Home Theater Projector Shootout
Eight 1080p Projectors under $1500
The Viewsonic Pro8200 is the brightest projector in the shootout, bar none. It has plenty of crossover appeal, and it is the best value by far for a living room setup. Selling for less than $900, the Pro8200 is a good choice for the home entertainment buff who wants to take his projector with him wherever he goes, whether that be the backyard or a friend's house.
- Best light output
- Natural picture
- Best lamp life
- Best warranty
- Digital noise
The big advantage of the Pro8200 is its whopping 1475 lumens in cinema mode without too much compromise in color accuracy or contrast. In its brightest mode, it jumps to 1941 lumens. When room lighting or very large screen size is a factor, the Pro8200 is the go-to projector in the sub-$1000 category. The high brightness also helps with portability, since room lighting is not always controllable when you're projecting away from home. The dual 10W speakers provide an onboard audio solution that is among the best you'll find on a projector in this price range. This is of particular value if you are thinking about portable applications.
The Pro8200's image also has a natural look to it, with open mid tones and good contrast that give the image a three-dimensional appearance. Color is good after some fine-tuning, but the default calibration is less impressive. Another kicker is the three-year warranty, the best of any projector up for review. This includes a full year of coverage on the projector's lamp, which should allay some fears of early lamp failure. The lamp itself is rated for 4,000 hours of operation in full power mode and 6,000 hours in eco-mode--another best in show for this unassuming little powerhouse.
The main limitation of the Pro8200 is digital noise, which is more apparent on the Pro8200 than on any other projector in the shootout. That shimmer can drive some viewers up the wall. Others, like myself, find the effect less distracting. If you are bothered by digital noise, you may want to give the Pro8200 a pass.
|Review Contents:||Introduction||Acer H7531D||BenQ W1100||BenQ W1200|
|Epson Home Cinema 8350||Mitsubishi HC4000||Optoma HD20||Viewsonic Pro8200|