The Best Cheap Projector
If you want that big screen front projector experience in your home but need to spend less than the cost of a refrigerator, we think the BenQ HT2050A is the best projector for under $ 1,000. Its best-in-class contrast ratio, brilliant output, and impressive color accuracy help it compete against projectors that cost twice as much.
The BenQ HT2050Auses an RGBRGB color wheel that produces richer, more vibrant colors than many inexpensive DLP projectors.1 This 1080p projector is also much easier to set up than other less than $ 1,000 projectors, thanks to a flexible lens that has zoom and vertical. change. The 1.3x zoom offers a margin of maneuver in terms of how close to the screen you can position the unit, while the vertical shift of the lens allows you to avoid the trapezoidal effect. The speakers on this BenQ model are not surprising, but they are better than what most budget projectors offer. The biggest downside to the HT2050A is that its single-chip DLP design can produce a visible rainbow effect for some viewers, 2 but most people can’t see it or won’t be bothered by it.
The BenQ HT2050A creates an image that is more realistic and realistic than that of other projectors at the same price. It offers accurate colors and produces a brilliant image with great movement detail and an excellent contrast ratio that is approximately double that of similarly priced competitors. Overall, the image is as good (if not better) than you can get from many projectors that cost hundreds more.
The HT2050Ahas a wide light output to illuminate even the largest screens. By measuring the light output with a lux meter, I found that this projector produced 1,130 lumens when calibrated in Eco Bulb mode and 1,665 Lumens when calibrated in Normal bulb mode. Switching to vivid image mode gave me a whopping over 2,200 lumens, but a less accurate image.
To put this in context, a cinema screen must have around 15 feet of lamberts of brightness, and the 1,665 lumens of the HT2050A are enough for 24 feet of lamberts in the 150-inch version of our favorite projector screen. For a completely dark room, the 14 to 16 foot lamberts are considered to be the ideal level of brightness, and the BenQ HT2050A goes far beyond that. Most projectors did not come close to this light output a few years ago.
- The HT2050A creates an image that is more realistic and realistic than that of other models at the same price.
The contrast ratio of the HT2050A is very good 1,574: 1. This is exceptional considering the fact that most of the other projectors that fall into this price category come in at around 800: 1. The difference in the level of Black is very noticeable when setting this model up next to the competition. Almost all of these projectors are bright enough for any reasonably sized screen, so the difference in contrast ratio is generally from the enhanced black level.
The colors on the BenQ HT2050A are superior to those of other projectors in this price range because it uses an RGBRGB color wheel instead of the Texas Instruments bright color wheel. As a result, you get colors that are accurate to all HDTV standards, but with slightly less brightness. You can still enable the Brilliant Color feature on the HT2050A if you need additional brightness and are willing to handle less accurate colors, but this projector is more than bright enough for most rooms without using Brilliant Color.
The BenQ HT2050A has a projection ratio of 1 to 1.3x, which means that if you want to use a 100-inch screen, you can position the projector between 100 and 130 inches from the screen. Many of the other projectors we reviewed need to be even further away, which could limit your screen size options.
We also appreciate the built-in vertical displacement of this model’s lens (it’s just 10 percent) because it gives you some leeway in terms of where you can position the projector while maintaining a distortion-free image. You can change the lens just a little bit, but that’s better than nothing, which is what you get with most projectors in this price range. Lens shift is preferable to digital keystone correction, which robs you of real screen space by reducing the number of active pixels that contribute to the image (also adds artifacts like jagged edges and potentially other types of visual noise).
The HT2050A uses a UHP lamp to create the light you see on the screen. These lamps gradually dim and need to be replaced. BenQ estimates that the lamp life lasts between 3,500 and 6,000 hours, depending on the mode. The current replacement cost is around $ 250. These numbers are all in line with those of other projectors. If you look at the HT2050A for five hours a night in SmartEco mode, the lamp will last more than three years. When it’s time to buy a lamp, you should always do it directly from the company when possible, as third-party lamps can be of dubious quality, and if they damage your projector, the warranty won’t cover it.The BenQ HT2050A has two HDMI ports, a component input, a composite input, and a standard USB Type-A port. Projectors often don’t have a USB port in the less than $ 1,000 range, but it’s useful for supplying power to a streaming device. Combined with the built-in speaker of the HT2050A, this projector’s USB port gives you the ability to have impromptu family movie nights outdoors with a single extension cord. For models without USB ports, you must run another power cable to connect your transmitter.
If you want to use a fold-out projection screen, the BenQ HT2050A is the cheapest projector we’ve seen with a 12-volt trigger output. When connected to this BenQ projector with a common 3.5mm cable, the screen will display when the projector is on and then re-raise when the projector is off, simplifying setup.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Like any small projector, the BenQ HT2050A is not silent. It has small fans to keep the lamp cool. Perhaps a little noisier than a refrigerator or desktop computer, but much quieter than an air conditioner. Although it is not as loud as some projectors, it is definitely not as quiet as our home theater projector. Depending on where you put the HT2050A, you’ll notice the sound of fans during certain movie or TV scenes, such as those with silent dialogues.
When it comes to 3D, the HT2050A is a kind of mixed bag. The image is bright and does not have much crosstalk (a partial “ghost” image next to the actual image, which is a common 3D problem). But it still suffers from the same problem that affected previous BenQ projectors, where the image has a red tint; 3D glasses remove most of this tint, but not all.
Epson Home Cinema 2100
The Epson Home Cinema 2100 is brighter than the BenQ HT2050A, making it a better choice for family rooms and other spaces where ambient light cannot be controlled. This 1080p projector offers a limited vertical lens shift and slightly larger zoom than HT2050A (1.6x). As an LCD projector, the Epson 2100 will not create the rainbow artifacts visible to some people with DLP projectors; however, the BenQ model looks sharper and offers twice the contrast ratio of this Epson projector.r won’t be bothered by it.
The BenQ HT2150ST uses a short-throw lens, so you can put it much closer to your screen or wall than usual, and still get a big picture. This 1080p DLP projector is very bright and easy to set up. Its colors are not as vivid as those of the HT2050A non-short throw, and the complex optics on this model’s short-throw lens leads to a loss of sharpness around the edges of the image, but it’s worth the compromise if you want. a Large Image in a smaller space, such as an urban apartment.