Posted on January 7, 2018 By Art Feierman
ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Home Theater Projector Review – Picture Quality 2: Dark Shadow Detail, HDTV and Sports Viewing, Movie Viewing, Overall Picture Quality
Almost excellent. With the Brightness control properly adjusted the Viewsonic barely crushes the darkest near black info, but it is slight. You can see that on the shrubs behind the tracks on the lower right side of the train scene, the detail is virtually all there, and in the forest in the large dark area up and to the left of the shrubs.
And, all that dark detail is pretty easily visible, in that as a projector with entry level black performance, both the pure “black” (which comes out medium dark grey) and the near black details, which come out a little lighter, are much lighter and easier to make out than on projectors with much darker black level performance. That is typical.
I would say the 7828HDL is at least competitive with most of the competition around the price. Only the 3LCD entries – the Epson competition will have lighter, and easier to spot dark detail, because their black levels themselves start out lighter. All considered, count the PJD7828HDL as doing a fine job on dark detail for the price.
I watched the Rose Bowl yesterday using this Viewsonic, while Sunday, I watched all 8 afternoon games on DirecTV’s GameMix on the Viewsonic, as well. By overshooting the screen intentionally and taking advantage of my wide screen, each of the games was almost 30” diagonal. Sweet. The sharpness of the 7828HDL was more than enough to deal with those many games reduced to lower resolution to fit the 1080 broadcast. The Viewsonic had a great sports weekend. The only thing missing, really, would have been CFI – creative frame interpolation for more “smooth motion,” but as mentioned elsewhere, finding CFI on a $600ish projector is near impossible at this time. Even at twice the price many lack CFI which I consider most useful for sports viewing.
I used Standard mode for all of my game viewing except in the evening when I dropped down to ViewMatch sRGB mode. (Similar to Movie mode but a bit cooler), and I ran that mode with Brilliant Color on 6 for some extra “pop” to the picture.
For non-sports – i.e. watching concerts, sitcoms etc. Standard will work fine if you want more than a little ambient light. If you are watching in the dark, choose Movie mode, or if you want a little bit cooler (more blue-ish white) color, select the ViewMatch sRGB. We didn’t attempt to calibrate this mode but it looks pretty good as is.
Again, color accuracy is not on the money, but generally just fine.
Considering the entry level price point, the PJD7828HDL did a respectable job for movie viewing. Just keep in mind this is still primarily a home entertainment projector, not home theater. It will not perfectly calibrate in order to create excellent, on the money color accuracy.
If that’s what you are after, there are a couple of other projectors, with more complete calibration controls. On the other hand, unless you are an engineer or AV person with your own calibration gear, I’m pretty willing to bet you won’t be going out and paying a professional calibrator almost as much as you spent on the projector, to calibrate it.
Black level performance – which is entry level, is still well better than competing 3LCD projectors, and may beat out a couple of the DLPs but if it does not by any really significant amount.
Overall, count the Viewsonic as competent for movie viewing, but it is not its forte!
As someone paid to be critical of picture quality, color accuracy, etc., it’s hard not to notice less than excellent performance, so it’s easy to criticize the 7828HDL, or for that matter most projectors under about $2000.
But consider that this projector costs about the same as an average, (not a great, or particularly bright) 65” LCD TV. Yet, in most rooms it can put up an image that is 3 times the square footage. With some decent lighting control, you can enjoy watching a 100” or even a 120” diagonal image, no problem. And some respectable 3D as well. 3D just isn’t as much fun on smaller sets, which is why less and less LCD TVs are offering 3D, while 3D remains a standard feature on most projectors for home, regardless of price point.
The Viewsonic won’t be my first choice as a movie projector but does just fine with sports and most traditional TV. (I’d consider the production qualities of a program like Game of Thrones to be more “movie like” than TV.
As I already mentioned, the Viewsonic has plenty of brightness to handle sports well, even with more than modest ambient light. In bright rooms, though, remember, that it is important to pair with the right screen.
Bottom Line: The PJD7828HDL is a bright entry level home entertainment projector with a good feature set, that can deliver on the big screen experience, and please most folks. But, it’s still an entry level projector when it comes to overall picture quality. That makes it right at home with most of the competition. Note: want potentially more accurate color – post adjustment? You could consider competitors like the Epson 2xxx series, or BenQ’s HT2050. The BenQ although isn’t near as bright, and the Epson 2040/2045 (being closed out at about the same price as the Viewsonic), while having better color, is no match at black levels for movie viewing.
When we talk entry level – there are always trade offs! That said, this Viewsonic performs well in terms of overall picture quality per dollar spent.
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