Color and Picture Quality
As is our standard procedure, my laptop was connected via HDMI and the PJD5555w was displaying at its native resolution (1280 x 800). With this input and using the Standard mode, the PJD5555w provided a very nice, sharp image. Colors were very good in this mode as well. Unfortunately, the good color balance did not completely translate to the two brightest modes, Brightest and Dynamic. Colors were somewhat washed out in these modes, with dark reds and a bit of a greenish cast over the image. That being said, yellows were better than many DLP multimedia projectors, which often have yellows that tend to look like mustard. Also, in a picture with a mix of color (see the photo of the three women below), the balance was quite good. This may be due to Viewsonic’s SuperColor 6-segment color wheel (RGBCYW), as opposed to the three or four segment wheel that has no yellow segment that you often see in this price range. The other picture modes improved color accuracy and balance substantially. Standard, ViewMatch and Movie modes were all quite good (see photos), with well balanced color and depth. While many DLP projectors fall short of the color saturation produced by LCD projectors, with the PJD5555w, the differences are very small in modes other than Brightest and Dynamic.
For movie or video viewing, Movie mode gives you the best color balance, as well as noticeably improved contrast. Movie mode can also be used for photo presentations when deeper contrast is desired. This will result in the optimum color rendition and displayed accurate colors and great realism. As a result of the good color balance, skin tones look quite accurate with the PJD5555w. As mentioned in the Setup and Menu section of this review, the PJD5555w also has full color management for really fine tuning the color balance.
Switching to the PJD5555w’s VGA input, there was a very slight change in picture quality and depth of color, but that’s typical going from a digital to analog connection. It’s only noticeable when you switch back and forth, so it’s really a non-issue. A digital connection is preferred when available, so it’s nice to have that option with the PJD5555w.
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This section of the review is almost becoming unnecessary. Like almost all of the projectors we've reviewed recently, the PJD5555w had no problems providing a sharp image at any resolution or aspect ratio. We started with the PJD5555w displaying its native resolution on a 70” diagonal image. With this setup, our usual spreadsheet, which has a range of text sizes and colors, was easily readable for all color and size combinations (from 8 pt. to 36 pt. text and white text-on-black or yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds).
Even with higher resolutions and aspect ratios than its default 1280 x 800, the PJD5555w was more than up for the task. Moving up to 1600 x 1200 and all way up to 1080p resolution (1920x1080), the PJD5555w had no problems. There was also virtually no issues with even the smallest text on the spreadsheet. Such text remained quite readable and there was no color separation or overlap as can be found on some LCD projectors (mainly due to slight convergence issues inherent in a three-chip projector vs. a single chip DLP). Similarly, dropping to a lower resolution and different aspect ratio (1024x768), resulted in no noticeable loss of sharpness.
Overall, with the text sizes and resolutions that would most likely be used in presentations, the Viewsonic PJD5555w will have no problem maintaining readability.
First I used the DVD playback from my laptop computer, connected via HDMI, to check the PJD5555w’s ability to display video from a PC source. The color rendition of the PJD5555w, in Movie mode, was equal to or better than most multimedia projector in its price range. Skin tones were quite natural and the overall color balance was quite good. The 20000:1 contrast ratio is a very good ratio for a multimedia projector, especially in this price range. That being said, you’ll only achieve that ratio in a light controlled environment and only in Dynamic Eco mode, which results in an extremely dim picture. Your best bet is to use Eco lamp mode, which will give you some decent black levels while still providing over 1800 lumens in Movie mode.
Connecting the PJD5555w to a Blu-ray player resulted in the usual increase in color depth, as well as the increased sharpness you’d expect from the higher resolution source (see photo). As previously noted, for more critical viewing, a calibration using the grayscale and color management adjustments of the PJD5555w would allow for even greater accuracy in skin tones.
Overall, the PJD5555w’s good color reproduction and decent (if not exceptional) contrast and black levels, makes it more than an acceptable choice for classroom video presentations. It should be noted that if you have a video presentation that includes audio, the PJD5555w's SonicExpert technology does result in better than average sound for projectors in this price range. However, with only 2 watts available, you’ll want to use external powered speakers for anything but the smallest or quietest rooms.