ViewSonic LightStream PJD7830HDL

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Bright, punchy pictures
  • Extremely good price for what's on offer
  • Thoughtful connectivity

Cons

  • Lots of rainbow effect
  • Average black levels
  • Needs very careful setup

Key Features

  • Review Price: £579.00
  • Full HD single-chip DLP projector
  • SuperColour technology for more true-to-life colours
  • Sonic Expert integrated audio system
  • Compatible with optional wireless HDMI dongle
  • 3,200 lumens claimed brightness

What is the ViewSonic LightStream PJD7830HDL?

The

LightStream PJD7830HDL is a single-chip DLP projector that distinguishes

itself from the crowd by offering high brightness, a SonicExpert sound

system, a proprietary “true to life” colour system – at an

eye-catchingly affordable price of just £579.

ViewSonic aims

this model at the corporate and hospitality businesses as well as the

home-cinema market, although – based on my time with it – I’d say that

it’s best suited to gaming or movie viewing at home.

ViewSonic LightStream PJD7830HDL – Design and Features

The

PJD7830HDL is a startlingly good-looking projector. Its glossy white

finish is wrapped around a bold, top-heavy chassis design featuring

seductively rounded corners and an attractive arch that protrudes above

the lens barrel. ViewSonic even provides a detachable cover for the rear

connections, so that the chic design isn’t ruined by cabling.

Related: Best Projectors 2015

ViewSonic PJD7830HDL

The

PJD7830HDL’s connections are puzzling – at first glance it seems as if

the projector has only one HDMI, despite a big logo on its top edge

stating that it has two.

Further investigation finds the second

HDMI tucked away under a slide-off panel to the right of the lens barrel

on the projector’s upper edge. Why here? Because it provides a bay

where you can permanently slot in an optional WPG-300 MHL-capable Wi-Fi

presentation dongle (£129), rather than having it sticking out of the

projector’s rear and having to detach it every time you want to move the

projector.

This dongle supports Wi-Fi display, media streaming,

screen mirroring, content broadcasting, four-way split screen, live

camera and live annotations.

Other notable connections include a

D-sub PC port, a powered USB port capable of supporting streaming

dongles such as Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV stick, and a

collection of audio ports.

Like most “casual” or presentation

projectors these days, the PJD7830HDL is equipped with a built-in

speaker for those times when you don’t have any external sound system

handy. This is no ordinary speaker, though. At 16W it’s far more

powerful than regular onboard projector speakers, and features both an

enhanced frequency range and a distortion-reducing design.
ViewSonic PJD7830HDL
The

PJD7830HDL’s image specifications are impressive for a £600 projector.

Its brightness is rated at an extremely high 3,200 ANSI lumens, while

its contrast ratio (when using its Dynamic Contrast feature) is claimed

to be a promising 22,000:1. This raises hopes that the high levels of

brightness won’t result in excessive greyness during dark scenes.

Also

surprisingly high for such a bright projector is the PJD7830HDL’s

claimed lamp life. Even in its Normal lamp mode, it should last around

4,000 hours. If you select the projector’s Dynamic Eco mode, however,

this extends to an impressive 10,000 hours – enough for 5,000 two-hour

movies.

The PJD7830HDL also has a potential edge over its rivals

with ViewSonic’s SuperColor feature, which apparently uses a newly

designed six-segment colour wheel to deliver more natural, accurate

colour tones.

One last notable feature of the PJD7830HDL is its

support for 3D playback. However, note that it doesn’t ship with any

active-shutter 3D glasses, so you’ll have to cough up extra for these.

ViewSonic LighStream PJD7830HDL – Setup

Sadly, the PJD7830HDL isn’t particularly well equipped with physical setup aids.

It

gets off to a decent start with a 1.36x optical zoom and good

responsiveness and accuracy from its zoom and focus rings.

Unfortunately, though, there’s no optical vertical image shifting to

move the picture up or down. This means many people will be forced to

use digital keystone correction to make images appear with perpendicular

rather than trapezoidal edges.

When you’re talking about images

the size of those attainable from a projector (up to 300in in the

PJD7830HDL’s case) you really want direct pixel-for-pixel accuracy, not

keystone distortions.ViewSonic PJD7830HDL

Although

the PJD7830HDL’s onscreen menus are a little small and, as a result,

look cluttered, they do at least provide you with a fulsome set

of image adjustments.

Among the highlights are gain and offset tweaks

for the RGB colour components, a series of colour presets, noise-reduction options, five gamma presets, four lamp settings

(most projectors give you only two), and a colour-management system

that lets you fine-tune the hue, saturation and gain of the red, green,

blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour elements.

Plus, as seems to be

inevitable with DLP projectors these days, there’s also Texas

Instruments’ Brilliant Colour option, for boosting colour vibrancy.

While

all this flexibility is welcome, I found it difficult to set up the PJD7830HDL successfully. The problem lies predominantly in the

relationships between the colour presets, the Brilliant Colour option

and the four lamp modes. Adjusting any one of these settings tends to

have a greater than expected knock-on effect on the other two, making

it hard to find the best balance between them all.

For

instance, the ViewSonic’s ViewMatch colour mode generally delivers

the most natural colour effect when used with the lamp set to normal

and the Brilliant Colour option set to just two or three. But this

configuration also delivers a merely average black-level response in

dark scenes.

It also produces high levels of DLP’s rainbow effect, where

stripes of red, green and blue colour flash over bright image elements –

especially if you move your eye around the screen.

Choosing the

Super Eco lamp mode reduces this rainbow effect and improves the look of

black colours, but it also causes other colours to begin looking washed

out. You can improve things a little by boosting the Brilliant Colour

setting, but this results in a slightly forced look to some hues.

It

seems that every colour preset – bar ViewMatch – introduces

some fairly obvious green or yellow undertones to the overall colour

palette. And again, the intensity of these undertones is affected by the accompanying Brilliant Colour and

lamp settings you opt for.

The bottom line is that

skipping between all manner of combinations of the colour preset,

Brilliant Colour and lamp settings invariably resulted in pictures where something wasn’t quite right. The extent of the

issue with each setup combination wasn’t something I was able to fully

fix through the colour-management and gamma options.

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