Projector Reviews

Viewsonic Pro8200 – a First Look projector review

Update: The Viewsonic Pro8200 review has been posted!

Greetings all,

I must be brief.  Here are some tidbits about the Viewsonic Pro8200.  Technically I should have left for the Consumer Electronics Show about 10 minutes ago, but I still have another 30 minutes in my window to make the Sony press conference.   I’ll just have to drive a little faster, to be sure to make it on time.

The Pro8200 (and I will be brief), is a low cost DLP projector.  Although it sports a $1499 MSRP, street price seems to be close to $1000.

The Viewsonic Pro8200 offers a seven segment color wheel, but does not mention the color wheel speed.  As I am seeing rainbows without too much difficulty, on the kind scenes where they tend to show up, my best guess is that this projector has a 3x wheel, maybe 4x.  I will ask, when I meet with them on Friday, but not hopeful of an answer.  Bottom line, those rainbow effect adverse, will likely, like me, occasionally see the rainbows.  Each of us has to decide whether we want to deal with that. (I’ve owned various DLP’s and I consider it, in most cases, only a minor nuisance.)

As I said, I need to be brief.  The Viewsonic projector is bright – it measures about 1450 lumens in the one mode Mike could get to look really good.   Seems in this case, our ‘best’ and ‘brightest’ modes are the same.  More on that in the review.

The projector pushes, it seems a bit too much red, even then in the brightest ranges, which tends to make skin tones a bit too red. Dialing down color saturation is Mike’s recommendation.

So far, I’ve mostly watched football bowl games and pro games on this projector (but National Treasure last nite).  For sports, it does just fine, with a nice sharp image, color at least as good as the “typical” brightest modes of most other projectors.  For example, the brightest mode of the Epson 8350, is roughly comparable to the Viewsonic, but the Epson will look a lot better in best mode (but down below 500 lumens).

I’m having some minor HDMI interfacing issues, with my now 3D capable PS3’s when using longer cables.  I’m talking with Viewsonic support, which has been good.  They are going to send me a second one next week.  I’ve got another Blu-ray player – a low cost one, that is standard HDMI 1.3 and works much better.  Most likely the problem is this unit, but we will find out.

The short version.  This is a nice bright family room type projector.  Fan noise is a louder than most, but really, it’s rather typical of low cost DLP home projectors.  BTW, like some other lower cost, and “crossover” projectors, this Viewsonic has an onboard speaker.

Not a bad choice when you want a lot of lumens at a low cost.  As I work with it more, I’ll position it against the HD20, the BenQ W1000  – or W1000+, and the low cost Vivitek H1080, to figure out how it does against them.

Stay tuned. This review will post a few days after I get back from CES (figure next Wed.) -art