BenQ TK800 Home Theater Projector Review-Picture Quality 2

July 9, 2018 / By Art Feierman

BenQ TK800 4K UHD Home Entertainment Projector Review – Picture Quality: Movie viewing – 1080p,  Movie viewing – 4K with HDR, Overall Picture quality

TK800 Movie Viewing: 1080p Content

Feed the TK800 a 1080p movie, say off of Blu-ray disc, and for the most part, this projector will behave like straight 1080p projector without any 4K capabilities.

But, even so, the TK800 has some advantages. It is a pixel shifter, so it can take that 1080p data and do some serious image processing to review more information.  This has always been the case with projectors handling content that’s lower resolution than their native res.

Thus, expect some very sharp imagery from 1080p movies on this TK800. 

That said, they will not be as sharp as the same scene images viewed with this projector from 4K content.  No surprise there, of course.

1080p content – Hunger Games, Casino Royale, Twister, and some other scenes, were nice and bright, the low lighting was barely noticeable even on the darker scenes. Good!

Overall the BenQ does a fine job on 1080p movies.  The most recent I watched was Twister, last night, and I was impressed.  I had low lighting on, and the TK800 handled the dark scenes fine, had enough punch to make the low lighting in the back essentially unnoticeable on the screen.

That’s great, because today, there’s still far, far, more movie content in 1080p than in 4K.  

TK800 Movie Viewing – 4K from Blu-ray UHD

The TK800 did just fine overall.  I did very little watching in my theater, with it fully darkened, as you won’t be putting your TK in a room with black and very dark blue floors ceilings and walls.  Instead, I almost always had at least a little light on. As such, my expectations were, of course, not looking for great black levels, etc.  

Because of my decision to have ambient light most of the time, I favored using some of the brighter, uncalibrated picture modes. It’s not a typical experience that I would put on a movie like Passengers, with intentional ambient light, but was surprised at how enjoyable it was all that over the top in Sport Mode or (although very cool) Vivid TV, for example, is what you need with the ambient light there, as the light tries to partially wash out the image.

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4K UHD content.  Here’s where the BenQ’s HDR control comes in. With ambient light in the room (not much), I settled for +1 for the HDR setting, and it worked fine on Passengers, and also the parts of Ghostbusters (2016) that I watched.

In the photo player above, the last two images were taken with the same exposure, the only difference is HDR set to 0 on the first of two, and to +1 on the 2nd one.  +1 fights the natural HDR tendency of dimness, rather nicely.

Eric’s calibration of User 2 mode, produced almost 2100 lumens and boy was it nice having that many lumens for HDR.  The image popped on movies, although not quite like watching sports in one of those bright modes (picture quality which would be over the top on many movies.)

I was delighted with the results of Eric’s work for 4K viewing.  Overall the color was very good, but Eric couldn’t prevent the brighter ranges 80 IRE and up, from jumping up to the 7300K range, instead of 6500K, providing a cooler image on brighter scenes. Technically that’s not great, but it sure is fun to view.

The TK800 – for 4K viewing, I might describe as a projector, not for the purist, or traditional enthusiast, but for folks that just want a huge image with some wow factor, that can handle 4K content, 3D too, bright, with eye-popping colors when called for, and basically putting up imagery that will hook them on the big screen experience.

Geez, that’s about the nicest thing I’ve ever said about a projector, that I just pointed out still doesn’t have really accurate color.  BTW, Eric’s Bright mode settings are definitely more accurate, staying pretty close to 6500K over the entire range down to 20 IRE.  Still, I stuck with his setup for 4K with HDR, and it worked out just dandy for the way I was watching. 

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Overall Picture Quality

This folks is what home entertainment is all about.  Bright (although not unusually so), and a lot of bright, colorful images in many modes.  It wasn’t built to be a dark room movie projector, but does well enough, even if the HT2550 will be slightly better at that. 

But for sports, and casual viewing of most anything, the picture rocks.  Not the most accurate, but for most people more than accurate enough, color wise.

Missing is CFI for sports fans, etc., but there are controls for those who want to play, and the color and color calibration controls are well laid out, and perform better than most especially most low-cost projectors.  

Lots of pop.  I’m not much of a baseball fan these days, but I did have a ballgame on as background and loved the rich, dynamic look.  It almost made me want to start watching baseball again.

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The TK800 offers multiple ways to put up a really good picture, from sports to 4K HDR.  It’s only black levels, where it falls short, but then so does everything else not at least another $500+.   Other aspects of this projector are less impressive overall – no real problems, but let's say the picture itself is a crucial strength of the TK800.

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