There is nothing like a big TV to watch the football game on Sunday or have a fun movie night with the family. Sure, 65″, 75″ or even 85″ provides a killer experience but how about 120″? 4K projectors are better and more affordable than ever before. I took one of the newest BenQ 4K projectors for a test.
The BenQ TK800M is being marketed specifically for the sports fan. So my first 4K test of the TK800M was watching the Super Bowl streaming 4K from the FOX app. Setup was simple, the projector makes leveling and getting a square image on your wall easy with the on-screen controls and auto-keystone. In my testing, although it claims to be auto, you will still need to do some fine adjustments to get it just right. I plugged in an Nvidia Shield TV to power the projector via HDMI. The projector takes about 5-10 seconds to power on and voila, the image is projected on your wall or screen.
The TK800M is rated at 3000 ANSI lumens. This is a measure of the brightness of the projector. 3000 is enough for a home theater room but also enough brightness to use it when a nearby window is open or light is turned on. In my testing this seemed to mostly hold true. The picture looked great in a dark room. When I turned on a nearby light or opened up a patio slider curtain the picture still looked good but not AS good. My kids probably wouldn’t care if they were watching their favorite show but I would certainly adjust those things to get the room darker if I was trying to watch a movie.
With that said, the picture was downright impressive. The Super Bowl was almost a different experience in 4K projected at 120″! You could almost see the blades of grass. The colors popped on the screen and the image seemed bright and colorful. In “football” mode the colors almost seemed to pop too much so I adjusted it back to a standard mode. This is personal preference.
I also loaded up some 4K demo videos on Youtube and couldn’t believe how crisp the images looked. The biggest problem is that 4K content is hard to come by right now. Netflix is adding more and more 4K shows and movies but most streaming content still tops out at 1080p. Broadcast TV and most cable channels are also still locked in at 720 or 1080. I don’t recommend buying anything less than a 4K projector in 2020 but you should know that the content is still in the works.
BenQ touts the speaker on the TK800M as having “massive sound” but I would have to say it was less than impressive in my testing. It sounded OK but not great. I would compare it to a normal speaker in a TV. Sure, for casual viewing it’s good enough but anyone looking to create any sort of home theater experience is going to want something more for audio. Frankly, people need to stop expecting big sound from a projector. If the sound was too loud or had too much base it would almost certainly vibrate the projector which would make the picture look horrible. If you’re adding a projector to your home theater, the TK800M or any projector, plan on adding some sort of external speakers.
The BenQ TK800M proves that a bright, crisp, clear 4K video projector IS possible for under $1,500. While high-end professional models easily cost 3X or 4X the price, this is a great price for a great projector that will transform the big game or home movie night into something awesome. Plan to spend some money on a speaker bar or surround sound system for the best experience. Also, don’t expect to get a great picture in the middle of the summer with all the windows open. A dark(ish) room will give you the best experience.