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ViewSonic PX747-4K vs. PX727-4K

Best Home Theater Projector
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ViewSonic PX747-4K Projector ViewSonic PX747-4K
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12000:1 Contrast Ratio
3500 Lumens
$999 Street Price
$1,159 MSRP

The two lowest price 4K projectors currently on the market are the ViewSonic PX727-4K, rated at 2200 lumens, and its brighter version, the ViewSonic PX747-4K, rated at 3500 lumens. Both are priced at $1299.

These two models are identical projectors in all respects except for the color wheel. The PX727-4K has an RGBRGB wheel and the PX747-4K has an RGBW wheel. The white segment in the PX747-4K's wheel is what gives it the extra lumen power. Since they are the same except for issues related to the color wheel, we will focus just on those differences in this article. See the Viewsonic PX727-4K review for all other details on these two models.

What difference do the color wheels make?

These two color wheels present us with a trade-off between total white light output (ANSI lumens), and color brightness. In practical terms, this means that white elements in a picture will appear brighter on the PX747, while colored subject matter appears brighter on the PX727.

To illustrate, think about the Universal Studios splash screen, with the bright white Universal Studios logo circling the Earth with deep space as the background. When projecting this particular image, the PX747-4K looks brighter and higher in contrast than the PX727-4K. The reason is that the black levels are essentially the same, but the white lettering of the logo is much more brilliant on the PX747. The picture has more pop and vibrance on the PX747.

Now think about the reddish brown landscape scenes in The Martian. In these scenes there are typically no white elements but there is a lot of rich color. With this type of picture the PX727 is, surprisingly, both brighter and higher in contrast. Not only do you see a deeper color saturation, but the overall picture is actually brighter as well, and the combination of higher brightness and saturation makes the picture look obviously higher in contrast. This picture has more pop and vibrance on the PX727.

Why does this happen? Color brightness measurements

The reason this happens is due to the interaction between white brightness and color brightness on the two projectors. By white brightness, we mean the total brightness of the color "white". By color brightness, we mean the sum total of the projector's lumen power as it projects red, blue, and green as independent colors. Since the PX747-4K has a white (or clear) "filter" in the color wheel, it is able to project a lot more white light than it would be able to if it were passing all of the lamp's light through the red, blue, and green filters, as the PX727 does. So on the 747, a lot of white light hits the screen that has not been modulated through color filters. The PX727 can deliver white as well, but it does so by turning on all red, blue, and green channels at once, and the combination makes white.

The ANSI lumen spec measures the total amount of white light a projector can produce. In Movie mode (a setting calibrated for best video performance on these two projectors), we measured the PX727-4K at about 1100 ANSI lumens. By comparison the PX747-4K's Movie mode puts out about 1600 ANSI lumens. In both cases our measurement was about half of the projectors rated maximum lumen potential. This is typical for video optimized settings on many projectors.

However, since ANSI lumens measures only white light, this is not the entire story. If you measure the total amount of red, blue, and green light independently on these two projectors you get quite different results. On the PX727, the luminance of R + B + G adds up to 100% of the white light output. On the other hand, on the PX747-4K the R + B + G channels add up to 57% of white output. So while the PX727 puts out about 1100 lumens of color brightness, the PX747 puts out only about 900 lumens. It is no wonder that the color-rich Martian landscape look brighter and more saturated on the PX727.

A similar result happens in Standard mode. We get about 1350 ANSI (white) lumens on the PX727, and 2000 lumens on the PX747. However, color brightness is only 45% of white on the PX747 in this mode, while color is 82% of white on the 727. Here again, the absolute color brightness is actually higher on the 727 than on the 747, despite its lower ANSI lumen ratings and measurements.

Bright mode is distinctively different on these two models. While Bright mode on the PX727 has a rather noticeable greenish cyan tint, the PX747 delivers a brilliant white 3100 lumens with very little obvious color bias. This is quite unusual for a projector's brightest operating mode. However, in Bright mode, despite its brilliant white, the amount of color light making it to the screen drops to 26% of white. The overwhelming amount of white light in the mix causes color subject matter to appear quite dull and low in saturation. So Bright is not a good operating mode for video/film. But it is an outstanding option for high resolution presentation of black/white text documents, financial spreadsheets, etc.

As a matter of fact, the PX747-4K should be strongly considered as a conference/boardroom projector in situations where the subject matter is primarily numbers, text, black and white bar graphs, etc. The reason is that the PX747-4K is absolutely unique in the market for its combination of 4K resolution, a brilliant, neutral white screen, and very low price. Its video quality, though not as rich and balanced as the PX727-4K, is certainly usable when video is a secondary element in the mix of presentation materials.

Since the PX747-4K is identical to the PX727-4K in all respects other than the color wheel we would end up duplicating a lot of the Viewsonic PX727-4K review. So read that review to get most of the basics of these projectors, and then factor in the variables on color brightness discussed here to decide which might be the better choice for your use.

In general, we strongly prefer the ViewSonic PX727-4K for classic home theater because the picture has higher color saturation, contrast and brightness in most full color imagery. And 1100 lumens of color light output is ample for most dark theater applications. We can't think of any situations in which we would opt for the PX747-4K over the PX727-4K if the intended use is full color video/film display. But if you're looking at 4K projectors for business/conference room use, it's a different ballgame. The ViewSonic PX747-4K has got some serious lumen muscle in black/white 4K presentation that the PX727 simply cannot match. And for this very unique combination of features at $1299 it gets 5-stars for value.


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Comments (21) Post a Comment
Abe Posted May 10, 2018 7:31 PM PST
Thank you Evan for the comparison review. It's seems all the companies are doing this now... BenQ did with tk800 vs ht2550. The latter being for dedicated home theaters with good light control.

I hope to pick up the Viewsonic 727 because of your website! The ones that cost 3k or 4k over this one really don't seem to be worth such a jump in price especially when the technology is moving so quickly.

Thank you so much for caring about this niche in home entertainment. Go big or go to a movie theater!
john bessenyei Posted May 13, 2018 7:35 PM PST
nice review. pictures would make a lot of difference. i decided to pick the 747 between the two.i don't have a dedicated home-theater room.so there is some ambient light always present.when you did the comparison i assume u used a dark theater room. 727 would loose a lot of that color pop with minimal light in the room.i wish i could see the two side by side.but looking at lot of reviews about the benq ht2550 and tk800(almost same as viewsonics)people prefer the tk800. most people using the projector in a living room or bedroom.and most of the time i'll use my PC for watching movies and surf the net so that brighter white will make a difference.
Randy Posted May 18, 2018 6:48 AM PST
Thanks for the review. Is the input lag time the same as the 727?
Evan Powell, Editor Posted May 22, 2018 3:33 PM PST
Randy, the input lag on the 747 is 43 ms, which is a tad bit faster than the 55 ms we saw on the 727.
Randy Posted Jun 14, 2018 8:22 AM PST
The lower input lag made my decision for me. Thank you, Evan!
Dimitris Posted Jun 20, 2018 12:30 PM PST
Hi

is viewsonic considering a firmware update to reduce input lag ?
Evan Powell, Editor Posted Jun 20, 2018 12:36 PM PST
Dimitris, not that we know of. But keep in mind that 43 ms is the fasted 4K projector we've seen. Every other 4K unit tests slower than this. If you want fast input lag, go with a 1080p model. They get down to 16 ms.
Dimitris Posted Jun 21, 2018 12:12 AM PST
Thanks. I have one more question. Which one would you recommend for gaming . Is it worth the loss in picture quality for the sligtly fastest input lag
Evan Powell, Editor Posted Jun 21, 2018 8:06 AM PST
Dimitris, there is no way to answer that. It is strictly a personal issue. Some serious gamers are fanatical about getting the absolute lowest input lag no matter what. Others don't notice a difference if they don't play a lot of response-time dependent games. Some care more about picture quality than a slight difference in gaming results. At the moment 4K projectors all give you higher resolution pictures and somewhat slower lag times than most 1080p models. Only you can decide what is most important to you.
Albert Posted Dec 26, 2018 3:45 AM PST
I am down to the 11th hour in selecting my replacement for my Optoma HD142x (before that Epson Powerlite 2030). I recently bought a 55" 4k HDR LED TV, (my first non-projector purchase since 2013) and have liked what I have seen in the 4k/HDR upgrade. Obviously I know not to expect anywhere near the black levels or HDR "pop" on a projector that I have seen on an LED TV, but I have an Xbox One S and Netflix 4k. Anyone have an opinion on the Epson 2150 vs the Viewsonic PX747-4K? Is it better to invest in a projector that does 1080p well, or will I see any difference in going for the (pixel-shifting) faux 4K? Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Shawn A Truhlar Posted Feb 26, 2019 3:22 PM PST
It seems like the 747s are available for about $200 less then the 727 ViewSonics, Is it worth the difference to go with the 727 in a dedicated theater room?
Quza Posted May 1, 2019 11:39 AM PST
Is it a good time to buy a 4K Projector? I am wondering since 8K TVS started coming out and sure soon to follow with equivalent projectors.

I am looking at the 747 and it is a tempting choice. Do you think i will have issues playing movies outdoors at night? That is my goal.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 1, 2019 3:24 PM PST
Quza, on the matter of whether it's time to step up to 4K, the answer is yes. 8K content and affordable 8K projectors are a long long way off, and buying a $1,000 to $1,500 4K projector now should not be reason to fear obsolescence. You'll be waiting forever and not enjoying the benefits you can get today of additional detail and HDR/wide color gamut that are absent from 1080p content.

As for this projector outdoors at night: you haven't said what screen size, so I can't answer the question. But as long as you're in relatively dark conditions and not trying to get much larger than 100 or 120 inches, you should probably be okay with the 747. Check our throw calculator for this model and read our detailed review for the 727 (same piece with a different color wheel) to get some idea if the lens will work with your intended setup.
Panya Posted Jul 9, 2019 3:30 PM PST
Hi Could you advise for living room is uncontrolled ambient light (2 windows beside and 1 opposite screen and wall also painted orange color) and projected on screen 92 inches. Which ones is matching and worth it?
Dave Posted Aug 19, 2019 6:17 PM PST
Your reviews are awesome, but hell this is complicated!!!

I want moderately priced projector that will perform well in moderate lighting, and even sometimes daylight. (ie watching the Super Bowl with the lights on) Would the 727 be better than the 747 for this application?

We mostly watch sports. Is there a different projector you would recommend for this type of use? We will seldom sit in a dark room and watch a movie.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 20, 2019 7:37 AM PST
Sorry to frighten you with the tech, Dave -- Evan was trying to explain to more advanced readers why a white segment added to a color wheel improves the overall brightness of the projector. Bottom line: for a situation like yours where you always watch with some degree of ambient light, you'll want the 747 for it's considerably higher lumen output. We measured 1,600 lumens in its most desirable (for accurate color) Movie setting, and the projector has considerably more brightness available in some other modes for ambient light situations where you might feel comfortable sacrificing some degree of color accuracy.

Jim Posted Aug 27, 2019 2:00 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Loved your review of the PX747. I currently own this projector and I'm having a hard time calibrating it for HDR content. Would you be able to share what calibration setting that you used for this review? I know there are many variables that go into setting up a projector, but some guidance would be much appreciated.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 30, 2019 7:51 AM PST
Jim, I'm sorry, but those settings on this old review were never retained.
Ddamulira Brian Posted Sep 8, 2019 5:26 PM PST
Nice review thanks.
Rob H Posted Nov 15, 2019 5:40 AM PST
Guys -- Thanks for the great info as always. I'm thinking of the 747 because of the higher lumens (I'm throwing a 130" image, and I like to keep the bulb setting on the lowest possible). Since it's a DLP chip, I'm assuming it has a "brilliant color" feature to boost brightness and color saturation? Also, do you think the black border may be a distraction? (I'm projecting onto a dedicated home theater wall.) What is the function of the border on this version of the DLP chip anyway? Is it to provide a border for those (like me) who don't have a framed screen with a bezel?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 15, 2019 8:10 AM PST
The black shadow border evident with this chip has no intentional purpose but was a requirement of the technology. It has been largely but not completely addressed in the newer version of the half-inch chip appearing in 2019 model year projectors. It is possible you'll notice it if you're projecting on a white wall with no screen frame. It essentially disappears, however, when it drops onto a traditional black felt frame.

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