Review of Benq TK 800 ProjectorAugust 2, 2018
On May 16th, 2018, Benq had introduced TK 800 True 4K UHD HDR Projector for the Middle East just a few months before the FIFA 2018.
I had the opportunity to review a unit from Benq Middle East in Dubai. It was a great experience viewing Television content on the TK800 projector.
Dimension & Specs
With a dimension of 353mm x 135mm x 272mm, it is an average size of DLP projector with weighing 4.2kgs, which has 3000 ANSI Lumens ( brightness). The TK800 takes much of the physical structure from the HT2550, but swaps out the color wheel for some alternative technology and also boosts the available Lumens to 3,000 from 2,200 before. Like the HT2550, the TK800 is 3D capable in native 1080p mode, which is one of the primary distinguishing factors between these two models and several other 4K projectors.
The Benq TK800 has 2 HDMI ports, 1 VGA port, USB Type A, 1 USB Type mini B, 3.5mm Audio Jack In, 3.5mm Audio Jack Out, DC 12V Trigger (3.5mm Jack), IR Receiver 2(Front/Top)
Benq TK800 is the DLP Lamp projector capable of 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) projection. It has a contrast ratio of 10000:1 and Native 16:9 (6 aspect ratio selectable). As per Benq, the lamp life of TK 800 is suppose to be 4000 hours which can be extended if you use it in eco mode. 4000 hours is equivalent to 4 hours of usage for 3 years. The lens of the Benq TK800 has a fixed projection angle that throws an image such that the bottom edge of the projected image is a few inches (or about 10% of the image height) above the centerline of the lens. There is no lens shift, so take care to install the projector as precisely as possible relative to the screen.
This projector has a 1.2x zoom lens that will throw a 120″ 16:9 image from a distance of about 12’10” to 15’3″. If you have your seats about 1.25x the screen width (a comfortable viewing distance for many people), they would be positioned about 11 feet from the screen. So the projector would be positioned just behind the seating area.
The remote of the Benq TK800 has buttons which are backlit and I liked as in the dark you don’t have to struggle with changing the volume or setting. The Benq TK800 has a 5W speaker which is quite good compared to other brands in the similar range. The audio quality is quite clear and has a decent low frequency (Bass) but of course, if you are watching with your friends, you would connect to your sound system for the full effect of the big projection.
Review of Benq TK800
Benq launched the TK800 just before FIFA 2018 and had the marketing talking about the Football mode with 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) projection. Benq TK800 projector being DLP Lamp projector takes around 30 secs to start compared to LCD or LED projector. To keep the lamp cool it has a fan which is not noiseless but not loud.
Benq TK800 is not actually full fledge True 4K projector, it is more marketing than certified. This projector is DLP XPR Technology, created by Texas Instruments to enable lower resolution chip that uses Pixel-Shifting technology to achieve the 8.3 million pixels needed for 4K.
The concept of Pixel Shifting – The concept of pixel shifting has been around for a while, first appearing on camera sensors. What the system does is moves the sensor half a pixel’s width, to effectively double the apparent resolution by creating overlapping data in successive frames. Pixel shifted 1080p is never going to look as sharp as native 4K. But equally, if you are watching a movie or a rapidly moving game output at distance, and not still 4K images with single pixel thick lines, you well might not notice.
Anyway coming back to TK 800 projector, with 3000 lumens, it was a treat to watch movies and some television channels. Honestly, I enjoyed watching movies downloaded or even connect it with a blu-ray player. I was able to watch around 100 inches on my wall with keeping a distance of around 12 feet. However, in bigger rooms, the TK800 can generate a massive 300-inch projection.
Also, Benq claiming to be 4K UHD, the projector creates a very dark but not perfectly black frame around the projected image. The frame is about 4.5% of the picture width. So for a 120″ diagonal image (105″ in width), the projected dark frame is almost 5″ wide around the entire active area of the 16:9 image.
Zoom and focus for the lens are manual and this being an entry-level 4K projector, there is no lens shift control either. What it does have is auto keystone adjustment.
Watching 3D with Benq TK800 – The BenQ TK800 has 3D for 1080p sources only (not 4K). The projector will not automatically recognize a 3D source signal. You must go into the menu and turn 3D on in order for it to play properly. Once 3D is turned on, any subsequent 4K material being displayed will be projected in native 1080p until you go back into the menu to turn 3D off.
Football Mode – Benq’s TK800 is marketed on the 4K UHD and special Football Mode in the projector. I have tried the mode and watched some games basically preserves natural skin tones while intensifying green grass, simultaneously clarifying the announcer’s commentary among the cheering crowd of an open-air stadium.
Sound of Benq TK800 – The projector comes along with 5W built-in speakers which turned out pretty good quality specifically the low frequencies (Bass), of course, to enjoy a movie or watch game you will have an external audio system but for smaller group, this could be a good additional feature, especially if you are planning to use for office and use it for your presentation with audio. As for the home user, you have to take the audio out from the projector as I had bit of problem to connect with my TV setup box as the audio would directly go to the projector via my HDMI cable, I had to re-route my cables and had to connect with the audio out from the projector.
Benq TK800 is a good projector which is a little expensive compared to features but with capable of 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) projection (even it is no true 4K) is a good buy as the Real 4K projector is are 3 times its price. 3000 ANSI lumens lamp is good to go for 3 years with an average usage of 4 hours daily and would increase with usage on Eco Mode. Economic Mode further extends projector lamp life up to 10,000 hours, minimizing lamp replacements and maintenance for an overall lower cost of ownership.
The Backlit remote is a very good thing as viewing in the remote in the dark with backlit buttons is a great help. The 5W audio speakers are good quality and pretty good with sound quality.
It is a good buy and a nice way to have a personalized family entertainment system. It is easy to operate and even a child could start and use it. You would require distance to use the projector as it is not short throw projector but with 3000 Lumens, you can have to 300 inches size of projection.
BenQ TK800 looks better than a standard 1080p DLP projector but lacks the fine details and clarity of one with an actual 4K DLP.
If you want a 4K DLP projector, be prepared to pay three times the cost of this, and possibly even more.
The BenQ TK800 is definitely not a budget projector when considering the price point it is available at. But then, the TK800 combines 4K resolution with a bright picture, very good image quality, HDR experience, and 3D capability. The BenQ TK800 might be one of the options you could look at if you want to upgrade from a 1080p projector.
Price: AED 4999