The ViewSonic LS610HDH is a compact, 1080p LED projector that is well suited for K-12 classrooms, conference rooms, and boardrooms. It has a sealed light engine that’s maintenance-free, and has enough apparent brightness to handle the ambient light conditions of most business/education environments. The projector boasts a wide color gamut and can handle 4K content.
- High brightness, maintenance-free LED light engine
- Wide color gamut with HDR and HLG support
- Won't meet rated 4,000 ANSI spec with regular content
- Out of box color too vibrant in some picture modes
The ViewSonic LS610HDH is an LED projector that claims an impressively bright 4,000 ANSI lumens—not so-called "LED lumens"—with a wide color gamut. ViewSonic says it's the first LED projector out there at this brightness. Though it did not quite meet its brightness claim—more on that below—it does have enough power, even in its best modes for video and presentations, to cut through ambient light while maintaining a vibrant image in a conference room or classroom. With a typical street price today of just $1,100, this ViewSonic is highly accessible to school districts and businesses alike that are looking for a projector that is affordable upfront and costs less to maintain over its lifetime, with decently good color. It also boasts a solid 3-year parts and labor warranty.
The LS610HDH has little competition in its LED-driven class, but the competition is fierce, beginning with the ASUS ProArt A1. As the world's first Calman-verified professional projector, it is factory pre-calibrated to DeltaE < 2 for superior color accuracy. While the ViewSonic also has a wide color gamut, if you're looking for color accuracy, the ASUS delivers on point—though you're losing some brightness, as our reviewer measured it at 2,416 lumens. So, for $1,559, you can get some gorgeous color and vivid visuals, or you can pay about $460 less for good color and a brighter image to cut through ambient light. Both projectors have an LED light engine with a lifespan of 30,000 hours, 1080p resolution, and Full HD 3D. They're both good projectors, so it really comes down to features and price.
More directly competitive on price is the just announced BenQ LH730, a 1080p, LED education/conference room projector also specified at 4,000 ANSI lumens and boasting similarly long life. It is priced between the ViewSonic LS610HDH and ASUS ProArt A1 at $1,299. BenQ makes no claim about its color beyond its guarantee of 98% Rec.709 color gamut. ProjectorCentral is currently evaluating this projector and will seek to verify its ANSI brightness claim.
As mentioned, the ViewSonic LS610HDH is rated to deliver 4,000 ANSI lumens per ViewSonic's claim, has full HD resolution at 1080p (1920x1080), is spec'd for 125% Rec.709 color gamut, and supports HDR, HLG, and 4K signals. These elements combine to make a business and education projector that's suited for more than just the typical presentations and video—its picture is quite close to what you might see on entry-level home entertainment projectors of a similar cost.
However, you should not expect to see the LS610HDH's full rated brightness on the screen, except if you are in the projector's brightest picture mode (named "Brightest") and viewing the 100% white, full-screen test pattern typically used to measure ANSI lumens. This activates a special mode, detectable by increased fan noise and higher brightness on the screen, that helps the projector make its rated spec. With this mode active, we measured 3,483 ANSI lumens on our sample, or 13% below the rated spec, which is within the accepted 20% tolerance. Once a white test pattern incorporating active dark pixels was introduced, brightness dropped to 3,036 ANSI lumens. That is 24% below the 4,000 ANSI lumen rating and slightly below spec, but still quite bright among solid-state LED projectors. Given its LED light engine, the LS610HDH also has the potential to deliver more apparent brightness than its ANSI measurement suggests. [Editor's note: see the Measurements appendix for more details on this and on our LS610HDH brightness measurements.—R.S.]
Upping the LS610HDH's already noteworthy value proposition is the projector's IP5X sealed light engine, which is maintenance-free, keeping dust and moisture out of the optics and lowering the total cost of ownership over time. It uses ViewSonic's 3rd generation LED technology combined with a Texas Instruments 0.65-inch DLP chip. The RGBB LED light engine lasts up to 30,000 hours at full power and is designed for 24/7 use. This feature is particularly useful for instances where there will be heavy usage of the projector, as there is in many business environments, and K-12 classrooms.
The projector features Instant On/Off, which allows you to use it immediately upon turning it on, saving valuable time in class or meetings when you don't have to wait for the image to appear. To save energy, there is a smart energy section in the menu, which consists of auto power off, a sleep timer, and USB A power on/off.
The aspect ratio is 16:9 by default but can be changed to 4:3 or 16:10 in the menu. Also in the menu is overscan and a 3x Fast Input selection, which will change aspect ratio, keystone correction, geometric correction, and overscan back to default settings when activated.
For setup, the LS610HDH has horizontal and vertical keystone correction, 4-corner geometric correction, a nicely sharp 1.2X manual zoom lens, and 360-degree orientation similar to what you find in most solid-state laser projectors. It can be set on a table or high shelf, or ceiling mounted. ViewSonic offers its own PJ-WMK-007 mount for $229. To find out the throw distance range for your preferred screen size, check out our ViewSonic LS610HDH Throw Distance Calculator.
The LS610HDH has a simple layout of inputs and connectors on the back, which has much of what is needed for a typical business/education setup. These include a pair of HDMI (version 2.0 with HDCP 1.4/2.2), and a USB-A service port suitable for powering a streaming stick or other device (5V/1.5A). The LS610HDH also has plenty of networking features, and offers a RJ-45 ethernet input and a RS232 serial connector for command and control. The projector works with Crestron, AMX, Extron, ATEN, PJ Link and ViewSonic's vController to remotely schedule and manage the projector. It works with both PC and Mac, and can connect to mobile devices with HDMI, USB, and Ethernet LAN.
There is also a 3.5 mm analog Audio Out jack to connect external speakers, and a 3.5 mm Audio In. The projector's internal 10-watt mono speaker, if you choose to use it, fills a medium-large room and is plenty loud enough for even a large K-12 classroom. It's a decent speaker at any volume. Its sound is spacious, though the low end can get a tad garbled as with any of these on-board speakers found in business/education projectors. But it's among the better built-in speakers I've heard at this price point.
The LS610HDH's control panel is on top and has a simple layout, with the power button and navigational/keystone buttons as well as menu, source, color mode and blank buttons. The supplied handheld remote control fits well in the hand and has plenty of buttons to quickly navigate the projector. There are keys for On/Off, changing inputs, navigating the menus and horizontal/vertical keystone correction. Below the navigational buttons are the buttons for the Menu and to Exit, and right in the middle of those—a laser pointer button. The bottom half of the remote has the most buttons, starting with Aspect Ratio, Freeze, Pattern, and Blank screen. Under that, there are buttons for Page Up/Down, Volume Up/Down and Mute, Zoom In/Out, Timer, Information, Eco Mode, Color Mode, and Network.
Color Modes. There are seven color modes on the ViewSonic LS610HDH: Brightest, Presentation, Standard, Photo, Movie, User 1, and User 2. Each color mode has a preset color temperature, but they can be adjusted to one of three settings: 6500K, 7500K, and 9300K. In some cases, the preset color temperature is not the best looking one and selecting another produces better color.
The projector has a good color management system (CMS) for easy calibration, with the ability to adjust RGBCMY hue, saturation, and gain. There's also contrast controls, and gamma. Though it's unlikely a projector like this will see professional calibration with instruments, there is a lot of potential here to tweak the color to get it to your liking.
Within the color modes, there are a few decent ones, especially when switching the color temperature. Brightest mode is not one of these out of the box; it exhibits a ghastly green tint. The brightest mode on most projectors nearly always has that heavy green or blue tinge to them, some worse than others, and this one is not so great to look at. The green hue affects all colors on the color wheel plus white, and skin tones just look bad in this mode—like dumping fluorescent essence on a person. If you change the color temperature from its default 7500K to 6500K, it looks fantastic by comparison. Whites look white, all the colors look like they should, though blues have more of a purple tinge to them. Other than that—completely usable.
Presentation mode is vibrant, though it was hard to read bright colored text like yellow on white, which nearly disappears. The colors on the color wheel are distinguishable from each other and look like the color they're supposed to, but with overly vivid reds. Skin tones look good, but again, there's a lot of red, so not something you want to be watching video with when there is a better mode for it. This mode also looks much better when you switch the color mode from default 7500K to 6500K. The reds tone down a bit and skin tones look much better, so videos can be watched in this mode when you do that (think: educational content that goes along with presentations, rather than movies or photos).
Standard mode is the best mode for presentation viewing. While Presentation is great and can easily be used for presentation viewing as well, the color is better in Standard and video looks better in this mode, too. Its default color temperature is 6500K and it doesn't need to be changed. Colors are still a bit saturated in this mode, but it looks good and vibrant. The reds are more differentiated on the color wheel than they are in Presentation mode, though not quite there. Still, skin tones looked nice and natural, though not as good as Movie, as there is more of a greenish-yellow hue here and Movie leans toward magenta.
There is not much of a difference between Photo mode and Standard mode. It is hard to see. There is perhaps a slight oversaturation on yellows, where I could tell the shine of the model's hair on the test sheet I use looked more golden, but only by a few degrees. This is another good mode to check out for video. The default color temperature is 6500K.
Movie mode has the best color out of all the modes, again leaning toward the red spectrum. Its natural color temperature/white balance setting is 6500K, as I would expect. This is the best mode for watching films and video. When it comes to skin tones, it has that nice magenta hue that makes skin look so nice, and when watching the test films I use, Movie mode was the clear winner. There can be a tendency for too-vibrant colors on some 1080p content, but it isn't nearly as bad as many projectors I've seen that have an oversaturation issue. Being able to adjust the color with the CMS, even if just by eye, is such a nice feature, because it truly does help in these instances to make some tweaks.
The two User Modes are most akin to Presentation and have a default color temperature of 7500K. I'd switch that to 6500K and then work with the CMS to tweak the color and get it to your liking.
Presentation Viewing. The LS610HDH is ideal for presenting a wide variety of content, from slides and infographics to websites, in either business or education environments. By connecting a computer via HDMI, your presentation can be up and running in minutes.
With 1080p resolution and a sharp lens, the fonts are highly readable even at small sizes. Lighter fonts on light backgrounds are iffy, but light fonts on a darker background are clearly legible.
The edges of the image are sharp, so there are no issues with parts of your image getting fuzzy. Websites of all designs project beautifully, with all the fonts being highly readable and the images popping. Presentations and infographics are the same. As mentioned, the best mode for presentations is labeled Standard mode, but you could easily use Presentation mode, Photo mode, or one of the User modes.
Video Viewing. Movie mode, as mentioned, is the best mode for video and movies. The colors as seen with 1080p content can be a bit too vibrant—mostly, the saturated pinks look too pink or magenta-leaning. Yellows are also a bit off, looking muddy and dim. That's fixable to some degree via the color management system as you can adjust hue, saturation, and gain settings for all the primary and secondary colors. I got it looking quite nice with some adjustments by eye, though I still didn't totally like the yellows. Nonetheless, the results were fine for business and education applications, especially at this price point. It's possible a professional instrument calibration could have honed the image further, though as I mentioned, it's highly unlikely a classroom or conference room projector at this price would ever receive that benefit.
Still, Ready Player One displayed on the LS610HDH looked decent, even with color that wasn't quite right—again, too pink on the pinks, and with yellows were that were a bit muddy yellow-green but looked better after some tweaking. Colors were pretty vibrant all around. The skin tones looked great, especially in The Fifth Element, which looked good all the way through. Again, the yellows were a bit green, and were worse the more vibrant/saturated they were. But other colors looked acceptably good, and I had fewer complaints with this film.
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The LS610HDH handles 4K (3840x2160) video signals up to 60 Hz, but downscales to its 1080p native resolution. Details with most 4K content are generally slightly sharper than with 1080p content. There was also a color difference between viewing The Fifth Element in 1080p vs 4K, the 4K HDR had more cinematic coloring that was slightly desaturated. This may be related to the difference in the studio transfers, but it looked better, without touching any controls. Go 4K when you can.
Ready Player One also had better color in 4K, going from decently good to good, and better than some home entertainment projectors at this price or below. While I wouldn't choose this over a home entertainment projector for watching films, it does the job, and does it well. Again, certainly well enough for a K-12 classroom and most business applications.
The ViewSonic LS610HDH is a compact business and education projector that's bright enough to handle the ambient light conditions in most classrooms and conference rooms. It is designed for 24/7 use, with an IP5X sealed LED light engine that is maintenance-free and keeps the cost of ownership lower than lamp-based models over time, maybe lower than some laser projectors that tap out at 20,000 hours vs. this projector's 30,000 hours of lifespan at full power. The LS610HDH has Instant On/Off and energy saving features, and plenty of networking features for business and education command and control.
The color is decently good and can be further improved by the color management system and color temperature settings. Though the projector didn't meet its 4,000 ANSI lumen claim, its usable 3,036 lumen measurement in Brightest mode is plenty, and as an LED projector, many would say its perceived output appears brighter than its measured ANSI reading suggests. Certainly, Brightest mode is bright enough to cut through ambient light, and the other modes can be enjoyed in some ambient light as well. The image is nice and sharp, and the LS610HDH looks good when projecting both 1080p and 4K content.
Best of all, at just $1,100 on the street, this ViewSonic can be a good value if you're looking for affordability, decently good color, the ability to accept 4K HDR content, and the consistent picture quality and long life of a solid-state LED light source.
Brightness. Editor's Note: Following reviewer Nikki Kahl's lower-than-expected ANSI lumen brightness measurements for the LS610HDH, and ViewSonic's concerns expressed during our factcheck process prior to publication, we remeasured twice, the last time in ProjectorCentral's test studio where we have lab-grade instruments including Konica Minolta CL200A chroma and T10 luminance meters, and a professional Murideo SIX-G signal generator. ANSI lumen measurements are made with a 100% white, full-frame test pattern in a procedure described here.
Following ViewSonic's instructions to use the picture mode labeled "Brightest" and measure with a pattern generated with the industry-standard RGB signal (corresponding to video level 255 as you might get from a computer), we measured 3,483 lumens, or 13% below the claimed ANSI lumen rating. This fell within the accepted 20% measurement tolerance and was relatively close to ViewSonic's factory measurement of 3,655 ANSI lumens for our sample. However, displaying this test pattern caused a noticeable jump in the projector's on-screen brightness and a boost in fan noise compared with other content displayed in this mode as the projector ramped up its output.
Dropping the test signal strength for the white test pattern very slightly, to just below video level 250, disengaged this special mode and returned the projector's Brightest picture mode to its default output. A similar ramping down of output occurred when we switched from the full-power, pure white 255 video level signal to a different full-frame, 100% white test pattern overlaid with faint gray grid lines used to help position the meter for lumen measurements (also delivered as a RGB signal). These grid markings normally have negligible effect on the measurement, but in the case of the LS610HDH, the projector did not exhibit the same ramping up of brightness and fan noise observed with the pure white signal at video level 255. The resulting measurement of 3,036 ANSI lumens was 24% below the 4,000 ANSI lumen rating, or about 14% less than the same Brightest picture mode as measured with the plain 255 video level white pattern. This largely accounted for the difference seen between our reviewer's initial measurement and our lab measurement with the full-power, plain white pattern. The table below shows both results for the Brightest mode, and users should use the lower number when assessing the projector's output in that picture mode with real content.
That said, due to a visual phenomenon called the Helmholtz-Kohlrausch (HK) effect, the high saturation of LED-generated color has long been known to create the perception of higher brightness than is reflected in traditional measurements. So, even 3,000 ANSI lumens on an LED projector will likely appear brighter to most viewers than a 3,000 lumen lamp model. You can read more about this in our article, "Are LED Lumens a Real Thing?". For an LED projector in particular, this one is exceptionally bright.
It's also important to note for perspective that it is not unheard of for projector manufacturers to prescribe what may be an otherwise unusable picture mode or a special setting to be engaged only for brightness measurements; we frequently mention the heavy green or blue cast in most projectors' default measurement settings. Even some high-end home theater projectors will only make their brightness spec when a specific color temperature setting is engaged to push the projector into overdrive, usually at the expense of making it unwatchable for a true home theater application. You won't encounter this special measurement mode just by cycling through the available picture modes on these projectors because it's not intended for viewing. On the other hand, it is unusual to see a special measurement mode that engages automatically with the presence of a brightness measurement test pattern while the projector is in a picture mode designated as an option for displaying live material. This approach can, unfortunately, obscure the actual usable brightness when that mode is employed with real content.
In interpreting the table below, note that the LS610HDH has four Light Source power modes. Normal provides full laser power. Eco is specified to reduce power 30% from Normal, which aligns with our measurements when using the pure-white video level 255 test pattern that puts the projector in its special measurement mode. However, in real use you should expect an approximately 20% reduction when using Eco as compared with Normal, as we measured while using the white grid test pattern in Brightest mode and while using either test pattern in other picture modes. The Dynamic Black Light Source modes reduce power dynamically depending on the content brightness, with Dynamic Black 1 specified for up to a 70% reduction and Dynamic Black 2 specified for up to a 50% reduction. We can't verify these numbers, but users should consider the possibility that those reductions will be smaller in actual use if, like the Eco spec, they are based on a comparison with the Brightest mode's full output ANSI spec with the special measurement mode active.—Rob Sabin
ViewSonic LS610HDH ANSI Lumens
|Brightest (Test Pattern Only)||3,483||2,424|
Brightness Uniformity. The brightness uniformity of the ViewSonic LS610HDH measured a solid 82% at the widest zoom position or the longest telephoto position.
Zoom Lens Light Loss. Moving from the wide position to the longest telephoto position on the 1.2 X zoom lens had a negligible effect on brightness.
Fan Noise. ViewSonic rates the LS610HDH's projector noise at 32 dB in its Normal power mode, and 27 dB in its Eco mode, using the industry-standard six-point averaged measurement in a soundproof booth. Our casual real-world noise measurements are always louder, though I found the noise quite acceptable, especially given the non-home environments this projector gets used in.
In this case, standing approximately four feet back from the table mounted projector in a quiet room, the ratings were as follows in each power mode: Normal, 39.8 db; Eco, 33.7 db; Dynamic Black 1, 39.1 db; Dynamic Black 2, 39.0 db; High Altitude, 50.5 db.
Input Lag. Measured with a 1080p/60 signal from a Bodnar lag meter, input lag on the ViewSonic LS610HDH measured a respectable 33.1 ms. This is acceptably low for most casual videogaming.
- HDMI (x2, version 2.0/HDCP 2.2)
- USB Type A (Power/Service, 5V/1.5A Out)
- RS232-C control (D-Sub 9pin)
- LAN: RJ-45
- Audio In: 3.5 mm analog stereo mini jack
- Audio Out: 3.5 mm analog stereo mini jack
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our ViewSonic LS610HDH projector page.