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Review Contents
Performance
4
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
BenQ HT5550 Projector BenQ HT5550
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100000:1 Contrast Ratio
1800 Lumens
Full HD 3D
$2,499 Street Price

BenQ HT5550 4K DLP Projector Review

M. David Stone, May 24, 2019

BENQ HT5550 PROs
+ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution from pixel shifting with TI's .47-inch chip; supports HDR10 and HLG

+ Factory calibrated for a claimed color accuracy of less than 3 Delta E out of the box, and close to that in Cinema mode for Rec.709 in our tests

+ Substantial vertical and horizontal lens shift

BENQ HT5550 CONs
- 100% claimed (and confirmed) DCI-P3 coverage applies only to SDR content; coverage for HDR content is lower

- Input lag is too high for serious gamers

OUR TAKE ON THE BENQ HT5550
The BenQ HT5550 delivers what it promises, most notably a gorgeous, high resolution picture with 8.3 million pixels on screen and more accurate-than-typical color straight out of the box—particularly for 1080p, Rec.709 content.






The $2,499 BenQ HT5550 4K DLP projector is the single mid-tier model in BenQ's line of 4K UHD projectors, and the first the company has offered at this in-between price point in several years. It costs $1,000 more than the $1,499 BenQ HT3550 that falls below it (which we'll be reviewing shortly), but a whole lot less than the next models up—the $7,999 BenQ HT8060 and the $8,999 BenQ HT9060 (review also pending), projectors that are meant primarily for professional installation. For more modest budgets, the HT5550 delivers enough to justify the price bump from the HT3550 without jumping to a much higher price range.

BenQ-HT5550-front-top-800

At a rated 1,800 ANSI lumens, the HT5550 isn't quite as bright as the 2,000-lumen HT3550, but a 10% difference isn't enough to notice without a side-by-side comparison. Far more important is the HT5550's higher rated contrast ratio (100,000:1 dynamic vs. 30,000:1) and its additional setup flexibility. It offers a longer zoom range than the HT3550, a much larger vertical lens shift, and horizontal shift—the latter missing from the step-down model. In addition, the HT5550 is rated at 100% DCI-P3 coverage, compared with 95% for the HT3550.

Both models use a 6-segment RGBRGB color wheel and both use TI's .47-inch DLP chip, rather than the .66-inch version in BenQ's higher-cost UHD projectors. One other difference is that the less expensive HT3550 adds an onboard speaker, which can be useful if you want a projector you can take to the backyard for a movie night. However, that doesn't matter for a permanent setup, where you'll want an external sound system with any projector. (Both the HT3550 and HT5550 feature audio output jacks, both analog and optical, should they be required).

BenQ HT5550 Features

As noted, among the HT5550's key features are its 1,800 ANSI lumen brightness, its .47-inch DLP chip for 3840 x 2160 resolution with pixel shifting, and its six-segment RGBRGB color wheel. Also high on the list is its 100,000:1 contrast ratio with the Dynamic Iris on and its Wide Color Gamut (WCG) setting with a claimed 100% DCI-P3 coverage. (More nuanced detail on this later.)

Very much on the plus side, the 1.6x zoom offers significant flexibility in deciding how far to place the projector from the screen, allowing, for example, a throw range of about 10 to almost 16 feet for a 100-inch diagonal image. (Check the ProjectorCentral BenQ HT5550 projection calculator to determine throw distance options for your screen size.) The +/- 60% vertical lens shift is enough to give you the choice of mounting the projector inverted on a ceiling mount, placing it right side up on a medium-to-high bookshelf in the back of the room, or putting it on a table that's no lower than about 10% of the image height below the bottom of the screen. The +/- 23% horizontal shift also offers plenty of leeway for positioning the projector left or right of the screen's vertical centerline.

BenQ-HT5550-Top-800
BenQ-HT5550-lens-shift-controls-800

Here's a list of these and other key features of the BenQ HT5550:

  • 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) resolution with .47-inch DLP chip

  • Six-segment RGBRGB color wheel

  • Rated at 100% Rec.709 color gamut in Cinema mode with the Wide Color Gamut setting Off and 100% DCI-P3 in D. Cinema with it on

  • 1,800 ANSI lumen rating

  • 100,000:1 contrast ratio rating (full on/full off with dynamic iris on)

  • 11-element, 6-group, all glass 1.6x zoom lens

  • Substantial +/-60% vertical and +/-23% horizontal lens shift

  • Two 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2 ports

  • HDR10 and HLG HDR support

  • Four color preset modes and one user mode for SDR, plus one mode each for 3D, HDR10, and HLG.

  • Lockable ISF Night and Day mode support

  • Silence mode turns off pixel-shifting for quieter operation at 1080p resolution

  • Color management system offers settings for RGBCMY hue, saturation, and gain; white balance adjustments for RGB gain and offset

  • Five HDR brightness levels

  • BenQ CineMaster video processing includes options for color enhancement, flesh tones, detail enhancement, and frame interpolation.

  • Full HD 3D playback (DLP-Link glasses only, glasses not included)

  • Full size backlit remote with one-button access to key picture adjustments

  • 3-year warranty; 1 year on lamp

  • 245-watt lamp rated for 4,000 hours in Normal, 10,000 hours in Economic and SmartEco modes; replacement lamp 5J.JHN05.001, $149

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Performance, Conclusion
Review Contents: Introduction, Features Performance, Conclusion Connections, Measurements

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Comments (4) Post a Comment
Walter Posted May 24, 2019 10:16 PM PST
Pixel-shifting makes audible noise?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 25, 2019 11:46 AM PST
Walter, the 0.47-inch 4K DLP chip conducts a 4-phase pixel-shift of a 1920 x 1080 micromirror array to get all the pixels of a UHD signal up during the period of what a native UHD device puts up simultaneously. With this in mind, David Stone responds:



"It's the clatter of two million tiny mirrors doing four times as much work. Remember, these are mechanical movements, and turning off pixel shifting reduces the number of movements needed by a factor of 4. It doesn't change the volume a whole lot, but it changes sound quality, removing an overlay of a low pitch, quiet hum."
Paul C Posted May 25, 2019 5:11 PM PST
What speed is the colorwheel? I'm very sensitive to RBE and anything else than 5x is unworkable for me.
SimonBG Posted May 26, 2019 6:51 AM PST
Still waiting for $2500 true 3000 lumens projector for living room with somewhat controlled light. Actually, a 2000 lumens calibrated is all I need but for whatever reason such projectors are not common. Either they are marketed as 2000 and deliver 1000 calibrated or they are marketed as 3000 but not suitable for home theater.

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