BenQ TH685 Review: Setup, Viewing, Ports, Performance, Sound Quality, and Verdict
BenQ TH685 Review: Setup, Viewing, Ports, Performance, Sound Quality, and Verdict

BenQ TH685 Review: Setup, Viewing, Ports, Performance, Sound Quality, and Verdict

The BenQ TH685 ($799) is undoubtedly one of a rising variety of 1080p projectors that may settle for 4K (3820-by-2160) HDR enter, downconvert the picture to point out at 1080p decision, maintain the HDR, and ship a brilliant, extremely watchable image. Different projectors in this class, together with the Optoma GT1080HDR and Optoma HD39HDR, help HDR10, discovered on UHD Blu-ray discs and other recorded materials. In contrast to many, it additionally helps HLG, the rising customary for broadcast TV. Each HDR and SDR (customary dynamic vary) content material, delivering good color accuracy and distinction, particularly given its comparatively low value. And at a rated 3,500 lumens, it is merely brilliant sufficient to ship a satisfyingly large image in ambient gentle.

Constructed for Each Brightness and Colour

The TH685 pairs a single 1920-by-1200 DLP chip with a six-segment RGBWYC (red-green-blue-white-yellow-cyan) color wheel; however, it makes use of solely 1920-by-1080 pixels on the chip as its native decision. The additional pixels allow you to shift the image up or down from the central place by five p.c of the picture peak, as a handy method to place the picture to your display.

The color wheel’s white section lets it ship a brighter picture than you’ll get from an, in any other case, an identical projector without one. Nevertheless, it additionally impacts color accuracy, which is why color wheels in projectors meant for conventional dwelling theater in a darkish room—such because the BenQ HT2150ST—do not embrace white panels. The yellow and cyan segments assist right for that, with the yellow section serving to ship brighter, extra vibrant yellows than many DLP projectors can handle.

Setup and Viewing

At 6.2 kilos and four by 12 by 9 inches (HWD), the TH685 is straightforward to deal with for setup. The digital picture shift and 1.3x zoom lens additionally add flexibility for positioning. And if that you must tilt the projector up or down even after adjusting the change, you possibly can sq. off the picture with the +/- 30 diploma vertical keystone management.

I arrange the projector for a 90-inch picture at 7 ft, Three inches from the display. One small annoyance is that it is more durable than it must be to get the picture effectively centered. Transferring the main focus ring slightly modifications the main focus lots, making it arduous to regulate without overshooting the suitable setting.

Picture inputs embrace two HDMI 2.0b ports, each helping HDCP 2.2 (the copy safety model on 4K Blu-ray discs). There’s additionally a USB port, meant strictly for supplying energy to HDMI dongles.

BenQ TH685 again ports

The again panel hosts numerous ports to enter and energy.

Even with default settings, picture high quality is sweet for the value and simply charges as greater than acceptable by most requirements. When you get the main focus proper, the picture element is sufficient for the 1080p decision, and colors for {movies} and video are effectively throughout the vary for real looking color in all however one of many predefined color modes. As with most projectors, the Vibrant method sacrifices color accuracy for visibility in a setting with numerous ambient gentle, similar to in a household room with multiple sunny home windows. However, most individuals will discover the slight inexperienced shift tolerable if they solely want to use Vibrant mode sometimes.

For SDR content material, Cinema mode has the perfect color accuracy and is the one I selected for many of my testings. However, Residing Room, Normal, and Recreation modes weren’t far behind. Sports activities mode is not nearly as good. However, its color was hardly ever outdoors of a sensible vary in my exams, and solely barely off when it was. The four modes with higher color accuracy had been all intently matched on the distinction, black ranges, and sense of three-dimensionality in darkish scenes. Residing Room and Recreation modes each brightened up the shadow element just a bit. This may steal visible impressions from darkish scenes in {movies}. However, it may help avid gamers spot what’s taking place in darkish areas extra shortly. All these modes did the job of exhibiting the refined gradations that make close-ups of rounded objects, similar to faces, look three-dimensional.

BenQ TH685 entrance and prime

For a small and comparatively cheap 1080p projector, the TH685 produces spectacular color accuracy.

For HDR testing, I used 4K discs solely since HLG content material remains to be extra of a promise than an actuality at this writing. However, in response to BenQ, each mode works the identical method. In my exams, the TH685 switched to its single HDR10 mode and robotically downconverted the 4K picture to the projector’s native 1080p. As with most HDR projectors, the TH685 provides what’s generally known as an HDR brightness setting for guide adjustment. The very best location will range with the gentle ambient stage and from movie to movie.

In my exams with 4K HDR {movies}, brightly lit scenes had saturated correctly color and useful distinction. Darkish locations had been comparable to the SDR variations of the identical {movies} that—with no method to do side-by-side comparability—variations had been arduous to pinpoint. My impression is that they provided the equal shadow element as in SDR, however, with darker grey ranges to yield a different dramatic picture and a better sense of dimensionality.

Like most of its direct opponents, the TH685 has several settings for fine-tuning the picture vary: expected brightness, distinction, and gamma changes, plus a color administration system for adjusting the hue, saturation, and achieve individually for every primary and secondary color.

The rated 3,500 lumens is brilliant sufficient, in response to the Society of Movement-Image and Tv Engineers (SMPTE) suggestions, to gentle up a 270-inch diagonal display in a darkish room or a 150-inch show in average ambient gentle, assuming a 1.0-gain, 16:9 white display. As with most projectors, nonetheless, the modes you are more than likely to make use of do not challenge at full brightness. For my formal exams in a dark room, Cinema mode was brilliant sufficient to fill a 90-inch-diagonal white display. In casual exams in a household room with numerous home windows, it was intelligent enough to gentle up an 80-inch 1.0-gain white display for nighttime viewing with lights on or for daytime viewing on a wet day.

As is typical on this value vary, the TH685 provides a single 3D image mode and works with DLP-link glasses solely. I noticed no crosstalk or ghosting in my exams and only minor 3D-related movement artifacts.

The TH685 will get combined critiques for rainbow artifacts. I noticed these red-green-blue flashes usually sufficient to note. However, they had been fleeting, so should you’re not delicate to them, it’s possible you’ll not see them in any respect. As with all single-chip projector, should you visit these artifacts—or do not know whether or not you do—purchase the projector from a supply that permits returns with no restocking price, in case the artifacts do find yourself bothering you.

Gentle and Quick With Good Sound

Players will admire the TH685’s quick lag time. With Quick mode on—the default setting for Recreation image mode—my Bodnar meter measured the lag for 1080p, 60Hz enter at 16.four ms. BenQ would not embrace a carrying case. However, the projector remains to be reasonably moveable; avid gamers who want a projector they’ll carry from room to room, or a buddy’s home will admire the small dimension and lightweight.

As a pleasing shock, it additionally delivers much more sturdy audio than you’ll anticipate from its onboard 5-watt mono speaker because of the chamber design. Audio high quality is sweet for such a small projector, and the amount is excessive sufficient to fill a big household room. For stereo or actually top quality, nonetheless, plan on utilizing an external sound system.

In case you’re on decent funds, you may need to take into account cheaper 1080p projectors. The ViewSonic PX701HD ($590) and BenQ’s TH585 ($599), for instance, are additionally designed for gaming and watching {movies} and video in ambient gentle. However, they miss help for HDR and 4K enter.

Two different selections that are extra straight aggressive and price an in-depth look are the Optoma HD39HDR and Optoma GT1080HDR. Each share the TH685’s skill to accept 4K HDR enter and downconvert it to 1080p HDR, and each provides considerably larger brightness rankings. Nevertheless, the TH685 is one of many three that also helps HLG, giving it a necessary edge.

Our exams discovered little to complain about, and perks similar to the nice onboard audio sweeten the deal. If you would like HDR and HLG help in a sub-$1,000 1080p projector, the BenQ TH685 is the one to beat.

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