Mon. May 29th, 2023

In terms of reviewing the follow-up to an awesome product, I want I used to be educated sufficient about sports activities to provide you with the proper sports activities metaphor. “Again-to-back championships are onerous,” or one thing like that. Or perhaps there is not any connection between the 2 in any respect as, typically, an organization improves its choices yearly till some huge shift occurs that places it behind — just like the transfer to 4K, for instance. Then it both makes a leap itself, or disappears. BenQ has been in an attention-grabbing place: I reviewed the corporate’s HT2050A HD projector in 2020 and cherished it. It was already over 2 years outdated at that time. By the point we final gave it an Editors’ Selection award, it had been out for 5 years. That is an eternity in tech, however such was the energy of that glorious little projector.

Enter the long-awaited alternative, the HT2060, with some critical footwear to fill. It nonetheless sports activities 1080p decision and has roughly the identical lumen score. The case is modernized, classy-looking and extra boxy. Correctly on BenQ’s half, it has stored the HT2050A’s lens shift, nonetheless a rarity amongst single-chip DLP projectors. The most important change is the transfer to an LED gentle supply as a substitute of a lamp. 

LikeExcellent, lifelike colorDecent distinction ratioVertical lens shift

Do not LikeBrightness is slightly averageA little dear for 1080p

The projector market is not practically as fast-moving as TVs, say, however there have been some notable developments for the reason that HT2050A first arrived. Most notable of the notables, final 12 months Epson launched the HC2350 with 4K decision. Initially far dearer than the outdated HT2050A, its value has fallen sufficient that it is now practically the identical value as this 1080p HT2060. Has BenQ waited too lengthy to launch a follow-up? Has the market moved on? If you have not already skipped forward, the reply could shock you.

By the numbers

Decision: 1080pHDR-compatible: Yes4K-compatible: Yes3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 2,300Zoom: 1.3xLens shift: Vertical +10percentLamp life: 20,000~30,000 hours (LED)

The HT2060 carries over plenty of the options from the HT2050A: each are 1080p, have a 1.3x zoom and a small vertical lens shift of +10%. These doohickies could not appear vital, however they’re much more than most DLP projectors on this value vary, which have zero. Whereas the HT2060 can settle for a 4K sign, it does downconvert it to 1080p.

The lumen spec is simply barely larger than the HT2050A’s 2,200. I might have preferred to have seen a much bigger leap right here, particularly with different projectors of comparable costs providing way more, although lumen specs are a tough estimate anyway. I measured 985 within the Dwelling Room mode and solely barely much less within the extremely correct Filmmaker mode. I obtained a decent 1,794 within the Shiny mode, although the latter was visibly inexperienced and probably not one thing you’d use regularly. Typically I used the Dwelling Room mode, regardless of being rather less correct, for its further visible pop.

Like its predecessor, the 1.3x zoom is ok, although the HT2060’s throw distance continues to be just a little shorter than most projectors on this vary. In case you’re changing a unique projector and you have already got a ceiling mount, it is value checking throw distances on BenQ’s web site.

As talked about within the intro, the largest change is the transfer from a standard lamp to LEDs. Since these LEDs will primarily final the lifetime of the projector, there’s some vital lifetime value advantages to this transfer. At 4 hours an evening, even by BenQ’s decrease estimate, the LEDs ought to final about 14 years. BenQ’s alternative lamps weren’t significantly costly, however over that span of time you’d have spent the identical quantity because the projector over once more ($750). Even when the HT2060 is presently dearer than its predecessor, it is nonetheless cheaper to personal long-term. There are additionally some vital image high quality advantages to LEDs, which we’ll discuss later.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Connection assortment

HDMI inputs: 2USB port: 1 (2.5A)Audio output: 3.5mm analog (1), optical (1)Audio enter: 3.5mm analogControl: RS-232Internet: NoneRemote: Backlit

Oddly sufficient, the connections are one of many few elements that is a step again from the HT2050A, however I am OK with that. The outdated mannequin had a wide range of analog inputs that simply aren’t extensively used anymore. As a substitute, the HT2060 has two HDMI 2.0b inputs, which is all you actually need. 

There are analog and digital audio outputs, in case you needed to attach a streaming stick on to the projector and ship the audio to exterior audio system. Typically I would suggest a receiver and audio system to go together with a projector, however this can be a affordable choice. The projector’s inside audio system are wonderful in comparison with different projectors’ audio system, however none of them sound significantly good. 

The boxy distant has a comfortable amber backlight, in addition to direct entry to a wide range of image controls. 

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Image high quality and comparisons

It was solely honest to match the HT2060 to the BenQ HT2050A. As of this writing, you possibly can nonetheless get the older mannequin for about 25% much less, however it can quickly be discontinued. The 4K Epson House Cinema 2350 has the next MSRP, however is often discovered for simply 10% greater than the HT2060. I linked all three rivals to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and consider the projectors side-by-side on a 102-inch, 1.0-gain display screen.

For 3 pretty related projectors, they’re surprisingly totally different. The Epson is brilliant, however grey; the BenQ HT2050A is dimmer, however punchy; and the BenQ HT2060 is like somebody dialed up the colour however stored a lot of the different elements the identical. 

Let’s speak a second about that shade. The HT2060 is likely one of the most correct projectors we have measured. This goes past simply correct greens, reds and blues, but in addition lots of the in-between tones that make a picture appear extra lifelike. With a wide range of content material, together with HDR, the HT2060 simply has far richer, deeper, extra reasonable colours than the HT2050A. The Epson has very correct shade too, however not fairly to the identical extent. 

The Epson’s challenge, in comparison with the 2 BenQs, is a considerably decrease distinction ratio. It appears washed-out as compared. Apparently, the HT2060 is decrease than the HT2050A, 1,320:1 versus 2,094:1 with my measurements. Aspect by facet, that is much less apparent than you’d suppose. The Epson’s 348:1, however, may be very noticeable. Whereas the Epson is rather a lot brighter, the black ranges are considerably larger too. Even when you dialed again the brightness of the Epson, the black ranges would nonetheless be excessive. So side-by-side, particularly when you’re watching one thing with a 2.35:1 side ratio, the blacks look grey. The picture simply appears flatter and extra synthetic.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

What about 4K? That is attention-grabbing too. The Epson is an LCD projector, which suffers from movement blur. The DLP tech of the BenQs does not have that challenge. So with sure pictures, the Epson appears sharper. On others, they give the impression of being roughly related if not a slight edge to the DLPs. With closeups of faces, the Epson positively appears just a little sharper but when the digicam is transferring, the DLP does. Both manner, it is rather a lot nearer than you’d count on. The HT2050A appears the worst right here, largely attributable to some processing points that are not a giant deal on their very own, however in comparison with these two newer PJs means it is beginning to look its age.

Essentially the most disappointing side of the HT2060 is its comparative dimness. It is not “dim,” per se, however I would name it common. In case you needed a 150-inch display screen or one thing, the Epson is the higher selection. For a light-controlled room, the BenQ HT2060 continues to be lots brilliant.

Between the three choices, I would decide the HT2060. On paper the HT2050A has some benefits, however total the HT2060 simply appears higher. The unbelievable gentle output of the Epson has its place for certain, however when you’re in search of all-around picture high quality, the BenQ HT2060’s better distinction outclasses the Epson.

The king is useless. Lengthy dwell the king

After every part you simply learn, my conclusion would possibly shock you. Sure, the HT2060 does not fairly have the identical efficiency on paper because the HT2050A. Between the 2, although, I would nonetheless select the HT2060. The picture is simply that rather more lifelike, you by no means want to interchange the lamp, it activates and off shortly, and it is just a little quieter. As an total bundle, it is implausible. When you have a HT2050A, do you have to improve? No. Wait till there is a 4K projector with nice distinction for $1,000 or much less, and the market’s not there but. 

Talking of 4K, the place does this depart the aggressive Epson? For most individuals, the Epson 2350 and the BenQ HT2060 are the 2 projectors I would suggest, they usually’re surprisingly totally different. The Epson is an absolute flamethrower — it is the second brightest we have ever measured. In a projector, that is each spectacular and an enormous promoting level. If you would like that epic 150-inch picture, otherwise you need to watch films and TV with some ambient gentle, that is your go-to selection. Its distinction ratio, nonetheless, is kind of middling and a mere fraction of the BenQ’s. The HT2060 simply has a extra cinema-quality picture. It won’t be as a lot of a standout as its predecessor, but it surely’s a standout nonetheless.

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