Posted on March 28, 2018 By Art Feierman
PX727-4K Projector Review – Hardware 2: The Control Panel, The Remote Control, Using Auto Source, The Menus
I love the large dark plastic power button – located almost in the center, along the back top of the projector. It’s almost retro, or something. There’s a blue power led next to it. Two other indicator lights – Temp and Lamp, are located at the top of the control panel.
The navigation area consists of the four arrow keys in a round formation. The up and down arrows double for keystone correction, while the left/right pair double for speaker volume, when not navigating the menus. The Menu button is upward to the left, Source select in the lower left. Lower right is the Enter button, and above it, at the top right is Blank (yes, it blanks the screen.)
The remote control is one area where companies like Viewsonic, BenQ and Vivitek get to differentiate. The PX727-4K’s remote is very different from either BenQ projector. The Viewsonic’s remote is more compact, with smaller and fewer buttons. It has all the basics covered, but lacks the HDMI-Link capability that is implemented in the BenQs.
The Viewsonic’s blue backlight is just about perfect in brightness for a well lit, or fully darkened room. Excellent. It’s easy to read all the labels on the buttons. Let’s see what its got:
From the top, two power buttons. Strangely (to me anyway), the red one in the top left is power on, while Off is the green button on the right. Perhaps it’s green for not using power (off) as an eco thing.
The next row of three buttons are for the computer input, and the two HDMI inputs. The next row’s two buttons are Auto-sync for the computer input, and, strangely a Source button, since you can go directly to whichever source you like from the row above.
Navigation comes next with the four arrow keys in a diamond configuration, Enter button in the center. The up and down arrows double to handle keystone correction when you are not in the menu system.
For a better look at this remote control, click on the image.
Right below are three buttons. Menu on the left, an info button in the middle, and Exit on the right.
Going further down, there are four very small buttons for Aspect (ratio), Pattern, which brings up a white on black test pattern, Blank, and finally HDR, which takes you directly to the HDR sub-menu.
Next row – sound controls; Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up.
Now the last three rows of three buttons each. The first row has picture controls – brightness, contrast, and color temp. Five of the next six buttons are picture modes: Silence, Standard, User 1, User 2 and Movie. The last button (bottom left) is the Eco which toggles on low power mode.
Since I mentioned Auto Source on sources, a comment is necessary: During the review process, I had Auto Select on almost all the time. I use an Anthem AV receiver (pretty high end), and multiple disc players, Apple TV, DirectTv, a Roku, and more. Most of the time, Auto Select works fine, but not always.
Sometimes, it can take a long while. Or, when I’m already on the right HDMI (HDMI 1 – is all I use), I get sound, no picture. To solve, I do it manually. Ultimately, I turned off Auto Source since it was an occasional nuisance, I didn’t need to deal with since my Anthem Receiver does all the switching. The BenQ equivalent was similar in behavior.
Its simple: If you have a problem with Auto Source with your setup, turn it off. Problem solved.
Two points: First, my AV receiver is not typical. If it were some mainstream Denon, or Sony, I’d be sure it was the projector, but as this is a low volume, and in theory, an advanced design AV receiver??? I can’t be certain my receiver isn’t making things difficult. That said, more than a few projectors that come through here, have auto features that are at the least, very slow.
So, count their Auto Source feature as potentially having some problems, but hardly anything to be concerned with. And it just might be that if I had multiple sources plugged directly into the receiver, that its Auto Source would work perfectly.
Bottom line on that: Minor nuisance at worst, and quite possibly/likely, you won’t have any issues with your gear.
Overall, the PX727-4K’s menus are very similar to the BenQ HT2550, with most items on the same main menu pages, and usually in the same places (the color borders are different).
A few minor complaints. First, Lamp controls are hard to find, located on one of the menus. Best when Eco/full power is found on the Picture menu, which is the menu most folks spend most time in.
The other issue is the Picture menu – selecting between the different picture modes. It’s a toggle, rather than a pull-down menu, so you can’t see the names of all the modes at one time – only as you scroll through them, which takes several seconds to bring up each different on.
On the bright side, however, for this feature, is the fact that there is a direct button for each of the modes on the remote, so using the remote’s direct access solves this minor inconvenience.
Documentation of the menus, in the manual are reasonably good, sometimes even explaining why you would choose certain settings over another.
All considered a respectable, but not great menu system. Fine though.
A full set of menu images will be added shortly (if not already there).
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