Runner-Up: Best In Class Bright Room (Entry Level under $1000): Viewsonic PJD-7835HDL

The Viewsonic PJD7835HD is a Bright Room projector, and as most of this new class of projectors are, consider this Viewsonic a “cross-over”.  That is, it is more business projector than home theater projector.  You know what folks?  That’s just fine.Long ago 2000 lumens (10-12 years back) 2000 lumens was all you had to tackle a hotel ballroom or small auditorium with lights way down.  Even 2000 lumens isn’t enough, though on a 100 inch screen if you have a lot of ambient light.  Well, those old 2000 lumen projectors were $10 grand plus, today Viewsonic serves up a 3500 lumen projector for under a grand!  You just have to love technology for its ability to continually provide more, while costing less.
PJD7835HD DLP Projector - front view
Viewsonic PJD7835HD – Full HD resolution, MHL, and 3500 lumens at $899 MSRP. Party time!
The PJD7835HD is a single chip DLP and it has a clear slice on its color wheel to maximize white lumens, a real plus for doing presentations.  In the world of your home, you don’t want every last lumen, rather you want good to great color.  Well, folks, the brightest mode of this Viewsonic (labeled “Brightest” – a coincidence?) is really (when it comes to home use) more of a “break glass in case of an emergency” where the emergency is way too much ambient light.  Fortunately, though, the PJD7835HD has other modes. Dynamic, the next brightest, still manages a massive 3500 lumens
Color still isn’t great in Dynamic, but if you are trying to watch a football game with sunlight pouring into your room, it just might be the ticket.  Movie mode looks great at 2000 lumens.  Here’ the thing – you can tweak Dynamic mode a bit to further improve color while only giving up a few hundred lumens.  Conversely you can boost the brightness of Movie mode, while still maintaining very good color, if not quite as good as what it delivers at 2000 lumens and loose change.

This Viewsonic has a full set of color controls that will allow you, or a calibrator, to fully calibrate this projector, to get the absolute best out of it.  Of course we realize you probably won’t spring for a professional calibration, but the controls let anyone try to get the most out.

As you can see from the images in the player above, the PJD7835HD is more than capable of some very good color.  When I was reviewing this projector, I was able to fully enjoy sports viewing, despite having more ambient light in the room than I would dare to have with most sub $1000 projectors.

 

PJD-7835HD and streaming stick
PJD-7835HD shown with PortAll cover removed, streaming stick visible – pretend the tablet is streaming a movie.  Get it?

From the hardware side of things, you’ll find a computer input in the back, audio controls and a single HDMI.  Here’s the nice extra touch though:  Viewsonic has a second HDMI input, hiding in their PortAll.  It’s a hidden area so people can plug in their streaming sticks.  Hiding it probably not necessary at home, if you stream, but if this projector is hanging in a classroom with a streaming stick plugged into the usual back panel HDMI, that streaming stick is probably going to disappear!  No matter, bottom line is two HDMIs, and one of them, the PortAll one, supports MHL, for that Roku or other stick, as well as interfacing with a variety of other mobile device.

A hefty 16 watt speaker system provides an admirable amount of sound.  Of course, as I must point out, if you really want great room shaking sound for those action movies, etc., no projector’s internal speaker or speakers is going to do the job right.  Get thee a respectable surround sound system, or perhaps a very good stereo system.

While I give the other “bright room award” projector, the edge when it comes to maximum brightness with very good color, this Viewsonic ultimately is the brighter projector.

And as an added bonus, it offers 3D which that Epson HC1040 lacks.  Overall not only a very good feature set, but Viewsonic provides a 3 year parts/labor warranty.  That’s as long as it gets in this price range, in fact most competitors offer a basic 1 year warranty.  Next best warranty is probably that Epson – 2 years, but with a 2 year rapid replacement program.  The point is:  Great warranty.

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