Six Segment Color Wheel, Rainbow Effect
Viewsonic makes prominent mention of the new projectors in this series having a new six segment color wheel. Now generally more segments is better, but in pouring through the lit, and manual, there's no additional mention of what those segments are. Sometimes the extra segments are of unequal size to maximize color, sometimes one slice is white, to up the white lumens (but at the expense of color lumens), and sometimes, there are more different colors.
I do seem to remember that the original PJD-7820 that first sub-$1000 1080p projector had a color wheel with red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and white (skipping the secondary color yellow). I just sent a request to Viewsonic for clarification. I will update this section. Viewsonic seems to think the new color wheel important. At the end of the day, it's how the picture looks, not how many, or what colors the slices of the wheel are.
But the more important matter is the RainBow Effect (RBE), which only a small percentage of us notice. This ties to color wheel speed, but the number and type of slices plays into the end result.
Sadly, I do see a fair amount of rainbows with this projector - on the type of content that tends to reveal it. For example a video with a very dark background and white moving across it, but even the shake of a head can bring out RBE for most rainbow sensitive folks, on almost any single chip DLP projector.
Bottom line on RBE: Not impressed, the PJD7835HD is probably just average in the price with a 2X or 3X color wheel, and not as good as I would like to see from any single chip DLP. (More expensive DLP projectors typically have faster color wheels.)
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Lamp Dimming and Dynamic Contrast
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The Viewsonic, like many DLP projectors does not use a dynamic iris to enhance black level performance as DLP inherently has an advantage over 3LCD projectors in this area. Instead, also like some competitors, they use a technique called lamp dimming, to accomplish the same goal – lower the brightness of “blacks” when the overall image does not have lots of bright areas. This is generally more important for home than business/education, but anytime videos or photos are used that are not bright scenes, the blacker the blacks, the better.
Dynamic lamp dimming works just fine on the Viewsonic. While the technique doesn’t react as fast as a good dynamic iris it is still effective, especially if one doesn’t push the amount of dimming too far.
I would estimate that a majority of DLP projectors at this price point share this feature, although I am pleased to report that the Viewsonic’s lamp dimming algorithms seem a bit better than many others (perhaps the amount of range of the dimming is less), making any lag less noticeable than on some competition. In other words, it seems a good implementation.
Bottom Line: The lamp dimming works as advertised. It should save on electric, when viewing the content that is suitable (not bright), and also if there's no content. I do like that I don't seem to notice the lamp dimming aspect. It can be obvious enough, that I've recommended not using it (despite the benefits) on a number of other sub $2000 home projectors. (It's not an issue for typical business use.)
Lamp Life and Eco Modes
3000 hours at full power is good but in this day and age, hardly anything to rave about, when some competitors are claiming up to 5000 hours at full power. Still 3000 to 4000 hours is most typical. Viewsonic, using eco techniques does claim an impressive 8000 overall hours in its super-eco mode.
Eco Modes: Viewsonic is very ambitious, sporting four different modes affecting brightness. Dynamic, Normal, Eco, and Super Eco. Interestingly there’s little difference in the actual brightness measurements between Dynamic and Normal, but there’s a big drop to Eco, and another large drop to Super Eco. Brightness measurements of the different modes is reported on the performance page.
What is important to point out is something not really uncommon. With a lot of projectors, their Eco modes can be susceptible to minor flickering in terms of the brightness. The good news here, is that I only spotted it in Super-Eco mode, and not at all in the standard Eco mode.
Bottom line, reasonably good lamp life. Having four lamp modes is more than just about anyone else offers, but remember, that Super-Eco may show some lamp flicker. Not the end of the world but it can be annoying at times. That the standard Eco mode, doesn't seem to suffer from that, gives the Viewsonic an edge over a lot of the competition (most of which just have a full power and one eco-mode.
PJD7835HD MHL and PortAll
As I mentioned, PortAll, is just Viewsonic's name for their hidden port for a streaming stick.
Inside that compartment, which can be secured with a screw, is a single HDMI port that supports MHL, for working with streaming sticks.
I think their hiding it is brilliant. I fear that in some environments, a $50 or $100+ streaming stick is just going to disappear if it's left sticking out the back of a projector from it's HDMI port. This should solve that potential problem.
Viewsonic Projector showing compartment with HDMI/MHL and room to secure a streaming stick
On the downside, I can imagine there are times you just may want to "pop in" a streaming stick, so it would have been even better if the other HDMI input, the one on the back, also supported MHL. That said, be aware that it's rare that a projector has two HDMIs both supporting MHL. I think Viewsonic should have two switchable inputs for that HDMI MHL port, one on the back or the PortAll one.