Brightness and Uniformity - The PJD6243 is rated at 3,200 ANSI lumens, and it delivered exactly that in its Brightest setting. The other picture modes put up the following numbers: PC - 2,510 lumens; Movie and ViewMatch - 1,135 lumens each. There are also three blackboard modes that varied between 1,400 and 1,950 lumens depending on their color bias. The Eco lamp setting reduced brightness by about 25% in all modes.
Brightness uniformity was a bit surprising. Our sample unit only managed 59% with a noticeable brightness fall-off in the upper right portion of the image. This differential was only evident in data images with lots of white space; video images were unaffected.
Image Size and Offset - Tabletop or cart mounting works well with the PJD6243 since the bottom of the image is only slightly above the lens centerline. A drop tube would probably be needed for a ceiling mount. Projection distance for a 100" image ranges from 10.9 to 13.1 feet based on the PJD6243's zoom ratio of 1.2:1, so placement flexibility is a bit limited.
Lamp Life - ViewSonic uses a 240-watt lamp in the PJD6243 with a life of 3,500 hours in normal mode and 5,000 hours in Eco mode. Since Eco mode reduces fan noise and only reduces brightness by about 25%, it may be a good choice for everyday operation.
Uniformity - It may be limited to just our test sample, but the image brightness decrease from lower right to upper left was apparent when displaying data images with either primarily white or black backgrounds. Fortunately, video looked fine since changes in brightness across the screen are not as evident in video. Keep in mind that the most expensive high-end CRT-based home theater projectors of the past typically did not generate more than 50% brightness uniformity.
Fan Noise: While the fan noise components are confined to mid- and low-frequencies, the overall noise level is higher than most competitors. Although most of the heat and noise exits from the front of the projector, it still may be distracting for those seated closer than five feet from the projector. Using the Eco lamp setting solves the problem and only reduces brightness slightly.
Menu Selection and Navigation - The on-screen menus for the PJD6243 are intuitive and easy to navigate, but the OSD menu is large and covers a good portion of the image. Menu position is movable and transparency is adjustable, but common settings like brightness and contrast are not reduced to a single line at the bottom of the image, so it is inconvenient to see what effect setting changes are having.
ViewSonic has aimed the PJD6243 at the higher performance end of the XGA classroom spectrum, and they have hit the mark. The audio/video performance is excellent, and the networking capability outshines most of the competition. Controlling fan noise impact requires some effort, but the connectivity and versatility of the PJD6243 will offset that inconvenience for many users. This is a projector that merits our highest rating.