PJD7822HDL Black Level Performance
Let's be clear to start. We're billing the 7822HDL as a home entertainment projector in terms of home use, not as a projector designed for a dedicated home theater. For one thing, even in Eco mode, calibrated it's too bright for a fully darkened room, with say a 100" diagonal screen.
This Viewsonic is ideal for working in rooms with low to medium levels of ambient light, and, ideally paired with a screen best suited for your room, and viewing conditions. As a result of all of that, black level performance isn't a key determinant in terms of this projector's performance.
The better the native contrast, the better the black levels. But even one not very bright - say 15 watt light bulb, 15 feet from your screen or screen wall, will wipe out most of the vast difference in blacks, between a projector like this 7822HD and say more expensive and more serious home theater projectors designed for darkened rooms such as the BenQ W7500 and Epson 5030UB, both $2000 plus projectors with especially good black level performance for their price (which is more than three times that of this Viewsonic. Note that the one side by side comparison image of the Bond night train scene compares the BenQ to the Epson. Those two easily do better blacks than any of the other samples provided here, although Optoma's HD161X at least splits the difference - in black level performance, and at price.
Overall, viewing my sports and HDTV always with some lighting present, black levels were very acceptable for a home entertainment projector. The native contrast of DLP projectors is by definition reasonably good, so that's what you get.
When switching to watching movies, and filling my 124" screen, note that I ran the Viewsonic in Eco mode, where it was still very bright. Full power was a too bright for my taste in my fully darkened theater. One of the side affects of too bright for a rainbow sensitive person such as myself, is that the Viewsonic only has a 2X color wheel, so on darker scenes, I did notice rainbows more than I would have liked.
But we're talking black level performance. The Viewsonic is acceptable. It still offers up blacks at least as dark as some competing entry level 3LCD projectors even though those offer dynamic irises to help out. But black level performance is merely typical for low cost DLP projectors.
Of course if you have even modest lighting on, those respectable blacks will wash out some, reducing the pop - the dynamic look and feel, of dark scenes.
Bottom line on Black Level Performance: Just about what one would hope for in a low cost, entry level DLP home projector. That is: acceptable, but nothing to write home about.
PJD7822HDL - Overall Picture Quality
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As a home entertainment projector this Viewsonic does a pretty respectable job on color. Several of the presets produce good color, but none of the modes are highly accurate. That's fair, as one doesn't expect to find that in your average home entertainment projector.
Our calibration settings reduce the typically a bit too strong reds in skin tones, and help improve overall color. Still the PJD7822HDL does not calibrate very well, as one can see by the CIE charts - before and after, found on the advanced calibration page of this review.
For normal folks though, color should be just fine, and overall picture quality very good. I tend to come down fairly hard on these home entertainment projectors for having less than stellar color accuracy.
But look at all these photos. Despite my "complaining," Bond, and Lucy, Katnis, and Cima, and those Victoria Secret models look pretty good! So do the scenery shots and the football. Hey, I'm just spoiled. I've been watching mostly $8000 and $15,000 projectors for the last few months, and then this poor Viewsonic suffers my wrath, for not living up to those big time serious projectors. Viewsonic - forgive me.
Again, and most importantly, this is an extremely bright projector. It is not designed to be a good choice for a dedicated home theater with virtually 0 ambient light, and dark room surfaces. Why, because it is simply too bright.
3D is worth one mention here: This projector has the brightness to effortlessly handle 3D on a 100" screen. That's more than most projectors can claim!
This projector is best suited for tackling more normal rooms, not caves. In your family room or living room with limited ambient light, the Viewsonic looks darn good. If the lighting is a lot worse, then the PJD7822HD in a sense, becomes even a better projector. After all, it measures 2000 lumens calibrated, over 4 times what is needed for a 100" screen in a dedicated theater. And it handles those football game images at 3000 lumens!
In other words, the projector has the power to still produce an impressive picture where limited brightness stymies a lot of the competition.
The Viewsonic combines typical entry level black level performance, and very good - not great dark shadow detail, to be at its best in that less than great home entertainment environment. It can slug things out with most of the other sub $900 cross-over and home entertainment projectors, most of which are DLP, but also can take on, with at least as good black level performance, Epson's least expensive 1080p projector, the HC2000! The HT1075 (replacing the BenQ W1070) which seems to sell for about $200 more - a significant difference at this price point, can, like the Epson, deliver more accurate color, but it too has some trade-off.
Bottom line: Call it home entertainment, or a cross-over, or a portable business projector...the Viewsonic PJD7822HDL delivers very good overall picture quality performance, and it does it for a lower price than most other comparably equipped current model projectors. While it's not a direct part of the picture quality conversation, one of the strengths is that the Viewsonic has more horsepower - lumens - than the 1080p competition near its price, and in a lot of rooms that difference can be huge.