Posted on October 23, 2020 By Philip Boyle
ViewSonic LS700HD Projector Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, IP5X, 3XFast Gaming and 3D
The LS700HD is one of the newer entries in ViewSonic’s LS line of projectors. Thanks to its laser/phosphor light engine, the LS700HD achieves a peak brightness of 3500 ANSI lumens, which is bright for a home entertainment projector in this range.
ViewSonic claims a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1, which is achieved by dynamically modulating the laser power. This is a part of ViewSonic’s SuperColor technology, along with advanced digital image processing. If the past is any indication, the actual measured contrast ratio will come in at a number less than 3,000,000:1, but the light engine ViewSonic uses in this projector should provide an impressive dynamic range in any case.
The laser/phosphor light engine is sealed to prevent dust and moisture from interfering with the projector’s key components. ViewSonic uses a sealed light path to protect the internal mechanisms of the projector, including the color wheel, which means a brighter image and longer life. The LS700HD is rated to last up to 20,000 hours and since there’s no lamp to burn out and replace, it should be virtually maintenance-free.
The LS700HD doesn’t offer lens shift but with the provided horizontal and vertical keystone correction to square up the image on the screen, placement of this projector becomes less of a worry. Remember, this feature is very handy if needed, but engaging keystone correction also degrades the detail in the image, so I don’t recommend using it unless there’s no other way to position the projector.
This is a DLP projector with ViewSonic’s SuperColor, RYGCBW color wheel, so that means it has either a 4, 5 or 6 segment color wheel. At this time, I’m still trying to find out which one this projector is using. If you’ve read previous ViewSonic reviews on our website, you’ll know that sometimes ViewSonic does not disclose how many segments they are using on a particular projector.
This new ViewSonic laser projector adopts 2nd generation laser phosphor technology. The LS700HD inherits excellent color performance, lamp-free design, and an instant on/off switch from predecessor generations and offers additional step-up features including: 20% improved brightness, better heat resistance, and a smaller unit design.
You’re going to get a strong idea that I believe the ViewSonic LS700HD shares many of its features with ViewSonic’s business class projectors. Here’s one of the reasons I believe this: [From the LS700HD brochure] “IT administrators can monitor, schedule, and manage the projector remotely, as well as receive projector status alerts, with the integrated Crestron® e-ControlTM system and RoomView Express™ management software.” ViewSonic continues, “As the LS700HD projector is Crestron® and AMX®certified, administrators can control and monitor the projector for any size campus or enterprise.” But wait, there’s more, “In addition, ViewSonic vController management software provides effortless maintenance and intuitive interfaces for remote management.” Sounds like a business or educational use to me.
ViewSonic adopts the latest laser dust-proof technology to enhance reliability and protect the projector from dust damage with IP5X Certification. The sealed DLP engine and improved construction make the unit IP5X certified. Great, right?
A rating of IP5X stipulates that the LS700HD offers protection against hazardous dust or other fine particles like sand. Dust entry is not entirely prevented, but significant protection of dust assures the LS700HD can operate in sandy, or dusty conditions. A ranking of 5 is sufficient for most consumer-grade uses. For the LS700HD to pass, it was exposed to a medium like talcum powder for a duration of 8 hours. After the test ends, the unit is removed from the testing chamber and if there is no visible damage, and the projector continues to function, it passes the test.
The laser light source on the ViewSonic LS700HD offers 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation at Full Brightness. This means that the LS700HD could be used 4 hours a day for more than 13 years with no degradation in brightness. This combined with the IP5X rating and sealed light path means the LS700HD is virtually maintenance-free.
The ViewSonic LS700HD features a 3X Fast input for gaming. This is another good example of how this projector is dipping its toes into both sides of the pool. This feature is clearly aimed at the home market, specifically for serious console or PC gamers who want to have every advantage possible.
ViewSonic rates the input lag of the LS700HD at 16ms. Here is a more detailed gaming perspective from my colleague, Nikki Zelinger.
“First, let me put this in perspective. Acceptable lag times range from 16ms to 50ms, with 50ms or a little bit higher being acceptable to all but the most hardcore, high-speed gamers. You know the type – those that compete, or have about a million Twitch followers. For those of us who game for the fun of it, 50ms would be just fine.”
“33ms to 40ms is pretty good. It’s totally fine for those of us who are not competing, and just want to play a little Horizon Zero Dawn or FarCry 5 after work or on the weekends. The ViewSonic measured at 33ms, as mentioned, which translates to just over one frame behind on a 30fps game, and 2 frames on a 60fps game. My Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, a $2,500 home theater projector, measures at around 31ms or so, and I don’t notice any lag issues on my games.”
The ViewSonic LS700HD actually has a frame lag of just under 17ms as long as you have the 3X Fast feature, located in the display menu turned on. When it’s turned off, the projector measures at 33ms input lag which is still an excellent input lag rating for all but the most hard-core gaming enthusiasts.
The LS700HD can project 3D content directly from 3D Blu-ray Disc players and HDMI-enabled devices such as laptops, tablets, and 3D compatible media players via HDMI connection. Appropriate 3D glasses are needed. Upon testing, the 3D performance was as expected.
The important thing to remember is that this is not an Oculus experience and has nothing in common with the life-like 3D represented in fantasy movies… *sigh*…if only! Quality is subjective, especially when it comes to this kind of 3D. I couldn’t really test this feature that long because all types of glasses-based 3D systems give me a really bad headache after about ten minutes. 3D looked fine when I viewed a 3D-encoded version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows through my 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player. Bottom line, if you’re into viewing 3D movies then the LS700HD does a more than acceptable job showing 3D. If you happen to have some of those old PS3 downloadable 3D games, you can enjoy them too. If you want to watch 3D movies or play 3D games (provided you can find them), this projector has you covered.
I’m holding out for the real 3D future to arrive and hope I don’t get nauseous when it finally gets here.
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