Viewsonic Pro9000 - Review Summary
Below we summarize key items written about in the previous pages of the review. Consult those pages for more details, including even our calibration settings.
10/16/12 - Art Feierman
Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector - The Bottom Line
We were able to get a good look at the Pro9000 and its feature set, but we are awaiting a full production projector. This engineering sample (pre-production) had a number of issues, some that Viewsonic has said have already been fixed in newer versions of the firmware, and others were being implemented when we discussed what we found with them more than two weeks ago. Over the years, we've reviewed a number of pre-production projectors and are always impressed by all the changes a manufacturer can make in the last few weeks leading up to first deliveries.
With that in mind, we expect the final Pro9000 to meet our expectations. We'll know soon enough.
The User areas had some problems (would not save correctly - fixed we're told). We're also looking for improved color. The projector is capable of some pretty respectable picture quality, but it should be capable of more. We look forward to the promised improvements.
Let's consider the other aspects of this Viewsonic Pro 9000 home theater projector. The projector puts up a sharp image, in part due to being a single chip DLP projector, which means no three color images to converge.
Placement flexibility is classic for a lower cost DLP projector, which means a 1.2:1 manual zoom lens. That does translate to limited front to back placement range, which for a 100" diagonal screen means the projector can be placed from 10 feet and change to 13 feet back. Lens offset is moderate, which should work well in most rooms.
Pro9000 Brightness: Calibrated, the Pro9000 offers almost 450 lumens, plenty for smaller or medium sized screens in your home theater. In its brightest mode, we found 1380 lumens under the hood at maximum. That's well above average. Those almost 1400 lumens are, unfortunately not pretty. It could not be improved, significantly, with the limitations of the User area functioning. One of two User modes is where you end up when you start modifying one of the Preset color modes.
Pro9000 2D Only: A friendly reminder that this Viewsonic projector is not 3D capable. If 3D is your thing, look elsewhere.
Pro9000 Color and Overall Picture Quality
There are several ways to get a good looking picture from this Pro9000's color modes and gamma settings, but we will wait for the final version, for an in depth assessment, as we expect changes.
In this early version black level performance is very good, but not quite "ultra high contrast". Shadow detail is average, a real step down from the best. Again another area where there could be improvement on the final versions.
Picture in Picture is a nice touch that some may like. Personally the two sizes are small, and the source options are limited for the In Picture, but that's typical of PIP solutions on other projectors as well.
I like that this projector is pretty quiet. By comparison, an Epson 5010 is much louder at full power than this Viewsonic Pro9000.
The Very Bottom Line on the Pro9000 projector:
The verdict is still out. If the new projector shows up with the fixes promised, and some better color I'm going enjoy having a hybrid lightsource I can recommend.
This is a projector that will be more at home in a theater than a livingroom, based on lumens. Still, the Pro 9000 projector has enough brightness to work in more of a family room environment as long as you don't go too large on screen. Movies can certainly look good at night, and sports can work in the daytime with some ambient light.
Today, thanks to 3D capable projectors needing extra brightness, most of those are simply a brighter proposition for a livingroom family room. Those others do a better job when messing with ambient light, whether that light is inherent to the room, or because sometimes - like with sports and friends, you just don't want the room dark.
I owned a JVC projector in my old family room with rust colored walls. It had less than 900 lumens at maximum, and I got by fine with a 128" diagonal screen. With that in mind, if the value proposition of this Viewsonic Pro 9000 projector makes sense, know it can work in those "lighter" rooms than a dedicated theater.
Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector: Pros and Cons
Image above, Sports mode, modest ambient light coming in from windows.
Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector: Pros
- 20,000 hour LED / Laser light source, reduces long term cost of ownership
- Many available preset image modes
- Detail enhancement feature
- Very good remote control
- Current version's Dynamic Iris provides respectable blacks
- Excellent 3 year warranty with first year replacement
- Quieter than most, even at full power
- Near black finish works well in dedicated theaters
- Very good menu layout
- Eco friendly - draws significantly less power than competitors
HDTV above in Sports mode.
Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector: Cons
- Color accuracy - but we are expecting improvements with the full production projector arriving soon, but until then, shoud be better
- LED/Laser light source adds to up front cost of projector
- No CFI - a feature found on most projectors at this price
- More brightness, although in general this projector is about average (can you really have too many lumens?)
- Overall placement flexibility (though typical of single chip DLP)
- No Adjustable Lens Shift
- Lacks 3D
- Could use a couple more User memory modes
- Limited placement flexibility - typical of lower cost DLP projectors
Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector: Typical Capabilities
- Average "best" mode brightness
- Documentation (based on a preliminary pdf manual
- Overall physical layout, features are typical of Lower to mid cost DLP projectors
Stay tuned for the update!
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