BenQ’s New CinePro 4K HDR Home Theater Projectors Are Expensive But Incredible
Stephan Jukic – January 16, 2019
Now here is a new series of 4K home theater projectors that can really give the best native 4K ultra HD models created by Sony a serious run for their money. BenQ has just launched its new CinePro Series of projectors, consisting of two different models and they are absolutely crammed with impressive specs.
In creating the two new CinePro projector, BenQ combined the power of its CinematicColor technology and their latest DLP picture processing chipset with 4K resolution support to create two devices that cost less than $10,000 while also offering full high dynamic range and a huge effective projection display space. Both of the projectors are installation models (meaning that they have to be mounted somewhere at an effective distance from the projection surface). They go by the model numbers HT8060 and HT9060, with the latter being the slightly pricier and more powerful of the two.
According to BenQ’s own press materials for the two new projector models, both editions have been designed and built to create a nearly perfect cinematic experience at home. Thus, their DLP chipset is a compact version of the same technology that’s used in a majority of digital and IMAX theaters around the world. This is by the way a true 4K resolution chipset. It does not use any pixel shifting or pixel blending technology to achieve any kind of upscaled, shifted or otherwise simulated 4K resolution. Each one of its 8.29 million pixels is distinct for a true 4K resolution experience during playback of your favorite native ultra HD content from media players or streaming sources.
Further picture quality features include THX certification for both models for cinematic color and picture quality, thanks to the above resolution details and through BenQ’s CinematicColor technology. According BenQ’s claims these combinations allow the HT8060 and HT9060 to produce the full Rec.709 color spectrum and a 90+% DCI-P3 Wide color gamut coverage level. This is impressive and if true, puts these models on par with the color rendering quality that ultra-premium 4K HDR TVs can deliver.
Now as we said, the two new projector models aren’t cheap however: The HT8060 is retailing for a starting price of $7,999 and the slightly more robust HT9060 is going for $8,999. They-re being sold by BenQ itself and by authorized third party retailers such as ADI, Projector Superstore, Projector People, and SnapAV. These price tags shouldn’t be much of a surprise. They’re typical for true native 4K home theater projectors and the true 4K projectors of market niche rival Sony all cost more than $7000, with some of them selling for well above $10,000 even. 4K home theater projection technology is in other words definitely not a likely choice for people who measure discretionary budgets in the hundreds of dollars and not the tens of thousands.
Also see our main projector page, where we cover the absolute best 4K HDR and upscaled 4K projectors of the year
Getting down to some further concrete specifications, the more robust HT9060 comes with the above-mentioned CinematicColor technology along with Philips ColorSpark HLD LED system technology so that it can render almost all of the HDR-oriented DCI-P3 wide color gamut spectrum for high dynamic range content, which covers more than the conventional Rec.709 spectrum used in normal broadcast TV does. It also produced three times the light output generated by ordinary LED technology, making this one insanely bright machine for HDR purposes. Lamp replacement is also something that BenQ worked to reduce in the HT9060, and the company claims that it can last for years before any sort of light output reduction would be noticed. The lens on the HT9060 is a 14-element, six-group system that’s optimized for native 4K resolution, allowing even extremely fine picture details to literally shine for your eyes. The point of this is to enhance HDR and also make movies played back on the HT9060 look just as good as they would in a cinematic setting such as an IMAX theater.
Both projectors offer factory calibration for optimal out-of-the-box picture quality and have been adjusted to create cinematically ideal D65 color temperature, gamma, black levels, white levels, greyscales, RGBCMY color tracking and other crucial specs like hue, saturation and of course, overall brightness. The purpose of all these calibrations is, again, to reproduce cinematic quality in a home setting. Since both projector models are THX-Certified, we assume they really do deliver on quality if all hype is taken aside.
The HDR in the HT9060 and HT8060 has been optimized for projector video and thus works to maximize clarity and color saturation while leaving fine shadowy details as visible as a movie director wanted them when filming. There are also tone mapping and automatic color calibration technologies in these two projector models for enhanced contrast and projection luminosity while conserving fine picture details.
The projectors both come with a 1.5X big zoom lens that’s flexible enough to let you project with these home theater beasts from a range of distances from projection surface. The HT9060 and 8060 also happen to be fairly sleekly designed, for minimal obtrusiveness when sitting in a den, living room or other cozy entertainment space.
Both projectors come with all the HDMI and USB connectivity options necessary for hooking them up to an assortment of external streaming media and smart TV platform devices. They can also be hooked up to full internet connectivity for streaming your favorite ultra HD or HD media apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and so forth.