ViewSonic PJD6544w Projector Review

Overall Assessment

ViewSonic has a good feel for the people who use their products and why. The Projector comes out of the box, connects and is in action within about a minute or two. This is ideal to meet the needs of teachers or presenters. An effective product with a minimal learning curve is always a good thing.

I pretended that I just bought this for my business and went through all the steps. Normally, I would have ceiling mounted it but I’m sure that ViewSonic would eventually like to have this back so I positioned it on the table in my conference room and got to work. I used a versatile whiteboard/projection screen surface and the results were great. I tried running a series of shots featuring both darker PowerPoint images along with Excel sheets with the lights both on and off. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the projector’s brightness. The PJD6544w has a listed brightness of 3500 lumens. I was pleasantly surprised when this projector lived up to its claim when I broke out the gear and measured its actual lumens. (I’ll get to it shortly; keep reading.)  As seen in the pictures I connected the projector to my laptop using  HDMI.

Projection Surface

In the name of impartiality, I switched off between different projection screens made by Elite Screens and Epson. Since both brands had roughly the same performance specs, there really wasn’t a perceivable difference.  It’s important to match the projector with a screen that would likely be a good companion piece. In this case since it’s a classroom projector, I matched it with the WhiteBoardScreen Universal by Elite Screens and a portable Duet by Epson. The Elite product is a professional grade matte white projection surface that is coated by an optical nanotech resin for dry erase purposes.

The screen works perfectly for the classroom environment and was a good match for this application. I then switched to the Epson Duet just for good measures. The Duet is a nice portable screen with an “accordion” action that rolls out the screen horizontally from the center. It is both stylish and relatively effective to carry. I saw no real difference since both are well made matte white projection surfaces and either will serve you well.

Contrast and Brightness Mode

This projector is your typical commercial product. It has a lot of output at 3500 lumens. The 15000:1 claimed contrast is fairly typical for DLP projectors, but contrast was definitely better than the 3LCD competition.  Of course when there’s a lot of ambient light, those differences quickly evaporate.   I was pleasantly surprised to see how the projector held up at most of the various modes. Even best modes remained bright.  Using standard matte white surfaces from different manufacturers, the results were consistent. I took screen shots of a test pattern, an old PowerPoint presentation, and some online media (BBC and CNN) screen shots.

WhiteBoard Mode

Measured lumens at 3121. It was was pretty good at dimming the image a touch so that the glaring hotspot always present when projecting on regular whiteboards was not as glaring. Although the “out-of-the box” contrast  was a touch high for my taste, it can easily be calibrated to an acceptable setting if this has to be done. To give credit to Viewsonic, I feel their factory settings are appropriate for the projector’s overall brightness.

Brightest Mode

Measured lumens at 3584. (Per Viewsonic Spec Sheet: Maximizes the brightness of the projected image. This mode is suitable for environments where extra-high brightness is required.) I found this mode to have been my least favorite. There is a strong green shift and it did not measure as the brightest mode despite its name.

PC Mode

Measured lumens at 3557. (Per Epson Spec Sheet: Is designed for presentations under daylight environment to match PC and notebook coloring.) I noticed a slight blue shift but it wasn’t a deal breaker on picture quality. Overall, it worked well especially with laptops.

Movie Mode

Measured lumens at 2760.  (Per Viewsonic Spec Sheet:  Is appropriate for playing colorful movies. This mode is suitable for viewing in a blackened (little light) environment.) Movie was predictably the dimmest. I played a Starcraft gaming cinematic to get the feel for it. Although it was okay, I compared it to DICOM Sim and actually liked the extra pop in the color. I leave it to each person’s discretion because I saw the value in the dark picture contrast but personally preferred the cinematic in other modes.

ViewMatch Mode

Measured lumens at 3649. (Per Viewsoniic Spec Sheet:  Switches between high brightness performance and accurate color performance.) This is another good mode for professional displays but the contrast levels are noticeably lower.  I achieved my highest gain measurements on this mode. My recommendation is to use this one for rooms with higher levels of ambient light.

DICOM SIM Mode

Measured lumens at 3476. (Per Viewsonic Spec Sheet:  Recommended for DICOM format files in simulation mode.) This mode is specifically designed for having the right contrast, etc. to be used for viewing medical images such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT-scans, and so on.

DICOM is not considered good enough for reproducing such scans for diagnostic purposes, as it is expected to less than perfectly reproduce the images, but DICOM is close enough to be used for education – training doctors, nurses and technicians, including presentations at medical conferences.   This is an exceptionally low cost projector to be featuring DICOM, which until just a few years ago was rarely found on projectors under $3000.

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