We’re becoming familiar with 4K TVs, but so far, there are fewer choices when it comes to 4K video projectors for home theatre use. Now BenQ has released a 4K video projector that not only promises top quality video, but a compact portable size and easy to use interface that allows you to add smart streaming components too. Not to mention it costs a lot less than its current competition.
Reviewing BenQ 4K home theatre projector
The BenQ CineHome 4K UHD HDR Home Theatre Projector uses higher resolution than typical HD projectors. Need a primer on what 4K is and why it’s better? Read more here.
Suffice to sat the images in 4K tend to be sharper, much more detailed and highly realistic. They are also more colourful and show truer colour representation and more natural gradation than HD.
Projectors can be a good idea if you want a portable set up, or a configuration you can adjust from room to room; you can increase or decrease the image size just by changing the placement of the projector.
Setting up BenQ CineHome 4K UHD HDR Home Theatre Projector
There’s not much set up to speak of when it comes to setting up this 4K projector. You plug in the power, pop the batteries into the remote, then connect your 4K video source of choice; things like a 4K Apple TV or a Roku Ultra 4K streamer. (You’ll need to have your own HDMI cable because the projector does not come with one.)
Powering up takes time
Once everything is connected you power on. This process took a little longer than I thought it needed to. I timed it a few times and it would take about 30-35 seconds before the lamp would come on and display the BenQ logo. Then it was nearly another 20-30 seconds until the set up menu or content came on, totaling a full minute before I was ready to watch. That’s a heck of a lot longer than it takes to boot up most TVs today. It’s not a big deal, I guess, but something to be aware of, since I initially thought something was wrong with the projector.
A quick note about my particular test set up. I do not own a projector screen and couldn’t get one for this review. Believe it or not, I also don’t have a decent expanse of white wall in my home. The best I could do to watch videos on this projector was to hang a tablecloth over a blue wall, steam the wrinkles out of it as best I could, and use that. If you’re going to go so far as to get this kind of high end home theatre projector, make sure your budget includes some funds for a proper projection screen. Or just go ahead and paint a wall using flat white paint. Even so, as you’ll see I was quite surprised at the quality of video I got.
You’ll make a variety of selections during the set up process on screen. You’ll start by selecting where your projector is positioned in your room; from ‘front table top’, to ‘front ceiling’, or if it’s behind the screen, or on the rear, ceiling-mounted. You’ll choose your language, then whether or not the projector should automatically seek your input sources. I chose this option and it took about six seconds for it to find my Roku Ultra TV streaming device.
Using BenQ CineHome 4K UHD HDR Home Theatre Projector
Once I loaded up some video I was quickly pleasantly surprised at the video quality. Even projected onto my tablecloth, the detail and sharpness was very evident. The picture was bright, clear and beautiful.
Testing on white cloth and blue walls
I put on an array of 4K TV shows from Netflix and YouTube and found them to be ultra sharp and clear. I also watched videos both on my temporary white tablecloth screen, and on the blue wall in my family room. Not surprisingly I found I could see the best detail when the video was projected on the wall. And even though the wall is a pretty bright blue, I didn’t notice that the colours were off by a lot. You can probably thank the brightness of the BenQ projector and the HDR support for true, deep colours in the video image.
The picture is quite bright and startlingly detailed and realistic, even projected onto my cotton tablecloth. I was very impressed at just how good it looked despite the makeshift set up.
Lighting conditions and BenQ 4K projector
In bright or dark conditions, the video stayed bright and detailled. Of course in a fully dark room the Benq projector’s video looks its best, but even with the lights on full or dimmed by half in my tests, it was still a strong, bright, watchable video picture. I was very surprised and impressed.
Distracting fan noise?
The fan on the BenQ 4K video projector is quite quiet, but it makes a rather strange noise. You don’t hear airflow so much as a low resonant buzz. It’s not that distracting and shouldn’t be a problem.
Built-in Speaker output?
Even the speaker that comes built-in to the projector is pretty decent. It’s quite loud and fairly clear. Even so, you’ll definitely want dedicated speakers for this since you’re going to be enjoying amazing 4K video, but if you can’t get them immediately, you’ll still have decent audio.
Helpfully the BenQ 4K projector comes with a remote control and onboard buttons.
Image size: big, bigger, biggest
The BenQ 4K projector has a throw ratio of 1.47 – 1.76 with a 100″ screen size at 3.25m. I was able to get a wall-filling image that took up an entire wall in my family room, and it was still bright, crisp and detailled.
Connecting components to BenQ 4K projector
The BenQ 4K projector has plenty of ways for you to connect peripherals. There’s two HDMI ports (including one HDCP 2.2), a PC/data connector and an RS-232 data hook up, audio input/output, a Mini-B USB and a Type A USB port, a 12V trigger.
Overall thoughts: BenQ CineHome 4K UHD HDR Home Theatre Projector
I only had a couple of days with this device, but overall watching videos on the BenQ 4K video projector was great. It was easy to set up and to use, the fan was ultra quiet, the built in speaker was just fine and the overall image and video quality was outstanding. If I had one complaint about the projector it’s how long it takes to power up and get going. Even so, that’s a minor downside.
I’d definitely recommend this projector if you’re looking for a new 4K projector for home theatre use.