Projector Reviews

ViewSonic LS700HD Laser DLP Home Projector Review – Performance

ViewSonic LS700HD Home Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Audio Noise, Audio Quality and Resolution

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

ViewSonic claims the LS700HD achieves a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1 which is achieved by dynamically modulating the laser power. This is another part of Super ECO, along with advanced digital image processing.

From ViewSonic

“Super ECO Mode is for advanced power saving purposes with a very dim screen and usually used for a short break while projecting. To enable Super ECO Mode, just select Super ECO Mode and leave it without any OSD change. Then the screen will get dimmer gradually.”

Unfortunately, the black levels on this projector are pretty typical for a DLP projector in this price range. The reality is that blacks are not black on the LS700HD. While blacks are certainly better than on most ViewSonic sub $1000 projectors, they still tend to have a greenish-blue cast to them. The good news is that in USER1 and Cinema modes you will get more detail in the greenish-blue blacks.

If you want to go into the advanced menu, be sure to check out the Gamma Settings. There are a variety of preset modes that can also be adjusted and saved by the user. I think you’ll like what it can do for your black levels overall.

BRIGHTNESS

The ViewSonic LS700HD brightness is rated at 3,500 ANSI lumens. As you know, DLP projectors are designed to be really bright and the 3,500 ANSI lumens is a testament to how far the industry is pushing the performance price envelope. Like most DLP projectors, the LS700HD displays whites brighter than colors. Not to beat a dead horse, but if this projector were being used in the business market I don’t think anyone would care about color accuracy. However, the LS700HD is marketed mainly for home use and I expect more accuracy to go with the brilliant whites and oversaturated colors for a home theater projector.

Brightness at mid-zoom

Color Mode Lumens
Standard 2162
Game 1956
Movie 1064
Brightest 2893
Sports 2401
User 1 2126
User 2 2147

As we normally do here at Projector Reviews, we measured using the projector’s brightest mode (Brightest) at full wide angle – this is with the iris wide open, so the most amount of light gets through. I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

The LS700HD’s Brightness (Brightest mode, Normal Light Output): 3681 Lumens

At wide zoom, Brightest mode. The LS700HD measured 3681 lumens which is 3500 to ViewSonics’s brightness claim. For the rest of the modes, I measured them at mid-zoom, so the iris is closed halfway. This is because it is more common for a projector to be zoomed in a bit rather than installed at full wide angle.

AUDIBLE NOISE

ViewSonic lists an audible noise rating of 34db in normal mode and 32db in Eco mode. While the noise is noticeable, it’s not distracting by any means. Eco Mode renders the projector effectively silent. There are two exhaust fans located on the projector’s left side that blow a significant amount of air, but nothing louder than what you would expect from a modern laptop with a relatively quiet fan. Any noise from this projector will likely go unnoticed in a ceiling or wall-mounted installation.

AUDIO QUALITY

The ViewSonic LS700HD uses a single two-watt speaker. Since ViewSonic has classified this projector for primary use in the home, it’s reasonable to assume that this unit will be connected to an external sound system. Having tested the unit using the internal speaker, I can say with complete confidence that you should not use the built in speaker, for any type of home entertainment content…ever. There is no bass what-so-ever (not surprising), and the higher volume settings create noticeable distortion.
If you’re hoping to connect this projector to external audio equipment, well, there’s a jack for that! A 3.5mm Audio Out Mini-Jack can be found on the inputs and connectors panel at the rear of the projector. In my opinion this projector was made to be connected to an external sound system.

RESOLUTION

Full HD 1080p resolution delivers a sharp, detailed image when looking at native 1920x1080p content. Images appear crisp and clear at reasonably close distances. If you have a limited amount of space that forces you to sit so close enough to the screen that the visibility of the pixels distracts you, then you may want to look at the LS700HD’s 4K big brother.