on June 26, 2013
NOTE: Since this review is so popular, I will update it on a regular basis as I find out more about this projector. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or want to request clarification. (Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014)
This projector is ideal for gaming. Zero input lag, instant response rate, 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI (no overscan) with an RGB source (like a PC or high-end Blu Ray player).
Bright, vibrant colors; bright enough to replace a TV. I barely even have to draw the blinds to use this during the day, even at picture sizes up to 140" and the lamp mode set to Economic. Yellows and cyans look especially good. Eat your heart out, Quattron.
Post calibration contrast is amazing, better than any movie theater.
1080p 3D gaming is mind-blowing. Even though you have to play in Side by Side or Top-Bottom mode at that resolution to get 60Hz (full 1080p 3D is limited to 24Hz, which is fine for movies), picture is still crystal clear and razor sharp. This is a limitation of HDMI, and not the projector itself.
3D Crosstalk is almost non-existent. Make the screen large, crank the FOV to 110-120 in FPSes, and you'll feel like you're living inside the game.
Very little perceivable brightness loss in 3D.
Short throw gives you approx. 1" of screen size for every 1" the projector is away from the wall at full zoom.
Rainbows all but completely disappear in 3D. In 2D they are noticeable with bright objects against a dark background, though. Even though I'm very sensitive to rainbows they're not visible enough to annoy me. Over time you start to notice them less and less as you get used to the projector. After 1000 hours I rarely see them anymore.
Supports downsampling from 2560x1440, great for gamers with high-end hardware who want the best possible picture.
Out of the box picture is ok, but needs some fine tuning. See below for the color settings I've come up with (calibrated using test patterns).
Glitchy firmware. Hopefully an update will fix some minor issues I've been having.
Colors are a bit washed out in 3D, though it's nothing that can't be fixed with a color profile in your graphics card. See below for another fix.
Color settings can't be adjusted in 3D. The only way to get around this this is to set a profile in your graphics card or use an external video processor. (After more experimenting, turns out I was wrong about color settings made in 2D carrying over to 3D. Apologies for the misinformation.)
Contrast isn't as good in 3D, but blacks still go well below the video reference level.
Throw angle is a bit awkward. Hard to ceiling mount with a high ceiling, and you can't table mount it unless you slouch in your seat or sit behind it. If you have a high ceiling or simply don't want to buy a mount, the best place to stick it would be on top of a bookshelf. Just make sure you leave plenty of room around it to breathe!
Here are my post-calibration color settings:
Color Mode: User 1 or 2
Reference Mode: Dynamic PC or ViewMatch
BrilliantColor: Off (turn it on as a last resort if you ever need some extra brightness, but keep in mind that it reduces contrast, throws color accuracy & gamma all out of whack.)
Noise Reduction: 0
Gamma: Depends on the source. 3 is more accurate in some cases, and in others it's 4. Lagom.nl has some good Gamma test patterns to determine which setting is right.
HDMI Range: Depends. For PCs, Enhanced gives you the full color range. However, some sources like game consoles and satellite receivers might have washed out blacks. In that case, use the Normal setting.
Red Hue: -10
Red Sat: 110
Red Gain: 105
Grn Hue: -5
Grn Sat: 105
Grn Gain: 104
Blue Hue: -3
Blue Sat: 100
Blue Gain: 74
Cyan Hue: 9
Cyan Sat: 110
Cyan Gain: 104
Mag Hue: 0
Mag Sat: 100
Mag Gain: 104
Yel Hue: -5
Yel Sat: 110
Yel Gain: 100
Keep in mind that colors can vary from projector to projector, even with the same model, so it's a good idea to use these settings as a baseline for your own calibration.
on June 20, 2013
I now have a cineplex sized movie screen in my home. And guess what, the picture quality is better than the movies. I am stunned by how beautiful, pristine and crystal clear the picture is. I'm not even using a screen. I'm projecting onto a white wall that was painted ages ago. Still it looks better than the movies. At only about 14 feet away it creates an image about 14 feet in width and 6 feet in height. It could be even larger but I don't have enough room to move the projector further back. Right now it's about the size of a cineplex screen, which just blows me away given that I'm used to watching a 50 inch plasma.
I had done extensive research and strongly considered the Viewsonic PJD5533W, the 720p version which is currently about $180 cheaper and is getting rave reviews here on Amazon. I also considered the Acer H6510BD, which is a little more expensive than this projector. However, the totality of attributes made this one the right choice for me. And I couldn't be more pleased. Special thanks to Logan who I met on the PJD5533W page for turning me on to this model.
Since my price point was anything below $1000, I didn't mind paying a little extra for 1080p. I decided to apply the funds remaining in my projector budget to an Onkyo HT-S7409 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater speaker system with receiver, since in the course of my research I discovered that this projector's speakers leave a lot to be desired. Now that I own the projector and have experienced it first hand, I agree fully with that assessment. I have the speakers on the highest level, yet I often strain to hear the dialogue. Granted, some movies and shows have better sound than others. But in light of the inconsistency, it's best to supplement the sound for a fuller more enjoyable experience.
I ordered the speaker system refurbished from Accesories4less for a total cost of $437 including shipping. I can't wait to receive these speakers so that we can have a full movie-like experience. But you don't need something quite that extravagant. I plan to use the Onkyo to also listen to music. If all you want is to enhance the sound of this projector, any $30 to $40 computer speakers will do.
My 3D glasses are on the way. I will update this review to include my experiences with 3D or anything else that might come up. But I can honestly say that I have a huge movie theater sized image in my room with a picture quality that's at least as good if not better than the movies. You can't go wrong with this projector.
**Update June 21, 2013**
I received my 3D glasses today (the SainSonic SSZ-200DLB 144Hz 3D IR Active Rechargeable Shutter Glasses) and eagerly tried out Prometheus Blu-ray 3D. WOW! The combination of 1080p Blu-ray crystal clarity and 3D is absolutely stupendous. In some scenes the characters are standing right in the room, and they're life-size or even bigger. My verdict is that 3D on this projector is definitely movie theater quality. The Glasses are currently $30 here on Amazon.
Regarding my set-up, I'm using a single 25' HDMI cable, which I bought for $7 here on Amazon. I'm running it from my PS3 to the projector. Via the PS3 I can obviously play DVD's and Blu-rays. Of course I also have access to Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Vudu, you name it, in addition to all the movies and videos stored on my computer through the wireless network. I'm also able to play PS3 video games on a movie theater sized screen. Awesome!
I don't have the projector mounted on the ceiling. I have it on a table that is about the height of an end table.
Oh, and some reviewers around the Internet had complained about the projector's noisy operation. I haven't found that to be the case. It's very quiet as far as I'm concerned, even when I'm just a couple of feet away.
**Update June 24, 2013**
I added a direct VGA connection from my laptop to the projector. Now everything that happens on my computer is replicated on the big screen. It's a nice option to have to quickly watch YouTube videos and such. But I prefer accessing the content on my computer and YouTube itself via the PS3, which has an HDMI connection to the projector. HDMI renders better image and sound quality than VGA.
One thing to keep in mind, I have white walls and a white ceiling. Plus I don't have the means nor the desire to completely darken the room. So while it's possible to use the projector in the daytime, it's definitely not the optimal viewing experience. For me at least, it's really a dusk to dawn projector. I don't know if other, higher end projectors would work better in the daytime given my viewing environment. It's really not a big issue for me, although it may be for others. Obviously if I had a dedicated projector room like a movie theater it wouldn't make a difference whether it was night or day.
on August 16, 2015
After a long rearch for a budget projector i decided to go with this one instead of benq 1070 as this was on sale on amazon for 520. After using it for a month, i can say that i am very happy with my decision.. just cant find any flaw at all. The picture is bright and colors are fantastic though i am projecting directly on the wall (dont see any need for a screen). I have not seen any rainbow effect at all. It is very compact and easy to use. I have plugged it to Onkyo 7.1 receiver via hdmi and using hdmi splitter to run TV in parallel. I am able to play chromecast, firestick, blueray via receiver without any issues. This is plug and play so setup was quick and easy. We've been watching movies almost every night (using Kodi on firestick) and with my definitive tech speakers it just feels like being in a theater and even better. Check the photos for picture clarity.
on May 30, 2014
There are already excellent reviews that cover the color, brightness and cost/benefit-analysis - I am beneficiary of those reviews and grateful to those who spent time to write them. In this review - I will cover precisely what I needed to put together a movie-hall experience with a 150-inch diagonal screen (yes - HD from Bluray, Netflix, OTA looks stunning even at this size) - hopefully this will help those who want to do it, but don't have the time to think through all these pieces.
- Projector: ViewSonic PJD7820HD Full HD 1080p 3D-Ready Projector with HDMI
- Screen: Elite Screens 150 Inch 16:9 Manual Pull Down Projector Screen (73.5"Hx130.7"W)
- Projector Mount: Mustang Low Profile Projector Mount (MV-PROJSP-FLAT-B)
- 35 feet HDMI Cable with 3D and ARC: Mediabridge ULTRA Series HDMI Cable (35 Feet) - High-Speed Supports Ethernet, 3D and Audio Return [Newest Standard]
- Pair of 1.5 feet HDMI Cables: Aurum Ultra Series - High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet - 2 pack (1.5 FT) - CL2 Certified - Supports 3D & Audio Return Channel - Full HD [Latest Version]
- HDMI Splitter to connect BOTH Projector & TV: ViewHD 2 Port 1x2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter for 1080P & 3D
- [Optional] OTA RF to HDMI Mediabox - Mediasonic HW180STB HomeWorx HDTV Digital Converter Box with Media Player Function, Dolby Digital and HDMI Out
With the above list, you can connect a Receiver HDMI out, through a splitter to both TV and Project. Run the 35 feet HDMI cable through attic to the projector, which is mounted on the ceiling.
Challenges and how to overcome those:
* Mounting 150-inch screen is not trivial - so get it done right.
* Mounting projector to align to the screen - you may have to be lucky to find the beam or be creative.
* Running HDMI through attic could be trivial or nightmare depending on your attic
* Connecting the splitter to TV and Projector - since this is an active splitter with no-vent on the unit (unfortunately), it can get hot. I have it connected through a flip-switch so it can be turned on/off.
* Connect Media-box to Receiver through HDMI. Media box takes OTA-In, USB-In for media
* Have a USB fan handy - in case area where you put these does not have ventilation - so none of these gets too hot (it did in my case!)
Good luck - outcome of all this effort seems to be worth the pain!
on November 2, 2014
This projector worked beautifully when it worked. I bought the projector on Oct 21 from Amazon. About 11 months later it died - it only shows a black and white picture and flashes like a strobe light. I sent the projector to Viewsonic for service (they have a 2 year warranty but died after only 11 months). Viewsonic refused to service it. They said that they couldn't open the screws because they had rusted and they claimed the projector had a "smell" (what?????) so they said they refuse to honor any warranty and are sending it back to me unserviced. Viewsonic warranty is a joke. They will not honor their warranties. I plan on filing a complaint against them with the consumer protection department here in FL.
When the projector first died I thought it may be the bulb so I opened the projector myself to re-seat the bulb. This shows me that Viewsonic's claim they could not open the projector is bogus. I opened it prior to shipping it to them and reseated the bulb. They simply don't want to honor their warranties. The unit worked wonderfully when it worked. It just died 11 months after purchase and Viewsonic won't honor their warranty - go with a more trustworthy company.
on April 1, 2014
When I started looking at projectors my experience had been solely with televisions. I had a 42" Toshiba LCD around 6 years ago, then a 65" Toshiba DLP that I purchased from a friend about 4 years ago. While the 65" DLP was perfect for my uses, it took up a heck of a lot of space. When the third lamp finally went out last August, my wife said that she just wanted to get rid of it.
At that point, I started doing research into our next media viewing device, but I really didn't look seriously until January. I started looking for comparable LCD or LED TVs to replace the 65", but even on Amazon they were outside of our budget. Then I got a wild hair and started looking into projectors. I know that the high quality professional projectors tend to be extremely expensive, so I was surprised that many projectors were priced below $1500. However, for the size and quality of screen that I wanted and the budget I was constrained to, there were only a handful that met my requirements.
Because I landed on Amazon, I started comparing projectors based on user reviews, and despite being one of the less expensive projectors, the PJD7820HD consistently came out on top. I checked the user reviews to make sure that the low reviews were based on issues that I wouldn't have a problem with, and checked outside reviews as well to ensure that the reviews weren't being stacked on Amazon in favor of this projector. After around 6 weeks of research (and after our tax return cleared) I pulled the trigger.
The projector arrived around 2 weeks later, along with the HDMI switch (Kinivo 301 BN Premium 3 port High speed HDMI switch with IR Wireless remote), the ceiling mount (eHotCafe PRB-717-BLK Universal Projector Ceiling Mount), and 25' HDMI cable (Link Depot HDMI to HDMI Cable 25 feet). Within 2 hours I had the projector mounted, cables run, wall painted, and was watching The Avengers in HD on a 113" screen!
During setup, I set the projector on a small table and moved it around until the screen was where I wanted it, then I adjusted my positioning so I was directly under a rafter. (This process was the single biggest consumption of time in the whole setup). Using the manual zoom/focus, I was able to perfect my screen size. I took measurements for the ceiling mount while it was on the table, then mirrored those measurements on the ceiling (REMEMBER: the lens is offset! If you install the mount exactly as the projector sits, you *will* have an offset picture!). Once I had the ceiling mount installed, I installed the bracket on the projector. It took a little finagling, but using the right combination of arms and screws I was able to get it set securely. Once we had the screen size and position exactly correct, we painted the wall with Behr's Silver Screen paint (1 qt. at Home Depot was $12, and was just enough to cover our screen size). Once we had painted the screen, I used Psythik's calibrations to fine-tune the picture. I may play with the calibrations a little more, but I haven't seen any need to yet. Because the speaker is, you know, a projector speaker, I ran my audio directly from my Xbox 360 and PS3 into my receiver.
This projector has been nothing short of amazing. My kids play split screen Minecraft on the Xbox 360, each of them playing on a 55"+ screen! I have played numerous games on this projector, watched movies, streamed Netflix and YouTube, and have yet to find a flaw with the projector. (As an aside, I was playing Bioshock Infinite while standing up a few days ago and started getting dizzy! It's *that* immersive!). Last night, my 3D glasses finally came in (took forever!), and we watched Turbo and Ultimate Wave: Tahiti in 3D on Netflix (absolutely breathtaking). I tried playing Jak II and Uncharted 3 in 3D, however, and found that because the resolution drops to 720p, the 3D gaming suffers (a limitation of my PS3, not the projector). I started getting a headache after around 10 minutes and went back to watching movies. My wife, who refuses to watch 3D movies in the theater because they give her headaches, said that the active lenses don't give her NEARLY as much pain as the passive lenses used in theaters.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with this projector. For a TV with similar capabilities and size, you'd be into it for over $1500 (and that was the used one I found!). In total, I figure I've put around $900 into this setup (including the 3D glasses). For that cost and feature set, I would've been stuck with a TV around 45"!
Pros: vivid colors, incredible detail, flawless 3D (movies), zero input lag for gaming.
Cons: blacks could be a little darker (could be my settings, so not blaming the projector for this), single HDMI input, short power cable for ceiling mount, certain calibrations (like sharpness) cannot be made in HDMI mode.
Because other reviewers have mentioned it, I feel I would be derelict in my duties as a reviewer to not mention the "light leakage". Most of the reviewers mention it leaking light to the right side; I have not seen this in my set up, but the location that the light would be leaking to is directly down the hall. It may leak just as much as anyone else's, but I just don't see it.
Bottom line: buy this projector! Despite the minimal flaws that it has, it is the best projector that you can get for your money!
on March 8, 2014
Good projector. Brightness and clarity are awesome. but light leaks in couple of places and after a while this leak is annoying. I should have paid attention to other reviews about these light leaks
on December 14, 2015
Amazing projector. I purchased this almost 2 years ago. It has been used on a daily basis as the primary display of my home theater. I have my gaming pc, 360, and cable hooked up to it. This has been an overwhelmingly positive purchase. The elite screen that I use with it also makes a huge difference. As of today the original bulb is going on 6500 hours. Nothing beats playing fps games in life-size... yet.
on February 12, 2015
I did some extensive research between this and a few BenQ projectors. I ended up going with this because of price and good reviews. I currently have this projecting on a 140" homemade screen. It displays perfectly. I have it wall mounted at around a 17 foot throw. It has been up for about 6 months now, no issues whatsoever.
If you are interested in what size screen you can project at your throw angle, go here:
I think a few reviewers went into way more detail than I ever could, so I am going to just keep it short. If you want a great projector that plays 1080p media, get this.
on March 5, 2014
Overall, I like this projector for the money. The only downside is an annoying shard of light that always shines out to the right of the picture. This is a separate beam of light that shines many feet to the right of the screen at all times.
I returned the first PJD7820HD that I got thinking it was defective. Turns out it's a defect with the model since the second one had the same issue.
UPDATE: A month or so after writing this review, a new issue has developed. Sometimes when the projector is powered on (maybe 1 out of 5 times) it just flashes like a strobe light and displays no picture. If I unplug the projector for a few minutes and plug it back in again, it seems to resolve the issue.
Also, sometimes the on screen display text (the text the projector displays itself, like resolution information, input and projector menus), will display as blocky jumbles instead of letters. These issues don't seem to happen any more frequently as time goes on. However, I'm concerned about the longevity of the projector with problems like this.
Other than these issues, everything else is fine. However, knowing what I know now, I am beginning to regret my purchase.