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BenQ TH685i vs TH685 difference – can you watch Netflix?

BenQ TH685i vs TH685 difference

Which is better for streaming TV – BenQ TH685i vs TH685? In the case of the bright and colorful Central Park, the projectors did a good job of mostly getting the colors right and offered a pretty good overall experience. Unfortunately that wasn’t really the case for Ted Lasso, which looked a bit desaturated and less crisp – though admittedly live action series are a bit harder to get right in terms of colors and brightness than cartoons.

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Pros & Cons – BenQ TH685i vs TH685

BenQ TH685i

PROS

  • Good color accuracy and contrast for the price
  • Supports HDR, including HLG
  • Accepts 4K input to downconvert to 1080p
  • Low input lag for gaming
  • Supports Full HD 3D
  • Excellent 16.4ms input lag at 60Hz and 8.3ms at 120Hz
  • Uses the Android TV OS for streaming
  • Good color accuracy for the price

CONS

  • Hard to adjust for sharpest image
  • Doesn’t read files from USB memory keys
  • Average contrast ratio
  • Netflix not available from the Google Play Store

BenQ TH685

Pros

  • Exceptionally bright
  • Accurate colors
  • Low input lag for gaming
  • Good color accuracy and contrast for the price
  • Supports HDR, including HLG
  • Accepts 4K input to downconvert to 1080p
  • Low input lag for gaming
  • Supports Full HD 3D

Cons

  • Middling overall image quality
  • Hard to adjust for sharpest image

Specs – BenQ TH685i vs TH685

BenQ TH685i

  • 1920×1080 (1080p) native resolution
  • Accepts 4K
  • 3,500 ANSI lumens brightness
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 8.3ms input lag at 1080p/120Hz
  • Up to 15,000 hours lamp life in LampSave mode
  • HDR10 and HLG support
  • BenQ LumiExpert for contrast enhancement
  • Included QS01 streaming stick for Android TV OS with Google Assistant
  • 95% of Rec.709 color gamut
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (HD)
  • Contrast: 10,000:1 (full on/off)
  • Display Type: DLP x 1
  • Color Wheel: 6 segments
  • Color Wheel: 2x speed
  • Color Processing: 10-bit
  • Input Lag: 8ms (min)
  • Video Modes: 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/25, 1080p/30, 1080p/50, 2160p/24, 2160p/60, 576i, 576p, 480p, 480i
  • Data Modes: MAX 1920×1200
  • 3D Modes: Full HD 3D
  • Lamp Type: Metal Halide bulb
  • Lamp Life: 4,000 hours / 15,000 hours (Eco)
  • Lamp Model: 5J.JKX05.001 Buy Replacement Lamp
  • Included Lens: 1.3x manual zoom , manual focus
  • Optional Lenses: No
  • Lens Shift: Vertical +/-5%
  • Throw Distance: 3.2′ – 24.6′ Calculate Throw Distance
  • Image Size: 29.99″ – 299.98″
  • Throw Ratio: 1.13:1 – 1.46:1 (D:W)
  • Projector Placement: For a 100″ diagonal screen, place the projector lens between 8′-2″ and 10′-7″ from the screen.
  • Digital Keystone: Vertical only
  • Projector Size: 4.00″ x 12.00″ x 9.00″ (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs
  • Audible Noise: 35 dB / 29 dB (Eco)
  • Internal Speakers: 5.0 Watts Mono
  • Power: 340 Watts 100V – 240V

BenQ TH685

  • Display Type: DLP x 1
  • Brightness: 3,500 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast: 10,000:1 (full on/off)
  • Color Wheel: 6 segments
  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Data Modes: MAX 1920×1200
  • 3D Modes: Full HD 3D
  • Lamp Type: 245W Metal Halide bulb
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (HD)
  • Color Wheel: 2x speed
  • Color Processing: 10-bit
  • Input Lag: 8ms (min)
  • Video Modes: 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/25, 1080p/30, 2160p/24, 2160p/60, 576i, 576p, 480p, 480i
  • Optional Lenses: No
  • Lens Shift: Vertical +/-5%
  • Lamp Life: 4,000 hours / 15,000 hours (Eco)
  • Lamp Model: 5J.JKX05.001 Buy Replacement Lamp
  • Projector Placement: For a 100″ diagonal screen, place the projector lens between 8′-2″ and 10′-7″ from the screen.
  • Included Lens: 1.3x manual zoom , manual focus
  • Throw Distance: 3.2′ – 24.6′ Calculate Throw Distance
  • Image Size: 30.18″ – 300.10″
  • Throw Ratio: 1.13:1 – 1.46:1 (D:W)
  • Audible Noise: 35 dB / 29 dB (Eco)
  • Internal Speakers: 5.0 Watts Mono
  • Digital Keystone: Vertical only
  • Projector Size: 4.00″ x 12.00″ x 9.00″ (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs
  • Power: 340 Watts 100V – 240V

What are the key differences – BenQ TH685i vs TH685?

The only cosmetic difference between the TH685 and TH685i is the collection and orientation of inputs on the back of the projector. Instead of both of the HDMI 2.0 (with HDCP 2.2) ports situated next to one another and directed straight out of the back as is found on almost every projector, one has been moved behind a plastic cover (along with a mini USB power connector) and dedicated as the media streaming port for the included QS01 HDMI dongle.

Once plugged in, the dongle lays flat against the back of the projector and can be protected and hidden by the plastic cover. This media streaming bay is meant specifically for the QS01 dongle and not for a different streaming stick (although you could feasibly put one in the other HDMI port and power it from the USB Type A on the back).

Design

BenQ TH685i

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The TH685i is a single-chip DLP projector that has a 6-segment (RGBWYC) color wheel. Its white case is 4 x 12 x 9 inches (HWD) and weighs only 6.2 pounds. On top there are rings to manually adjust the 1.3x zoom and focus. They can both be a bit fiddly to get right—the focus more so than the zoom, which has a tab on it that can be guided more easily with a finger.

BenQ TH685

At 6.2 pounds and 4 by 12 by 9 inches (HWD), the TH685 is easy to handle for setup. The digital image shift and 1.3x zoom lens also add flexibility for positioning. 

Connectors

BenQ TH685i

Image inputs include two HDMI 2.0b ports, which both support HDCP 2.2 (the copy protection version on 4K Blu-ray discs). There’s also a USB port, meant strictly for supplying power to HDMI dongles. 

  • HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (x2, one for the QS01 media player)
  • USB Type A
  • PC D-sub in
  • 3.5mm audio in
  • 3.5mm audio out
  • RS-232

BenQ TH685

Image inputs include two HDMI 2.0b ports, which both support HDCP 2.2 (the copy protection version on 4K Blu-ray discs). There’s also a USB port, meant strictly for supplying power to HDMI dongles. 

  • HDMI inputs: 2
  • PC input: Analog RGB (also Analog RGB out)
  • USB port: 1 (1.5A power)
  • Audio input and output: 3.5mm for each
  • Digital audio output: No
  • LAN port: No
  • 12v trigger: No
  • RS-232 remote port: Yes
  • MHL: No
  • Remote: Not backlit

What are the similarities – BenQ TH685i vs TH685?

Display

With a throw ratio of 1.13-1.46, they need 8 feet 3 inches to projector a 100-inch image. Also on the top are menu navigation buttons and LED indicator lights. I set up the projector for a 90-inch image at 7 feet, 3 inches from the screen. One small annoyance is that it’s harder than it should be to get the image well focused. Moving the focus ring just a little changes the focus a lot, making it hard to adjust without overshooting the right setting.

Brightness

The rated 3,500 lumens is bright enough, according to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommendations, to light up a 270-inch diagonal screen in a dark room or a 150-inch screen in moderate ambient light, assuming a 1.0-gain, 16:9 white screen. As with most projectors, however, the modes you’re most likely to use don’t project at full brightness.

Gaming

 In Game mode, the TH685i has an input lag of only 16.4ms. Even outside of Game mode the projector’s input lag measured only 33.1ms, still an impressive number for a projector and something many casual gamers wouldn’t even feel. BenQ’s literature states the TH685i can achieve 8.3ms of lag at 120Hz—a completely believable statement considering it’s already measuring 16.4ms at 60Hz. The projector changes its refresh rate when a 120Hz signal is detected from a console or PC.

Lamp life

Lamp life is a fairly average 4,000 hours in the Normal mode. This jumps up to 10,000 hours in the Eco mode, though you lose about 35% of the light output. There are two other lamp modes that sound like they do the same thing, but work slightly different. SmartEco mode decreases lamp power in darker scenes “while optimizing display quality,” as BenQ describes. This results in a claimed lamp life of 8,000 hours. LampSave, on the other hand, decreases lamp power in darker scenes “while offering a longer lamp life.” It does this primarily by limiting maximum light output to what you’d get in the Eco mode. It balloons lamp life out to 15,000 hours. 

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