Posted on September 23, 2016 By Art Feierman
Same projector same award, two years running! Talk about Value: The PJD7822HDL projector from Viewsonic may list for almost $800, but has a street price in the low $600 range or even under $600 at some dealers. That’s about as low as 1080p gets.
When you look at the package though, you find that this DLP projector seems to provide a lot of more than competing DLP projectors that approach its low price point. For openers, this Viewsonic projector claims 3200 lumens, and measured far higher!
When Viewsonic launched the PJD-7822HDL’s predecessor (the 7820), it was a true breakthrough product, the first sub-$1000 1080p projector to ship, and it was hundreds below the closest competitor. It sold like hotcakes, putting Viewsonic on the map for home projectors.
With the PJD7822HDL, there are a few improvements, and a significantly lower price. That’s progress, and nothing to complain about.
Of particular note, MHL has become very popular but wasn’t around a few years ago on projectors when the older Viewsonic started shipping. Well, sorry, the 7822HDL doesn’t have true MHL either off of its HDMI port, but it can let you accomplish some of the same goals, such as streaming content, but combining its HDMI with the power drawn from its USB out (ok, getting a bit technical here). You may not be able to plug in a standard MHL Roku stick, but it will support other Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, etc. Not perfect, but an improvement.
Then there’s the brightness of this projector. That is still a surprise. Viewsonic claims 3200 lumens, which is impressive, right? But Mike, who measured and calibrated this Viewsonic measured just a tad over 4000 lumens at full wide angle on the zoom, making it one of the brightest projectors in this report. The only projector that’s dramatically brighter, the Epson 6900, is almost 10 times the price. (Don’t try comparing the two, the Epson is a variation of a high end commercial projector with about a zillion features this Viewsonic lacks.)
OK, 4000 lumens maximum, but good color really starts around over 3000 lumens with the ViewMatch mode. Best color – calibrated – this projector still managed 2000 lumens. That’s pretty impressive for the price. By comparison, overall, it’s still brighter than the Epson 2040 which took the higher honors as Best Value to the Viewsonic’s Runner-Up.
The 7822HDL lacks full color controls, so the calibration and final best color isn’t as perfect as most other projectors in this report, but then it’s a value home entertainment projector. Still, The more expensive Epson (selling for $799), has color right out of the box, that’s very close to the Viewsonic’s post calibration.
Still, check out these images, and remember that these projectors always look way better in real life than on your computer or phone screen.
Lamp life is truly impressive with a Viewsonic claim of 5000 hours at full power. The 8000 hours in its 2nd Eco mode, counts on saving life when you left the projector on, but content isn’t changing. The true Eco mode is still an awesome 6000 hours. All that lamp life considering the brightness, is something noteworthy.
The lack of true MHL on this Viewsonic is one of a few reasons that the Epson bested it in terms of awards. The two have different, but roughly comparable – and very good warranties. This viewsonic comes with 3 years parts and labor. At under $650 street price? Wow. (Epson’s is 2 years but with a rapid replacement program.)
Gaming is a particular strength of the PJD7822HDL. Our input lag testing came in mostly at 16-17 ms delay – or one frame behind on 60fps games. That’s about half the lag of the Epson who’s lag times are still acceptable.
3D is classic DLP, which is to say, no inherent crosstalk. What makes this Viewsonic particularly impressive at 3D is having all those lumens to work with. With 3D eating up typically 2/3 of your projector’s brightness, here’s a projector that still looks bright on a 100″ screen, with 3D playing! Nice!!!
For a few of us, there’s one particular downside, which is that the color wheel is a 2X speed one. That means that for those of us rainbow sensitive (a very small slice of the population), those rainbows are going to be very visible. It may mean some additional people will see rainbows, compared to projectors with faster wheels (including the BenQ HC1200).
But then, as one of the very lowest cost 1080p projectors – one that, btw easily doubles as a portable business projector – and is bright as one, there have to be some compromises. The slower color wheel allows for some extra brightness. Fair enough.
All considered, for a rock bottom price you get a sharp, and bright projector, with a great warranty and very good, but not excellent color. It’s a great entry level projector for the whole family, or the gamer in you, but it’s not a match for the also DLP, BenQ HT3050 that took top honors in this class, if you are a serious home theater enthusiast. But then it costs about 40% less. Fair enough.
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