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BenQ vs Optoma: A Golf Simulator Projector Comparison

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If you’re looking for a golf simulator projector for a larger impact screen, you may want to consider a true 4K projector for your setup.  According to a national survey, over 40% of golf simulation owners have either upgraded their projector or are considering upgrading to a better projector – and 4K resolution can make a big difference in your golf simulator experience.   


In this article, we’ll compare three popular 4K UHD projectors capable of generating 8.3 million pixels on your impact screen: the Optoma 4K400STx, the BenQ TK700STI, and the BenQ LK936ST.  We’ll tell you how they stack up against each other in terms of their brightness and color accuracy, as well as how easy they are to install and operate.


Here are some key points to keep in mind as you make your decision.


·         Brightness

·         Color accuracy

·         Ease of installation

·         Lamp life

How Can Image Brightness Vary Based on Projector Mode?

First, let's look at brightness.  All three projectors have an ANSI lumen rating for white brightness, but the actual brightness on your impact screen will vary depending on the mode.


Modes can consist of cinema, bright, game, vivid, golf, or user.  Each mode will be tuned for specific brightness for optimal user experience.  The ANSI lumen ratings for white are a good indication of an overall brightness rating, but they don't tell you how bright the projector when running your golf simulator software platform.


For example, a third-party website found that a BenQ 3000 ANSI lumen projector was brighter than a competitor with a 3600 ANSI lumen rating when in the same game mode.  So, while ANSI lumens is a solid general reference, the actual brightness between models running golf simulator software may not be the same – especially when it comes to generating an immersive and color-accurate image. 


The laser powered BenQ LK936ST is rated at 5000 ANSI lumens, with the Optoma 4K400STx and BenQ TK700STI coming in at 4000 and 3000 ANSI lumens respectively.

Why Is Color Accuracy Important for Golf Simulators?

The human eye is very sensitive to small variations in color – which is one reason why L’Oreal is the market leader in hair coloring products.  Color accuracy is also important for golf simulation—we need our greens to look like actual green grass, not looking yellow or faded like an arcade game.  All televisions sold today use the Rec. 709 color standard to ensure Tiger’s Sunday red shirt looks right – but what about a golf simulation projector? 


The BenQ TK700STI has 96% Rec. 709 color accuracy, and the LK936ST laser projector has 92% coverage as well as a designated golf mode tuned for golf simulation software. The Optoma 4K400STx does not have any Rec. 709 color specifications or any specific golf mode.

How Easy Are They to Install

One of the bigger differences between the BenQ LK936ST, TK700STi, and the Optoma 4K400STx is how easy they are to install in various locations. 


The Optoma’s 4K400STx has the shortest throw ratio of all three models, enabling it to be closer to the screen.  This is ideal if you want to mount the unit on the floor in front of your hitting area – but it has a fixed lens, so you are limited in the ability to adjust the image of the projector or move it to a better location. 


The two BenQ projectors are also short-throw projectors but have zoom lenses to make it easier to install above and behind the hitting area.  For example, the TK700STI can fill up a 12-foot impact screen from about 10 feet away, and the LK936ST can fill up a 16-foot impact screen from just 13 feet away and has zoom and lens shift to enable you to move the mounting location off-center – without impacting the picture quality, which means they'll look more realistic when playing Pebble Beach, Whistling Straights, or your favorite iconic course. 

Lamp or Laser – What Is Best for Golf Simulators?

If you have an older golf simulator projector – chances are – you’ve either had to clean filters- and/or spent extra money buying expensive replacement lamps.   All three of these projectors use a more advanced filter-free design compared to older golf simulation projector models using LCD panels that require regular filter cleaning.


The BenQ TK700STi and the Optoma 4K400STx both use traditional projector lamps rated for 4000 hours in full brightness modes.  The BenQ LK936ST uses a more advanced laser engine, which will last 20,000 hours – and turns on in seconds without warming up.  So, while laser projectors are more expensive than lamps, the convenience and worry-free use of these models have made them more popular than ever.

What Do These Projectors Cost?

As you can see, all three of these 4K projectors have unique advantages – and different prices.  The BenQ TK700Sti and The Optoma 4K400STx are both available for under $2000, with the BenQ model being slightly less expensive with better color accuracy and easier installation – while the Optoma has a shorter throw ratio.


For larger 4K golf simulators, the popular LK936ST is around $4899, but it’s high brightness laser has filter free design that eliminates the cost and hassle of buying replacement lamps and cleaning filters. 


Optoma 4K400STX

BenQ TK700STi

BenQ LK936ST


Light Source Life

Optoma 4K400STX

4000 hours (bright mode)

4000 hours (normal mode)

20,000 hours (about 2 and a half years)



Optoma 4K400STX

4000 ANSI Lumens

3000 ANSI Lumens

5100 ANSI




Optoma 4K400STX





Throw Ratio

Optoma 4K400STX



0.81 ~0.89


Mounting Flexibility

Optoma 4K400STX

Best for Floor

Floor / Ceiling / Cart

Floor / Ceiling / Cart


Lens Shift

Optoma 4K400STX

Vertical +0%


Yes, ±60% vertical, ±23% horizontal


Keystone Image Adjustment

Optoma 4K400STX

±40° horizontal/vertical

±40° horizontal/vertical/rotation

±40° horizontal/vertical/rotation


Color Accuracy

Optoma 4K400STX

Not specified

96% Rec.  709

92% Rec.  709


Est. Projector Price

Optoma 4K400STX




Want to Talk to a Golf Simulator Projector Expert?

BenQ has trained staff to help you find the perfect golf simulator projector – within your room size and budget. To help you make the best decision, you can reach out to one of our experts to set up anything from a chat to a complete online demo, to help you find the right projector for your needs.