Sophisticated Techie

Take your home theater to the next level with 1 luxe upgrade

BenQ's HT3550i can’t quite replace your TV, but it can make for amazing outdoor movie nights.

BenQ

BenQ

HT3550i is not a sexy name. But in the months I used it for everything from backyard movie nights to gaming on PlayStation 5, it came to represent a very specific kind of titillation.

BenQ

In every circumstance, the screen was bigger and better than everything else available to me.

BenQ

The lens array has 10 pieces of high-quality glass that allow for 4K Ultra HD projection.

At 2000 lumens, it offers theater-like quality intended for dark environments.

But it works perfectly fine in low-light as well.

BenQ

The screen maxes out around 150 inches on the diagonal. That’s more than 12 feet — basically a movie screen. BenQ has a projection calculator that can help figure out dimensions.

Image Source: BenQ

BenQ

BenQ’s CinematicColor tech explores multiple color spaces — the standard Rec.709 and more robust DCI-P3 — utilizing more of the visible light spectrum than most projectors or TVs.

BenQ

As you can see here, the DCI-P3 is wider than the Rec.709. One day, projectors will cover an even bigger swath of visible light and color.

Image Source: BenQ

In plainer terms, the colors really pop.

BenQ

BenQ

You might not have this reaction, but it’ll come close.

A wireless Android TV dongle included with the projector lets you stream a myriad of apps. All you need to do is connect it to wifi.

BenQ

One of the remotes can control both the projector and the Android TV stick. (So why are there two remotes?)

BenQ

You can also use it to cast video from any device — from Android to Apple — through the projector.

But there are many different inputs to choose from, including HDMI 2.0 and an HDMI with Audio Return Channel (ARC) support if you want to dabble in more complicated home sound systems.

Sony

We opted for high-res video games like Returnal that push the PlayStation 5 to its limits while wearing stereo headphones. It makes for an awe-inspiring use of the HT3550i when locked in a dark room.

BenQ

The full HT3550i package comes in at just over nine pounds, and the $1,649 price tag is pretty hefty. Still, that’s a lot of power for a fairly portable projector.

But as long as you like the darkness and don’t mind the gentle hum of a cooling fan doing its job, the HT3550i is a solid investment.

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