Viewsonic Pro8200 Projector Review

Pro8200 Menus

The Pro8200 Menus are fairly typical. Size of type is on the small side, so hard to read menus from far back, but in reality, the size should be just fine for normal use.

Here you’ll see a few menu screen shots. The menus themselves navigate pretty well, I really haven’t come up with any unusually inconvenient placement of features… Pictures and descriptions coming.

Most of the features are pretty self-explanatory.

 

Viewsonic Pro8200 Remote Control

The remote is small, and black. The small rubbery (firm) black buttons are backlit around the edges with blue led light. Unfortunately, you can’t read the button labels in the dark, even with the backlight on. That means you’ll just memorize the usual buttons. Range of the remote is at least average.

Viewsonic Pro8200 Lens Throw

The 1.5:1 zoom will let you place the front of the projector as close as 10.3 feet from a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 screen. Or, the Pro8200 can be placed as far back as 15.6 feets from the same sized screen, and of course you can place the Pro8200 anywhere in between.

Lens Shift

No lens shift for the Viewsonic Pro8200, but that’s typical for an entry level 1080p DLP projector. The lens offset is significant, also typical of lower priced single chip DLP projectors.

With a 100 inch, 16:9 diagonal screen, the center of the lens needs to be 16.8 inches above the top of the screen surface. (or an equal mount below the bottom of the screen’s surface, if on a table). That’s about as much offset as you will find built in, but it is very similar to many of the competition, including the Mitsubishi HC4000 which has virtually identical lens offset.

With that much lens offset, a number of folks will find they can’t use this projector with larger screens (110″ diagonal and larger) in rooms with 8 foot or lower ceilings, or at the least, it will be a close thing.

Consider, this common mounting situation: 8 foot ceiling, 120 inch diagonal screen: Assume the projector is mounted very close to the ceiling, with a drop of 10 inches from ceiling to center of lens. Then, for the 120″ screen, the lens offset is just a fraction less than 20 inches. The screen height is about 59 inches. Bottom line: 96 inches (ceiling) – 10, -20, -59 = 7 inches – the bottom of the screen would be just over 7 inches off the floor. That much offset is handy for placing a projector on a table below screen height, but is a challenge in those lower height ceilings.

Anamorphic Lens

The Viewsonic Pro8200 offers full support for an anamorphic lens. Better still, the Pro8200 has support for both Anamorphic Lens Modes 1 and 2.

What is especially nice about the Pro8200, is that you can choose to go with an anamorphic lens, but not need the usual motorized sled to move it in front of the regular lens when you want 2.35:1, and out of the way, for everything else.

The first mode provides the usual required aspect ratio for working with an anamorphic lens for 2.35:1 viewing. The second mode, though, assumes that the anamorphic lens remains in front of the lens for 16:9 and 4:3 viewing, and this mode essentially provides the right adjustments to provide the right aspect ratios for those shapes.

For those sold on 2.35:1 without letterboxing, and expected to pay $3000 – $4000+ for an anamorphic lens and sled, this capability should save you about half of that!

Mind you, when viewing 16:9, you will no longer have 1:1 pixel mapping, which is preferred, but that should add only the slightest softness, and won’t bother many. Anyone using an anamorphic lens has already given up 1:1 pixel mapping for those Cinemascope movies!

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