There are basically three groups of competing projectors – Other 4K UHD DLP projectors that cost the same or less, 4K capable projectors using 3LCD technology, and more expensive 4K UHD DLP projectors.
Keeping in mind from the above summary, let’s start with the first group.
For the most part there are probably at least nine or ten 4K UHD projectors now street pricing between $1000 and $1500. All but one are lamp based, that exception is the Optoma UHL55, a solid state home entertainment 1500 lumen projector, using an LED light source. (The UHL55 is currently being reviewed). Of the others, right off the top, I count two other BenQ models (the TK800 and the HT2550), two Viewsonic projectors, two additional Optomas and there are other players, including Vivitek (Delta)…
While most of those are slightly brighter, they break down into mostly two groups. Home entertainment color wheels, like the BenQ TK800, The Viewsonic PX747-4K, etc., and those with more HT color wheels: BenQ HT3550, Viewsonic PX727-4K.
None of them have a dynamic iris, and that’s what really makes the HT3550 special. It’s not up to the “ultra high contrast” definition I apply to Epson UBs, JVC LCoS projectors, and higher end Sonys, but the BenQ HT3550 is capable of doing a visibly better job on very dark scenes, than any of these others (I’ve reviewed most of the others).
I should mention Optoma’s UHD51A, which is also $1499. Now I favor the BenQ for both its black levels and potentially slightly superior color (and definitely a bit better HDR handling), but the Optoma is way smarter. You can power up, down, change sources, etc. using Alexa or Google Home, using voice commands. Nice touch, but you still rely heavily on the remote, so I count the HD51A as being pretty cool, but I favor the HT3550 for the black levels/overall picture.
Remember, we’re talking differences, but not huge differences in overall color. (I say that even if I found the HT3550 to do the best/brightest HDR so far of the models with HT color wheels.)