BenQ MH530 projector review
BenQ is a Taiwanese multinational company that manufactures electronics, computing and communications equipment. The brand was founded in 1984 and is present in more than 100 countries. The BenQ MH530 is a compact, single-chip DLP projector that can project colour, sharp, detailed Full HD images. Native contrast and black levels are average. It has enough brightness to be used well in daylight or lamp light.
This small, single-chip DLP projector performs best on graphs and pie charts, and is a perfect companion for Blu-ray players and game consoles as well. If one travels frequently, one can easily take it anywhere with one, measuring 283 x 95 x 222 mm and weighing 5 kg. Elegant white design, elegant, beautiful appearance. Unfortunately, it only has one HDMI input, although a minimum of 2 HDMI inputs would be required.
The back panel has audio inputs and outputs, as well as a mini USB port for software upgrades and an RS232 port.
Thanks to a single HDMI input, Full HD resolution and BrilliantColor processing, it is capable of excellent HD images from a Blu-ray player or game console. It also has a built-in speaker, but the performance of the speaker is quite poor, suitable for occasional use, such as a presentation. The MH530 is also capable of 3D, although no 3D glasses are included.
The MH530 has keystone correction, but unfortunately it causes image distortion. However, using the MH530 is very simple – all you have to do is press the buttons on the remote control and the image will start moving up or down. The same is true with the left and right volume buttons on the built-in speaker.
Cinema or sRGB presets are suitable for watching any video. There are some energy-saving modes, including SmartEco, and BenQ’s BrilliantColor feature increases colour saturation and contrast without any colour distortion.
Energy saving modes
BenQ’s SmartEco technology offers low operating costs, unparalleled brightness, excellent image quality and optimized lamp life. With this special feature, up to 70% energy savings and lower operating costs can be achieved while enjoying ultra-vivid image quality.
With SmartEco mode, the projector uses exactly as much lamp power as needed to achieve the best contrast ratio.
Lamp saving mode
Thanks to the lamp-saving mode, the lamp power changes according to the content to be displayed, so the modified brightness can increase the lamp life by up to 50%, thus extending the lamp life.
Eco Blank Mode
Eco Blank mode allows you to darken the screen when the projector is not in use. When turned on, this special feature reduces overall energy consumption by 70% and reduces lamp brightness.
The projector will automatically switch to Eco Blank mode if no input source is detected even three minutes after it is turned on. This conversion avoids energy waste and extends lamp life. Standby power consumption is less than 0.5W.
Blu-ray Full HD 3D support
The BenQ MH530’s latest DLP® technology supports 3D display, and 3D scenes can be viewed using 3D glasses.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology is also used by most digital cinema systems and IMAX movie theaters. DLP is also a common technology in projectors.
With an incredibly long-life micro-size mirror on the DMD chip and a fully insulated housing on the DLP engine, BenQ DLP projectors are capable of performance without degrading image quality. BenQ projectors are also resistant to dirt and high temperatures.
The noise level is 33/28 dB, the aspect ratio is 16: 9, the lamp power is 270 W, and the lamp life is 4,000 hours.
BenQ MH530 performance
The MH530 can be used well during the day, the 3200 ANSI lumens brightness is a huge plus and there is no problem using the projector indoors on a bright, sunny day, of course you need to use the highest lamp setting. The disadvantage of this is that when the light is low, there is only average contrast. Switching to SmartEco improves this, but the BrilliantColor feature also helps. Dark areas in images may appear a bit grainy – a common problem with single-chip DLP projectors – but the images are quite detailed. The motion resolution was impressive. Despite its excellent image performance, there is one serious flaw in the MH530 projector, the “rainbow effect”.
The MH530 is a versatile projector: the native aspect ratio is 16: 9, making it perfect for movies and TV shows as well. With 3200 ANSI lumens of brightness and a 10,000: 1 contrast ratio, the MH530 also performs well when watching movies, although the colours and contrast fall short of expectations.
The MH530 has 3D colour management settings, (hue, saturation, and gain), as well as some interesting lamp modes that really help – especially SmartEco mode, which reduces power consumption by 70%.
The lack of lens shift is a serious drawback, as is the strange design of the focus wheel over the lens; for some reason, blue light emits from it, creating an unwanted visual effect.
We measured a constant 58 decibel fan noise while using the MH530, but in practice we barely noticed it while watching the movie (although this is largely due to the decent, separate sound system). When designing a home theater system, it is important to build the right sound system and choose the right home theater amplifier. It’s a good idea to have at least a 5.1 sound system if you want a true cinematic experience. However, getting the perfect speakers does not yet guarantee optimal acoustics. It is definitely recommended to place sound-absorbing and diffuser panels on both the walls and the ceiling to help control bass sounds and reflections.
This projector is small, compact and capable of capturing enjoyable images in all kinds of ambient light, although the contrast and black level are far from perfect. Due to the constant “rainbow effect”, this projector is not our favorite. However, due to its portability, affordable price and versatile uses, it is an ideal choice for those who want to use it not only for watching movies but also for presentations.
Written by Róbert Polgár