Classroom Projector Review
Unimpressive video quality. The PJD5523w's video quality isn't bad for a data projector, but isn't even in shooting distance for home theater. The Movie preset gave images a distinct green tint. The ViewMatch preset, which automatically adjusts contrast based on the content of the image, gave the most natural looking color, but it also boosted brightness to 1061 lumens. Even with the ViewMatch preset, however, colors had a dull look, typical of a low contrast ratio. The projector also had trouble maintaining shadow detail, although it did better than some data projectors I've seen. Overall, the quality is good enough for short clips, but not something I'd want to watch a full length movie with.
Obvious rainbow artifacts for video. Rainbow artifacts are a potential issue for any single-chip DLP projector, although the problem shows up more with some than others. The PJD5523w does well on this score with data images, with the artifacts showing up rarely enough so even those who are sensitive to seeing them should hardly notice them. With video, however, I saw the rainbows far more often. Anyone who sees them easily, as I do, is likely to find them annoying for anything more than short video clips.
Poor audio. Like most portable projectors, the PJD5523w's audio system is simply inadequate. It's loud enough to easily fill a small conference room, but the quality is poor enough so that even though I've memorized the dialog in most of the test clips, I had trouble making out the words. If you need good quality audio, you'll need an external audio system.
Limited 3D. As with all but a few other inexpensive 3D projectors, the PJD5523w does not support HDMI 1.4a 3D protocols, which means it can show 3D directly from appropriately equipped computers, but it needs to connect through a video converter to show 3D from a Blu-ray player or the like. In addition, you need enough pairs of DLP-Link glasses for your audience, at $70 or more each.
For my 3D tests, I connected to a Blu-ray player though a video converter. The 3D works, but with much more obvious crosstalk than with most projectors I've seen, an issue that makes viewing 3D somewhat unpleasant. As with most competing products, you'll have to make a substantial additional investment before you can use the projector for 3D. However, unlike most, once you've made that investment the crosstalk may leave you feeling it's not worth using.
Despite ViewSonic's claim that the PJD5523w is both a data projector and home theater projector, it's clearly best appreciated, and a much better fit, as a data projector. In particular, its data image quality is much better than its video image quality and its brightness is too high for most home theater setups but bright enough to stand up to ambient light in an office or classroom.
As a data projector, the PJD5523w is small and light enough to be portable. It's also easy to set up thanks to its zoom lens and any number of small -- even typical -- but still welcome touches. The manual zoom and focus rings, for example, offer just the right amount of resistance for sure control so you won't accidently overshoot the right position.
We can't recommend the PJD5523w as a home theater projector, or even as a data projector that you can bring home from the office occasionally for a movie night. Rather, our ratings and recommendation are based on judging it strictly as a data projector. In that context, it does its job well, and is easily worth considering.
|Review Contents:||Introduction||Advantages||Limitations and conclusion|