Posted on April 16, 2014 By Art Feierman
My previous review involved an inexpensive projector that is ideal for gamer applications. It successfully brought up the discussion on the importance of affordable projectors and how they have changed the landscape by making the personal big screen available to virtually any budget. The fact is that the entry-level projector and its remarkably low price point have really opened up new demographics that didn’t previously exist. This time around, I departed from the gamer world to talk about a great new education projector suitable for either small classrooms or larger lecture facilities. When I reviewed the Viewsonic PJD6544w, I wasn’t looking for a high end product but I wasn’t looking to review a really stripped down, basic projector. Fortunately for the retail consumer or educational buyer, I found a good projector that is highly functional (lots of features) and very forgiving in regards to user-friendliness. The performance levels are at the very least, satisfactory and I found the operation to be remarkably simple. Although formatted for business laptop presentations, the PJD6544w carries all the features I would expect to find for either an educator, small business owner or corporate type, on the road. In a pinch, you can take it home and use it for some home entertainment, be it movies TV or games, but that’s not our focus here. In this review, I used it extensively, taking note of both everyday performance as well as evaluating it with actual tests.
The Viewsonic PJD6544w comes out of the gate at $839.99 MSRP; an enticing price, considering the feature set.
Regarding the display tech, the PJD6544 uses a single chip 0.55″ Texas Instruments DLP® technology. This means it is a .55 inch (diagonally) wide chip with a two-dimensional squared arrangement of 1-bit CMOS memory cells. These cells are essentially Aluminum Micrometer-sized mirrors laid out in 800 columns by 1280 rows along with a 149 micro pin grid array. In plain English for the newcomers here, each of the 1,024,000 (1280 x 800) micro mirrors act as positive/negative switches that determine the image’s clarity. The higher the number, the better the performance. In this case, the .65 TI DLP (WXGA) chip has slightly better in resolution than what you’d encounter with industrial and medical imaging devices. It also enhances presentations by enabling multiple worksheets/spreadsheets in one projection window in native 720p which was a big deal when it was introduced at InfoComm 2005. In essence, you won’t get short changed by the image for the price you are paying. Although it is definitely no SIM2 (example of higher end and trusted home theater brand) its function is adequate for the kind of roles you can use this projector which is educational or commercial.
Viewsonic produces this with contrast levels at 15,000:1. That sounds about right from what I experienced during the evaluation. The saving grace is that this is a native 16:10 with secondary 4:3 settings so contrast isn’t going to be a huge issue with most of its applications. Although I wasn’t thrilled by the contrast levels, I wasn’t put off by it either. It was a non-issue with my applications. Although home theater enthusiasts may take issue with this, this is not a projector that is made for home theater so it’s a moot point.
This projector review is included in our 2014-2015 Best Classroom Projectors Report, which is sponsored by Epson America.
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