BenQ HT4550i review

Home theatre projectors are great if you want to bring the movie theatre experience home and you have the space for a screen. I’ve always wondered how a projector would look in my home, but I was a bit skeptical that the brightness, colour, and contrast could go head to head with a TV. Now that I have tested out a few 4K projectors, I have definitely seen the light. I set up the BenQ HT4550i 4K home cinema projector and my family spent hours upon hours watching movies and shows. The picture quality on the BenQ HT4550i is absolutely fantastic, and it delivers an incredibly immersive viewing experience.

Features of the BenQ HT4550i projector

BenQ 4K projector review

The BenQ HT4550i is a 4K home theatre projector with 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness. It’s a long throw DLP projector that uses a 4LED light source. The projector includes a dongle to access Android TV as well as two remotes—one to control the projector and the other to control Android TV. It can project a maximum screen size of 200 inches and a minimum screen size of 60 inches and it can be placed on a stand or mounted on your ceiling.

  • 16:9 aspect ratio, 30-bit colour depth, and 4K Ultra HD resolution offer realistic picture quality and colour reproduction
  • Picture modes include 3D, Bright Cinema, Cinema, Filmmaker Mode, Filmmaker Mode HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, ISF Day, ISF Night, and User
  • New HDR10+ technology adjusts and enhances details in bright and dark areas
  • Advanced colour temperature tuning and CinematicColor super-wide 100% DCI-P3 and 100% Rec.709 colour space for the most authentic colour reproduction
  • HDR-Pro technology, Local Contrast Enhancer, and Tone Mapping brighten images and increase detail in dark movies or games
  • Integrated 5W speaker
  • Three HDMI 2 inputs, USB input, media reader, and Wi-Fi compatible
  • 2D lens shift and 1.3x zoom let you customize your image for the room
  • Android TV dongle and has Netflix pre-loaded
  • 30,000-hour lamp life

Setting up the BenQ HT4550i projector

BenQ dongle HT4550i projector

Setting up the BenQ HT4550i was pretty easy. Before you plug in the projector and turn it on you’ll want to insert the Android dongle inside the device. To do so you’ll use a screwdriver to remove a small case on the back of the projector.

Once you’ve added the dongle you can turn the projector on and you’ll be walked through setting it up. It uses the Android operating system so it’s an easy set up process for anyone with a Google account. I just logged in and it walked me through adding my favourite apps. There are two remote controls included with the BenQ HT4550i. You’ll pair them together for seamless use, and once you do you’ll be ready to watch your desired content.

For me, the longest part of the set up process was centering the image on my 100 inch screen. You can use the 2D keystone as well as the focus and zoom dials on the top of the projector. I found it was easy to centre it, but I had a bit of the image spill over the edges of the screen because of where I had the projector placed. I liked how you can use the vertical and horizontal zoom to centre the projector as that’s a lot easier than picking it up and moving it around the room.

Testing BenQ HT4550i 4K projector

While 1080p projectors have been the standard for awhile, 4K projectors are moving into the mainstream. They now have the tech to really compete with the latest TVs, with sharp 4K resolution, wider viewing angles, and spectacular colour. After previously testing out the BenQ TK860i 4K projector I was prepared for the picture quality and vibrant colour of a 4K projector, but I can see why the BenQ HT4550i is considered as an option for a high end home theatre. I think this projector is the perfect choice for anyone who considers themselves a cinephile or someone who wants to upgrade their home theatre. It’s one of the best of the best, and when you do a deep dive into the tech built into it you can tell it was designed to reproduce the most authentic colour and picture quality possible.

Picture quality on BenQ HT4550i

BenQ review

For optimal viewing, I always had the curtains drawn in my living room. While I found that this projector produced the best image quality and contrast at night when the room was dark and there was no ambient light, it looks great during the day too.

Watching movies on the BenQ HT4550i 4K projector was a unique experience. We had a 100 inch screen set up in the spot we normally have our TV, and we placed the projector about 8 feet away from the screen. Even in that temporary set up, the picture quality produced by the HT4550i was stunning. I watched so much on it that it got to the point where I had a sore neck from tilting my head back to look up at the screen, but it was worth it. I can only image what it would look like if I had it mounted on the ceiling and used a proper screen.

There’s a lot of tech built into this projector including HDR-Pro technology, HDR Tone Mapping, Leading Local Contrast Enhancer, and Dynamic Black. It also has Cinematic Colour reproduction and advanced colour temperature. Paired with the ultra-bright 4LED lamp, it’s a projector that can produce spectacular detail for movies, extremely vibrant colour, and it can even dip into those deep blacks and bright whites that make up parts of images.

I watched quite a few Marvel movies with this projector and you can really see the contrast enhancer and tone mapping at work. The dark areas were deep and inky black, and the white areas were bright. There was no bleed through or grey cast and it was very realistic when the blacks and whites made up part of an object in the movie. For example, when Peter Parker is wearing the red and black costume in one scene, the red was rich and bright while the black was deep and dark. The only time I found that black took on a grey cast was during the day when the room wasn’t quite as dark. I was watching one night scene and there were stars in the sky, and while the stars stood out, the corners of the screen had a grey tone instead of black. It could have also been due to a bit of light coming through my curtains too.

The HDR technology on this projector really enhances tiny details. When there was colour on the screen it was very bright and very natural. It was never too bright or too harsh to look at. There was one scene in the movie where the screen was all white, and the entire room lit up like it was daylight. It was almost blinding it was so bright.

What’s really nice about the BenQ HT4550i is how you don’t have to adjust the advanced settings or tweak the colour settings to enjoy watching. It’s fine tuned right out of the box, and the built-in default settings are more than enough for a good viewing experience of all types of movies. You can switch between the different picture modes to find one that’s right for your room.

Gaming on BenQ HT4550i projector

BenQ side profile

While not necessarily a gaming projector, the speed and image quality of the BenQ HT4550i make it fantastic for gaming. I always think the best way to test HDR is to load a dark game like Red Dead Redemption. We plugged in our PS5 to one of the HDMI ports and it walked us through customizing HDR for the screen. The BenQ HT4550i supports HDR10+ and has 17.9ms input lag at 4K/60Hz, and the colour and image quality paired with the massive screen size makes gaming on it really immersive. Even the darkest areas of the picture were crisp and defined, colours were bright, and details were very sharp. There was no delay or motion issues when playing online or locally stored games either. My sons took over the room for a few hours every day and they confirmed that every game looked great and played well on the BenQ HT4550i.

Sound quality on BenQ HT4550i 4K projector

BenQ remotes

The BenQ HT4550i has a 5W speaker on board. While that’s not a huge speaker, the projector does have very good sound quality. Dialogue is clear, and when you turn up the volume it can get loud without distorting voices, sound effects, or background music. There are also sound presets you can use when you’re watching movies or gaming. While the projector doesn’t need to be adjusted for picture quality, I do recommend you play a bit with the sound settings. Going into the advanced menu and choosing cinema mode made a real difference when we were watching movies.

While I thought the sound quality was very good for a projector, if you’d like your audio to match your picture quality I recommend plugging in a sound bar or home theatre speakers. This is the type of projector that can provide the image quality that will make you feel like you’re at the movies, and an upgraded sound system will give you audio support to match that.

Should you choose the BenQ HT4550i 4K home theatre projector?

BenQ home theatre projector review

It’s hard to adequately describe the image quality produced by this projector. It would look at home set up in one of those old Hollywood themed projector rooms complete with theatre seats and a red velvet curtain. This is the projector I would choose if I had room for a space like that in my house. The BenQ HT4550i 4K projector is a great choice for anyone who wants the best of the best.

It’s a high end projector that makes every movie look better on screen. The colour, contrast, and detail are stunning, and watching movies with it was like seeing them for the first time. I’m so glad I opted to watch Antman and the Wasp: Quantumania for the first time on this projector. It was better than seeing it at the theatre, and even movies I’ve seen a few times look better at home with the BenQ HT4550i.

The only thing lacking on this projector is a bit of a boost in the audio department. Although it’s loud and clear enough for day to day viewing, I would think this projector would be unstoppable when paired with a Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround sound bar or receiver and home theatre speakers.

You can find the BenQ HT4550i 4K projector at Best Buy right now.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag

1 COMMENT

  1. The BenQ HT4550i 4K would be amazing. We often have movie night and currentlty, do so on a 43 in LED television that we’ve had for yeard. We also borrow, or rent projectors for Halloween, when we rear project Halloween movies from inside our garage onto a make shift screen mounted in place of the garage door. It would be great to have our own projector that would serve both purposes

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