Posted on January 7, 2018 By Art Feierman
The Viewsonic PJD7828HDL is an entry level priced 1080p resolution DLP projector, one that provides a lot of value for its sub-$600 street price.
In today’s day and age, it has a number of competitors, but, as the latest projector in Viewsonic’s long running history of offering rock bottom priced 1080p home entertainment projectors, it is certainly competitive, and well priced, not to mention being seriously bright, claiming 3,200 lumens.
Yet, at the same time, consider that this Viewsonic PJD7828HDL is a capable business/education projector as well. Viewsonic’s customers for this projector span home use, schools and businesses.
The PJD7828HDL has replaced the PJD7822HD we reviewed more than two years ago. It also replaces the PJD7822HD as one of our Top 15 home theater/home entertainment projectors – the full group of top contenders at all price ranges is found on our homepage.
A quick history and perspective. Most of Viewsonic’s projectors are what we often call “crossovers.” That is, they are projectors designed for business and education use (a much larger market), usually with some concessions to make them more viable as home entertainment or home theater projectors. This is common, especially in the under-$1000 projector market. As a result, you’ll find biz/ed features like remote mousing on this projector. The education and business markets are drastically larger than home theater, so no surprise. Also, lower cost projectors tend to be those not going into a dedicated, fully darken-able theater or “man-cave,” and are rather being used in living rooms, bedrooms, etc, where business/education level brightness is needed.
To further demonstrate this, take a brand with a large projector line-up, like Epson. They have a handful of sub-$1,000 projectors designed for home, but about an equal number that are essentially identical to business models. Of course, what’s important is that you find the projector that’s best for your situation, no matter what its pedigree!
The first of those Viewsonic projectors to sport 1080p resolution was their PJD7820HD launched perhaps 7 years ago. I think most people in the industry recall that Viewsonic launched that 1080p projector with a list price of $999. Now, that doesn’t sound crazy now, but when they did so, they were the buzz of the trade show (I don’t receall if it was CEDIA, Infocomm, or CES. Why? Because everyone else was announcing 1080p projectors starting around $2000 and here was Viewsonic all alone with a $999 projector. Manufacturers, as I recall, were basically exclaiming – what’s their problem? Don’t they want to make any money?
The Viewsonic has a modest amount of zoom 1.3:1 in its manual zoom lens, so placement flexibility is typical for entry level, which is to say, if not minimal, less than found in many projectors a few hundred dollars more.
Of note, the PJD7822HDL is a short throw projector. It will sit closer to the screen than most projectors. For many, that’s a plus. We discuss on the next pages. Also, we publish the projector’s placement distances, etc. on this review’s Hardware pages.
I’ll also say that like it’s predecessors, it doesn’t have a really complete set of controls allowing for a perfect or near perfect calibration. And like those predecessors, it therefore doesn’t end up with “on the money” color accuracy. On the other hand, picture quality is pretty good, if not the most accurate around.
But, that is the stuff best described in more detail in our Picture Quality pages.
So, without further ado, below is a short “hightlights” list, and then its off to the Special Features page to start getting into the details about how the PJD7828HDL performs.
Well, seems they did very well with that original PJD7820HD. So, it’s time to take a close look at the PJD7828HDL, to see how far it has evolved, and how it compares to competition from the likes of BenQ, Epson, and Optoma.
The PJD7828HDL is a smallish projector. It has the same styling as a number of other Viewsonics, sporting some curves and angles on its front face, and down the sides. It is finished in a two tone case – off white and medium greys. All considered, pretty nice looking with the lights on.
With its “business/education” type of background, it is endowed with a couple of extra inputs that most home projectors no longer bother with, but that’s OK. Leaving them there, rather than removing them likely makes this projector less expensive rather than more. One interesting aspect is HDMI. The PJD7828HDL has two, but one is hidden behind a door. This is a “legacy” feature from the education side. The idea of having a hidden HDMI input makes sense if you are using streaming sticks. The space in that compartment is big enough for my Roku stick… But the reason for hiding is not for home use, but schools, where a streaming stick hanging out of an HDMI port in clear site, probably invites a quick disappearance in many schools.
But, while that makes for interesting conversation, far more important is the picture quality, overall performance, and even the warranty.
As entry level, you can expect some features to be missing. Most notable, is the lack of CFI – creative frame interpolation – a.k.a. “smooth motion.” Also lacking is lens shift, but I can’t think of any other current model home projector that offers lens shift at this price or below, so that’s definitely not a competitive issue, and CFI is downright rare on under $1000 projectors. Note: If having some lens shift is important for your setup, you can consider the more expensive PJD7836HDL which does have adjustable lens shift.
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