BenQ UK has announced three new 4K projectors with powerful brightness performance to suit a wide range of environments, from fully darkened home theaters to well-lit living rooms. As a bonus, the new models support the HDR10+ high dynamic range format, which is rare for projectors.
The best 4K projectors produce cinematic-sized images from a high shelf or ceiling mount at the back of a room, or from a coffee table in front of a sofa. The new BenQ models are designed to work with both settings, although there are differences that make each model more suitable for a particular application.
With 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness and HDR-PRO technology, the new BenQ monitor W4000i (£2,999 / about $3,750 / AU$5,600) is designed for home theater darkrooms where the main goal is to get powerful contrast from HDR movies. HDR-PRO supports HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats and has a local contrast enhancement algorithm that can divide images into more than 1000 zones and independently optimize gamma for each zone. The W4000i uses a 4-LED light source and BenQ’s specifications state 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space.
V W2710i (£1699.00 / approx $2120 / AU$3175) is an affordable projector that is also designed for darkroom viewing. With a brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens, it’s not as bright as the W4000i but has the same HDR-PRO feature to enhance high dynamic range images. DCI-P3 color space coverage is 95% according to BenQ specifications.
Designed for viewing in brightly lit rooms. TK860i (£1699.00 / approx $2120 / AU$3175) offers 3300 ANSI Lumens with HDR-PRO. This model seems to be the best option for gaming or casual TV viewing where high brightness is the main concern, and it also comes with a built-in 20W treVolo speaker system that should deliver well above average sound quality than typical projectors. deliver.
Opinion: HDR10+ is a plus for projectors
While we have yet to see Dolby Vision HDR in projectors other than ultra short throw models from Formovie and Hisense, some long throw models such as the JVC DLA-NZ8 offer HDR10+ support. This Dolby Vision competitor isn’t used as much for movies and TV, but it can be found on select 4K Blu-ray discs and some titles on top streaming services, notably Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Paramount Plus.
The reason a dynamic HDR format like HDR10+ is a boon for projectors is because they tend to have limited peak light output compared to the best 4K TVs. And while the brightness performance of BenQ’s new models is impressive, it still likely lacks the visual punch you’d get from one of the best mini LED TVs or even the latest flagship OLED TVs when watching HDR programs.
The BenQ HDR-PRO feature, with its local dimming-like capabilities, seems to be designed to help make the most of all HDR-enhanced content, not just HDR10+. Another highlight of the W4000i is a built-in Android TV with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and other streaming apps. It’s unclear from BenQ’s announcement whether streaming on the other two models is built-in or via an external dongle, but both appear to have an Android TV option.
We haven’t received a press release for similar US models yet, but BenQ’s top two new projectors seem to match the HT4550i and HT3560 listed on the US website, which also lists the TK860i. Pricing and availability in the US has yet to be announced, although we expect information to be available in the very near future.