BenQ V7050i 4K Laser Smart
BenQ V7050i 4K Laser Smart TV Projector l Ultra Short Throw l 2500 ANSI Lumens Bright and Beautiful l HDR-PRO l HDR10 & HL…
BenQ’s cinematic color technology makes this unit one of their primary selling points as it delivers bright, accurate, vibrant colors.
I love the way the image looks. The image is cinematic, celluloid-like, and has a quality that other true RGB USTs don’t have.
DLPs of this type show good contrast due to dynamic black technology, which creates a great perceived black floor.
It is one of the best implementations of filmmaker mode we’ve seen so far. It removes all digital processing and allows you to see the content as it was intended by the filmmaker.
You get a lot for your money.
There are only a limited number of laser UST projectors that support 3D content.
When you power on the unit, the motorized sunroof opens to reveal the lens, then slides shut to protect the lens when the unit is off. It is very useful for keeping dust, debris, and curious little fingers off of the lens.
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A dongle for Android TV is included, taking up one USB port and one HDMI port, leaving you with only one HDMI input and one USB port for other devices.
Compared to other projectors, this one has a relatively long gaming lag time, approximated at 80 milliseconds. Nevertheless, this projector is more than suitable for casual gamers.
It takes a very long time for HDMI to sync to show an image when switching modes (HDR to SDR or vice versa), resolutions, frames, or dynamic ranges.
To make it future-proof, it would have been nice if it covered the entire BT.2020 spectrum.
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It is evident that BenQ put a great deal of effort into designing this Laser TV and paid a lot of attention to the design of it. In contrast to the white housing that seems to dominate the UST space, the black housing seems to be a customer favourite. After speaking to numerous customers, the black housing definitely won.
UST projectors have a unique feature that we haven’t seen in any other. This one has an automatic sunroof, which BenQ calls an automatic sunroof. When the projector is turned on, the protective panel opens, which covers the lens. Besides preventing dust from accumulating on the lens when the projector is not in use, it also prevents pets, kids, or other accidents from damaging it.
Dust-reducing louvers are incorporated into the sides of this projector, along with a snazzy blue racing stripe to accent the design.
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Installation, throw ratio, zoom
Throw Ratio: 0.252:1
For a 100″ screen size, the BenQ V7050i requires just 7.3 inches away from the screen, and for a 120″ screen, only 11.4 inches.
Among all of the USTs we’ve tested, we found that the BenQ projector was the easiest to align with the screen. It comes with built-in, “ruler type” placement guides that help you find the optimal position on the screen to get the image size you want. As a result, alignment of the screen and projector was much easier. However, remember to extend the placement guide arms only to where the screen is and not completely to the wall. Strings hung from the screen were used for this.
You can easily adjust focus based on your screen size between 70 and 120” in the V7050i thanks to the motor focus mechanism, which is electronically adjustable. You will need to either turn on the Test Pattern or input a pattern from a calibration disc or pattern generator from the menu. To get the sharpest image on screen, choose INSTALLATION and click Motor Focus.
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To decrease or increase the size of their images, USTs physically move the projector forward and backward.
Projector Light Source
Based on the laser power and modes used throughout its lifetime, the V7050i has an expected life expectancy of 20,000 hours and comes with a blue laser phosphor light engine.
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With 2,500 ANSI lumens of brightness, this BenQ UST is perfect for living room use in areas with lots of ambient light. You can even pair the UST with an Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen.
As in a typical living room environment, ambient light is provided by light fixtures and windows:
Our tests of the V7050i on an ALR screen and plain white acoustically transparent screen revealed that its raw lumens punch through normal ambient lighting conditions without sacrificing brightness. In both situations, the image was more than watchable, and the colors, contrast, and image fidelity are still discernible. As expected in this situation, the ALR screen is the best choice.
For testing we used the Spectra Projection Vantage UST screen.
With lights off, in a dedicated and light controlled environment:
You can increase the color and depth of the projected image by turning off the lights and controlling ambient light. A blue laser light source combined with a RGBRGB Color Wheel makes this UST one of the best performers, producing beautiful DCI-P3 colors that can be seen on UHD HDR Blu-ray and video streams! Compared to other RGB laser projection technologies we have seen, the V7050i performs better when you view its P3 colors for the first time. Especially with movies, this projector gives you a deep, sharp, 3-dimensional picture with excellent inter-image contrast. If you plan to place it in a dedicated, light-controlled environment, then a white screen is your best bet.
Measurements in all modes, rated at 2,500 Peak Lumens
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The new BenQ UST is one of the best ultra short throw projectors when it comes to color, offering visibly vibrant colors that are superior to anything else in its class. In our opinion, the BenQ V7050i has vivid colors, even beating some triple laser UST projectors.
Thanks to BenQ’s cinematic color technology, the BenQ V7050i can achieve 98% of the DCI-P3 color space. The video content is also impressive, as it shows the RGBRGB color wheel in six segments.
It is also possible for competitors that use blue laser phosphor to employ a different color wheel, consisting of RGBY (Red, Green, Blue [clear segment using light from blue laser], Yellow [clear segment using light from yellow phosphor]) or RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White) segments in order to increase overall brightness, but at the expense of reducing total color volume. Although it doesn’t work well as a home theater replacement, it’s perfect in the living room.
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As with any marketing fluff, this BenQ laser TV’s contrast ratio is advertised as 2,000,000:1. However, you should take that information with a grain of salt. In spite of that, this projector produces great black levels and contrast, if not better, than any other projector in its price range.
Test patterns were generated using Sp
ectraCal VideoForge Pro test patterns and CalMAN calibration software.
As a projector, this contrast ratio is excellent. However, in comparison to other USTs we’ve tested, it’s not quite as good.
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A display’s sharpness is usually a basic edge enhancement feature, which, if not properly applied, can result in severe edge outlining, especially on straight lines and object outlines. Generally, manufacturers and displays do not do sharpness in a helpful way that makes the image appear crisper and with more detail without distortion, which is known as “ringing” or “haloing”. In the examples below, you can see examples of ringing and haloing. With Sony’s Reality Creation, you can get an image that is great-looking, 3-dimensional, has more contrast, and is simple to use, without any white ringing (ringing) around objects. DarbeeVision is an example of doing it right.
It has great optics, resulting in a sharp, detailed image that looks very sharp with a lot of detail, if that’s the one thing we can say about the V7050i. Inter-image perceived contrast lends a sense of depth to the image, unlike many other USTs or projections in general. In some scenes, it almost appears 3D due to the sharp focusing without looking overly enhanced digitally or otherwise. The focusing is razor sharp and it takes on another dimension of realism, even with standard SDR television type images from streaming or cable TV. In addition to this celluloid, film-like look, it also has a nice and distinctive image compared to its peers thanks to its sharpness and clarity.
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Motion is handled with aplomb by the V7050i projector by interpolating from 24p movies to 60p native resolution with no ghost image trails or blurring behind moving objects. It’s easy to see this in sports as the action moves horizontally from side to side, for example, when the camera pans between football and basketball. As the camera pans along with the cars in a car chase type action scene, good motion can also be seen as the cars zoom across the screen horizontally as they zoom across the screen.
If you’re not satisfied with the motion of the V7050i, you’ll have to live with what’s built-in, since it doesn’t have Motion Interpolation or MEMC (Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation) adjustments.
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With its 0.47 inch DMD ECD chipset, BenQ’s V7050i projector outperformed its competitors by using a better chipset, as opposed to its competitors who used a 0.47 inch pico chipset. In the price range, the V7050i is the first model to have the ECD DMD chip. This chip allows 4K UHD rendering to be achieved on screen with XPR eShift.
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Gaming Input Lag
Input Lag: 83.34ms (1080p@60Hz)
V7050i does not come with a dedicated Game mode, which would typically turn off the projector’s processing for low latency for serious gamers. In Filmmaker Mode, which has many of its “enhancement” features disabled, you will experience high input lag at around 80ms, which is the closest mode to use as a gamer. Casual gamers, who play games for fun and to kill time, don’t tend to mind that.
A first-person shooter will n
ot be competitive with this speed due to its unresponsiveness. Good motion handling, as mentioned earlier, makes the Game mode work better for most of us. In addition to displaying fantastic 4K graphics, the V7050i also shares its native celluloid look, making it a great projector for games that don’t require low input lag.
The XPR eShift function can be disabled when it is in “Silence” Mode, which is another option we did not test or think of before writing this review. The image will be processed faster before it reaches the screen, resulting in less lag time. Disabling eShift will, however, make the projector run at its native 1920 x 1080 resolution, so you’ll be limited to 1080p resolution.
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Built-In Sound System
V7050i has a built-in virtual surround speaker system with 5W x 2 treVolo-tuned acoustic and psychoacoustic sound quality balanced using acoustic and psychoacoustic science. There are two tweeters and a subwoofer on each side of this unit, which are covered in an attractive black fabric.
A patented correction algorithm is used in the DSP in this projector to tune the speaker and psychoacoustics of the projector. With MaxxAudio, the highs and mid-range vocals are clearer and more detailed and the lows are undistorted. The result is a cinematic bass sound that is rich and detailed, but still retains exquisite highs.
Although it may seem like this beauty is powered by a paltry 5W, you hear a rich sound that belies its seemingly low power rating. Despite not shaking your fine china, it does sound good enough for TV-style listening in the living room. There is no need to purchase an expensive soundbar or surround system, although if you have the budget, those are certainly better options.
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In addition to the included AndroidTV dongle, the V7050i comes with two remote controls: one for controlling the projector directly and another with more minimal controls for both.
In addition to this pr
ojector, BenQ also offers HT9060 and LK970 projectors with similar remote controls. It is the long, light gray and dark gray rectangular one with back lighting and many of the direct access to features buttons you can hit so you don’t have to dig into many layers of the menu just to find and access them, such as Picture Mode, HDR (HDR10 or Filmmaker), Cinema Master, Filmmaker (Film Icon), Brightness, Contrast, Dynamic Iris (Disabled, as this has no iris), Color Temp, Color Management, Light Mode, Gamma, Sharpness and Eco Blank (turns off the laser light source to blackout the screen).
In addition to all the normal AndroidTV buttons, the AndroidTV Remote provides buttons for turning the projector on or off, selecting inputs, adjusting keystone, and accessing the projector menu.
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As usual with Android-powered projectors, there are no integrated applications, but this HDMI dongle solves the problem, allowing streaming from all major video streaming services except Netflix.
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A white SmartTV Re
mote is included with this projector, as well as the AndroidTV dongle BenQ provides, known as the QS01. This remote works with this projector, as well as other BenQ projectors. Sadly, this uses up one of the V7050i’s two HDMI inputs, leaving you with just one. When all your HDMI sources are routed through an AV receiver that switches between sources and plugs its output to this projector, this isn’t an issue, but when you use it like a TV with all the sources plugged in (DVR, Blu-ray Player, streaming), it may not work.
It does not support direct casting if you want to watch Netflix content on this unit. If you wish to watch Netflix content on this device, you will need to use the casting feature from a tab on your computer. BenQ does provide instructions on how to do this, however. In order to watch Netflix, you will need to buy a third-party streaming device, such as a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, etc. To replace the QS01 Dongle, connect the V7050i to it.
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User Interface and Menu System
BenQ projectors have a similar user interface and menus, with a few omissions and differences, so those who are familiar with them will have no problem navigating them.
The V7050i has two HDMI inputs, of which HDMI-2 supports ARC. There’s also an optical audio out, 3 USBs [USB Type A-1 (2.0/Power Supply 1.5A),USB Type A-2 (3.0/Power Supply 1.0A),USB Type A-3 (2.0/Power Supply 2.5A)], RS-232 DB-9 jack.
The BenQ V7050i only has two HDMI ports, but one is used by the external media player dongle. UST projectors should have at least three HDMI ports. The USB port on the device that powers the dongle is also on the side, exposing the wires inside. This is probably the only minor issue we have with this otherwise fantastic laser TV.
Presentations with colorful charts, slideshows, etc., are best suited for bright environments like board rooms or rooms with lots of windows.
Colors are oversaturated to make them “pop” in bright rooms, which brings up peak brightness.
Bright, unnatural colors that appear overly bright and peaked.
The V7050i usually produces bright images of green and blue because these are the two colors that give the most brightness. However, the color temperature is more warm, so the image appears reddish. The reason for this is that it uses a RGBRGB Color Wheel to create white instead of using a white or yellow segment. You can now use this mode as a critical viewing mode with minimal tweaking and maximum brightness thanks to this update.
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The light is suitable for non-critical movie, sports and TV watching where you can multitask or interact with other people while sitting in a room with more subtle ambient light, such as sconces on dimmers.
There may be some slight changes to the black levels as well as a slight boost in the blue to create a more pleasing-looking presentation.
As with the Filmmaker and Bright modes, it has a cooler, more green/blue tone that provides a higher brightness to offset the effects of room lighting. The Gamma is a lower value, usually around 2.0 or 2.2.
Filmmaker (SDR & HDR)
In this mode, the image is rendered as close as possible to the filmmaker’s intention as the manufacturer allows, particularly for those who watch in dedicated, light-controlled blacked out rooms.
Along with DCI-P3, this is the most accurate mode with colors and grayscale before any calibration is done. It is intended to preserve the content creator’s creative intent.
The brightness should be the brightest and the lowest without being clipped or overly bright. The mode should defeat all processing in the projector and should be calibrated closest to the standards.
To some, this mode appears flatter and less dynamic in its default settings, as if it were made from celluloid and film. As far as brightness is concerned, it’s the least bright of all the modes. The colors appear a bit muted, but they are actually closer to the standards, which aren’t something most people are familiar with, and they don’t like being honest.
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Videophiles who want pure DCI-like viewing, similar to what you’d see at your local cinema, will be interested in this product.
Wide Color Gamut is an option that can only be enabled in DCI-P3 mode in SDR, or it can also be selected for HDR content. We personally weren’t willing to make this compromise, especially with HDR, which relies more heavily on available light. This increases the color gamut, but at the cost of brightness, which falls almost in half!
It has a more flat, film-like appearance unless it has been manually calibrated or intentionally changed. It appears similar to Filmmaker mode in that it defeats most/all processing “features” and is more for critical movie watching.
User (SDR & HDR)
Allows you to customize settings according to your personal preferences and calibrated values.
If none of the other picture modes work for you, you can use this user-definable mode.
If you wish to customize the settings, you can use one of the other built-in picture modes (except User).
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Our Favorite Picture Mode
It is hard not to fall in love with Bright Cinema Mode right out of the box, since it combines Bright Mode’s brightness with DCI-P3’s vivid colors. The colors are so incredibly vibrant and bright.
The bright mode, however, proved to be the best when we looked through the picture modes a bit more carefully. On UST projectors, the bright mode usually blows out the colors, but on the V7050i it was both bright and accurate. This projector is really a true television replacement thanks to its calibrated Bright Mode.
It defeats the XPR functionality, and the 4K resolution of the V7050i is reduced to 1920×1080, which is the native resolution of the DLP DMD Chip inside it. It reduces acoustic noise caused by vibrations of the eShift optical glass. When the DISPLAY > Silence menu is set at On, this mode is only available for watching movies that require a quiet environment where you will not be disturbed by the projector’s noise.
You’re looking at a 3-D projector, yes!
Viewing 3D content in 3D mode brings up 3D effects.
Only the 3D function can be used in this mode.
Watch 4K Blu-ray HDR10 or HLG streaming content with 100% BT.2020 color gamut with this High Dynamic Range mode for the best viewing experience.
When 4K Blu-ray HDR10 or HLG streaming content is detected, the Picture Mode is automatically switched to FILMMAKER MODE/HLG.
A HDR content-detected display and DISPLAY > HDR set at Auto are required for this mode to be available.
If you select the Wide Color Gamut option under the PICTURE > Advanced menu, you can increase the color gamut to 100% DCI-P3.
SDR (Standard Dynamic Range)
Out of the Box
V7050i’s SDR experience out of the box surprised me. Typically, we run a quick pre-calibration analysis on the various SDR modes before calibration. When we switched on the first SDR mode, “Bright”, it surprised us. As a result, this mode is usually quite far out of sync with the D65 standard and is very bright because it is mostly green/blue. As you can see from the CalMAN Calibration Workflow Charts, below, this mode is the best one out of the box out of all of them! Grayscale clearly has a better match to the blue tone, which is almost spot on across the range.
This is not the case in the other modes, not even Filmmaker! Our guess is that the engineers wanted to optimize the mode that is used the most during the daytime, since this and all USTs are intended for installation in bright living rooms and dens. As we are guessing, the user is most likely to select the brightest mode in this situation, especially during the daytime. Our speculation is of course just that.
The color gamut and greyscale fall even better into line once the Bright Mode has been calibrated. Despite having slight inaccuracies in the green, yellow, and blue at their peaks, this was intentionally done to ensure that the sweeps track correctly, which is crucial to true color accuracy. In greyscale, there is almost no separation above 85%, while the gamma is perfectly consistent throughout the curve. In fact, it’s almost impossible to see the gray calibration line because it’s so perfectly aligned with the yellow reference curve that it’s hard to even see it. As a result, images are rendered perfectly within 0 and 100%, and it’s evident on the V7050i in real life. Unfortunately, there are no 10-point white balance controls to enhance the result.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Out of the box
When you first fire up the V7050i in HDR Mode, you will see the usual blue “cool” push to the image. Each color follows the RGB Balance along the grayscale linearly, with the blue being high across the entire spectrum. In addition to some slightly elevated levels of 10-20% and lower levels of 30%, the EOTF rolls toward the knee and clipping points with some lower levels past 30%. It was easy to bring the color points in line during calibration since they weren’t too far off.HDR V7050i_Pre_Cal_View
As expected, the image becomes more accurate after calibration. The grayscale is perfectly in accordance with the tone mapping in the midranges with just the normal inaccuracies in the midranges. As far as lower and upper ranges go, it’s flat where it ought to be, except at the bottom end where it’s elevated due to its elevated black. When viewing in real world, there appears to be no effect of the EOTF (HDR “gamma”) being tilted throughout the range, so it is initially above spec then later drops below spec slightly after about 20% stimulus. In real world watching, this doesn’t seem to be an issue, although it is inaccurate in the overall picture.
Our primary sources of HDR evaluations are Ultra HD streaming boxes, Oppo BDP-203 players, and Tascam BD-MP4K Professional UHD Blu-ray players. Our primary devices are an AppleTV 4K, an Oppo BDP-203 player, and an AppleTV 4K player. As I mentioned previously, the V7050i rendered the HDR images from these sources in a film-like and celluloid manner. Keeping it in mind is only possible because we cannot think of another way to describe this projector. You will really appreciate what this projector provides if you are a movie buff. It gave the impression that you were actually watching a professional movie theatre projection.
However, even with 24p movie content converted to the projector’s native 60Hz, the motion seemed to be quite optimized without judder or the need for any adjustments, even though it had no motion compensation adjustments (MEMC). As a result, the colors also looked like they were from a film, lush and natural without any visible banding or cartoonish appearance like some RGB Laser USTs tend to do.
As a result of the input parameters, such as peak nits, the ST2084 HDR curve appears to be influenced by five levels of HDR Brightness. Based on the five possible settings (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2), 0 seems to be the most common HDR Mastering level of 1,000 nits, with a -2 setting for 10,000 nits, a -1 setting for 4,000 nits, a +1 setting for 600 nits, and a +2 setting for 400 nits and below. After testing various nit levels with a HDFury Vertex2 and using custom HDR EDID and metadata, we came to this conclusion.
As a result of the exemplary lens used on the V7050i, UHD 4K HDR content appears clearly defined on screen, with a uniform focus across the screen from corner to corner, with clearly defined pixel structure. It does not pass the single pixel test with flying colors, since the eShift pixel shifting process creates an image that looks like a checkerboard. There was no chromatic aberration noticeable at normal seating distances, despite this anomaly using this tough test pattern. The 4K image on screen was extremely detailed and sharp in real world content, despite this anomaly using this tough test pattern.
My final calibration was carried out using Filmmaker HDR Mode, and the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 were stunning. Despite having such a film-like image, the colors rendered, sharpness and detail are a rare combination that you won’t see on most other projectors, let alone USTs. With its organic look and feel, you may forget this is a DLP projector.
Final thoughts on BenQ V7050i 4K Laser Smart
In summary, we have a winner here. The display is bright enough to replace most televisions in living rooms and other environments that are heavily polluted. The colors on it are both vibrant and bright, so you get an image that looks like it is from a movie without looking oversaturated or cartoony like many RGB Laser USTs. There are also a few other features in this ultra short throw projector that you won’t find anywhere else at the moment.
The BenQ V7050i, with its “old fashioned” blue laser phosphor light engine and color wheel, definitely stands its ground in a world where many me too, RGB laser Ultra-Short Throw projectors seem to be arriving every other day. BenQ seems to really care about what they produce and how it looks, combined with affordable pricing points for the everyday person. We have said it many times over the past few years. There is no exception to this when it comes to the BenQ HT5550, BenQ LK970 and BenQ LK936ST.
When using this 4K projector in a moderately to well lit environment, we recommend matching it with an ALR screen that is at least 4K+ such as the Stewart Balon UST, SI Short Throw, Elite Screens DarkStar UST (not their CLR) surface for optimal performance.