Disclaimer: Sample product was received for review purposes.

There’s a reason people still go to the movies. We live in a time of instant gratification. If you really, really wanted to see a new movie from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty solutions out there to bypass the movie-going process altogether. But, what draws people to sit amongst strangers and share the cinematic experience?

I’ll be the first person to admit: I’m a homebody. Yes, I’m social when I need to be. I’ll partake in a party here and there, and thoroughly enjoy my favorite pastime of indulging in a few adult beverages. But, more times than not, you can find me enjoying those drinks from the comfort of my own couch. When I’m kickin’ back with a soda-popinski in hand, you can bet that I’m either playing video games or watching a movie.

Lose or forget your remote? There are easy menu and navigation buttons that keep the average consumer in mind.

Even so, it’s no wonder that people still flock to the movies to fulfill their entertainment needs. One of the best parts of the theater is being able to enjoy something that’s larger than what you’re used to seeing. Who doesn’t want to watch a movie on the big screen? The satisfaction of staring at a screen that is exponentially bigger than you home television is unrivaled. And, this experience has been widely replicated by many projector companies. With that, prices have come down, and features that were once available for a hefty price are now standard. That’s exactly the case with the BenQ MH530FHD.

A few years back, I had reviewed the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 home projector. It was monstrous in design, however, it delivered a seemingly unmatched performance on the expanded 90” screen that it could display. The Epson PowerLite also came with a pretty hefty price tag. The introductory price chimed in at around $1,299 when it first launched and still sells for around $1,000 brand new. Surprisingly, the BenQ DLP projector features many of the same inputs, and on paper, outperforms the Epson on just about every spec.

There are a few trade-offs in terms of contrast, the Epson PowerLite Cinema 8350 being 50,000:1 and the BenQ model is 15,000:1. The Epson PowerLite also boasts its own E-TORL lamp for efficiency and life. Although, with the passing of time, the UHP lamp from BenQ has shown that it has the ability to outlast the competition and provide rivaling specs. The BenQ model is also lighter, more portable and has out-of-the-box options for sound input/output.

Epson Specs

Price: $1,000 and down
Brightness: 2,000 Lumens
Video Modes: 480P, 480i, 576P, 576i, 720P, 1080i, 1080P/60
Lamp Type: E-TORL
Lamp Life: 4,000 hours
Weight: 16.1 lbs.

BenQ Specs

Price: $499
Brightness: 3,300 Lumens
Video Modes: 480P, 480i, 576P, 576i, 720P, 1080i, 1080P/60
Lamp Type: UHP
Lamp Life: 10,000 hours
Weight: 5.3 lbs.

The best part I like about the BenQ projector is the ease in which you can set up an audio device. I currently have a 2.1 Sony surround sound system. It packs a nice wallop to it and was the perfect companion for the BenQ MH530FHD. During this time, I would simply plug my optical cord directly from my Xbox One or PC right into the soundbar.

If you are planning on playing something retro, then you might have to get crafty in regards to standard RCA cords. But, the BenQ features rear auxiliary input and output to ensure that you will at least have some ideas on how you are going to make things work. Kudos if you have a sound bard or system that has auxiliary, RCA and optical ports. This was something I overlooked when initially buying my soundbar and TV combo.

I think the biggest thing going for the BenQ MH530FHD is its phenomenal value. I’ve played Mario Kart on a giant screen, revisited Baymax in Big Hero 6, and of course, played Rocket League on full settings on my wall. The variety of devices the BenQ DLP projector supports, and the unintimidating design, make this one of my favorite devices of the year. Albeit, I think I would have preferred more to its casing than the feather-light plastic, there’s a lot of power hidden under the white glossy shell.

The BenQ is not only the perfect companion for your movies needs, but it delivers in creating an inviting environment for those looking to game beyond their traditional HD TV. It has proven worthy for my tastes, and undoubtedly is one of my favorite home theater products of 2017.

Greg Bargas
A console gamer gone rogue. Collector of retro games, lover of hardware. Part of the Class vs. Crass gaming podcast. Rocket League, anyone?

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