The FIFA World Cup 2018 is already well underway in Russia right now and we know everyone’s watching it. Usually, most prefer going to the local eatery, AKA 24-hour hang-outs, or the usual watering hole to catch The Beautiful Game. There are some quarters that choose the comfort of their home. For them, a TV won’t cut it; nor would a very expensive home theatre projector. This is where BenQ, and its BenQ TK800 4K Projector comes in. While the full name includes the words ‘Home Entertainment’, it’s clear the Taiwanese brand doesn’t want to be tied down. In fact, the marketing materials for this one-gun wonder promote these two progressive features: Sports and Football Modes. Does it live up to the hype?
Can BenQ truly deliver on its promise to create a projector that comes with optimisation that is purely for football and sports? Let’s take a step back first and look into what the specs are for this specialised projection system. Firstly the box – it’s a little understated due to its choice of the usual brown packaging look. Within is the BenQ TK800 with the power cable and remote control. As for specs, it’s not the run-of-the-mill stuff – 3,000ANSI Lumens with 10,000:1 contrast (Full On/Full Off) and native support for HDR10. This works hand-in-hand with the 0.47” single-DMD DLP processor to produce true 4K UHD output. The result is a projection of 8.3 million distinct pixels that promise true visual vividness.
Setting up the BenQ TK800 is pretty straightforward – remove from the box, plug it in, and turn it on. Of course, one must adjust its position to get the right viewing angles. How about the keystone? Easily done as there this next-gen projector automatically adjusts this aspect immediately. To really test out this function, this review includes different locations to try out the 100” shoot-out. The keystone receives some quick tweaks – automatically – every single time, without fail. Of course, there are two key concerns that appear almost immediately. Both are in close relation as it takes a long while to power up and equally as long to cool off. The latter has more to do with temperature reduction than it is about shutting down.
Once this next-gen entry from BenQ is up and running, it’s a quick matter of putting on 4K HDR content for that highly anticipated 100” output. Beyond Netflix materials, some of the match highlights from World Cup 2018 Rounds from all over the world are part of the selection. Other content that are on the list include 4K trailers on YouTube and 4K HDR Blu-rays. Thanks to its 4K Colour Wheel with 92% Rec.709, the BenQ TK800 is able to produce some stunning visuals. Blacks are deep, ensuring colours pop out. Skin tones in most movies look good and everything looks crispy sharp. With Sports or Football Mode on, saturation balancing gets a big boost as both make the pitch and colourful jerseys look rich.
The Sound Stage
It’s very uncommon for a projector, and a 4K HDR one at that, to sport a speaker. BenQ, in its effort to be the all-in-one home theatre system, sticks in a 5W loudspeaker. After all, since portability is a key focus element for the BenQ TK800, having a handy built-in audio system will do the trick. Surprisingly, thanks to the BenQ CinemaMaster Audio+ 2 feature, the sound-stage is outstandingly clear. While there are no 2.1 or 5.1 outputs, the loudspeaker makes full use of the compact chassis design; the internals – by the sound of it – has enough hollow chambers that the speaker uses to amplify its audio levels. Pairing that with BenQ optimisations ensures every nuance and delicate detail comes to life.
So how does the BenQ TK800 perform overall? As a quick solution to needing a 4K projection that looks great and has equally as punchy sound, it ticks all the boxes and then some. Being compact in size, it doesn’t take too long to put the projector up and get it going. It only takes 10-minutes or less. As for how immersive the content can be, this pint-size home cinema platform puts out very good sound-stage, even if it is a quick fix. Watching Wonder Woman, Netflix’ The Crown, and very intense football and basketball matches on this next-gen BenQ projector. Enriched colours and equally as impactful audio ensures the immersion is complete and thorough. It’s very easy to get into the content, especially if the projector offers a short throw that still yields a 4K output.
Verdict: As a 4K Home Theatre system, it does the job well enough.
(Text by Led Wayline)