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ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review - Picture Quality 1

Posted on February 28, 2020 by Nikki Zelinger

ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Picture Quality 1: Out-of-the-Box Picture Quality, Skin Tones, 1080p Movie Picture Quality, 4K Picture Quality

Out-of-the-Box Picture Quality

The ViewSonic X10-4KE has six picture modes to choose from: Brightest, TV, Movie, Gaming, User 1 and User 2. All of these modes allow for adjustments, and good thing too – I didn’t find a single preset picture mode that I was satisfied with. The closest to natural I found was TV, which was surprising to me because Movie has a color temp of 6500K, which is the recommended color temperature for movies, but it was far too yellow for my tastes to name the best mode for anything other than movies.

TV, by comparison, has a color temperature of 9300K, which would lean more toward blue. It did – too much so – but it looked more natural to me than Movie on HDTV content, especially when viewing Grace and Frankie on Netflix. In fact, when watching that show, I was relieved at how much more natural the skin tones looked. Because of this, it was TV Mode that I used to tweak the color to get it as close to “perfect” as I possibly could.

In the slider above, I have the same scene from The Hunger Games, projected in the four preset color modes and with my settings. This will give you a good idea of what to expect for out-of-the-box color, versus what is possible through using the primary RGB and secondary CMY adjustments. So – best mode for movies is Movie, and TV for HDTV shows. I think you’ll find you’ll want to tweak both to your preferences, but that is made easy with the CMS of this projector.

Skin Tones

Skin tones look natural in Movie Mode, and in my adjusted TV Mode. That goes for your standard streaming content, like the photo of Grace and Frankie above, as well as your typical 1080p and 4K content.

Besides color, the sharpness of the projector performed well on skin as well. In some cases, a projector will be “too sharp” and really accentuate things you don’t want to see – pores, specifically.

I found the ViewSonic to have just the right amount of sharpness in the right areas, though there were some issues with image processing and film grain. I’ll get into that on the Performance Page of this review.

1080p Movie Picture Quality

I chose The Hunger Games to use when taking photos of 1080p movie content, as it is a staple of our reviews and I’ve only seen it about 50 times, on many different projectors. I also chose Interstellar for this review, because my husband and I watched that movie on this ViewSonic when our projector lamp went out.

The projector does fine on 1080p content, but the dark shadow detail and black level performance is extremely lacking, making dark scenes not all that enjoyable. There is a workaround if you find that you can’t see anything in the dark shadows of a scene, when everything looks black and there’s no definition.

In the Image Settings Menu, under Advanced, there’s a value called HDMI Range. It’s set to Auto, which is mostly fine except for when Auto is “Limited.” Essentially, there are two options to choose from: Limited and Full. Limited is what’s going to give you the sucky dark shadow detail. Full improves this drastically, but at the expense of black levels.

The black levels weren’t any good on Limited anyway, so no real loss there. I’d rather be able to see what I’m watching than have darker blacks in the case of this projector. I’ll talk more about black levels and dark shadow detail on the next page.

4K with HDR Picture Quality

This is where the projector really shines. When watching 1080p content, black levels and dark shadow detail sucked, as you just learned. HDR significantly improves both, giving a wider range of colors, too. I always love Ready Player One for its story and stunning visuals, but I particularly enjoyed it on this projector. You can definitely do better with one of Epson’s UBs in terms of color and black levels, but those are pixel shifters (1920 x 1080 x2), and not true 4K UHD resolution.

ViewSonic-X10-4KE_Ready Player One Stacks Explosion

That aside, 4K with HDR looked the best of anything I’d put up on this projector. I was quite relieved, honestly, because it was shaping up to be pretty average against its direct competition (more on that on the Summary Page). Ready Player One looked incredible, and so did The Fifth Element. I did find those same image processing issues on that film though, because it’s got high film grain. More on that later.

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