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Topic: Please hele me chose my next Projector
Joined: Nov 21, 2022
Posts: 3
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Hi I have been using a Benq HT1070 for ~8 yrs. I have a 150" screen with a throw distance of ~13.5 ft (Wall to projector is 15ft, so I might be to pull 14ft max). Looking to upgrade projectors. Room can be made dark, but not fully dark. Based on projector central my Benq has brightness of 18fL. I'm happy with that.

My Bonus has by projector and that is actually where I watch all of my media. Will watch movies / sports / Netflix shows all on there. No Gaming. What I value the most in the projector is picture quality(blacks and color accuracy). I like colors that look real, not the fake over vibrant stuff).

I don't care much about smart features...the projector connects to an AVR (Onkyo 7100) so I can run my own hardware for such things. Budget is flexible. Would like to stay at 3K or less, but can go higher if the projector is a significant upgrade.

After doing some research I have narrowed it down to these projectors (Based on PQ and ability to project 150" at 13-14').

1) Benq HT4550i (Surprised didn't make top 10 for 2023, I thought this is Benq's long awaited successor to HT3550?) 

2) Hisense C1 (its half the cost. After hearing about it I did some research on lasers vs. LED. Seems like laser PQ is better. Does this beat the BenQ in PQ?) IT doesn't have any lens shift but if its a better projector, I can work on placement...can this be hung upside down?)

3) Optoma UHZ50 (Also Laser projector. I guess not true 4K. Does that matter? is PQ better than Benq?)

Having a hard time finding other projectors on here that are able to fit my throw distance requirement. Willing to spend more / consider other projectors if they have top notch/great picture quality and fit the throw distance needs. 

Please let me know your feedback to help me decide which would be the best one to pull the plug on. 

Thanks in advance!
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,305
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Starting off, the 'top 10' is not a list of the best, it is a list of the most popular that are searched and looked at on the website. It's NOT a measurement of quality. Since so many people are driven by price, it is often cheaper models which end up near the top of the list.

A massive issue is your throw distance, because if you're looking for the best black levels, then it would need to be an Epson projector, and the 5050UB remains one of the best on the market. But, it won't fit your throw distance needs. For whatever reason, Epson just hasn't pushed out a shorter throw distance high contrast projector as we have seen from some other manufacturers.

Your room basically is calling for a throw distance of less than about 1.25:1. This is something you can actually search for using the Find A Projector function on the site...

You can add more parameters to the search to narrow things down a bit more if you would like.

Be aware, no DLP projector is native 4K. They are all using one of three chips available from Texas Instruments to make a 4K image. The .47" 1080p chip that shifts four times to create an image. A .67" half 4K chip that shifts twice (this chip is rarely used), or a .66" 1080p chip that shifts four times and is supposed to improve contrast, though it doesn't appear much better than the .47" chip in practice. This pixel shifting is called XPR technology in the world of DLP projectors.

In a nutshell, a projector like the HT4550i, is using a DLP chip that is almost identical to what is in your w1070 and just shifting it 4 times to achieve a 4K image. That shifting does not really do much to improve contrast. I have heard it is pretty good, but it's not as good as what the better Epson models deliver, and not close to the LCoS technology from JVC or Sony.

I personally went from a w1070 on a 161" screen to a JVC, and still, every time I use my projector, I get excited when there are dark scenes with how good the black levels are on my JVC.

Of the three models you listed, I would take some time reading reviews and looking at shootouts. Check out TheHookUp on YouTube. Read what reviews there are here, at and at as well.

I think the C1 is a very interesting choice. The complete lack of zoom makes placement very difficult, but if you are comfortable getting the projector lined up perfectly, then the lens they use is pretty good and the simplicity of it helps make the contrast better. But, not phenomenal. Which I don't have a solution for with your shorter throw distance.

I would NOT get the Optoma. Just too many headaches with Optoma projectors that use their 4K chips right now. But, the BenQ and C1 would absolutely be near the top of my list as far as choices go.

Want to add the the HT4550 is not the successor to the HT3550. They have a HT3560 they came out with. That's the successor. IMO, it should have been a LED projector, but they wanted to boost sales of the HT4550, so BenQ intentionally left it as a lamp-based projector to push people towards the 4550. It was VERY artificial on their part, as we saw them go from a lamp to a LED light engine between the HT2050a to the HT2060, and it was a $300 price bump. Why didn't they do this on the 3560? Absolutely no reason that would benefit consumers.

I expect in a year or two we may see a bit of a bump to the contrast of DLP models, but I'm not sure the technology has the capability of actually getting us there. The reflections off the mirrors inside the light engine just aren't capable of hitting the better black levels which LCD and LCoS can deliver to the consumer market at this time.

We may see the release of a .94" native 4K chip from them, which was shown early in 2023 at CES, but there has been no further word on that in the last 10 months. Also, pricing was very high.

I'd likely choose between the C1 and 4550, and I might lean a bit towards the C1.

You will need all 4K sources, a 4K HDMI cable (fiber), and your AV receiver is certainly up to the task of 4K delivery which is good.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Joined: Nov 21, 2022
Posts: 3
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Thanks for the detailed info. Really appreciate it. The detailed reviews from the Hookup youtube channel were awesome. Would recc'd anyone looking for a projector to watch those. (Now Subscribed and Liked)

Yeah my throw distance has been the biggest limiting factor in upgrading. Was excited to hear when the 4550 was released and was waiting for Black Friday to buy it.

However it looks like the Laser life style projectors especially the C1 are big disruptors to the industry. For me if buying for today the BenQ 4550 might still have a small leg up on C1 (easy to install/setup and better brigthness to watch sports during the day with some windows open), but the C1 actually looks more future proof (Much better BT2020 gamut and ~50% of the price)

I guess at this point the big question is if its worth spending the $3 k on benq or waiting longer to see what other laser options are on the horizon. See how the big players are going to respond to the sudden wave of Lifestyle projectors like C1.

Most of the content I watch is still 1080p...I can easily overtime start to build a 4K library...wondering if its really worth it to upgrade the projector at this point...if its not going to improve the PQ significantly and just wait to see what happens next.

Curious if anyone has any input in transition from HT1070 to 4550? Was it worth it for you?

[Edited by rimmi2002 on Nov 18, 2023 at 1:08 PM]