BenQ TK 800 4K home theatre projector review


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If you’re striving for a truly cinematic experience in your home theatre you likely already know a projector is going to give you the best results. I recently had the opportunity to test out a new projector from BenQ; the 4K BenQ TK800.

In the box you’ll find the projector, the AC cord and a remote control. The projector is white with a neat iridescent blue faceplate, making it a little more interesting than the average projector.

Setting up BenQ TK800

There’s not a whole lot of setup to do; plug in the power, then connect your peripheral of choice.

Connections & Ports

There are several ways to connect devices; you can connect a computer via the PC/VGA, there’s 2 HDMI ports, Mini USB, Regular USB/Type A, RS-232, plus spots to plug in a remote trigger and an Aux plug for audio out and an Audio In.

I chose to connect a Roku 4K media streamer to test out the device, and it was up and ready to go in a moment.

Auto Keystone for Easy Setup

While it’s easy enough to adjust the image size and focus using the two wheels on the top of the projector (and employing the grid guide found in the Menu), you can also use Auto Keystone; though it doesn’t appear to be what you think it is.

I didn’t find Auto Keystone helpful. It didn’t seem to correctly adjust the image and getting detailed info about whether or not I was using the feature correctly wasn’t easy since there’s little help in the include brochure.

It turns out there’s not much ‘auto’ in Auto Keystone; it won’t size the image for you, instead it lets YOU use cursor controls to make the adjustments, and I don’t really call that automatic.
While it’s possible to create a nearly 4m big image, I didn’t need anything quite that large. I used the projector with my Elunevision 106” Elara Nano Edge screen.

Video & Colour quality?

BenQ makes a lot out of the 4K quality with it’s “XPR” chip. This is where things will get complicated. XPR is a ‘pixel shifting’ technology, that BenQ says “helps projectors to achieve true 4K resolution with 8.3 million distinct pixels.”

So is that to say what this projector doesn’t have then is a true 4K display chip? Getting answers on this wasn’t easy.

On BenQ’s website, nowhere does it list the projector’s native resolution (and my question about this on Twitter to BenQ went unanswered), stating only the “Resolution is 3840x2160”. But several other reviews state the true native resolution is 1920×1080.

Why all the subterfuge around resolution? I have no idea because the BenQ TK800 image looks great, so why not be up front?

Probably the only people who’d have a problem with this projector are major videophiles bent on the highest quality—and likely having the biggest budgets.

But I digress. Kind of.

How does the video image actually look? It’s excellent; it’s sharp and realistic and bright and colourful. If it’s not true 4K, you wouldn’t know it. The colours are bright and vibrant, and even with some ambient light coming into my media room it was bright and easy to watch. The picture is clear and even, right to the edges.

There are several different viewing modes with this projector; Cinema, Sport, Football, User, Bright, and Vivid.

Like Auto Keystone, it takes a few seconds for changes to take effect. I really had a tough time discerning between these modes… particularly since it takes so long to swap among them. I think I’d need to watch and re-watch the same movie over and over in the different modes in order to see if there’s one that’s better overall. Since I only have limited time with the projector, I can’t do that. Suffice to say these modes are available to you, but the difference between them is not immediately discernible.

Built in speaker, but don’t do that to yourself

Like other projectors, the BenQ TK800 comes with a built in speaker, and BenQ makes a lot of that touting: “Powerful bass and crisp highs to feel heart-pounding excitement of intense gameplay,” “long lasting sensual sound quality without distortion,” and “Custom-tuned sound modes adjust audio characteristics to deliver ideal audiovisual experiences for any type of entertainment, as if you were there live.” Okaaaaaay, sure.

Again, let’s be honest, you definitely need some kind of external speakers to get any kind of joy from this machine. The speaker does sound ok, but it’s very mono sounding, somewhat tinny, and there’s no bass to speak of. “Sensual sound quality?” Nope. You definitely need to connect it to a proper sound system.

If you’re looking for a great quality home theatre projector, you’ll be really happy with this projector.

The colour, resolution and detail is outstanding. My chief complaints are around the switching of settings; it takes a long time—sometimes up to 6 seconds for changes to take effect on the screen, so it makes the projector feel laggy. The speaker also does not live up to the BenQ hype.

But the video quality is really, really great.

Find the BenQ TK800 at Best Buy.
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