Viewsonic PJD7820HD Projector Review

Viewsonic PJD7820HD Projector - Appearance

The shiny black PJD7820HD is another compact “crossover” projector. To make this interesting, it is obvious that the PJD7820HD rolls off the same assembly line as the Acer H6510BD we reviewed not that long ago.  Stack one on top of the other, and they are obviously almost identical except for a few cosmetic touches – including different control panels.  But on the back almost all of the inputs are in exactly the same place, even if each has some connectors the other lacks.

A 1.3:1manual zoom lens graces the front (left if you are facing the projector).  That’s about what you expect (or a 1.2:1) from most entry level projectors.  There’s a front infra-red sensor for the PJD8720HD’s remote control.  Down below the front foot is centered and screw thread adjustable.  Recessed rings on the top  control the lenses zoom and focus.  The control panel is found further back on the top of the Viewsonic PJD7820HD…

Design would be more convenient if if Viewsonic made both rear feet adjustable.

All the inputs and connectors are located on the back of the projector, and are discussed below.

PJD7820HD Control Panel

The Viewsonic Control panel is definitely a bit funky.  Due to the off angle design, finding buttons isn’t exactly intuitive. That said, unless the remote control gets lost, most folks rely on the remote.  After working with the projector for a week, though, I got used to the control panel’s “angles.”

PJD7820HD Projector - Input/Output

The PJD7820HD projector has a selection of inputs that’s typical of the business portable projector background it come, whether you plan to use this Viewsonic projector for business or home use.

There is a single HDMI 1.4 input which is rather typical of business projectors.  For home use, two is more traditional, but, since most switch their HDMI through a home AV receiver, no issue.  For those who need two or more HDMI inputs, there are outboard switchboxes from under $50!

There’s also two computer inputs and a computer output (monitor out), making the PJD7820HD exceptionally well equipped as a portable projector.  Two computer inputs is typically overkill for a home projector.  Both computer inputs, however, can double as component video inputs.

 

The PJD7820 also has the usual composite and S-video inputs, and a pair of RCA jacks for stereo audio.  Finally at the far right are a second stereo audio input (mini-jack this time), and a stereo audio output, which can drive powered speakers for business use.

I mentioned that this Viewsonic seems to have rolled off the same assembly line (but with many differences) as the Acer 6510BD (below) we recently reviewed.  Here’s the back of the Acer.  While some of the inputs are different, just about everything from grill to power receptacle are in exactly the same places (same dimensions too).

I almost forgot:  Additionally the rear of the PJD7820HD has the power receptacle and a Kensington security lock slot. (As does the Acer.)

PJD7820HD Menus

Find all the main menus of the Viewsonic 7820HD projector.  Most functions are fairly obvious.  A few comments are thrown in for clarification

(Note, the softness is the fault of our photographer – me – as these menus are all unintentionally overexposed a bit bluring the white text.)

Interestingly, Viewsonic puts a Display menu first (controls like aspect ratio and 3D settings) rather than the Image or Picture type menu found first on most projectors.  Note though that Color management is located here, whereas with many projectors it’s on the Image or Picture menu as an Advanced feature.

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PJD7820HD Menus

3D Sync Menu

3D: No surprises, manual selection of 3D moves is available.

Audio Settings Menumailmail

Display Menu

Image Menu

Lamp Settings Menu

One nice touch on the Lamp Settings - they factor in their smart eco capabilities to best estimate lamp life.

Options Menu

OSD Settings Menu

OSD= On screen display, here you can decide where to place the menus so they are the least disruptive.

Security Settings Menu

Advanced Settings Menu

Settings Menu

Viewsonic PJD7820HD Remote Control

It’s a nice, small remote control, finished in black. For those of you thinking home use, no, it’s not backlit.

No great surprises here, the remote runs on two provided AAA batteries.

The power switch is red in color and found on the top left. Across to the right is the Auto/Sync button which computer users may need if using VGA sources.

Speaking of sources the next two buttons: VGA and Video, respectively let you toggle through the two VGA/component video sources, while Video handles the rest, including HDMI.

Or go to the 3rd row and just hit the Source button which brings up a menu you can toggle through to choose the source you want.  The projector does have auto source search.

To the right of Source is the Color mode button that lets you toggle through the many color modes such as Brightest, Dynamic Movie, User 1, 2, ViewMatch and more!

Next comes the navigation area with 4 arrow keys in a diamond configuration, and an Enter button in the center.

Next row is the Menu button (in light blue – easy to spot) a programmable button (with a number of choices including lamp brightness), and Exit (for the menus).

Then a row of four – mouse control left and right, and page up, page down.

The lowest twelve buttons cover a wide range of things, starting with the Mouse operation button, digital zoom, volume up and down, as well as volume mute.  There’s also the Control Panel lock, Freeze, Blank and Timer functions.  Interestingly there are a number of built in test patterns built in as well, including some that emulate what you might be projecting, such as lined paper, a world map, music sheet, and color bars.

And not to be forgotten, there’s the aspect ratio button in the bottom right.

Click Image to Enlarge

Viewsonic PJD7820 Lens Throw

The Viewsonic has a 1.3:1 zoom.  That’s usually about as good as zoom ranges get in lightweight portables.  On the business side of things you can find some zooms up to 1.6:1 providing more flexibility but figure probably twice the physical size and also likely 50% better.

From a placement standpoint, you can fill a 16:9 (1080p aspect ratio) 100″ diagonal screen (estimated based on data sheet) as close as 8 feet 4 inches and as far back as approximately 10 feet 10 inches.  That makes the Viewsonic slightly more wide angle than many competitors (it sits a little closer to the screen) but it definitely does not qualify as a short throw projector.

PJD7820HD Lens Shift

Or rather lack there of.  None expected, none found.  No one expects lens shift on portable business projectors.  Keystone correction is more than fine enough for most business and education environments, if needed at all.

If you are taking the Viewsonic projector home, lens shift would be nice, but it tends to start on projectors selling for well over $1000, really $1500 in 3D capable projectors.

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