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.