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BenQ HT3550 vs. Epson Home Cinema 4010

Review Contents

Connections & Measurements

BenQ HT3550 Connections

• (2) HDMI 2.0b (both with HDCP 2.2)
• (1) USB Type A 3.0 (media reader and firmware upgrades)
• (1) USB Type A (power only)
• (1) USB Type Mini B (service only)
• (1) DC 12v trigger (3.5mm mini jack)
• (2) IR Receiver (Front/Top)
• (2) Audio out (3.5mm stereo mini Jack, S/PDIF optical)
• (1) RS-232 (D-sub 9 pin, male; for control)


Epson HC 4010 Connections

  • (2) HDMI 1.4 (one with HDCP 2.2)
  • (1) USB Type A (for optical HDMI cable 300 mA max. power supply only)
  • (1) USB (for wireless and firmware)
  • (1) Mini USB (service only)
  • (1) LAN (RJ-45)
  • (1) Computer/D-sub 15 pin
  • (1) RS-232c (D-sub 9-pin)
  • (1) Trigger out (3.5 mm mini-jack) 12 V DC, 200 mA maximum

Epson Home Cinema 4010 4K Enhanced Projector Connections

Brightness. Both projectors offer full power (Normal or High) and Economic (or ECO) modes. In addition, the 4010 offers a Medium power mode between the two. The measured ANSI lumens for each projector, using the full wide angle setting for the lens in both cases, was as follows for each combination of color mode and power level:

BenQ HT3550 ANSI Lumens

MODE Normal Economic
Bright 1575 1202
Vivid TV 708 541
Cinema (REC. 709) 785 599
D.Cinema 553 422
Silence 732 559

Epson Home Cinema 4010 ANSI Lumens

MODE High Medium ECO
Dynamic 2621 2088 1703
Bright Cinema 1704 1356 1108
Natural 1787 1422 1162
Cinema 904 723 588
B&W Cinema 1539 1225 1000
Digital Cinema 928 742 603

Other key measurements for each projector were as follows:

Measurement BenQ
HC 4010
Zoom Lens Light Loss 8% 26%
Brightness Uniformity (Wide Zoom) 63% 81%
Brightness Uniformity (Full Telephoto) 67% 81%
Lowered Measured Input Lag (4K) 47-51 ms Not Available
Lowered Measured Input Lag (1080p) 60-61 ms 28.4 ms

Note that the 4010 did not work with the Bodnar 4K lag tester's signal in our tests due to the limited bandwidth of the projector's HDMI inputs. Also note that the considerably higher zoom lens light loss registered by the Epson is commensurate with its much longer zoom capability.

Fan Noise. BenQ rates the HT3550's Normal mode at 30 dB and Economic at 28 dB. Epson's rating for the HC 4010 is 31 dB in High Power mode and 20 dB in ECO. As the ratings suggest, both of the HT3550's modes as well as the HC 4010's High mode were loud enough to hear from anywhere in a small room in quiet moments. The HC 4010's Mid and Eco modes were barely audible in a quiet room.

BenQ and Epson both recommend using High Altitude mode at roughly 5,000 feet and above (4,921 feet for BenQ). If you need to use the High Altitude mode with either of the HT3550's power settings or with the HC 4010's High setting, you might want to consider some form of acoustic isolation. Alternatively for the HC 4010, the 2.1x zoom lens may let you mount the projector farther away from viewers if the room is large enough.

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Features, Image Comparisons, Conclusion
Review Contents: Features, Image Comparisons, Conclusion Connections, Measurements
Comments (12) Post a Comment
Duncan Posted Aug 25, 2019 2:29 PM PST
The HT3550 can use a 120hz mode for 1080p gaming. It should have about 1/2 the lag.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 25, 2019 2:35 PM PST
Thanks, Duncan. Unfortunately, we're stuck with the 1080p/60 signal generated internally by the Bodnar 1080p lag meter, so we have no way of verifying any improvement in lag that a 120Hz signal might impart.
kurtis Posted Aug 26, 2019 12:29 PM PST
I've owned the 4010 since last October (b-day present for myself) and I couldn't be happier. The motorized zoom and lens shift was not that important at the time of purchase, but boy does it come in handy. It really is a great feature for installation flexibility, and allows you to get your nose right up to the screen when dialing in the focus. I upgraded from an Epson 3500 to the LG HU80KA, but was not that impressed with the image quality of the LG, for $3k, so I switched back to Epson right when the 4010 was being released and haven't looked back. The image quality and contrast are amazing for the price.

For the casual user like myself, this is a safe bet, especially for the $1800 price tag. I've got the bug now, and am wondering how much better the new 5050UB could be.

Honest review from a real person. Thank you projector central!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 26, 2019 1:05 PM PST
Thanks for the comments, Kurtis. The obvious meaningful difference between the 4010 and 5050UB is the UltraBlack technology that significantly lowers the black floor and improves contrast, but it's a difference that you'll mostly see on darker content and most certainly a difference that would be largely lost for anything other than dark-room viewing. We do have a direct comparison of the 4010 and 5050UB in the works to help readers delineate the differences; that should be out soon.

David S Posted Aug 27, 2019 12:47 PM PST
Hi Rob, welcome to projector central and M. David, thanks for this thoughtful face-off. I would like to say that we get lots of info on lower priced pixel shifting projectors, but I would like a little more attention paid to the next tier. I'm interested in reviews/comparisons of the JVC RS540 ($4K 4k-e-shift), Sony VW295ES ($5K 4k-true), and the JVC RS1000 ($6K 4K-true). There's been virtually no attention paid by journalists on the RS1000 and I would find a face off with that and the previous-gen e-shift JVC fascinating. RS1000 vs VW295ES would also seem to a huge benefit to those in this mid-tier market. (current setup: 5-year old BenQ HT1075 + 180" screen in dark theater)
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 27, 2019 1:40 PM PST
David, I've been using the DLA-X790 (RS540 equivalent) in my own theater since purchasing one late last year and expect to issue a review at some point. We've also reviewed the Sony already, and we have a review of the JVC DLA-NX7 (RS2000) being completed right now and which will include some comments on its image against the X790. If we can eventually move on to a sample of the NX5 (RS1000)we'll have the opportunity to look at those together, though our sample of the Sony 295 has long been returned and it's not likely we'll get to see that side by side with anything else.
John Vance Posted Aug 29, 2019 2:01 PM PST
Thank you for the additional information regarding both projectors as they are on my short list. No one seems to mention convergence issues due to panel misalignment. Is that a thing of the past? What about "dust blobs"? I gave up on 3 panel projectors due to these issues and have been just using DLP as "rainbow effect" has gotten better or I am not as sensitive to it.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 29, 2019 3:46 PM PST
John, most of these three panel projectors come out of the factory fairly well converged, but I've yet to test one lately that does not have the facilities to bring them perfectly in line, something that usually doesn't have to be done more than once, or once in a blue moon. As for dust blobs, I've not seen this in any of the recent 3-chippers I've tested, nor has David reported seeing anything.
Matt Dixon Posted Aug 30, 2019 2:18 PM PST
Looking at your throw calculator, the 4010 looks to be roughly 3x brighter than the 3550 at both projectors widest angle projection. Is that accurate given that there's only a 400 lumen difference? Such a stark difference doesn't come across in the review, but I've been dissatisfied with the 3550's performance in moderate lighting and am trying to figure out how much brighter the 4010/5050UB would be.
ROLAND LATAILLE Posted Sep 13, 2019 4:46 AM PST
I currently have a Panasonic AE8000U at 16ft with a 138 inch wide image. Moving to a smaller home and room that the projector will only be 13ft so, only the 3550 can do a 138 inch wide image. Plus 3D will probably be better with the 3550.
Hassaan Posted Sep 17, 2019 12:54 PM PST

The lumen numbers you have provided for each projector, are these based on lux readings taken from the lens, or are they based on reflected light readings off the screen?

Thank you,

Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 17, 2019 12:55 PM PST
Hassaan, all the reported numbers in our reviews are standardized ANSI lumen measurements taken into the lens from screen distance. The image size is used in conjunction with the lux reading to establish the lumen count. So the screen surface or reflectivity does not come into play at all, only the arbitrary image size used to take the measurement, which is then accounted for.

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