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BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Review

Most of my BenQ projector evaluations are of compact DLP fashions that pack numerous efficiency into a small, moveable, package deal.

Nevertheless it makes some extra critical residence theater models too. You’ve already read my critiques of the high-end HT9050 and HT9060 shows. At the moment, I’m testing a projector that occupies the center floor between these and the HT3550, it’s the HT5550. Part of the CinePrime line, it provides Ultra HD resolution, HDR, and DCI-P3 shade; one of many first value-priced DLPs to render that bigger gamut. It also consists of an auto-iris, one other rarity in this phase. I’m wanting ahead to checking it out because it breaks some new floor in the phase and still checks in at the affordable worth of $2499.

Highlights

BENQ CINEPRIME HT5550 ULTRA HD DLP PROJECTOR

  • True 4K decision from a single-chip DLP/XPR mild engine
  • 1800 ANSI lumens
  • Beneficiant lens shift and zoom for flexible set up
  • BenQ HDR-PRO projector HDR with HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma help
  • DCI-P3 shade gamut
  • Manufacturing unit-certified calibration

Introduction

Last yr, I coated BenQ’s HT2550 Ultra HD Projector which was, and still is, one of many least-expensive Ultra HD projectors out there. It delivered a supremely sharp image with wonderful accuracy and help for HDR. However one thing was missing, an prolonged colour gamut. For 2019, BenQ has launched two new DLP models that cover a goodly portion of that expanded specification, the HT3550 and HT5550 which is my evaluation topic at the moment. Both models are a part of BenQ’s CinePrime line of reasonably priced, high-performance residence theater projectors.

The HT5550 provides a couple of more options than the HT3550, primarily in the design of its lens. It sports activities a beneficiant 60% vertical shift and a 1.6x zoom vary which makes it better-suited to everlasting house theater installations than the HT3550. That mannequin is more applicable for coffee tables or as a transportable show. Inside though, the hardware is far the same. You get BenQ’s True 4K resolution with 3840×2160 addressable pixels along with HDR-PRO, projector-optimized HDR with help for HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma, and DCI-P3 shade. Let’s take a better look.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Specs

Sort:

single-chip DLP w/XPR

Native resolution:

1920×1080 shifted to 3840×2160, 16:9 facet ratio

Shade gamut:

Rec.709 and DCI-P3

HDR:

HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma

Lens shift:

+/-60% vertical, +/-23% horizontal

Mild supply:

UHP lamp, 245 watts

Mild output (mfr):

1800 ANSI lumens

Lamp service life:

four,000-15,000 hours

Video connections:

2x HDMI 2.0b w/HDCP 2.2

Audio connections:

1x 3.5mm out, 1x TOSLink out

Further connections:

1x RS232, 1x IR in, 1x 12v trigger, 3x USB, 1x RJ45

Dimensions:

19.four” x 6.6” x 13.7” (WxHxD)

Guarantee:

three years, 180 days lamp

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Design

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector

The CinePrime HT5550 is in the category of Ultra HD DLP projectors that starts with a 1920×1080-pixel single-chip DLP mild engine. XPR know-how shifts the pixels successfully quadrupling the decision. The function is turned on for all alerts except 3D which continues to be shown in 1920×1080. After reviewing many pixel-shifted projectors of the DLP, LCD, and LCoS selection, I have come to regard DLP as one of the best start line for this know-how. That single chip, combined with a super-fast response, makes it ideally suited to this optical trickery.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Lens

The HT5550’s lens is an all-glass, low-dispersion design which makes probably the most of its 1800 ANSI lumens and factory-certified shade accuracy. The package deal features a calibration knowledge sheet displaying measurements for each SDR and HDR alerts. Speaking of the latter, BenQ addresses the restrictions of projector know-how with a function referred to as HDR-PRO. This makes the a lot of the HT5550’s dynamic vary to supply a superb HDR impact. You’ll still see the easiest HDR on an OLED flat panel TV however within the projector world, it doesn’t get a lot better than BenQ’s carefully-engineered strategy.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Top

The HT5550 is definitely distinguished from the HT3550 by its giant black case. Though it is comparatively mild, it is extra substantial than the moveable fashions BenQ is understood for. The lens is center-mounted with giant rings to adjust focus and zoom. Shift control dials are up prime, and all changes are very exact. Tweaking image geometry and place only takes a few minutes. With plus-or-minus 60% vertical shift, you possibly can place the projector just about anyplace in relation to the display. And a 1.6x zoom vary accommodates quite a lot of projection distances. There are few rooms the place you possibly can’t make this display work with display sizes as much as 300 inches diagonal.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Side

On the proper aspect is a big exhaust port which homes a really quiet fan. There is a bit of sunshine leakage right here however not enough to trigger points in a completely darkish surroundings. An excellent bit of warmth comes from it although, so that you’ll need to give the HT5550 loads of room to breathe.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Inputs

Around back, you’ll discover a well-stocked connection panel. There are two HDMI 2.0b ports with HDCP 2.2. It’s also possible to use the USB ports to stream media and energy related units. There are not any built-in audio system however a 3.5mm output jack can feed stereo sound to an exterior amp or powered audio system. Management ports embrace RS-232, IR in, and a 12v set off output. Also on this panel are primary menu and supply selection controls.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Remote

The remote is a nice-sized black handset with a smooth orange backlight that comes on with the press of any button. On the prime are discrete energy keys followed by keystone and menu navigation. On the decrease half are direct-access controls for many picture controls like image mode, brightness & distinction, iris, and lots of others.

BenQ is likely one of the few manufacturers left that supports 3D content material. You need to use any aftermarket DLP-Link glasses with the HT5550. I used a pair from Xpand in my testing. Mild output is a bit low for really impactful 3D, but crosstalk artifacts are non-existent.

Setup

Because the HT5550 provides plenty of lens shift, I set it up on a stand behind my seating for a throw distance of round 12 ft. This allowed me to middle the lens on the display which uses the lowest attainable offset, thereby delivering maximum output and sharpness. I prevented the keystone control as it reduces decision if used in even the smallest measure. The exact zoom and focus rings had my Stewart Filmscreen Studiotek 130 crammed with an ideal image briefly order.

Both HDMI inputs are version 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and are full bandwidth, able to receiving Ultra HD alerts up to 60Hz and 10-bits. I did all my viewing with an OPPO UDP-203 and testing with an Accupel sample generator. For HDR checks, I used an HD Fury Integral simulate HDR10 content.

The menu system is identical one found in BenQ’s current and recent fashions. The picture controls are all within the first sub-menu, logically organized. There are five picture modes with the default being Cinema Rec.709 for SDR alerts. HDR material switches the HT5550 into its single HDR preset which is absolutely adjustable, unbiased of the SDR modes.

I created a consumer mode based mostly on Cinema to perform the calibration. This took all of five minutes as the projector is almost spot-on out of the field for SDR content. A number of tweaks of the RGB sliders and a change to the gamma preset gave me nice check results and an excellent image. A observe concerning the Sensible Shade function – for SDR, it’s greatest to go away it off. For HDR, I acquired better results with it turned on. The HDR calibration took a bit of more work however it was straightforward to dial in wonderful grayscale monitoring.

When viewing HDR content, you possibly can alter the HT5550’s brightness with a control referred to as appropriately, HDR Brightness. It raises or lowers the complete luminance curve to raised adapt to totally different content material. Most material seems advantageous on the center zero setting. However a number of titles benefitted from the +1 and +2 settings. You’ll be able to increase or lower the output two steps in each course.

In case you are a 3D film fan, that mode may also be independently calibrated. Mild output is somewhat weak for really good 3D but there are not any artifacts and the impact is pretty good.

In Use

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Movies

Till 8K becomes a thing, I doubt any video will exceed the quality of Planet Earth II in Ultra HD. It takes the usual to its peak with wealthy shade, razor-sharp detail, and contrast that simply defies straightforward description. Watching the Grasslands episode on the HT5550 was a revelation of wonderful element and texture. One sequence exhibits a tiny area mouse navigating by way of a forest of crops in search of meals. Seeing this creature enlarged to four ft across in entrance of me is a tremendous experience. Every whisker stands out as a person component. The golden-brown colour of its fur radiated behind a shiny purple nostril. I can’t imagine a greater option to study our planet than this. The Cities episode was a terrific check of black ranges which appeared impressive. It’s not fairly as deep as the most effective LCoS projectors I’ve seen however it’s startlingly shut. Contrast just isn’t a problem right here; any viewer can be glad.

Avengers Infinity Struggle is a cornucopia of colour and distinction. From the robust metallic pink of Ironman’s go well with to the Hulk’s deep inexperienced flesh, vivid tones abound. Detail is all the time on the forefront with no obvious clipping in the brightest and darkest elements of the picture. This film is filled with quick motion and flying objects and they’re rendered with out blur, regardless of how speedy issues get. Motion like that is DLP’s forte for positive.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Movies

Aquaman additionally has some impressively colourful scenes, especially as Arthur and Mera journey to the kingdom of Atlantis. There are numerous lovely creatures glowing towards a darkish backdrop that nearly reminded me of the Pandora panorama from Avatar. BenQ has accomplished an outstanding job of maximizing the HT5550’s distinction capability with HDR materials. You gained’t mistake it for a premium OLED panel, nevertheless it seems higher than just about any projector displaying SDR content material.

For a trip back to 1987, I watched my new copy of Bumblebee. It’s an awesome reboot of the franchise and properly value watching. Its journey back in time is portrayed in numerous warm vintage tones with lovely reds, oranges, and yellows. Shade all the time seemed pure with simply the suitable pop to brilliant highlights and loads of shadow detail. The textures of the totally different robots additionally seemed incredibly real looking. Weathered metallic and dirty glass seemed so good, I might have touched the display and are available away with soiled fingers.

On The Bench

To check the BenQ HT5550’s shade accuracy, I measured from the lens with an X-Rite i1 Professional spectrophotometer fitted with a diffuser attachment. Luminance readings have been taken with a Spectracal C6 tri-stimulus colorimeter dealing with a 92” diagonal Stewart Filmscreen Luminesse with Studiotek 130 materials, achieve 1.three, from a 10-foot distance. Patterns have been generated by an Accupel DVG-5000 and controlled with CalMAN, version 5.9.

SDR Grayscale & Gamma Monitoring

The HT5550 features a manufacturing unit calibration knowledge sheet and for Rec.709 alerts, it meets the printed measurements. An SDR calibration will yield a small achieve however it’s not essential to take pleasure in a particularly correct image.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Grayscale and Gamma Tracking Pre-calibration

Within the default Cinema mode, with Sensible Colour turned off, the HT5550 tracks a D65 grayscale virtually perfectly. There’s a small anomaly at 10% brightness however it’s very exhausting to see. Gamma is just a tad mild in the 10-40% range however that too is a particularly small error. With a mean error of just 1.792dE, there isn’t any real want for calibration right here.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Grayscale and Gamma Tracking Post-calibration

I tweaked the RGB positive aspects and altered the gamma preset from 2.2 to 2.three which took grayscale and gamma tracking from wonderful to near-perfect. Now, all errors are under 3dE with all but 10 and 20% under the 2dE line. Gamma continues to be a shade mild at 10 and 20% however the rest of the vary is nearly perfectly at 2.2. Now the typical error is simply .8107dE. It doesn’t get a lot better than this.

SDR Shade Gamut & Luminance

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Color Gamut and Luminance Pre-calibration

Measuring the HT5550’s default gamut and luminance, there’s even much less justification for calibration. A mean error of 1.4795dE is best than many professional shows that value excess of this projector. The one thing I need to fix right here is the 100% saturation level of the magenta secondary. Every different measurement is inside or in touch with the 1dE box.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Color Gamut and Luminance Post-calibration

I made a couple of small modifications in the CMS and acquired almost the same end result because the pre-calibration gamut. The typical error is a tad lower however invisibly so. I’m happier with the magenta hue at 100% however truthfully, the adjustments have been made extra to satisfy ego than any actual want for enchancment. The HT5550 is a reference-quality display with SDR materials.

HDR Luminance and Colour Gamuts

To simulate an HDR10 sign, I added an HD Fury Integral into the sign path. It creates the right tone map to permit HDR measurements utilizing CalMAN’s particular workflow. The HT5550 allows for a full and unbiased HDR calibration with two-point grayscale, HDR brightness, and colour management controls.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector HDR Grayscale and EOTF Tracking Pre-calibration

In HDR mode, Sensible Colour has a constructive impact, so I left it on for all of the checks. The first chart exhibits grayscale and EOTF tracking without another changes. Broad Shade Gamut is on which locations a filter in the mild path. Tracking is OK as much as 35% the place things turn into a bit too cool. The clip point is at 50% the place the HT5550 makes a gentle transition. This is part of BenQ’s distinctive strategy to projector HDR which they name HDR-PRO. It creates a strong HDR impact with deep blacks and powerful highlights regardless that projectors by nature don’t have the dynamic vary of a flat panel. The top outcome is an effective one.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector HDR Grayscale and EOTF Tracking Post-calibration

Again, it solely took me a number of minor tweaks of the RGB positive factors to improve monitoring sufficient to hide the errors from view. 50% brightness appears warm on the chart, but I couldn’t see the error in check patterns or in precise content. This is wonderful performance.

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector HDR DCI-P3 Within Rec.2020

Sensible Colour helps tighten up gamut saturation monitoring for all colours. The HT5550 hits a lot of the internal targets but falls a bit brief within the purple and inexperienced primaries. Magenta is a bit too purple as nicely. I didn’t have enough management range to repair this error. Whereas the gamut is bigger than Rec.709, it doesn’t quite hit the complete DCI-P3 spec.

Video Processing

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector Video Processing

To see below-black and above-white info, you will need to set HDMI Vary to full in the OSD. It will require a recalibration of the brightness and distinction sliders. I most popular to use the HT5550’s full dynamic vary and clip the out-of-range material. RGB alerts will present the absolute best resolution as my element format exams confirmed roll-off of the one-pixel chroma burst patterns. For these still watching DVDs and interlaced content material, the projector fails each the two:2 (video) and 3:2 (movie) checks. The 24p cadence is processed appropriately with frames repeated four occasions for a 96Hz refresh. The jaggies check was wonderful with the near-perfect rendering of the sailing ship clip. No anti-aliasing or edge enhancement was visible. To avoid artifacts, one should set the Pixel Enhancer 4K slider within the Cinema Grasp menu to zero.

Mild Output & Contrast

All luminance values are expressed right here in nits, also called candelas per sq. meter (cd/m2). For those needing a frame of reference, 1fL equals three.43 nits, or 1 nit equals .29fL.

The HT5550 places out enough mild to fill a good-sized display in a big theater. On my 92-inch Stewart, I saw 117.2936 nits peak, .1736 nit black, and a local contrast ratio of 675.5:1 after calibration. This is with out the iris engaged and the bulb on Normal brightness.

Using the iris makes a huge effect on the dynamic vary. With no other changes, peak output is 100.9582 nits with .027 nit black, and a contrast ratio of 3733.eight:1. For those who’d quite use SmartEco as an alternative of the iris, the values are 115.41 nits peak, .0809 nit black, and 1426.5:1 distinction.

Maximum output comes from the Vibrant image mode the place you’ll see 186.3182 nits peak, .0339 nit black, and 5488.eight:1 distinction. Don’t be tempted by this high ratio. It comes at the expense of serious detail clipping in both highlight and shadow areas.

In HDR mode, the height output is 106.7733 nits with a black degree of .0252 nit and 4241:1 contrast. 3D alerts measured via the glasses yield 13.2458 nits peak, .0048 nit black, and 2766.9:1 contrast. That is with the iris engaged and bulb on Regular energy. 3D crosstalk is a scant .02%, utterly invisible.

Conclusions

BenQ CinePrime HT5550 Ultra HD DLP Projector

For $2499, the BENQ CINEPRIME HT5550 gives efficiency and options similar to rather more expensive projectors. Its DLP clarity and motion processing are superior to three-chip LCD and LCoS designs.

Likes

  • Clear, vibrant picture
  • Wonderful distinction with the auto-iris engaged
  • Correct Rec.709 shade
  • Strong build high quality
  • Plenty of lens shift and zoom for flexible set up

Would Like To See

  • Larger DCI-P3 shade gamut
  • Brighter 3D

I have but to satisfy a BenQ projector I didn’t like. Their DLP shows supply a few of the greatest worth/efficiency ratios within the enterprise. The CinePrime HT5550 is a, nicely, prime example of this. For $2499, you get a DLP projector with excellent clarity that rivals any native 4K mannequin and beats them handily when issues get shifting on display. Sluggish digital camera pans are the stuff of present demos but when one sits down to observe an actual film, DLP retains issues blur-free higher than LCD or LCoS, regardless of how many pixels there are behind the lens.

This is nothing new for BenQ; what is new nevertheless is the HT5550’s wider colour gamut and improved HDR. I enjoyed larger perceived contrast with Ultra HD discs than I did when watching them on the HT2550. And the extended shade makes a real impression on the presentation. It comes up just a little in need of spec within the purple and green primaries but truthfully, I didn’t discover this to be a serious flaw. In the event you’re contemplating upgrading your HT2550, the HT5550 may be value contemplating.

Comparisons to the new HT3550 are inevitable. Primarily, the two projectors are the identical apart from the lens. The HT5550 provides more shift and zoom making it more suitable to be used in a dedicated residence theater. While the HT3550 can fill that position, its shorter throw and smaller shift make it extra applicable for casual setups the place one may put the projector on a espresso table. For my surroundings, I’d select the HT5550.

BenQ’s DLPs get better and better with every new model. The CinePrime HT5550 continues that evolution and receives my highest suggestion.