Entry Level – Value Runner-Up: Viewsonic PJD7822HDL

Some of these entry level projectors just won’t go away, and Viewsonic’s popular PJD-7822HDL is one of those. It’s back in our report for the third time, and, like last year, has picked up our Runner-up award for Value Proposition.

As with most projectors that are two or three years old, to maintain value against newer competitors, the price has dropped. Oh, it’s not much less than last year, but these days it’s hard to find this once-$799 street price projector selling for more than $600. And, with a sub-$600 price, it exudes value for those that enjoy DLP projectors for the richness of their colors. You definitely can find other 1080p projectors at or below the price, but this one is about as low as 1080p gets.

Viewsonic PJD7822HDL Front
Viewsonic’s PJD7822HDL is a rock bottom priced 1080p projector with lots of brightness and a great warranty!

When you look at the package though, you find that this DLP projector seems to provide a lot of more than competing DLP projectors that approach its low price point. For openers, this Viewsonic projector claims 3200 lumens, and measured far higher!

When Viewsonic launched the PJD-7822HDL’s predecessor (the 7820), it was a true breakthrough product. The first sub-$1000 1080p projector to ship, and it was hundreds below the closest competitor. It sold like hotcakes, putting Viewsonic on the map for home projectors.

Viewsonic PJD7822HDL Overview

The ViewSonic PJD7822HDL wins our Entry Level Best in Class: Value Runner-Up award!
The ViewSonic PJD7822HDL wins our Entry Level Best in Class: Value Runner-Up award!

With the PJD7822HDL, there are improvements and a significantly lower price. That’s progress, and nothing to complain about. Those of you who like to stream content, warning: MHL has become very popular but wasn’t around a few years ago on projectors when the older Viewsonic started shipping.

Well, sorry, the 7822HDL doesn’t have true MHL either off of its HDMI port. It can let you accomplish some of the same goals, such as streaming content, but combining its HDMI with the power drawn from its USB out (ok, getting a bit technical here) is another story. You may not be able to plug in a standard MHL Roku stick, but it will support other Roku streaming devices, such as Apple TV, etc., that allow you to provide power (from USB typically) separately. Definitely not a perfect solution, but workable for most.

I’m putting up a page about another projector – an Optoma that we never reviewed because that is a best seller, worth discussing. That Optoma is definitely this projector’s most direct competitor among those that lead in sales in the entry level class. One area where the Viewsonic dominates, though, is brightness.

Truly a Light Cannon!

Now, the brightness of this projector. That still surprises me. Viewsonic claims 3200 lumens, which is impressive, right? But Mike, who measured and calibrated this Viewsonic, measured just a tad over 4000 lumens at full wide angle on the zoom.

OK, 4000 lumens maximum, but good color really starts around over 3000 lumens with the ViewMatch mode. Best color – calibrated – this projector still managed 2000 lumens. That’s pretty impressive for the price. By comparison, overall, it’s still notably brighter than the Epson 2040 which took the higher honors as Best Value to the Viewsonic’s Runner-Up. As to that Optoma – we didn’t review, so we didn’t measure:  By comparison, other reviewers place that one in the 1200 lumen range in what I would call a “best” mode, and about 2500 at maximum.

That makes the Viewsonic at least 50% brighter, and a much better choice if your room suffers from more than a little ambient light. This Viewsonic also had half of the input lag of that Optoma, so would be better for serious gamers! The PJD7822 will have no trouble blasting a 100” diagonal screen in even a really bright room, for your next Superbowl party.

The Viewsonic PJD7822HDL: What Makes It A Value Projector

Check out these images, and remember that these projectors always look way better in real life than on your computer or phone screen.

One limitation of the 7822HDL is its lack of full-color controls, so the calibration and final best color we did isn’t as perfect as most other projectors in this report, but then it’s a value home entertainment projector. Still, the more expensive Epson HC2040/2045 has color right out-of-the-box that’s very close to the Viewsonic’s post calibration. So, color isn’t the very best around, but it looks better than most of my friends LCD TVs when it comes to color! Enough said.

Lamp life is truly impressive with a Viewsonic claim of 5000 hours at full power. The 8000 hours in its 2nd Eco mode counts on saving life when you left the projector on, but content isn’t changing. The true Eco mode is still an awesome 6000 hours. All that lamp life is doubly noteworthy, considering how bright this Viewsonic is. A true “wall melter.” The commercial Epson Pro Cinema 6550 I have in my ridiculously bright living room costs almost 10x as much and is only about 25% brighter.

The lack of true MHL on this Viewsonic is one of a few reasons that the Epson bested it in terms of awards. The two have different, but roughly comparable and very good warranties. This Viewsonic comes with 3 years parts and labor. At under $600 street price? Awesome. Epson’s is 2 years but with a rapid replacement program.

Gamers rejoice – this is a great gaming projector.

Gaming is a particular strength of the PJD7822HDL. Our input lag testing came in mostly at 16-17 ms delay – or one frame behind on 60fps games. That’s about half the lag of the Epson, who’s lag times are still acceptable. That’s faster than just about any competitor – at least any we have reviewed!

3D is classic DLP, which is to say, no inherent crosstalk. What makes this Viewsonic particularly impressive at 3D is having all those lumens to work with. With 3D eating up typically 2/3 of your projector’s brightness, here’s a projector that still looks bright on a 100″ screen, with 3D playing! Nice!!!

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