Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector - Performance
1/30/11 - Art Feierman
In this section we consider the brightness, sharpness, and image noise of the Viewsonic Pro8200 home theater projector. Also considered are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise.
Viewsonic Pro8200 Brightness
No shortage of lumens here! Although the Pro8200 projector isn't the brightest of the entry level 1080p home theater projectors, only two others have measured brighter. Since the Pro8200's more limited color controls prevented a true "best mode, we ended up with one all purpose bright mode. With the adjustments Mike made while calibrating, he gave up a couple hundred lumens for better color, but that still left us with a measured 1460 lumens!
That would be down from the unadjusted, measured, 1653 lumens. The good news is that it's color performance, the way Mike set it up (at 1460 lumens) produces better color than the "quick-cal" done in the other projectors' reviews. The two competitors with more lumens are the BenQ W1000 with a whopping 2179 lumens, and the Vivitek H1080FD, with 1777. The more expensive Epson HC8350 can pretty much match the maximum lumens, but the Viewsonic would have the better color, when both are at max. The Epson would do better in less bright modes.
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Brightest= 1653 @ 7232
Standard= 1529 @ 7718
Theater= 1296 @ 7891
Dark Room= 839 @ 7993 (By default, Dark Room is on Eco lamp. With Eco off, Dark Room has same lumens as Standard)
User 1= 1108 @ 10280
User 2= 1108 @ 10277
NOTE: There are three other color temps in addition to Mid, but Mid gives the highest lumen output.
Lumen Output (Eco-mode, Brightest): 1306
The 1306 lumens in Brightest mode, represents a drop of approximately 21% from full power
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Brightest mode):
Zoom out: 1648
Zoom in: 1271
That's one strange lens. We're used to a modest boost in lumens going from mid-point where we do most measurements, to full wide angle, and a bigger reduction going to full telephoto. In this case, though effectively no change in brightness at all, going to wide angle. Strange.
Pre-calibration we measured these color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range.
Color Temp over IRE Range (the best mode, Pre calibration):
30 IRE (dark grey) 8172
50 IRE (medium grey) 8142
80 IRE 7685 100 IRE (white) 7718
That's not exactly the numbers we would like to see - which would be close to 6500 across the whole range from white (100IRE) to dark gray (30IRE). These numbers are way on the cool side, and there are definite, visibly dimminished reds. Mike was able to correct that shift nicely with the calibration.
The Calibration page will provide the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset. We will revise, with numbers from a production projector if there are color table changes, between this unit and full production ones. I don't expect that to be the case, though.
Viewsonic Pro8200 Sharpness
The Pro8200 comes across as nice and sharp. This is typical of single chip DLP projectors in general, and this Viewsonic projector is no exception. It appears, for example, to be just slightly sharper than the Epson Home Cinema 8350 - a top performing under $1500 3LCD projector.
For your consideration, our usual close up images:
Top left: Pro8200, Top Left Center - LG CF181D, Top Right Center - JVC RS25, Top right - Mitsubishi HC4000.
2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE4000, left center: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, right center: Optoma HD8200, right: BenQ W6000.
Please note, we are slowly switching to using the Playstation video logo as our sharpness example, instead of the old dts-hd logo. The original sample test disc from dts died, and they can't find me another.
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right: Pro8200, Optoma HD20, BenQ W6000, and Sharp XV-Z15000.
Viewsonic Pro8200: Bottom Line Sharpness
When you consider that the Viewsonic's image is everybit as sharp, overall, as most 3LCD and LCoS projectors selling for several times the price, my suggestion is simply not to give the Viewsonic's sharpness any additional thought (except to catalogue sharpness as a strength.)
The Viewsonic Pro8200 does leak light out through the lens. In fact, there is a reasonable amount of it. Not as much, as say the Mitsubishi HC4000, but enough that you are able to notice some leakage, mostly above the projected image (if you are table based - below, if ceiling mounted), if you have a light colored wall around the screen, and the scene is very dark. For a home entertainment projector - family rooms, etc., this is another minor issue that you don't need to be concerned with.
I see no issues with Viewsonic's image processing. which is provided primarily by Pixelworks, a well respected image processing provider to a lot of projector and LCDTV manufacturers. In fact, considering the entry level nature of the Pro8200 projector, we can completely dismiss the Viewsonic's image noise abilities as something we don't need to be concerned with.
OK, now you can be concerned. The Viewsonic Pro8200 isn't exactly quiet. It's a single chip DLP projector, and as a class, they tend to be a bit noisey. Viewsonic claims 31 db at full power, and 27 in eco-mode. My take is that their eco-mode estimate might be a bit high, it seems quieter than that, but, in full power, the 31 db is probably accurate or a touch optomistic. This projector does make some noise - though nothing unusual for a single chip DLP, especially in the low price ranges. In the somewhat noiseyr family environment, no one is likely to notice.