This BenQ HT3050 review will go over the many features and functions of the HT3050 as well as how it compares to similar 1080p projectors in the same price range. We tested this unit for a little over 8 months before writing this review and became very familiar with it’s functions and usage scenarios.
Aesthetics and Design
The design is appealing to the eyes, the white polished exterior and gold paint facia make for an elegant entry into any room you choose to use it. The HT3050 is touted as being a short throw projector and for those that don’t know what that means, basically it allows you to use it in a smaller space and project large images using a shorter distance than traditional projectors. This makes it easy to place on a coffee table or mount centrally in the room.
In our testing we found that with about 7 to 8 feet we were able to project about a 100″ picture with no problems.
Keystone is something that is often overlooked but offers a great versatility in usage. The BenQ HT3050 is capable of vertical and horizontal keystone. What this means is that you can place your projector off center or off angle and essentially manipulate the image to the correct aspect. A good example is placing it in the corner of a room to project centered and straight forward. There is an excellent in-depth explanation of this at Outdoor Movie HQ, but the diagram below should help.
Color Accuracy and Rec. 709
Rec. 709 is the exact color palette used by major Hollywood studios and professional film makers utilizing a 15, 000: 1 contrast ratio, and a premium RGBRGB color wheel is certified Rec. 709 for cinematic color reproduction. During our testing we found the Rec. 709 color profile to be extremely accurate, the colors pop but are not oversaturated. Accurate colors are important but so is a good contrast ratio, this model performs well in both areas.
Your eyes will be pleased with the wide color gamut provided by the RGB color wheel, we experienced no perceptible rainbow effect at all.
3D Movies = WOW
Another notable feature is the included the 3D support. This unit is capable or projecting 3D images with the appropriate DLP 3D glasses, BenQ does not include them with the projector as is standard with almost all projectors these days, 3D glasses are easily and inexpensively acquired on Amazon or eBay.
While 3D has become a bit of a fad, there is no denying how spectacular a 120″ 3D image can be. For those who still have 3D media this projector opens up so many possibilities for a true home cinema experience. We tried both digital 3D content from YouTube and 3D Blu-Rays, the effect is absolutely stunning. The picture while in 3D mode is both bright and sharp.
Gaming and Input Speeds
Lumens and Usage
The HT3050 can output 2000 lumens, you can use this during moderate light but it’s mostly designed for usage in a light controlled room. We found that the light output was ample for its intended use.
The projector lamp offers up to 3,500 hours of lamp life in normal mode, up to 5,000 hours in eco mode and around 6,000 hours in SmartEco mode. The great thing is SmartEco is about as bright as the other two modes so you can safely use the projector in SmartEco and not feel like compromises are being made. Replacement of the lamp once it has expired is relatively easy and user serviceable if you are willing to remove a few screws.
The HT3050 will have no problem making pairing with equipment. There are two conveniently located rear panel HDMI connectors. There is also an optional WDP02 wireless kit that places a wireless HDMI/MHL plug-in receiver under the HT3050’s frame, potentially adding an additional HDMI input, The optional wireless kit pairs with a multi-input HDMI transmitter capable of sending signals up to 30 feet (by line of sight).
There are both composite and component video inputs coupled with stereo RCA audio jacks for connection with your older media components. An older style 15-pin female PC jack is also onboard. A USB Type-A port charges the receiver for that aforementioned optional wireless kit, and a USB Mini-B serves as a service portal (presumably for firmware updates). Additional back-panel connectivity includes a 12VDC output terminal that can be used to trigger certain external devices like a projector screen and a 9-pin RS-232 terminal for automation systems.
Fan Noise and Heat
Fan noise is a given with bulb projectors, the dynamic fan on the HT3050 automatically and smartly adjusts with varying temperatures. The noise is ambient but not bothersome, I would compare it to a moderate whisper, it was never distracting or a nuisance. Heat is another given with bulb projectors, the placement of the vents really helps to alleviate this concern though. There are vents on the front, and sides that effectively dissipate heat with very little fuss.
The BenQ HT3050 is probably one of the best 1080p projectors on the market, although it was released sometime in 2015 and in 2020 it still holds its own against competing 1080p models. The vertical and horizontal keystone options are indispensable and really make this model king of 1080p home theater projectors. Colors, brightness and clarity are key to the best experience and the HT3050 delivers all three of these things like a champ. I wasn’t expecting to rekindle my romance with 3D but the HT3050 does so remarkably well with 3D that I couldn’t help but go out any purchase some 3D Blu-Rays to add to my library of films. I have tried a couple of projectors in the past, they pale in comparison to the HT3050. I highly recommend this unit.