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Viewsonic Pro8100 1080p 3LCD Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Posted on June 23, 2008 by Art Feierman

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ViewSonic Pro8100 Specs
Price 4999
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1000
Contrast 13000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.60:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3000 hours low power (eco-mode), 2000 hours at full lamp power
Weight 19.8
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

Much has changed. the Pro8100 is still out on the market, almost 2 years later. The huge difference though, was that, when launched, the Pro8100 sold for almost $5000 and was only sold by local installing dealers. Apparently that didn't move the volume, so Viewsonic changed strategy. These days, it seems to be selling for under $1500, by online resellers, and that sure changes the value propostion for a projector like the Viewsonic Pro8100.


I also had pointed out, in this review, that the dynamic iris action was too visible (annoying). Viewsonic advised they have improved it, and over the last year, I've received several emails from owners, mentioning that the iris has been improved and that it really is much better, so ignore my warnings about the iris limitations. Is the Pro8100 worth it's new price point? Probably, but also performance has improved quite a bit in the last two years. It should be a fair competitor for the Epson Home Cinema 8100, the Mitsubishi HC3800 and other projectors in its price range. If the feature set, and placement flexibility work for you, then keep in mind, at it's new price, it probably would have to be considered to at least have a very good value proposition. -Art Feierman

The Viewsonic Pro 8100 home theater projector is Viewsonic's first stab at a 1080p projector. Overall, the Pro8100 is a very nice projector, but it does have a couple of issues. While it isn't a "best in class" quality projector, it definitely has some strengths and will have appeal for some groups of buyers.

  • One of the brightest projectors in "best mode", though there some are significantly brighter
  • Quieter than average
  • Dynamic iris action is more visible than on other projectors, a serious weakness for many
  • Sold through local installing dealers
  • One of the most expensive of the 3LCD 1080p projectors
  • Especially sharp image
  • Very good warranty
  • Very long lamp life in eco-mode

For those of you who follow my blog, we started with one Pro8100 projector, but had reason to suspect it was defective, due to an extreme noise situation, unlike any I've seen before, that cropped up during one viewing session. However, after powering down and up again, it never reoccurred. We requested a second Pro8100, which arrived a week later. This one behaved just fine, but delayed this review slightly.

The Viewsonic Pro8100 is one of the few 3LCD projectors that is sold exclusively (per Viewsonic) through local dealers, with no online sales allowed.

his seems to have changed. The Viewsonic now seems to be available online for $1500 or less. My how things change! -art

Only the Pro version of the Epson UB - the Pro Cinema 1080UB, comes to mind as another "local install only" 3LCD projector (Epson offers the almost identical Home Cinema 1080UB through selected online dealers). The point is, most of the projectors which are sold through local install dealers only, are DLP, or LCoS. Bottom line, if 3LCD type projectors work best for you, and you are working with a local dealer, this one is going to be one of very few to choose from.

Most notable, when first powered up, was generally good out of the box color, but the image tends to be significantly oversaturated. Of course turning down color saturation is about the easiest correction anyone can do, so I won't hold that against it at all.

An interesting option, are different color tops, including burgundy, as an alternative to the standard glossy black finish:

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