ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Home Theater Projector Review - Picture Quality

January 7, 2018 / By Art Feierman

ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Home Theater Projector Review - Picture Quality: Business/Education Use, Picture Quality for Home Entertainment, Out of the Box Picture Quality, Skin Tones, Black Level Performance

Business/Education Use

As a low cost business or education projector, the picture quality is just fine. Few applications for low cost projectors demand the dead on the money color accuracy that comes with a full calibration, which, by the way, usually costs almost as much as a projector like this. Only the brightest mode looks pretty bad – heavy green, and that, folks is pretty much what one expects from any projector’s brightest mode (although a few projectors only have slightly green caste instead of strong green castes).

newscast photo
Newscast captured using standard mode.

For most typical presentation, Dynamic mode, the second brightest mode will be fine, and its within 10% of the brightness of Brightest mode. If you need better color still, drop down to Standard which is within 20% of the brightest mode.

Best color would be sRGB or Movie modes, both with about 60% of the Viewsonic's maximum brightness. You’ll only need those (if at all) for best quality on photographs or video clips of high quality and color accuracy.

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movie mode
PJD7828HDL in Movie mode - Hunger Games image

Bottom line: The Viewsonic produces respectable picture quality while outputting 2,500 or so lumens. At its best, it still manages a significant 1500+ lumens.  Remember, few projectors do great color within 20% of their maximum brightness.

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Out of the Box Picture Quality

OK, let’s run though the five preset color modes:

Brightest mode is a “break glass in case of emergency mode.” Trying to watch sports with way too much ambient light present, use it, but you won’t like the color.

For all other situations, you’ll probably run with Standard mode when you need more brightness (i.e. sports viewing with a fair amount of ambient light), or sRGB or Movie mode. Eric, in calibrating the PJD7828HDL as best possible (without a full set of calibration controls), focused on Movie mode.

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Overall, before adjustment, I thought the best overall color comes from the sRGB mode, with Movie close behind. I did find Movie to have a touch more green than needed.

For sports viewing pre-adjustment, I definitely will go with Standard mode, it’s got more lumens, has Brilliant Color cranked up to 10 (which is probably where all those extra lumens that Movie and sRGB lack were hiding).

Remember, having multiple color modes simply gives us users more choices to pick out the one that’s best for the circumstances. Sure, we always want perfect color, but there are times when merely very good color, + far more lumens, makes for a much better viewing situation.

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Skin Tones

Definitely decent,  but could be better. Even with Eric’s calibration of the CMS (color management system), they still aren’t on the money. If only Viewsonic had provided the ability to also properly adjust the general Color Temp – the greyscale balance between red, green, and blue. But, instead, like a number of other low cost projectors, Viewsonic merely provides multiple preset Color Temp settings with names like Warm, Normal (which seem the best) Natural, and Cool.

Still, most of the time skin tones look very good in “best” mode. That’s not to say that some competitors don’t do better. Let’s just say that on the money color accuracy isn’t the Viewsonic’s strong point, but results are acceptable. If you are the person with LCD TVs all this year, that never adjusted them, you’ll do just fine!

Black Level Performance

We’re talking entry level projector, so black level performance expectations are very low. The good news is that this is a single chip DLP projector, and they have more native contrast than competing 3LCD projectors so, the Viewsonic, whose black level performance can only be described overall as entry level, still easily outperforms the 3LCD competition, and is in line with most other similarly or slightly more expensive priced DLPs.

In other words, the 3LCDs may have better overall color, but the Viewsonic will beat them out on handling very dark scenes because of the better contrast.

Above are our usual sequence of images showing the “Bond night train” scene converted to greyscale and intentionally overexposed for better comparison. I’ve included several major competitors as well as some more expensive models for your consideration.

From a business/education projector standpoint, the black level performance is rarely going to be a consideration. If it is a consideration in your shopping, you basically have two choices.  If superior black levels are really important, for example if this projector will be used to show high quality photos, say, in a film class, or your black and white collection of photos from the last three decades, then your option is to stick with a projector like this Viewsonic, for ok performance, or spend at least twice as much for something noticeably better, or almost four times the price for something dramatically superior at handling dark images and scenes.

If you are showing casual photos, like family and friends, then, it's probably fine.

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