I have now tried three projectors on my 106" screen in a darkened room. This one by ViewSonic, the LG PF1500 LED model, and the Epson 1040 Home Cinema LCD model. The ViewSonic delivered the best video performance of the three. Let me tell you why.
Black levels are truly excellent on this projector. Letterbox bars, space scenes, and the like, show a deep, convincing black. This lends itself to a very punchy image, rivaling a good, modern LCD television, but of course at 4 times the size. Detail is also superb, with things like film grain, dust motes, and facial wrinkles and hairs easily evident when watching a high quality Blu-Ray. Colors are a bit aggressive, but are still realistic and pleasing. Very dark scenes do still show some of the mosquito noise that seems common with DLP projectors - but this is not evident at normal viewing distances.
***Build Quality and Features***
The projector is about 13"x10"x4", WxLxH. It weighs about 6 or 7 pounds. This makes it pretty average for an entry-level DLP projector. It features large fans on the side and front of the unit, pulling air in from the side and pushing it out through the front corner. In Eco mode, the fans are reasonably quiet but not "silent," when this projector is placed a few feet away from the viewer (e.g. mounted above a couch), the fans are evident during quiet scenes in a movie. In the regular lamp mode, this projector can definitely compete with room lighting - but you would be foregoing its greatest performance strengths (the aforementioned punchy contrast) by doing so. There is no lens cap, which is a disappointment at this price point. There is, however, a 1.3:1 zoom ratio, which gives great flexibility in placement distance from the screen, typically between 2 and 3 feet of range, depending on screen size. This is a real boon for smaller theater rooms (like mine). There is no external power brick, just a regular 3-prong cord, further simplifying mounted installations.
Unique to ViewSonic's line are a few standout features. Hidden behind a panel on the side is an HDMI port for streaming sticks like Amazon Fire and Chromecast - with a built-in Micro-USB cable for power. There is also a lens shift dial that allows for a 20% adjustment of the image up or down. It also has a 6 segment color wheel, and I must say I basically never experienced rainbow effect during any programming. Even on test patterns, I experienced a slight fidgety look but never a full on rainbow. Typically I am sensitive to DLP rainbows, so this was a very pleasant surprise.There is a built in speaker that is about on a par with a good clock radio. Adequate in a pinch, but nowhere near the quality of even a cheap stereo soundbar.
The remote is tiny and rather lackluster, though it does have a laser pointer built in. The menu system is irritating, requiring constant exits and re-entries, because of the lack of a consistent "back" feature.
One problem I ran into, which is pretty serious in my book, had to do with displaying a 1080p signal from my Blu-Ray player, the Sony BDP-S3500. This is an extremely common disc player, and was Amazon's best seller for 2015. This seems to be a result of sensitivity to HDMI bandwidth - my LG PF1500 could easily accept a 1080p signal using the same cable over the same distance. I ordered a new Monoprice "active" cable to see if there was a difference, and indeed there was. But the previous cable was no cheapie, and the run wasn't terribly long. So I have to conclude that the PRO7827HD is just more sensitive to this that some other projectors.
Unfortunately, this is a UHP lamp-based projector. The lamp is rated for 6,500 hours in Eco mode, less in regular. This is probably optimistic, of course, since UHP lamps degrade on a pretty linear curve from first use to half brightness. But it should provide about 4 years of good viewing. ViewSonic lamps appear to be in the $200-$300 range, which is a significant recurring expense to consider, even if it's every 4 years.
There was no manual included in the box. Just a quick start guide, a CD-ROM, and a QR code to scan with one's phone. I would have preferred a paper manual, since many people no longer have a computer with a disc drive, and reading on one's phone is less than ideal. There is a downloadable manual now on ViewSonic's website, and it is relatively comprehensive, though it doesn't really explain the difference between the lamp modes on this projector.
I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ben-Hur (both on Blu-Ray disc) and House of Cards (streaming) during my testing of this projector. I was completely engrossed by each, drawn into the experience of the movie or show each time. The PRO7827HD really delivered a cinematic experience with stout black levels, vibrant color, and loads of detail. I would not hesitate to recommend this to someone in the market for a darkened-room home theater projector. The bug I experienced with 1080p from my disc player, the restrictive menu, and the high cost of lamp replacement are really the only caveats I have to offer. As such, I'm going with 4 stars rather than 5. But this is a whale of a machine. I am seriously considering swapping it in for my LG-PF1500.
This was a rather odd beast to run through a DIY Disney WOW! calibration. In part this was because the settings were pretty accurate to start with. But this also was the case because many key settings were grayed out, even on different pre-set modes. For instance, the Color setting was grayed, so I could not adjust the chroma levels using the WOW! blue filter. The manual states that color and sharpness adjustments are unavailable when the signal is not YCbCr. Well, my player has three options that put out YCbCr, and none of them result in these options being unlocked for me. I have never dealt with a device that locks so much from the user, and find it troublesome. That said, the REC-709 preset mode did a pretty good job of rendering colors accurately, albeit a bit on the hot side. Over the last week, I've carefully adjusted things with the limited menus as far as I can towards "standard." This PJ seems to be rather sensitive to minute contrast and brightness adjustments, resulting in odd pixellation and banding if you're just slightly off. Here are the settings I arrived at:
Color Mode: Movie Rec. 709
Color Temp: Warm
Brilliant Color: 2
R: Hue -10, Saturation 95, Gain 100
G: Hue 20, Sat. 100, Gain 100
B: Hue 24, Sat. 95, Gain 96
C: Hue 35, Sat. 100, Gain 100
M: Hue 0, Sat. 100, Gain 100
Y: Hue -40, Sat. 100, Gain 100