BenQ MH530FHD – Project HD For Less

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BenQ MH530FHD

Used to be you had to be a millionaire to have a media room or home theatre with a big screen projector for movies & TV that cost thousands of dollars. You can still pay that much on the high end, but there are also good budget models you can use anywhere, one of which is the BenQ MH530FHD.

The BenQ MH530FHD is a DLP projector which means it uses a “regular” mercury lightbulb (as opposed to LCD or LED) but that also means the picture is brighter with better color. This model can easily create an 8-foot image from as little as 9 feet away, so you don’t need a very large room set aside. Images of up to 25 feet, diagonal, are possible.

The HD resolution is 1920x1080p and is 3D compatible. You can input just about any kind of video because there are not only two HDMI ports, there are two SVGA inputs, plus composite video and S-Video. Obviously, using HDMI would be the best for high-resolution pictures. While the BenQ MH530FHD has two small built-in speakers, most users would likely opt to use the audio out jack to a sound bar or audio system for better sound (and there’s a separate audio input for non-HDMI sources). There is a mini-USB jack for slideshows, but unfortunately not a regular USB port into which you might plug a Roku or Chromecast device for streaming TV without plugging in a computer.

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The BenQ MH530FHD is not tiny at 13 inches across, 8.5 inches deep and almost 4 inches high, but it is not heavy at 5.3 pounds so it’s easily transportable to different rooms, or even outside, and could be taken to business presentation. It works from a tabletop, of course, but can also be ceiling mounted with an optional kit, that is, if you’ve set aside that dedicated media room or built a home theatre.

With a small remote, you use an on-screen menu will adjust the projector in many ways, from fine-tuning the color to eliminating the vertical “keystone effect” where a projected picture looks more like a trapezoid than a square. You can freeze images, zoom, raise and lower volume, and of course turn the BenQ MH530FHD on and off.

The projector comes with a 3-year warranty and a 1 year or 2000-hour warranty on the lamp, which is said to last 4500 hours in normal use, or up to 6000 hours with the projector’s “Eco” setting, and 10,000 hours on “Super Eco.” Replacement bulbs are under $150.

The  BenQ MH530FHD is available direct for $549 or on Amazon for the same price.

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