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Review Contents
Ease of Use
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

Connections & Measurements

Connections. Along with a pair of HDMI 2.0b ports, both equipped with HDCP 2.2 copyright management for protected UHD content, the HT5550 includes two USB ports suitable for playing files from a flash drive and, unusually, both analog and optical audio outputs to service an outboard audio system directly from the projector.

• (2) HDMI 2.0b (both with HDCP 2.2)
• (1) USB Type A (5V/2.5A power only)
• (1) USB Type A 2.0 (media reader and firmware upgrades)
• (1) USB Type A 3.0 (media reader and firmware upgrades)
• (1) USB Type Mini B (for firmware upgrades)
• (2) Audio out (3.5mm mini jack; S/PDIF optical)
• (1) LAN (RJ-45, 10BaseT, 100BaseTX; for control only)
• (1) RS-232 (D-sub 9 pin, male; for control)
• (1) DC 12v trigger (3.5mm mini jack)
• (2) IR Receiver (Front/Top)
• (1) Wired Remote in (3.5mm mini Jack)


Brightness. I measured the HT5550's brightest mode at 1,634 ANSI lumens, a solid 91% of its rated 1,800 lumens. With the HT5550's 1.6x zoom lens set to its widest angle setting, the measured ANSI lumens for each color mode in Normal (full power) and Economic modes was as follows:

BenQ HT5550 ANSI Lumens

MODE Normal Economic
Bright 1634 1113
Vivid TV 1226 835
Cinema (REC. 709) 899 612
D.Cinema 622 424
Silence 1184 769

The color brightness for the Cinema and D. Cinema modes are both well over 90% of the white brightness, which is one of the reasons they both offer high color accuracy right out of the box. However, none of the modes has color brightness any lower than 78% of white brightness, which is still high enough to have only a minor effect, if any, on color accuracy.

Most people would consider the Vivid TV mode quite usable. At 1,226 lumens, it's bright enough for a 100-inch 1.0 gain screen in moderate ambient light. Bright mode—as with the brightest modes in most projectors—had a green bias, which is annoyingly obvious in black and white clips, and noticeable in color clips. However, many would consider it usable on an occasional basis in, say, a family room with lots of light during the day time. Silence mode may be attractive to those who are particularly bothered by noise, despite the drop in resolution to 1080p. It also has a slight green bias straight out of the box, though much less so than Bright mode.

Zoom Lens Light Loss. At the full telephoto setting, the loss of light compared with the full wide angle setting is 15%, which is well within the typical range for a 1.6x zoom lens. It's not enough to be concerned about for most installations, but it is enough that you should be aware of it. For Cinema mode's 899 lumens at the full wide angle setting, for example, the SMPTE recommendation for a 12 to 22 ft-L brightness for a dark room translates to a 117- to 158-inch diagonal, 1.0 gain screen. The 765 lumens at the full telephoto setting translates to a largely overlapping range of 108- to 146-inches diagonal.

Brightness Uniformity. The measured brightness uniformity for the HT5550 was 84% at the wide angle end of the range and a nearly identical 83% at the telephoto end. The brightness difference was subtle enough to be visible on a solid white screen as being slightly dimmer in the upper and lower right corners, but I never saw any difference with real-world content.

Input Lag. The input lag at 1080p, as reported by a Bodnar lag tester, ranges between 60 and 65 ms with frame interpolation off, depending on the mode, and jumps to a little over 80 ms with it on. Serious gamers will consider this sluggish, but more casual gamers may find it acceptable. At 4K, our 4K Bodnar tester reported even longer lags, at 88 to 91 ms with frame interpolation off depending on the mode, and 130 ms and higher with it on, depending on both the mode and the frame interpolation setting.

Fan Noise. BenQ rates Normal mode at 32dB and Economic at 26dB. Both can be heard from anywhere in a small to medium size room during quiet moments, but both are the kind of steady sound that tends to fade into the background. With either Normal or Economic lamp modes, Silence mode didn't lower volume by enough to make much difference. High Altitude mode, which BenQ recommends at 4,129 feet and above, is loud enough that you'll probably want to apply some form of acoustic isolation.

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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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