ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Home Theater Projector Review – Special Features

 ViewSonic PJD7828HDL Home Theater Projector Review – Special Features: Short Throw Lens, A Gamer’s Projector, 3X Fast Input, Supports 3D, 10 Watt Speaker System, Brilliant Color, Business/Education Oriented Features

PJD7828HDL Short Throw Lens

Gamers and many others who don’t ceiling mount their projector will like the short throw design. If using on a low table top, or floor, gamers can place the projector in front of them rather than behind, which most agree is preferable. For the rest of us,  most don’t really care, unless room considerations come into play.

One downside to having the short throw lens is that it won’t be practical to place the projector on a shelf in the back of the room. Most people will have the projector sitting 6 to 10 feet from the screen (with a “normal throw” projector, most would be 10 – 15 feet back from the screen).

PJD7828HDL – A Gamer’s Projector

Nicely done. We measured input lag of this Viewsonic at 16.4 milliseconds using our Leo Bodnar input lag tester. To get that rather excellent result, we went to the menus and selected 3X Fast Input. With that feature off, input lag was still an acceptable 49.8 ms.

But that’s a huge difference – around 50 ms is just “acceptable enough” to most gamers playing games that call for low input lag (most first person shooters, auto racing, sports, etc.). On the other hand, 16.4 is about as fast as any projectors test out (although there have been a couple of 0 ms over the past few years).

gaming projector
The PJD7828HDL should be one of the best affordable 1080p resolution gaming projectors

A 16.4 ms input lag means that this projector is going to be showing you your game about 1 frame behind real time, when playing 60 fps games, and ½ frame behind with 30 fps games. That’s enough to probably make 99+% of all gamers very happy. There are LCD monitors for gamers that are faster, but typically those cost several times more than the average monitor. Count the Viewsonic as excellent as a gaming projector, at least as far as the input lag goes. Other areas relating might be handling of dark areas, but with all the modes this Viewsonic offers, I’m pretty certain that one or more will be great for gaming.

This Viewsonic should outperform most of the competition as a gaming projector, especially when you combine the excellent input lag with the short throw design.

3X Fast Input

Viewsonic wants you to be happy gaming using the PJD7822HDL. Like some other projectors, they’ve gone to the “trouble” to provide you with a “fast mode” to minimize input lag – the nemesis of serious gamers.

Not bad, not bad at all! Start with the short throw design, and finish with minimal input lag. The PJD7822HDL is priced in the sweetspot of projectors for gaming, and is intended to be very good at it.

PJD7828HDL Supports 3D

Projectors seem to be the last bastion of 3D for the home, as most new 4K TVs seem to have dropped the capability, and so have almost all of the new, more expensive 4K UHD DLP projectors. But, for the most part, projectors continue to have 3D and that’s a good thing!

I get it. 3D is awesome at the local Cineplex, but it’s just not the same thing putting on 3D glasses and sitting 12-16 feet back from a 50 – 65” LCDTV. The size of the image from those distances is too small for folks to immerse themselves in the content. In other words, the bigger the screen (relative to your full view), the more immersed you can become, and adding 3D to that takes us to another level. 3D on a relatively small display – just not worth it.

Fortunately, the studios realize that 3D in the theaters is a gold mine, and there are enough home theater and home entertainment projector owners to make it worth the studios’ efforts to sell those 3D movies in 3D format on Blu-ray.  That 4K doesn’t have a 3D standard doesn’t really matter. For example, for me, it’s a tough call – watch Ghostbusters 2016 or Passengers, in 3D, or watch it in 4K. The 3D is great, but the 4K is slightly sharper, and has richer colors. Tough call.

Bottom line, nice to have 3D, it works very nicely as is the case for almost any DLP projector since this type of projector is almost immune from having crosstalk, the most noticeable type of noise seen when viewing 3D.

10 Watt Speaker System

Serious home theater projectors rarely have internal speakers. The assumption is, they have a room designed for the job, and almost certainly that room will have a fairly serious audio system, to provide great audio to go along with a great, big picture.

But the PJD7828HDL is more of a home entertainment system.   It is less likely, for example to be permanently mounted, more likely to be moved from one room to another, or to be taken outside for a movie night, or Monday Night Football.

The internal 10 watt speaker isn’t going to be serious competition for a good mult-hundred dollar (or multi-thousand dollar) speaker system (usually surround sound), but it will get the job done, being fine for sports, most TV, etc.  Sure, if you have a serious sound system, use it, but if going mobile, nice to have some sound, ready to go.

Overall the 10 watt speaker is decent – volume is acceptable (no it won’t shake your house when watching Transformers), and overall will be lacking in mid and low bass.

Brilliant Color

Brilliant Color, in all its iterations, is technology that is designed to affect picture quality – saturation, contrast, gamma, etc., with the idea of producing a richer, more dynamic picture to enjoy.  Brilliant Color is a Texas Instruments feature, that the different manufacturers configure to their own desires.  Some companies, for example simply have Brilliant Color On or Off, while others may offer 10 steps of different settings.

 

This Viewsonic PJD7828HDL offers 10 Brilliant settings and Off.

Brilliant Color set to 10
Brilliant Color set at max - 10. Same exposure as other image
Brilliant Color Off
Brilliant Color turned off. The different B/C settings on different modes, largely responsible for big differences in brightness. Same exposure as previous image.

With some projectors, Brilliant Color is needed for best picture, with others, it can be over the top.  I prefer companies that offer, therefore 10 options instead of one.   In watching the Viewsonic in “best” mode – Eric’s calibration of Movie mode, on movies, I mostly favored a setting of 5.  That added some needed pop in very dark scenes, without looking over the top on more typical scenes.  For sports viewing with more than a little ambient light present, I’m definitely leaning toward settings of 8-10, although 5 was just dandy, the other night in my theater with some low ambient lighting for Monday Night Football.

Business/Education Oriented Features

  • Laser pointer
  • Analog computer input
  • Monitor Output
  • Microphone input
  • Presentation Timer
  • Closed Captioning

If you want to hook up an old computer (that doesn’t have HDMI outputs), cheer up, the 7828HDL has an analog computer input that can also double as a component video input.   Most folks, though, have HDMI, which has been pretty much standard for at least 5 years.  On the other hand, it is even less likely you’ll need a monitor out, which is a feature allowing you to feed the video signal to the projector, but split it and output the info over the monitor out to show it on a desktop monitor.  That was standard operating procedure for desktop computers for a couple of decades.  At home?  Two chances of you using it:  Slim and none!

A laser pointer is a nice business/education feature but most home projector makers fear leaving a laser pointer on a remote control that could be within the reach of young folks.   I recommend, if you have kids (unless you have a real need for a laser pointer) to put a piece of electrical tape over the laser emitter.  Best to just keep the remote away from small kids.  In a pinch, if having a laser pointer on the remote still bothers you, buy an inexpensive universal remote control to replace the Viewsonic’s remote control.

A microphone input, can be a real plus, in conjunction with a small lapel type mic or full wireless microphone transmitter/receiver.  At home, I guess there might be a fun application or two, but in a classroom or conference room it allows the speaker to amplify their voice, and control the volume with the Viewsonic’s remote. Great for dealing with addressing more than a few people at a time, or presenting in a noisy environment (some classrooms?)

The Presentation Timer is another Biz/Ed feature, which works as the name suggests.  You can start a timer which appears all the time, or only in the last minutes of a timed presentation.  You can set it as a count down timer, or a count up one.  Bottom line – nice for practicing presentations, not much use though for typical home setups.

The last of the biz/edu features I want to mention, is the Closed Captioning.  This will only work, however with traditional “old school” inputs, composite video or S-video such as the outputs available from DVRs and  most cable, satellite boxes, and some DVD and Blu-ray players.

Current dealer prices for Viewsonic PJD7828HDL

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