 10W speaker.

4. The 3050 has horizontal and vertical digital keystone adjustments, the 2050 has vertical keystone only.

5. The 3050 is a bit heavier at 8.1 lbs vs. 7.3 lbs for the 2050.

6. The 3050 has a brushed gold front bezel, and the 2050 is brushed silver.

7. The HT2050 is rated at 2200 lumens vs. the HT3050's 2000 lumens, a difference of no practical consequence.

8. We measure 49.7 ms input lag on the HT3050 and 33.1 ms on the HT2050.

As you consider this list of differences, you may see reasons to spend the extra $200, or you may not. These are both solid and attractive projectors for the money, but they are designed to address the needs of different types of buyers.

BenQ HT3050

Review Contents: HT3050 vs HT2050 Picture Quality Key Features Performance
  Set Up Limitations and Conclusion

Reader Comments(19 comments)

Posted Mar 13, 2016 11:46:57 AM

By Dave

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I purchased a $500 projector for a 96 inch wide screen and the picture was not as crisp as I wanted so I bought the HT 2050. The picture clarity is exceptional and it has many more connection options than the cheaper projector I bought and returned. Am very pleased I made the upgrade.

Posted Feb 26, 2016 8:05:07 PM

By Flomo

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Does 3D work in keystone on the 2050?

Posted Feb 26, 2016 1:57:09 AM

By Raul B

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I just upgraded my W1070 to HT3050 and I am happy.For those wondering if it is worth the extra 200 dollars yes it is and more to like such as the onboard speakers. Mine is hooked up to a bose surround but with the on board speakers it is a lot more.Then the picture, cinematic colors are terrific and sharpness and brightness is absolutely a step up from the w1070. This is also quieter.I still have to try the 3D.

Posted Jan 7, 2016 7:47:34 AM

By danny92

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You can use Samsung RF glasses with Epson 2040 series of projectors, as about the Benq I'm not sure.

Posted Jan 4, 2016 3:59:25 PM

By Edgar

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I have the ht1085st been using it for just about a year now and I am still amazed of how clear the picture quality is looks just as good as my Samsung smart tv just a lot bigger. Fan noise is no big thing for me I've never even heard the Damn things. And the speakers I would prefer they remove them and make them a tad cheaper or just add some better options or extra bulb instead or something. But over all in love with it I can just imagine how.nice these newer ones are.

Posted Jan 3, 2016 10:48:37 AM

By Brian

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Also - can you clarify if the 2050 and 3050 Benq and if the Epson 2040 / 2045 can use Samsung 3D glasses number SSG-5150GB 3D active glasses and SSG5100 and SSG4100GB?? Obviously buying glasses again increases price a lot and we all should be aware.. Thank you.

Posted Jan 3, 2016 6:29:14 AM

By Brian

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Dear all, I am a typical consumer and after many hours of research I have 3 projectors in mind: Benq 2050 (lens shift with dlp and upgrade to 3050 if features desired) versus the Benq 1085 ST versus the epson 2040 (led and upgrade to 2045 if desired) versus Epson 1040 (only because smaller - only 3 1/4 inch!!! Tall) . My issue is how to decide based on the performance on these key characteristics:

1) best picture when watching with artificial ambient light (for gaming and football games I can't ask people to sit in the dark!) 2) small profile on my 7' ceilings . Nit that due to lack of lnse shift on epsons they will point down off the ceiling by 1.5 " 3) short throw ratio - trade off to size of projector. ( I understand the 1085 would also be to point down as my

My screen is small only a 67 or 70 " wide screen (~84" diagonal at 16:9) and I will hang the projector on the ceiling with home made to get as low profile as possible . I consider this a real world test of these reviews and looking for help!! Thank you and all comments welcome

Posted Dec 14, 2015 9:38:50 AM

By Evan Powell, Editor

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J M ... yes the 3050 and 2050 both have the same zoom and vertical lens shift. With respect to fan noise, the 2050 is relatively quiet in both full lamp and eco mode, but the fan noise is the same in either mode. Fan noise does not drop when you put it into eco mode, as it does on many projectors. The Epson 2040, when in eco mode, is virtually identical in fan noise to the 2050 in both pitch and volume. The Epson 2040 is louder in normal, or full lamp power, but quite a bit brighter as well, especially in 3D.

Posted Dec 13, 2015 11:29:53 AM

By J_M

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"The HT3050 has a 1.3x manual zoom and some limited vertical lens shift as opposed to none."

Evan, Doesn't the HT2050 also have 1.3 manual zoom and vertical lens shift? The statement in the article is slightly confusing making it sound like only the HT3050 does. Can you confirm that the 2050 also has it?

Fan noise between the HT2050 and Epson 2040, in ECO which is quieter and lower pitch? In their brightest (nosiest) mode of the two which is quieter?

Thank you for all the great reviews! Love the site!

Posted Nov 29, 2015 12:32:19 PM

By Joel

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Does anyone know if the benq ht 3050 has a built in media player? I want to be able to plug my external hard drive into projector and stream content like I am able to do with my lg smart tv. I can not find any info on this if someone knows the answer I would greatly appreciate it

Posted Nov 27, 2015 8:47:22 AM

By nck

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Can anyone please list the difference between 1075 and 2050 and 3050

Posted Nov 8, 2015 9:35:36 AM

By Felix Pimentel

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At this time there are no plans to release an ST model based on this platform. That is not to say it will not happen, just no plans for it at this time.

Posted Nov 6, 2015 5:53:56 AM

By Jowhar

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Yes. Just as I was about to finalize HT1075, I came across the two new ones, HT2050 & HT3050. So, can a comparison be made between the old one the 2 new ones?

Posted Nov 4, 2015 6:27:18 PM

By DavidK442

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Thanks for the review, but the burning question: How does the HT3050 compare to the HT1075? Similar sharpness & uniformity with slightly improved color but a reduction in "best mode" light output? Any increase in contrast?

Posted Nov 3, 2015 8:16:59 AM

By Laurie Peters

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I have a Benq projector from the previous generation (W1500) so based on my 1.5 years of using it I'd highly recommend either of these two newer projectors.

Some notes:

- the on-board audio is better than nothing so for outdoor usage it might work but otherwise I find it sounds pretty bad so I avoid it - the vertical adjustment and the zoom are very important if you're not using a fixed installation (e.g. mount the projector on a coffee table to watch a movie and then put the projector away when finished) - the optional wireless connection can be a lifesaver in temporary installations of the projector (see above), when you don't want kids or others to trip over the HDMI cable connected to the projector; in my case the connection worked great with minimal adaptations to improve the reception - I used a short HDMI extension cable when connecting the wireless transmitter to my home theater's video output - the fan noise is something that may be important to you, depending on where you install the projector and on how sensitive you are about that noise; in my case I had the projector installed just 3 feet behind me and the noise was barely noticeable when using the projector's ECO mode - this class of projectors is great for most people but, of course, they have limitations with challenging conditions such as very dark scenes - there are very good reasons why other projectors are much bigger, much heavier and much more expensive! - if this is your first projector please read a bit about the display environment - mostly common sense stuff about avoiding white walls and/or too much ambient light in the projection room - for a better experience


Posted Oct 31, 2015 11:21:14 PM

By Roons

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Evan, thanks for the review. I note you said in the Projector News and Industry Commentary Post "we will move to a shootout of the BenQ models...the Epson Home Cinema 2040, and the Optoma HD28DSE".

Obviously this is certainly very important. However, is it also possible to gain some critical commentary on how the HT2050 & HT3050 specifically perform relative to the W1070 After the popularity of the W1070 over the last few years its now useful for many to compare the new against the W1070 landmark projector and measure whether an upgrade is now justifiable?

Posted Oct 31, 2015 5:12:12 PM

By Paul Rumohr

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Ummm, black levels? Or is that not something you guys look at any more?

Posted Oct 31, 2015 7:36:49 AM

By Carl

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Can you comment on how the brightness uniformity of the BenQ W1070 compares to the BenQ HT2050 ?

Posted Oct 30, 2015 1:59:27 PM

By Speqtre

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Any indication that BenQ will release a new ST model based on these newer PJs?

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