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It was time to replace my Sony VPL-HW40ES projector with the BenQ W2700. I briefly installed an friend's Sony VPL-VW500ES projector to establish a 4K base to compare with the W2700.

 

Why the W2700 over the W5700? After reading AVS Forum and browsing various reviews comparing the two, I decided that my installation suited the W2700 because I do not have a 100% light controlled Batcave and the W2700 is brighter than the W5700. The fact that I save over S$1K was a small but relevant factor. Alfie did the installation as he has installed everything in my HT room including a Cyrus screen since around 2012. I was his first W2700 installation as most everyone has gone with the W5700 given the great price. My installation also suited the W2700 as I was able to mount the projector dead center, in the center of the zoom range and sufficiently low (given a flexible ceiling mount) such that minimal lens shift and no key stoning was necessary. Alfie moved the projector forward in the ceiling and it was around 3m from the 110 inch screen.

 

Impressions: The W2700 is brighter than the 500ES and just as sharp. Colors on HDR10 content are better since it processes a HDR signal. To me, it is just incredible that a significantly < $3K projector now outperforms a 5-year old $15K projector. I never viewed the W5700 so I can't compare, but the few reviews that compared the two showed them to be very close in picture quality. The main reason to my mind for getting the W5700 is placement flexibility. It has a greater zoom range and both vertical and horizontal lens shift, so if you have weird placement or are very far or near the screen, the W5700 is your ticket. You do get better blacks than the W2700, but only if you have a 100% light controlled Batcave. In my only 90%+ light controlled room, I doubt the W5700 will give any better contrast. Meanwhile the extra lumen output of the W2700 gives that extra punch. Much more than the 40ES and 500ES in bright scenes. HDR doesn't come anywhere close to my OLED, but the specular highlights are quite bright, more so than I've seen in a projector. There is also a good amount of shadow detail, at least equivalent to the Sonys' in SDR and quite satisfying in HDR.

 

Complaints: The projector doesn't like changing frequency from 50Hz to 24Hz too often off an Apple TV 4K. Eventually, a split screen occurs, which requires me to restart the Apple TV. There is no ARC to get audio back from the HDMI signal from the ATV 4K and the SPDIF output only seems to output 2-channel PCM although the audio quality is very good. I need a new AVR as I can't currently handle HDR through the receiver. I notice the iris when there is a lot of ambient light, but not when it is dark. Lastly, the Bright mode is completely useless with strange colors.

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The black level is about the same as the hw40 when it was new. Of course with HDR content, there is much more detail in the blacks

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Thank tsammyc for the review of the new W2700 Projector...I'm sure your review and comments will benefit those who are still on the fence on whether to take the plunge for the new BenQ 4K series line-up. Kudos for the great effort made!!!

 

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Here is a long review from Projectorreviews

 

https://www.projectorreviews.com/benq/benq-ht3550-the-4k-home-theater-projector-full-review/

 

Conclusion: The Bottom Line on Picture Quality:  Overall, very pleased, other than wishing for slightly better black levels – but then, at the moment, the HT3550 offers the best black levels in its class – which I will define as under $2500 4K UHD projectors.

 

That includes some 4K UHD projectors using the higher resolution 2716x1528x2 pixel shifting DLP chipset.  Interestingly, those tend to be older and not even as good on black levels, as some of the newer, lower cost 1920×1080 pixel shifters like this HT3550, or even some without a dynamic iris.

 

Epson’s HC4010 is $500 more, and has many more features, but is not as good as this BenQ at black levels – despite also having a dynamic iris.) None of the other 4K UHD DLPs is competitive in this area, except the Acer laser projector VL7860 which is roughly 3X the price!

 

My biggest legit complaint – is minor, certainly relative to this BenQ projector’s picture quality strengths.  I believe BenQ could have served up even better black levels, if they “pushed” their dynamic iris harder, in terms of range more.  (I believe Epson – who puts dynamic irises on almost every home, business, and education projector they sell, does just that.

 

I would have liked to see the HT3550 get a bit closer to the Epson 5050UB in black levels (that’s the twice the price projector). This is important – considering the color, the black levels, and the price point, when it comes to picture quality, this HT3550 is now my favorite $1500 or less 4K, capable projector! 

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Hi tsammyc, did you use the same ceiling mount as the HW40? I too have the HW40 and want to install the BenQ 2700 would like to contact Alfie to do the job since he has done yours.

 

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

 

 

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Yes I did, but Alfie had to move the projector a little closer to the screen, which made it brighter!!

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  • 1 month later...

Projector Central's review of the W2700 is up. Think I made the right decision getting this one.

 

https://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-HT3550-review.htm

 

Contrast, shadow detail, and sense of three dimensionality for the HT3550 at 1080p also compared surprisingly well to my much more expensive Epson 5040UB reference projector. Although the Epson showed more shadow detail at the darkest levels, the tone mapping in the HT3550 gave it a bit of an advantage at what you might think of as middle-dark levels. That's pretty good for a projector that costs half as much as the current iteration of the Epson model.

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I think there may be a firmware update for the projector.... and perhaps for the W5700

 

With its original 1.0 firmware, the HT3550's dynamic iris showed obvious pumping (a flickering or near flickering effect) when content switched between dark and light scenes. The unit I tested included a firmware upgrade to address that problem. At no point did I see any flickering, including in scenes where I saw this on the HT5550, which shared the same problem when I reviewed it. The HT5550 will be getting a firmware upgrade of its own, according to BenQ.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Secrets review of the W2700

 

https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/video-display/projectors/benq-cineprime-ht3550-ultra-hd-dlp-projector-review/

 

At the incredibly low price of $1499, BenQ’s CinePrime HT3550 Ultra HD DLP Projector is hard to beat. It delivers nearly all of the DCI-P3 color gamut along with solid HDR and superb clarity thanks to a single-chip DLP light engine with XPR technology that provides a true Ultra HD experience. After comparing it to several native 4K displays, I am hard-pressed to see a difference in quality.

 

Last year’s HT2550 inspired an overwhelmingly positive reaction from me. The HT3550 is even better with its amazing color reproduction. BenQ promised an extended gamut and they have delivered on that promise. Not only does it cover 95% of DCI-P3, but it also renders it in such a way that is even more compelling than many other wide-gamut displays I’ve watched. Most videophiles will say that only flat panels can deliver the best Ultra HD experience, but I beg to differ. The HT3550 showed me some of the best color I’ve ever seen from a consumer display.

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Secrets recommended settings for W2700

 

Recommended Settings

Here are the settings I arrived at for SDR and HDR signals. I preferred the image with the dynamic iris rather than the lamp’s SmartEco option. Use either Normal or Eco lamp power to tailor the HT3550 for your room.

 

SDR

 

Mode Cinema

Brightness 51

Contrast 46

Color/Tint 50

Sharpness 8

Gamma 2.4

Color Temp Normal

Red gain 96

Green gain 104

Blue gain 105

Red offset 249

Green offset 252

Blue offset 262

Color Management

Hue Sat Gain

R 229 197 225

G 241 200 170

B 176 200 156

C 265 200 211

M 306 185 241

Y 252 180 191

Brilliant Color Off

Dynamic Iris High

Light Mode Economic

HDR

 

Brightness/Contrast/Color/Tint 50

Sharpness 0

HDR Brightness 0

Color Temp Normal

Red gain 102

Green gain 101

Blue gain 98

Red offset 256

Green offset 256

Blue offset 256

Color Management

Green Saturation 230

Blue Saturation 232

Cyan Saturation 210

All others unchanged

Dynamic Iris High

Brilliant Color On

Wide Color Gamut On

Light Mode Normal

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