BenQ HT2050A CineHome series projector brings big-screen Full HD visuals to your living room, with >96% Rec.709 accuracy for authentic cinematic color and short throw for 100″ pictures from just 2.5m away without setup hassle. Offering CinemaMaster Audio+ 2 for immersive AV experiences, the HT2050A’s ultra-low input lag and special Game Mode enable epic gaming.
- Connectivity Technology: HDMI
- Display Technology: DLP
- Image Brightness: 2200 lumen
- Image Contrast Ratio:15000:1
- Item Dimensions:15 x 11 x 5 in
- Item Weight: 8.00 lbs
- Resolution: FHD 1080p
In short the BenQ HT2050A is one of the best projectors you can get for the price. Compared to other home theater projectors we’ve reviewed under $1,000, including the Optoma HD28HDR, the Epson Home Cinema 2150 and BenQ’s own TH685, the HT2050A remains our favorite and earns our Editors’ Choice award.
Like the other projectors in this price range, the HT2050A lacks 4K and HDR. It is 3D capable, though the glasses aren’t included.
BenQ claims 2,200 ANSI lumens. I measured approximately 1,591. It’s normal for projectors to measure lower than their claimed specs. This is a bright image, and roughly the same as the Epson HC2150.
Lens shift in this price range is rare, and rarer still with DLP projectors, so its inclusion here would be one of the HT2050A’s main selling points even if it didn’t look as good as it does. That said, the lens shift isn’t a lot. BenQ says it adjusts the vertical range by 10%. So depending where you place the projector, you’ll have a few inches of vertical leeway, but that’s it. Still, it definitely helps and is better than the nothing you get with most single-chip DLP projectors.
The zoom range is only average however, falling behind the Epson. So you won’t be able to place it quite as close, or as far, from the screen as the HC2150.
Also average is the lamp life, at 3,500 hours in Normal mode. This goes up to 7,000 hours in the SmartEco mode, which maintains the maximum brightness of the Normal mode but drops lamp power during dark scenes for a better black level. Though you can occasionally see this happen, it’s fast enough that it’s fine to leave in this mode (unless you notice and hate it).
Why We Love the BenQ HT2050A Movie Projector
For years, I wanted to buy a movie projector, but we couldn’t stomach the steep price. We didn’t want to have a big TV hogging up wall space in our tiny apartment, so we made do with watching movies on our laptop or iPad. We finally ponied up for the BenQ HT2050A, as a family Christmas gift in 2021. Little did we know just what a good investment it would prove to be over the coming year.
Less than three months later, we, like much of the world, were sheltering in place. In those first frightening weeks of the pandemic, our projector became a salve at the end of our days spent working from home and helping our 4- and 6-year-old daughters navigate distance-learning. The news was scary, and sirens blared nonstop out our Brooklyn windows. But at the end of each day, we gave ourselves a pass to eat dinner in front of a movie.
How it compares
The BenQ projector is technically a budget projector, and it lacks the contrast and detail of the $6,000 4K home-theater projector we recommend. But it’s the best projector we’ve tested for under $1,000, and it offers good enough image quality for most people.
- It produces richer, more vibrant colors than other budget projectors.
- It’s easy to set up because of a flexible lens that has both zoom and vertical shift.
- It works in a small room, thanks to the 1.3x zoom, which gives you some flexibility to place the projector closer to the screen.
- The built-in speaker isn’t amazing, but it produces fuller sound than what you’d get from most budget projectors.
Fast Response for Smooth Gaming
With only a 16.67 ms input lag and a microsecond DMD response time, the HT2050A is designed to produce a smooth gaming experience without unwanted motion blur and image lag.
Vertical Lens Shift flexibility allows images to be moved up and down without sacrificing image quality for simplified tabletop setup or mounting.
Horizontal and vertical keystone help eliminate the trapezoid effects when projecting from a corner or a side table to free up space for active games or comfortable lounging.
The micromirrors of the DLP chip and the nearly-sealed DLP engine design mean that the HT2050A is fashioned to stand the test of time without any loss in picture quality. Eliminating dust buildup and heat damage, it can shine year after year and look as good as new with a simple lamp change.
The BenQ HT2050A is designed to produce crisply defined sharpness for clear details and legible text by maximizing the fill ratio of individual pixels and employing SmartEco technology.
The BenQ QCast Mirror HDMI Wireless Dongle, available separately, enables instant wireless video from compatible smart devices.
Setting Up the BenQ HT2050A
- Throw Distance. The throw distance for a 120″ 16:9 image for the BenQ 2050A ranges from about 10 feet at its widest-angle setting to about 13.1 feet at its full telephoto setting. For the throw distance range for the image size you want, you can use the BenQ HT2050A Projection Calculator.
- Vertical offset. With the projector sitting on a table and the lens shift in its lowest position, we measured the bottom of the image at roughly 5% of the image height above the centerline of the lens. With the vertical lens shift at the highest level, the offset was about 16% of the image height.
- The vertical offset will work nicely with the projector placed on low table in a family room or inverted in a ceiling mount. Placing the projector on a higher shelf behind the seats will usually force you to tilt it downward to hit the screen. This is best avoided, since you’ll then need to use keystone adjustments to square off the image, which can reduce lumen output, soften edges, and add artifacts to fine patterns in the image.