If you’re an avid sports fan, you’ll appreciate the somewhat unique challenges of catching your favourite televised sporting event. If it’s not dealing with the inordinate bar tab if you choose to park yourself in your nearest sports bar, it’s the somewhat inconsistent viewing experience as well. Depending on the establishment, the ambient lighting conditions and where you choose to plonk yourself in, you could end up with a washed out mess or even worse, just see a series of smudged out squiggles punting a ball onscreen.
Watching it at home is an option of course, more so if you’re a fan of the beautiful game as it’s televised live on national TV though the quality of your home viewing experience is also contingent on the size and quality of your home display as well as the source footage.
Needless to say, a dinky little TV panel just doesn’t cut it. While having something large and able to display 4K imagery at home was once something reserved for the well heeled, BenQ aims to sort that pickle out and sate the needs of all sports fans, not just those who love footy but for every possible televised sport on the planet including, yes, that Yank version of football. Enter the BenQ TK800 4K HDR Sports Projector.
Boiled down, the BenQ TK800 is a home projector that brings to the plate the capability to display a massive 100-inch image in glorious 4K HDR while sporting (pun, not intended) a unique Sport and Football mode to offer an optimised viewing experience for enjoying spectator sports though it’s also a dab hand at movies and gaming too.
Of note is that the TK800 is also quite a bit brighter than many other projectors including its older sibling the W1700 as it is rated at an impressive 3,000 lumens versus the W1700’s 2,200 lumens. This allows it to function in brighter lit scenarios that would have offered a washed out image to dimmer projectors.
Unboxing the BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector
Externally, the projector comes in a nondescript cardboard package with a plastic carry handle embedded on the top portion. It’s fairly low profile without any product imagery printed on it bar the BenQ logo and a product description on the side.
The BenQ TK800 bears an aesthetic resemblance to the W1700 that we tested a while back but has a different emphasis that has influenced its features and hardware as it is optimised for enjoying spectator sports in 4K HDR quality without costing an arm and a leg.
Out of the box, the BenQ TK800 package comes with the projector itself, a remote control along with a free pair of AAA batteries to power it, a cable to hook up the TK800 to the mains as well as a user manual to get you started. The projector itself is securely suspended between foam cutouts within the box and setting it up requires a minimum of leg work bar ensuring you have a proper screen to project it on or, in lieu of that, a whitewashed wall of sufficient size. That and all the associated cables to hook up your source feed to the projector of course.
While it’s still a wee bit too large for hauling around on your own, the TK800 is still man-portable enough to tote in a large duffle bag with some padding, in its original cardboard packaging or in the boot of your car. As far as 4K projectors are concerned, the TK800 despite its modestly hefty dimensions is still one of the lighter projectors in the market at 4.2kg; that’s on the lower end of the weighing scale for projectors seeing as larger specimens from other vendors can weigh substantially more.
Externally, the TK800 is hewn primarily from plastic with a white finish all around with the front plate finished in an eye catching shade of electric blue. The overall build quality is pleasantly sturdy with a similar layout to the W1700 that we field tested earlier on.
The left and right sides of the projector come with a series of grilles for heat ventilation while the top comes with a manual power button as well as a set of controls to manipulate playback. While the provided remote control can handle everything, it’s nice to have a backup set of controls if things go south. Nestled next to it is a slider to control the zoom and focus on the TK800’s main lens array which has an aperture range of f/1.94 – 2.06 and 1.2x optical zoom.
The rear is neatly lined with an array of ports in a similar arrangement as the W1700. You get a pair of HDMI ports, with one being a conventional HDMI 1.4a/ HDCP 1.4 while the other supports HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2.
The rest of the ports consist of a 15-pin D-sub port to connect it to a PC for presentations and content streaming, a USB Type-A port for charging duties up to 1.5A, a mini B port and an RS-232 port. It also has an audio-in and audio-out as well as a 12V trigger port if you happen to pair the TK800 projector up with a motorised screen. The base of the TK800 has a trio of adjustable feet to adjust the angle of the projector to some degree in order to suit your home setup.
Much like the W1700, the TK800 sports a fully-featured remote control that enables you to manipulate playback as well as adjust the settings including brightness, sharpness, gamma correction and colour temperature on the projector. The remote control is backlit when activated and made of an off-white plastic that’s light and sturdy; it’s not classy or flashy looking by any means but the white finish and backlighting means that it’s easier to find it the dark or amongst the crevices of your couch.
BenQ TK800 4K HDR Projector Specifications
The BenQ TK800 bears some aesthetic similarity to the W1700 in terms of its external design but differs somewhat as it prioritises brightness to an impressive 3,000 ANSI Lumens and integrates content specific Football and Sport modes specifically intended for viewing spectator sports.
This is achieved by a 240W lamp with a rated 10,000 hours of service life on Eco Mode before requiring a replacement. The additional brightness allows the TK800 to be used in scenarios that would traditionally have given other projectors with dimmer lamps pause such as daylit living rooms. The key advantage here being that you don’t necessarily have to customise an entire room with blackout curtains to make using the TK800 viewable under daylight conditions or with the lights on.
In terms of hardware, the TK800 amps up the aforementioned brightness but also retains BenQ’s emphasis on superior image quality. At the heart of the TK800 is a 0.47-inch single-DMD DLP XPR chip from Texas Instruments capable of producing 8.3 million pixels onscreen, paired with a 7-element, 4-group lens array that eliminates chromatic aberration to produce crisp, vibrant 4K imagery at an optimised 100-inches in size on your choice of a wall or screen. If you have the space, you can, in a pinch, ramp this up to a whopping huge 300-inch screen though the sweet spot for optimum image quality remains at a 100-inch display with a 3.5 meter projection distance.
The TK800 also comes with a built-in 5W speaker housed in a resonant echo chamber within the chassis. Like earlier examples of BenQ’s projectors, the TK800’s speaker works with a selection of pretuned sound modes depending on the content you are watching such as Cinema mode though the main standout here is its new Sports and Football mode that have scenario specific audio settings so as to offer a more immersive audio experience for viewers on top of tweaked viewing settings. If any of the audio settings don’t quite appeal, you can still customise them to your own specifications.
The projector is also capable of supporting 1080P 3D content playback though we were unable to test that particular feature as the stock retail units don’t come with 3D glasses.
Getting it set up and started required a minimum of effort and you have the option to either mount it on a table or out of the way on the ceiling or as a front or rear projector. Once you’ve figured out how you want it deployed, setup is a doddle as the TK800 has an auto keystone function that helps to present a squared, perfectly aligned image from where you’ve plonked the projector.
BenQ TK800 Projector Performance
The BenQ TK800 projector is a ‘True 4K’ certified projector that takes advantage of pixel-shifting tech on its 0.47-inch DLP XPR chip to present up to 8.3 million pixels onscreen. After properly aligning the display and setting it up, the TK800 was subjected to a range of footage across different genres and subjects at different resolutions and in both SDR and HDR. It was also subjected to viewing scenarios that would usually preclude the use of a projector.
The menus on the TK800 are straightforward and self explanatory with the inclusion of a Bright mode a Vivid TV mode, a Cinema mode, two user customisable modes and a unique Sport and Football mode that act as the TK800’s raison d’être – viewing spectator sports. You’re also able to fire up a HDR mode and, select the input feed you want to pipe footage from. If you’re a stickler for accuracy you also have the option to tweak brightness, contrast, colour, tint and sharpness down to your exact specifications.
On default settings, the TK800 offered a strong showing. Movies in 4K HDR were a treat with lusciously deep blacks and good contrast in brighter sections without any overly excessive brightness. Colour reproduction was excellent as well with spot-on colours for movies and gaming; no surprise as it’s able to cover 92% of the Rec.709 colour space, which means that it’s capable of offering up nigh faithful colour reproduction as intended by a film director. More discerning viewers will likely want to tweak the settings though what was on offer out of the box was pleasing indeed.
When tested with a variety of sports footage in 4K HDR, the TK800 did not disappoint with smooth, judder free footage and decent colours though best results were obtained when tweaked to the relevant mode. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do this manually yourself and there’s a bit of input delay when moving around the menus. It’s not a deal breaker but it does get irksome when you’re swapping between watching the footy and an action film.
In Football mode, the pitch is rendered into a lusher, more vivid hue while skin tones were rendered more lifelike. Vocals were also emphasised in the soundstage to ensure that crowd noises and, more importantly, announcers were audible. This worked a treat and the results were both audible and viewable in test footage. Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of 4K HDR football content available so most of the stuff that you have immediate access to for the ongoing World Cup is either in 720P or 1080P sans HDR. Even so, the TK800 gave a good accounting of itself, footage quality notwithstanding.
For Sports mode, the TK800 also has a unique sound and colour profile tuned specifically for indoor sports with more realistic skin tones, more balanced greens and blues, and more vibrant reds while also enhancing ambient noise and announcer vocals for a more immersive experience. Sports mode also happens to offer, on paper, warmer wood tones which comes in handy when viewing indoor basketball tournaments seeing as they take place on hardwood arenas. This mode works as advertised with pretty spot-on colours in the ring for team jerseys and especially for skin tones though bright reds seemed a bit on the overly vibrant side.
To test its also vaunted brightness, the TK800 was set up in a daylit room with indirect lighting from a window and tested at noon. Under daylight, the TK800 served up relatively crisp and viewable footage at odds with the sunlight streaming through. Visual clarity was sufficient to enjoy the content on hand and while best results are obtained in suitably dark room, the results made for enjoyable viewing. Fan noise even at full tilt remained at a very manageably low level and it gets even quieter if you set it into Economic mode which also extends life of the lamp.
Price and Conclusion
The BenQ TK800 4K HDR projector is an immensely well made, high-performing projector that has the chops to offer solid 4K home entertainment for all manner of video content. The improved brightness allows for it to be enjoyed under a wider array of scenarios and the enhanced Sport and Football mode make for some seriously good viewing experiences watching the footy and, for the matter, other spectator sports. If you’re seeking an affordable, effective means of ramping up your home entertainment experiences by several notches, the TK800 won’t disappoint you.
What we liked Easy to setup and deploy, bright and clear image quality, effective Football and Sports mode,
What we didn’t Needs more HDMI ports
We say BenQ’s TK800 home projector delivers crisp and vibrantly hued imagery in 4K at a reasonable price and the unique Football and Sport mode makes for enjoyable viewing of spectator sports .
Projection system 0.47-inch DMD DLP
Native resolution 4K2K with 4-way XPR (1,920 x 1080)
Brightness 3,000 ANSI lumens
Aspect ratio 16:9
Speaker 5W x 1
Throw ratio 100-inches @ 3.25m
Lamp wattage 240W
Ports 1 x PC (D-sub), 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB Type A, 1 x USB Type mini B, 1 x audio-in, 1 x audio out
Size/Weight 353 x 135 x 272mm / 4.2kg