ViewSonic PJD7830HDL DLP Projector Review - In-Use & Summary
For testing I utilised a Blu-ray player, Apple TV (Ver 3) for streamed content and my Xbox One for gaming.
I have to admit that after I adjusted the focus I pretty much stuck with the Viewmatch gamma pre-set when watching films as this seemed to boost the black levels and colours in general.
I also need to point out that I was projecting the image from roughly 15ft away onto a white sheet (thus not exactly cinema grade) but the experience, none-the-less, was brilliant for the money you spend!
Colours (even from the sheet I was using) were superb (with a natural tone about them)! This experience was boosted further by the supporting audio!
I would go as far as saying it was the best in-built speaker quality I have ever heard from a device (monitor or projector alike). While the base tone is not booming, the overall quality is fantastic with the 16W speakers producing a richness to the audio and surprisingly at a loud output.
Granted if you push the internal volume too high the speakers can wobble, but stick this on the Entertainment audio pre-set and the sound is epic! So I could happily listen to my films without the need for a separate speaker system.
Another area that I was impressed by was the minimal noise that emanates from the projector's built-in fans. Granted if you up the brightness it gets a little louder, but unlike the previous projectors I have used in the past - which sound really noisy - this one is relatively quiet and hardly noticeable if you are listening to content or sitting further back from the screen. In fact I had the projector to the side of me once when I was playing Halo 5 and I hardly noticed the fans!
While most of the time watching movies was a fantastic experience I did detect the odd trace of a rainbow effect when I moved my head slightly from side to side.
In fairness I only really noticed this with certain gamma profiles and more specifically when the white title credits, at say the end of the film came up. However once you know it’s there you can detect it on other occasions (I think I managed to capture this in a loading screen for Halo 5 - see Gallery at the base of the review - but please note it was captured from a smartphone camera which makes it look worse than it is).
However for the most part if you just sit there and watch your film or play your game it will not spoil the enjoyment (for me it didn't), but purists need to be aware that there will be the odd trace.
To be honest from what I can tell this effect is caused by most DLP projectors (so it can be reduced by selecting lower brightness or putting this into an ECO mode). Then again due to the projector's portable nature I still feel it offers the best compromise over a permanent -higher cost - setup, especially as it can be used in multiple light conditions....
During the day
Most of the testing was done at night, but I did run the projector during the day and it does work well here; albeit I had to increase the gamma pre-set to Dynamic to boost the brightness.
However I could happily watch films in a bright conservatory - via my mock cinema's white sheet! So Kudos to this projector!
I found that my Apple TV took a little bit of time to setup as the audio kept cutting out on the projector. Thus, I could start a film and then it would cut-out or produce a nasty hissing noise.
In the end, to cut a long story short, the problem was that the Apple TV had been set to Dolby digital 5.1 surround. Once this was set back to stereo I had no more problems!
Similar to the Blu-ray player I was pretty impressed with the streamed picture and audio quality. Again the Viewmatch gamma pre-set was used with the Entertainment audio pre-set and I thoroughly enjoyed watching all movies; ranging from darker films such as Hercules (the one staring The Rock), to Star Trek into Darkness.
If you were wondering how the projector performs for gaming then fear not, as this projector delivers on this front!
From what I have researched it has an input lag of around 33ms, which considering the tech on offer, should be ample for most games.
In reality this proved correct, with a few matches of Halo 5: Guardians under my belt I detected no ghosting or screen tearing whatsoever and the whole experience was superb! I also tested the projector with several other Xbox One Games, including a 360 compatible title Gears of War, and I could not fault it.
The only thing I noticed was that for gaming it works best with the Dynamic gamma pre-set.
Of course running in this mode does cause the projector to work harder. As a result I did find that while the projector usually remains relatively cool, thanks to its airflow system (the one side pushes the hot air out to the other), for gaming the projector does get hotter.
You just need to place the projector on a proper flat surface with enough space around it to keep it cool.
For the most part once this was done I have put in several hours of gaming into this projector and it has not faulted since!
While the downside to projectors is the lamp life, the Viewsonic does provide over 4000 hours on Normal mode and this is boosted further when the projector is runs in ECO mode; this will allow 10000 hours which is impressive!
To help with lamp life if you ever have to pause a film/game you can press the ‘Blank’ button on the remote, which as the name suggests, will stick a blank image up on-screen to preserve the lamp life a touch.
The projector will also keep a track of lamp life as well. Considering it’s a review sample its only done 33 hours so far, thus a long way of 4000!
Remote Additional Functions
I nearly forgot to mention that the remote also has a few additional functions that you can tap into from a presentation point of view.
A microUSB cable can be plugged into the back of the projector and then connected to your PC so you can use the remote as a mouse - including left and right mouse button control. While the dpad makes life harder for navigation the remote aspect could be useful still when running Power Point presentations. Likewise you also have a laser dot for highlighting points on the presentation itself!
Despite the odd traces of a rainbow effect (which I could only detect in certain conditions) I can still wholeheartedly recommend this projector for the price! It delivers for the most part on picture quality (FULL HD) and this is further enhanced by the excellent audio quality! While purists may want to step up on the model for a more permanent solution, I think its portable nature offers a great compromise! At the end of the day you need to ask yourself did I enjoy watching films or playing games with this projector and I can happily say ‘Hell Yes!’. So if I had the money to spend I would not be disappointed with this projector whatsoever!