Posted on January 7, 2018 By Art Feierman
Summary: The Big Picture, The Bottom Line: Special Interest Award, The Competition, The Bottom Line, Pros, Cons
The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL is a small projector that puts up a rather big picture on your screen. With a 3200 lumen claim, this Viewsonic comes up a little short on maximum lumens, but that’s pretty common. As we always point out, no one should really care about how many maximum lumens a projector can produce. Far more important is how many “usable” lumens – that is, good looking ones. Having 3000 lumens and a terrible picture – no one cares.
The PJD7828HDL with all that brightness is comparable to business portable projectors which makes sense, since it is equipped like one. Basically, it is one!
Viewsonic projectors, shaw we say, tend to be designed for multiple uses, including home and business. This one is an excellent example of that. So, take it out on presentations when not watching the NFL playoffs, the Olympics or your favorite movies and HDTV.
Or perhaps you are buying one for business – know that it doubles nicely as a home entertainment projector with a strong value proposition.
What is important is that the PJD7828HDL can put up about 2500 lumens with some respectable color – enough to do a good job on sports, HDTV, games etc. If you are a movie fanatic, and demand the best possible color accuracy, and picture quality, that will be either the Movie mode or the ViewMatch sRGB modes – both with a useable 1500+ lumens. 1500 lumens is what we long have called a “light canon.” For that’s more than enough lumens in a dedicated theater for a 150” diagonal screen, or even larger!
But let’s stay focused – this Viewsonic isn’t designed for dedicated home theater – rather it is more at home in your family room, living room, bonus room – rooms not designed with dark walls, and full lighting control.
So, call this a bright room projector, or a home entertainment projector, it’s more those, than “home theater projector.” By my take there are really no really good home theater projectors under $1000, although there are one or two that I consider more home theater than the Viewsonic (the BenQ HT2050 – which is about half as bright, comes to mind).
Predecessors of the PJD7828HDL have won our higher Hot Product Award. I “dinged” the PJD7828HDL a bit more this time, for its less than stellar color accuracy. In previous years, Viewsonic models shared this limitation but were often priced well below any serious competition. This Viewsonic will appeal to a wider base of potential owners than some other projectors that have also received our Special Interest Award, but with today’s competition, it would have taken bit better color before I could in good conscience, give it the Hot Product award!
BTW, we don’t give out very many Hot Product Awards to home projectors under $1000.
Viewsonic delivers a rock bottom price – streeting for under $600. On top of that they provide what is probably the best warranty of any manufacturer of sub-$1000 projectors: 3 years parts and labor, with a rapid replacement program the first year.
At its price point, the bulk of the competition offers only a single one year warranty and no replacement program. Epson has one of the best warranties – 2 years with 2 years of rapid replacement program. But most of the competition isn’t close. That same BenQ HT2050 I mentioned above, for example is a standard 1 year parts and labor.
Be smart folks – I imagine most repairs on a home projector will run into the hundreds of dollars, which means once out of warranty, any major issue out of warranty makes a projector in this price range, a throw away. Three years – that really makes sense – one year warranties – a real risk. (choose wisely!)
Let’s talk a bit more about the HT2050 as it is a major competitor. Like the Viewsonic, it has a faster than typical color wheel – a real plus for those of us rainbow sensitive. The big differences – the BenQ HT2050 street prices for about $200 more. It definitely can provide more accurate color with better skin tones. The BenQ is, as mentioned, the most “home theater” of the low cost projectors and that also shows in brightness – the Viewsonic is over 50% brighter when comparing similar modes. The BenQ really wants a fully darken able “cave” or home theater. The Viewsonic, a brighter room.
Epson’s new HT2100 and HT2150 are also a good $200 more, but their predecessors HC2040, HC2045, while still being closed out and selling for not much more than the PJD7828HDL, are more similar in feature set to the Viewsonic. They aren’t as bright when measured, but their equivalent brightest useable modes aren’t much less bright. That’s because 3LCD projectors have more color lumens, so sacrifice less brightness when trying to achieve the best color.
These Epsons are also by my take primarily home entertainment projectors. They will all produce more accurate color than the Viewsonic, but being 3LCD will come up short in terms of black level performance – a disadvantage for movie viewing, in a proper room.
Optoma has several projectors in the price range including their GT series (GameTime). Optoma projectors – typically, have roughly comparable out of the box color, but usually have better calibration controls so can, with proper effort end up with better color accuracy. Interestingly, the input lag for gaming on the 7828HDL is lower than most of the Optoma GameTime projectors, never mind their other series of models.
Optoma’s warranties are more in line with BenQ’s which translates into dramatically inferior to Viewsonic in this matter.
At this price point there are also a number of LED pocket projectors with 500 to 1000 lumens – not near as bright, but much smaller and more portable. So far, while some of those are very interesting, and some have many smart features not found on traditional projectors (check out our reviews of the AAXA M6 and others including LG models).
The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL is a value projector with an excellent value argument. It’s about as bright as any competitor around the price, has some pretty good color, the usual entry level black level performance, has a typical zoom lens, good focus, and a stellar warranty.
I would say that this is not a projector for a home theater enthusiast, rather its an excellent choice for a Bigger is Better – Big Screen enthusiast. That is, for about the same as a medium quality 65” or 70″ LCD TV, you can have this Viewsonic and a motorized or fixed wall 100 to 120+ inch diagonal screen to fill that media room or family room.
I mean seriously – who wants to watch the Superbowl, the Olympics, or your favorite college team, on a 65” when 100 inches or more is doable for the same money or less!
For that matter – who wants to watch Game of Thrones, Blacklist, Ghostbusters 2016, or Star Wars: The Last Jedi on a tiny screen either?
Consider the Viewsonic to be less than perfect – hey, it’s “entry level.” But an excellent value (and a great warranty) at a rock bottom price, for those that can appreciate the big screen experience (in 3D as well) without spending thousands of dollars. Enjoy!
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