Projector Reviews

ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Picture Quality 2

ViewSonic X10-4KE Projector Review – Picture Quality 2: Black Levels and Dark Shadow Detail, Sports and HDTV, Overall Picture Quality

Black Level Performance and Dark Shadow Detail

The black level performance and dark shadow detail of this projector are about as entry level as you can get. I have reviewed a number of home entertainment projectors in the sub-$1000 range that have better black levels and dark shadow detail than the ViewSonic X10-4KE. I was pretty disappointed.

ViewSonic themselves ever has a projector for about $500 that has better performance in terms of black levels than this projector (that projector won an award in our Best Gaming Projectors of 2019 report), but it is only 1080p, and does not accept 4K content. I would’ve liked this projector to have better black levels than their $500 projector, especially since I know ViewSonic is capable of doing so at a lower price.

HDR improves black level performance on the X10-4KE.
HDR improves black level performance on the X10-4KE.

As mentioned on the previous page, there is a setting in the menus that must be turned to “Full” in order to have the very best dark shadow detail the projector is capable of having – HDMI Range, which is in the Advanced Menu. Do not put it on Limited. It’s horrible. I was distraught in thinking this projector had the worst dark shadow detail I had ever seen in my life until I learned of this setting. When I changed it from “Limited” to “Full,” it was like night and day.

Still, there are plenty of other 4K UHD projectors that have better black levels and dark shadow detail than the X10-4KE, though perhaps they won’t have the smart features such as compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, or be as portable as this ViewSonic – as we say, there are always trade-offs. Bottom Line on Black Level Performance and Dark Shadow Detail: Certainly not the best, but certainly not the worst, and can be improved by adjusting Gamma settings in the color menus as well as HDMI Range.

Sports and HDTV

I don’t sportsball, and don’t have access to sports outside of YouTube. In the slider above, you’re getting a mix of images I felt best represented the abilities of this projector in terms of color performance on sports. Some are from recent games, some are from old games. I used my adjusted TV Mode to take the photos for this section.

I may not love watching sports, or ever do it, but I do have an eye for color from my extensive professional experience in video editing. I think most will be pretty happy with the way their favorite sports appear when projected by the ViewSonic X10-4KE, though you may find that, in some instances – like football – the grass will appear a bit too saturated and green.

There are settings you can use to fix that a bit, such as Saturation in the color menus. I recommend making one of your User Modes your go-to for sports viewing so you can have a mode that will portray your sports to your liking.

Regular HDTV/streaming content looked great. Once I abandoned the built-in Netflix app in favor of my PlayStation 4, the issue of resolution was completely taken care of. Remember, that built-in Netflix app can only do 480p, which is the resolution of a DVD. As such, all of these images were taken using my PlayStation as the source.

Overall Picture Quality

I found the colors to be oversaturated and the consistency between scenes to be spotty, at best. That is, once I got the color calibrated to something resembling natural, there would always be a scene later that made me cringe. Even when I got the color to be nearly “perfect,” an outdoor scene would come along where the greens were quite oversaturated, almost neon.

That said, with some extensive tweaking, I did find a sweet spot that was close to the color accuracy I’d seen when watching the same show on my iPhone. Though the out-of-the-box color leaves something to be desired, there are enough ways to customize the color so that you can get really great color out of this projector.

The sharpness of this projector is fantastic – everything I would expect from a non-pixel shifting 4K UHD projector. The sharpness was particularly noticeable on subtitles and text when viewing content from Netflix, and while watching 4K UHD films from my Sony Player. Overall, I would rate the picture quality of this projector as pretty good, with some tweaking.