BenQ HT2550 4K HDR Projector review
As with big-screen TVs, 4K projectors are getting better, but unlike the latter, the former has been slow to agree to a more consumer-friendly price tag.
As it happens, BenQ announced the HT2550 earlier this year (called the W1700 in the UK, Australia, and UAE). With a price tag of $1,500, the BenQ HT2550 isn’t exactly cheap. But it’s more affordable.
In spite of the slashed price, is the BenQ HT2550 still a good beamer? Here’s our review.
BenQ HT2550 4K HDR Projector: Design
The BenQ HT2550’s design is attractive from the moment you take it out of the box. The design is clearly more functional than anything else, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, after all, no one will be buying a projector just because it looks good. Nevertheless, we like the white-and-silver color scheme as well as the subtle curves, and we think the projector will look good in any home theater.
The device’s inputs and outputs can be found on the back. Even though there isn’t a lot there, we think you’ll get everything you need: you’ll get two HDMI ports – one HDMI 2.0 port for 4K HDR, and one standard HDMI port for everything else – as well as a USB port for charging a device like the Roku Streaming Stick+, a 12-volt trigger, 3.5mm audio input and output, and a VGA port. However, it’s not surprising that the USB port doesn’t support streaming files from a hard drive or USB drive.
There are times when it may not be enough, but it’s not a bad selection. You’ll need an A/V receiver or HDMI switch if you want to connect more than one 4K HDR source to the projector.
It is important to keep in mind that the projector is a little large. With dimensions of 353 x 135 x 272, it’s not surprisingly large, but you may want to consider mounting it from the ceiling in your home rather than taking it on the road.
Thankfully, the remote is relatively easy to use and the light button at the top of the projector gives it a bright backlight, which is very helpful in dimly lit rooms.
You’ll find power controls and picture settings control at the top of the remote, as well as a directional pad. There are also controls for menus, playback, etc. Although there are a lot of buttons, you’ll be able to grasp the controls quickly.
BenQ HT2550 4K HDR Projector: Setup
It’s very simple to set up the projector. The projector must first be taken out of its box, plugged into the power source, and turned on. It may be necessary to make adjustments such as keystone, zoom, and focus, but given the remote’s simplicity, it’s very easy to do.
Unlike more expensive projectors, the BenQ HT2550 does not feature lens shift, so it is recommended that you place the projector as horizontally as possible. (The projector does feature 1.2x optical zoom and features like automatic vertical keystone that make setup easier.)
Sometimes it is impossible to place the projector horizontally, which is where the vertical keystone comes in handy. Moreover, the projector has a little kickstand on the bottom, which might also contribute to a good picture.
As a general rule, the BenQ HT2550 is extremely easy to install, but if you plan to mount it from the ceiling or need some electrical work done, you’re better off asking a professional for assistance rather than doing it yourself.
There is basic software on the projector, but it is functional. To be sure, it looks a little outdated, and this isn’t a smart projector, so you won’t be able to connect to any devices via Wi-Fi. In terms of software, you’ll get simple on-screen menus, so don’t expect a complex smart platform like the ones found on LG, Samsung, Sony, or other well-known smart TV brands.
BenQ HT2550 4K HDR Projector: Performance
We set up the BenQ HT2550 projector in a variety of different environments with a variety of lighting conditions to test it. The majority of the testing was conducted in a large darkroom, 11 feet away from the projector, and the results were excellent.
As well as supporting both HDR and 4K resolution, the HT2550 can project up to 2,200 lumens. Our tests showed it to perform extremely well despite the fact that it is not the brightest projector out there. While environments with more light will not look as good, as long as the light isn’t excessive, it will be fine.
Despite its brightness, the projector’s color accuracy is just as important: The beautiful colors of Planet Earth II were on display here, and the details of Stranger Things were also clearly visible. This projector provided a clear, detailed image for pretty much everything we watched.
BenQ’s HT2550 does more than just offer the usual specs; it also has a number of unique features. It provides a balance between contrast and color accuracy, for example, with its unique HDR processing. While it might not be as impressive as some more expensive projectors, we found that it looked better than basic SDR content.
The contrast wasn’t quite as good as we would’ve liked despite the bright colors and heavy detail. A grayish letterbox bar will be visible around the image, and that may be an issue for some who are looking for only the best quality image. The image should work for most people, however.
There is also a built-in speaker on the BenQ HT2550, and it was quite impressive. As for the sound, you’ll want to get at least a decent soundbar, if not a surround sound system – but in a pinch, the built-in speakers will give you a sense of depth, and they’ll be loud enough for most rooms.
As for the sound, there’s definitely some noise emitted by the projector’s fan, but we don’t find it overly loud. You can also minimize that noise with decent speakers and smart projector placement.
BenQ’s HT2550 is a beautiful projector for the price. Although black levels may not be as deep as they could be, colors are bright and detail is sharp no matter how bright your living room setup is.
Pros and Cons
|4K HDR support||Slightly limited port selection|
|Excellent color accuracy||Blacks could be deeper|
|Bright in most situations|
|Decent audio quality|
Although the BenQ HT2550 may seem a bit pricey to someone used to seeing discount 4K TVs, you couldn’t do much better for the price. Despite its low price, the projector offers vivid, clear colors, plenty of detail, and 4K resolution – all at a price well under $2,000. Wow!
We don’t think the BenQ HT2550 is a perfect projector – its blacks aren’t as deep as we’d like, the projector makes some fan noise, and there’s no lens shift – but these small issues aside, we think the projector is an excellent choice for those who need a good deal on a projector with support for a 4K resolution and HDR content.
Could there be better options? Even though the Optoma UHD50 is $100 cheaper and offers many of the same benefits (though color accuracy isn’t as good, and the BenQ projector is slightly better built), we recommend spending $100 more on the BenQ HT2550. You won’t be disappointed if you purchase it along with a decent screen and sound system.