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ViewSonic Pro8100 Full HD LCD Projector - ViewSonic Pro8100
Also clearer with the colour tone sorted out is how emphatically detailed HD images look. The projector effortlessly picks out the weaves in the actors' suits during the first Casino Royale card game, and it does no harm to the feeling of clarity, either, that the full HD resolution allows 1080-line sources to be shown with seemingly no scaling noise. And of course, since the Pro8100 uses LCD technology you don't have to worry about ‘the rainbow effect' or motion dithering as seen on many sub-£3k DLP projectors.
That said, with LCD you DO have to worry about the notorious screen door effect, where the structure of the LCD panels is visible in the picture, and black level shortcomings. But here, too, the Pro8100 does rather well.
In fact, even on our 140in screen we failed to spot any ‘screen door' impressions at all, even when watching the ultra-bright, rich graphics of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on the PS3. And black levels get considerably deeper than with any LCD projector we've seen in recent times, avoiding much of the customary greyness and leaving dark scenes full of punch and shadow detail.
If we had to find fault with the Pro8100, we might say that a marginal lack of brightness during dark scenes - presumably caused by the machinations of the dynamic iris - can leave particularly dark bits looking a touch hollow. Also, with the image's settings optimised for home cinema, we detected a tiny bit more noise in the picture than we'd hope for in a perfect world. Finally, very, very occasionally skin tones can look a tiny bit plasticky.
Don't, whatever you do, let the fact that we finished the review with a little run of negatives put you off giving the ViewSonic Pro8100 serious consideration. Its good points outweigh its bad ones very comfortably indeed, and its unprecedented flexibility really can come in handy provided you've got at least a little idea about what you're doing.
I'd actually go so far as to say that when set up at its best the Pro8100 is the finest LCD projector I've seen to date, and as such certainly warrants at least an audition against top, similarly priced rivals like the InFocus IN82 and JVC's DLA-HD1.