BenQ HT2060 Review: Return of the 1080p King

BenQ HT2060 Review: Return of the 1080p King

BenQ HT2060 Review: Return of the 1080p King

When it comes to reviewing the aftercare of a great product, I wish I was knowledgeable enough about sports to find the perfect sports metaphor. “Back-to-back championships are tough,” or something like that. Or maybe there’s no connection between the two because typically a company improves its offerings every year until a big change happens that sets it back – like moving to 4K, For example. Then he either jumps on his own or disappears. BenQ was in an interesting position: I reviewed the HT2050A HD projector in 2020 and loved it. He was already more than 2 years old at that time. By the time we last gave it an Editors’ Choice award, it had been out for five years. That’s an eternity in technology, but such was the strength of this excellent little projector.

Enter the long-awaited replacement, the HT2060, with some serious shoes to fill. It still sports a 1080p resolution and has about the same brightness rating. The case is modernized, sleek and squarer. Wisely on BenQ’s part, it retained the HT2050A’s lens shift, still rare among single-chip DLP projectors. The biggest change is the switch to an LED light source instead of a lamp.


  • Excellent realistic color
  • Decent contrast ratio
  • Vertical lens shift

Do not like

  • The brightness is rather average
  • A bit pricey for 1080p

The market for projectors isn’t as fast as TVs, for example, but there have been notable advancements since the arrival of the HT2050A. Most notable of the notables, last year Epson released the HC2350 with 4K resolution. Initially much more expensive than the old HT2050A, its price has dropped enough so that it is now almost the same price as this HT2060 1080p. Did BenQ wait too long to post a follow-up? Has the market evolved? If you haven’t already, the answer might surprise you.

By the numbers

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • HDR-capable: Yes
  • 4K-capable: Yes
  • 3D compatible: Yes
  • Lumen specification: 2300
  • Zoom: 1.3x
  • Lens shift: Vertical +10%
  • Lamp life: 20,000 to 30,000 hours (LED)

The HT2060 carries over many of the features of the HT2050A: both are 1080p, have a 1.3x zoom and a slight vertical lens shift of +10%. These doohickies might not seem significant, but they’re way more than most DLP projectors in this price range, which have zero. While the HT2060 can accept a 4K signal, it upconverts it to 1080p.

The lumen specification is only slightly higher than the HT2050A’s 2,200. I would have liked to see a bigger jump here, especially with other similarly priced projectors offering much more, although the lumen specs are a rough estimate anyway. I measured 985 in Living Room mode and only slightly less in incredibly accurate Filmmaker mode. I got a respectable 1,794 in Bright mode, although the latter is visibly green and not really something you’d use on a regular basis. Generally I’ve used the Living Room mode, although a bit less accurate, for its visual extra.

Like its predecessor, the 1.3x zoom is decent, although the throw distance of the HT2060 is still a bit shorter than most projectors in this range. If you’re replacing another projector and already have a ceiling mount, it’s worth checking the throw distances on the BenQ website.

As mentioned in the introduction, the biggest change is the change from a traditional lamp to LEDs. Since these LEDs will essentially last the lifetime of the projector, there are significant lifetime cost benefits to this move. At four hours per night, even BenQ’s lowest estimate, the LEDs should last about 14 years. BenQ’s replacement lamps weren’t particularly expensive, but during that time you’d have spent the same amount as the projector again ($750). Even though the HT2060 is currently more expensive than its predecessor, it’s still cheaper to own in the long run. LEDs also have significant advantages in image quality, which we will discuss later.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Connection collection

  • HDMI inputs: 2
  • USB Port: 1 (2.5A)
  • Audio Output: Analog 3.5mm (1), Optical (1)
  • Audio Input: Analog 3.5mm
  • Control: RS-232
  • Internet: None
  • Remote control: backlit

Oddly, the connections are one of the few aspects that lag behind the HT2050A, but I’m okay with that. The older model had a variety of analog inputs which are no longer widely used. Instead, the HT2060 has two HDMI 2.0b inputs, which is what you really need.

There are analog and digital audio outputs, in case you want to connect a streaming stick directly to the projector and send audio to external speakers. Generally I would recommend a receiver and speakers go with a projector, but it’s a reasonable option. The projector’s internal speakers are fine compared to speakers in other projectors, but none of them sound particularly good.

The square remote has a soft amber backlight, as well as direct access to a variety of picture controls.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Image quality and comparisons

It was fair to compare the HT2060 to the BenQ HT2050A. As of this writing, you can still get the old model for around 25% less, but it will be discontinued soon. The 4K Epson Home Cinema 2350 has a higher MSRP, but regularly sits only 10% more than the HT2060. I connected all three competitors to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and viewed the projectors side-by-side on a 102-inch screen at 1.0 gain.

For three fairly similar projectors, they are surprisingly different. The Epson is bright, but gray; the BenQ HT2050A is darker, but punchy; and the BenQ HT2060 looks like someone dialed in the color but kept most other aspects the same.

Let’s talk about this color for a moment. The HT2060 is one of the most accurate projectors we’ve measured. It goes beyond precise greens, reds, and blues, but also lots of midtones that make for a more realistic image. With a variety of content, including HDR, the HT2060 just has much richer, deeper and more realistic colors than the HT2050A. The Epson also has very accurate colors, though not quite to the same extent.

Epson’s problem, compared to the two BenQs, is a significantly lower contrast ratio. It looks washed out in comparison. Interestingly, the HT2060 undercuts the HT2050A, 1320:1 versus 2094:1 with my measurements. Side by side, it’s less obvious than you might think. The Epson’s 348:1, on the other hand, is very noticeable. Although the Epson is much brighter, the black levels are also noticeably higher. Even if you lowered the brightness of the Epson, the black levels would still be high. So side by side, especially if you’re looking at something with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, blacks look gray. The image just looks flatter and more artificial.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

What about 4K? It’s interesting too. The Epson is an LCD projector, which suffers from motion blur. BenQ’s DLP technology does not have this problem. So with some images the Epson looks sharper. On others, they look roughly similar, if not a slight advantage, to DLPs. With close-ups of faces, the Epson definitely looks a bit sharper, but if the camera moves, the DLP does. Either way, it’s a lot closer than you think. The HT2050A looks the worst here, largely due to some processing issues which aren’t a big deal on their own, but compared to these two new PJs, that means it’s starting to do its age.

The most disappointing aspect of the HT2060 is its relative low brightness. It’s not “weak” per se, but I’d say it’s average. If you wanted a 150-inch screen or something, the Epson is the best bet. For a light-controlled room, the BenQ HT2060 is still very bright.

Of the three options, I would choose the HT2060. On paper, the HT2050A has some advantages, but overall the HT2060 is simply better. The Epson’s incredible light output certainly has its place, but if you’re looking for all-around image quality, the BenQ HT2060’s higher contrast trumps the Epson.

The king is dead. Long live the king

After all you have just read, my conclusion might surprise you. Yes, the HT2060 does not have quite the same performance on paper as the HT2050A. Between the two, however, I would always choose the HT2060. The image is all the more realistic, you never need to replace the lamp, it turns on and off quickly and it is a little quieter. All in all, it’s fantastic. If you have an HT2050A, should you upgrade? No. Wait until there is a 4K projector with great contrast for $1,000 or less, and the market isn’t quite there yet.

Speaking of 4K, where does that leave competitor Epson? For most people, the Epson 2350 and the BenQ HT2060 are the two projectors I would recommend, and they are surprisingly different. The Epson is an absolute flamethrower – it’s the second brightest we’ve ever measured. In a projector, that’s both impressive and a huge selling point. If you want that epic 150-inch picture, or want to watch movies and TV with some ambient light, this is your choice. Its contrast ratio, however, is quite poor and only a fraction of BenQ’s. The HT2060 just has a more cinema-quality image. It might not be as remarkable as its predecessor, but it’s still remarkable.


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