BenQ’s line of 4K home theater projectors is some of the best on the market. With an emphasis on picture quality and color accuracy, they can truly give you a cinema experience in the comfort of your own home.
Comparing the BenQ HT3550 vs TK800M, you’ll see that both projectors are excellent options for a home theater. The BenQ TK800M is our winner when it comes to use outside a dedicated home theater, however. (>>> Check price on Amazon) Before we get into the full reviews, let’s look at some of the features that led us to that conclusion.
BenQ HT3550 vs TK800M Side by Side:
The 2,000 lumens of brightness put out by the BenQ HT3550 is enough for a vibrant image in a dedicated home theater. That’s on the low end for use in rooms with windows or other ambient light, though. The BenQ TK800M, on the other hand, has a 3,000 lumen light source. That makes it a better choice for any space where controlling the light level is more difficult.
Brightest projector: BenQ TK800M
Color and Contrast
Both the HT3550 and the TK800M have a broad color gamut with HDR10 support. The way they give you those colors is different, however. The HT3550 uses DCI-P3 technology with a 6-segment color wheel. The colors are more vibrant and more accurate than those on the TK800M, which has Rec. 709 color.
The contrast on the BenQ HT3550 is also better. It uses a Dynamic Black system to bring out more details in darker areas, as well as an Active Iris that controls the light level in the projector’s optical system. It’s better for gaming too.
Best color and contrast: BenQ HT3550
You’ll get a few picture preset modes on the BenQ HT3550, but they’re mostly aimed at correcting the picture for different viewing areas and light levels. The BenQ TK800M, on the other hand, has modes to optimize the picture for different types of content. The Sport Mode and Football Mode are ideal for watching games, for example, and this makes it a great choice for viewing different types of content.
Best viewing modes: BenQ TK800M
With a shorter throw distance, the BenQ HT3550 is more versatile for different-sized spaces. It’s calibrated at the factory so that most users will be able to start watching straight from the box. Having said that, though, the image adjustment options on the BenQ TK800M are better for providing a fast set-up. This includes an automatic keystone correction, something you’ll have to adjust manually on the HT3550.
Easiest installation: BenQ TK800M
BenQ HT3550 vs. TK800M: Full Reviews
The BenQ HT3550 is a great option for dedicated home theaters. With 4K resolution and a wide DCI-P3 color gamut, it can put out an image that’s just as clear, crisp, and vibrant as what you’d see in a movie theater. The use of Dynamic Black technology makes sure that detail doesn’t get lost when the light level on the screen goes down.
There’s just one catch: to get this high picture quality you’ll need to control the light level. The lamp does use an Active Iris system to control the light, but it still has a relatively low brightness and is susceptible to picture washout from windows or lamps.
This issue aside, the BenQ HT3550 is fairly flexible in terms of its installation. The inclusion of zoom and keystone correction helps get the picture perfectly aligned, and it’s designed to work with content from basically any source. If you want an affordable 4K projector for a home theater, the BenQ HT3550 is an excellent choice. Check full BenQ 3550 review.
- DCI-P3 technology for a wider color gamut
- Compact design
- Includes 1.3x zoom and vertical lens shift
- HDR tone mapping with Dynamic Black improves contrast
- 10-element lens provides a sharp, detailed image
- Shorter throw distance for more flexible installation
- Lamp not suitable for well-lit rooms
- Fan can get loud at higher power levels
For those who don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home theater, you can still get big-screen entertainment thanks to the BenQ TK800M. Though it has a longer throw distance and needs more space to get the same image size as the HT3550, its brighter lamp can be used in living rooms, family rooms, or even backyards.
We also love how easy it is to get started with this projector. The keystone correction is automatic, and it also has a zoom for fine-tuning the focus. This is especially helpful for anyone who’s not an A/V expert. Connecting your content sources and navigating between them is easy, too. Click here for our more detailed BenQ TK800M review.
If you’re looking at them both side by side, the picture quality on the BenQ TK800M is slightly lower than the HT3550. This is most noticeable in dark image areas, where the lower contrast can cause you to lose some detail. That’s not to say the image quality is poor, however. You’ll still get bright colors and an ultra HD resolution. The inclusion of dedicated Sport modes lets you easily optimize the picture, too, so it’s a great choice for those who host viewing parties. Find best projectors for sports here.
- Dedicated Sport Mode
- 1x zoom and automatic keystone correction
- Vibrant and accurate cinema-quality colors
- Bright enough to use in well-lit rooms
- Slim, lightweight design
- True 4K resolution, even in 3D
- Lower contrast
- Needs a lot of space (longer throw distance)
The Bottom Line
Neither the BenQ HT3550 nor the TK800M is a bad choice. It really depends on where and how you plan to use the projector. If you have a dedicated home theater, the HT3550 does provide better picture quality. For most users, though, the brighter lamp on the TK800M is its major strength, giving you more freedom to watch day or night, whatever the room’s light level. (>>> Check current price on Bhphotovideo)
We hope this comparison has helped you figure out which one of these BenQ projectors belongs in your home! Whichever one you buy, you’ll be floored by the crisp resolution and smooth on-screen action at all image sizes.