Welcome to Projector SuperStore Log In or Register

Projector Review: Viewsonic LightStream Pro7827HD Home Theater Projector

Fri 15, April 2016   Reviews

Review by: M. David Stone, April 15, 2016 | ProjectorCentral.com

You might quibble with claim that the ViewSonic Pro7827HD is the ideal projector for home theater entertainment, but it's unquestionably impressive for its $889.99 price. Along with 1080p resolution, full 3D support, and excellent color quality, it offers conveniences that include a 1.3x zoom, three HDMI ports instead of the usual two, and a modest vertical lens shift with an easy-to-use control.

The Pro7827HD also fits well with a wide range of applications. Rated at 2,200 lumens, it can throw a suitably large image that can stand up to ambient light in a living room, but its Eco mode and lower brightness presets offer comfortable brightness levels for theater-dark lighting as well. At just 5.7 pounds, it's light enough for portable use. But it supports Image Science Foundation (ISF)-certified Day and Night viewing modes, which means you can customize its settings--or, more precisely, pay a certified technician to customize them for you--for permanent installation.

Picture Quality

The Pro7827HD lacks some options like frame interpolation that you would expect in more expensive models. But within that context, the quality is excellent. One measure of how well the projector holds detail, for example, is that with one of our standard test images, white text on black was highly readable at sizes as small as 6 points, and black text on white was crisp and readable even at 4 points. That's better than most data projectors can manage, and it translates to showing finer detail for video than most home theater projectors.

ISF Modes. In addition to its five color preset modes--Brightest, Dynamic, Standard, ViewMatch sRGB, and Movie (Rec. 709)--the Pro7827HD offers ISF-certified Day and Night viewing modes. However, the ISF options won't show in the menus until an ISF-certified technician calibrates them for the specific room the projector is in. The calibration will typically cost $250 or more, after which ISF Day and ISF Night will be added to the list of choices.

Color Preset Modes. Even without the custom calibrated modes, the Pro7827HD delivers excellent color quality. This is, in part, thanks to the RGBRGB color wheel, which ensures that none of the presets has enough difference between white brightness and color brightness to affect colors significantly.

As the names imply, the ViewMatch sRGB mode is designed to match the sRGB standard while the Movie (Rec. 709) mode is designed to do the same for the Rec. 709 ITU standard for HDTVs. And, indeed, both offer good color quality. However, the Standard mode comes closest to delivering the same colors as the calibrated projector we use for comparison, nearly matching it straight out of the box.

Rainbow artifacts aren't much of an issue for the Pro7827HD. I saw very few in my standard suite of tests, and only in clips that tend to bring them out. When I set the projector up in a family room for an evening of real-world TV viewing, I saw fewer than one per hour. Few people, if any, are likely to find them bothersome.

2D Video. Most other individual aspects of video quality range from near-excellent to excellent. I didn't see any motion artifacts or posterization in my tests, and the Pro7827HD showed only a minor loss of shadow detail in the most demanding clips. I saw some moderately obvious noise in scenes that tend to show noise, but it wasn't obvious enough or often enough for most people to consider it a problem. There is a noise reduction option in the menus, but it works only with an S-Video, composite video, or PC input.

3D video. 3D offers essentially the same quality as 2D in most ways. However, the drop in brightness is a bit more obvious than with most projectors. There aren't any choices for color presets, but the one you're locked into offers high quality color. The projector also did well on those aspects of image quality that are specific to 3D. I didn't see any crosstalk and saw just a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts in the most demanding clips.

Key Features

RGBRGB color wheel. The six-panel RGBRGB color wheel is designed to deliver high quality color, in large part, because there's no white panel to boost white brightness far above color brightness.

HDMI ports. The Pro7827HD offers three HDMI ports--one more than usual--with two that support MHL.

ISF-Certified color calibration. If you're willing to pay someone to calibrate the projector, the ISF Day and ISF Night modes let you custom calibrate it for two different lighting conditions and then choose the Day or Night setting as appropriate.

Vertical lens shift. The Pro7827HD's vertical lens shift--at about 5% of the image height up or down from the midpoint--offers some flexibility for how high or low you can position the projector relative to the screen without having to tilt it. Even better, the shift is controlled through a knob on top of the projector that's both easy to get to and easy to adjust.

Zoom lens. The 1.3x zoom gives you some flexibility in how far you can put the projector from the screen for a given size image.

Small and lightweight. At just 4.1" by 12.4" by 9.0" (HWD) and 5.7 pounds, the Pro7827HD is small and light enough to carry with you to a friend's house easily or to store away when you're not using it and set it up quickly as needed. If you want a carrying case, however, you'll have to buy it separately ($25).Viewsonic Pro7827HD

Useful audio. The built-in 10-watt mono speaker offers high enough volume to fill a moderately-sized living room with better sound quality than most projectors deliver.

Hidden compartment for wireless dongle. One of the HDMI/MHL ports is in a compartment on the top of the projector, hidden by a cover that's held on by a screw. The compartment is meant primarily for a streaming wireless dongle, and includes a captured cable with a micro USB connector on the free end to power the dongle.

Full HD 3D. In addition to offering full HD 3D compatibility, the Pro7827HD recognizes 3D input and automatically switches to and from 3D mode. The 3D works with DLP-Link glasses only.

Security. The menu offers password protection. There's also a Kensington lock slot on the back as well as a security bar on the right side.

Warranty. The price includes longer-than-typical warranties, at three years for parts and labor and one year for the lamp.

Performance

Brightness. Using its Normal lamp mode, the sample unit that ViewSonic provided for testing came in at 98% of its 2,200-lumen rating for its Brightest preset mode and at 38% to 81% of its rating with its four other presets.

With the zoom lens at its widest angle setting (the shortest throw for the image size), we measured the ANSI Lumens for Normal and Eco lamp settings at:

Mode

Normal

Eco mode

Brightest

2170

1433

Dynamic

1780

1133

Standard

1450

934

ViewMatch sRGB

834

534

Movie (Rec709)

1069

685

There are also two other Eco lamp settings. Dynamic mode works much like an auto iris according to ViewSonic, making dark scenes darker. However it changes brightness by lowering lamp power, which both conserves energy and lengthens lamp life.

SuperEco mode lowers brightness to roughly 15% to 18% of Normal mode with any given preset and is meant as an automated power-saving feature, even though you can set it manually as well. If you enable the Smart Energy Power Saving option, the projector will automatically switch from Normal to Eco mode after 5 minutes without input and to SuperEco mode after 20 minutes.

Viewsonic 7827HD Remote

Zoom Lens Effect. In the full telephoto setting, the 1.3x zoom drops the brightness by about 9 percent, which is little enough to be barely noticeable.

Brightness uniformity. The measured 58% brightness uniformity is surprisingly low and enough of a difference to see with a solid white or light-color image. With the test unit on a table in front of the screen, the vertical center section of the image was brighter than the sides, and the bottom center was brighter than the top. However, the brightness changes gradually enough across the screen that the variation is not a problem. Any image that breaks up the field of view--whether with video, photos, or games--makes the difference hard, if not impossible, to see, even if you know it's there, and look for it.

Color brightness. The Pro7827HD's color brightness is close enough to its white brightness in every preset mode to have little to no effect, depending on the mode, on either color quality or the brightness of color images. The lowest percentages we measured for color brightness relative to white brightness were about 80% for both Brightest and Dynamic modes. Standard mode, which has the best color fidelity, delivered essentially identical measurements for both.

Rainbow artifacts show rarely enough that anyone who's not sensitive to them may never see one, and even those who see them easily aren't likely to find them bothersome.

Fan noise. The audible noise rating is 36dB in Normal mode. It is loud enough to notice from a few feet away, and it has a kind of raspy overtone that can be annoying even for people like me, who are comfortable with white noise. I'd avoid sitting within five feet of the projector. If you're sensitive to fan noise, you might not want to sit within ten feet. Eco mode drops to a far quieter 31dB rating. However, it still has a raspy overtone. If you're sensitive to noise, you'll probably still want to keep at least five feet away.

High altitude mode, which ViewSonic recommends for a 1500-meter (4921 foot) altitude isn't rated, but it's easily audible from 30 feet away in Normal mode, sounding a lot like a hair drier, albeit a bit quieter. In Eco mode the pitch is slightly lower, but it's still easily audible from 20 feet away. If I had to use the Pro7827HD in high altitude mode, I would limit it to Eco mode only and avoid setting it up where anyone would have to sit closer than about 10 feet away.

Input lag. The lag time as measured by the Bodnar meter is 49.7 ms.

Lamp life. The lamp is rated at 3,500 hours in Normal mode and up to 6,500 hours in Dynamic Eco mode. There is no rating for standard Eco mode. Replacements are $259.

Set Up

The ViewSonic Pro7827HD throws a 120" 16:9 image from a range of about 10 feet at it's widest-angle setting, for maximum brightness, to about 13 feet at its full telephoto setting and a 9% drop in brightness. You can use the Projection Calculator to roughly determine the available range of throw distance for your desired screen size. However, on our test unit the throw distance at the wide angle setting was just a few inches farther than the Projection Calculator predicts based on ViewSonic's published throw ratio.

With the projector sitting on a table and the lens shift in its lowest vertical position, we measured the bottom of the image at 6% of the image height above the midline of the lens, or about 3.5" above for a 120" image. With the vertical lens shift at the highest level, the offset was a bit more than 16%, putting the bottom of a 120" inch image roughly 9.5" above the midline of the lens.

The offset will work nicely with the projector on a table or inverted in a ceiling mount. If you need to adjust the image position more than the lens shift can handle, by tilting the projector to get the image to match the screen height, the digital keystone adjustment offers a substantial range for correcting keystone distortion, from plus to minus 40 degrees. There's also a plus to minus 40 degree horizontal keystone correction, and a corner adjustment as well, which lets you adjust each corner separately.

Viewsonic Pro7827HD Top View

Installation Trade-offs

Be sure to plan for lamp degradation. High-pressure lamps typically lose 25% of their brightness in the first 500 hours of use, with the brightness continuing to decline further, but much more slowly, after that.

There are a couple of ways to manage declining brightness over time. For portable use, make sure the Pro7827HD is initially bright enough for the image size you want with Eco lamp mode and the full telephoto lens setting. You can then compensate for the eventual drop in brightness both by switching to Normal lamp mode and by placing the projector closer to the screen.

For permanent installation, pick a throw distance where Eco mode will produce the desired image brightness. As the lamp ages, you can then boost the brightness by switching to Normal mode. You might also consider using one of the lower-brightness preset modes to start with, then switching to brighter modes as the lamp ages. However, this may compromise color accuracy more than you'd like with some modes.

Limitations

Fan noise. To a large extent, the Pro7827HD's fan noise is simply the price you pay for the light weight and small form factor. If you're not able to position the projector sufficiently far from the seating, it may be problematic for people who are sensitive to fan noise. This issue is common to most 1080p home theater projectors under $1,000.

Low brightness uniformity. The 58% uniformity is lower than typical for this class of product. It is unlikely you will notice the effect during normal movie viewing, but it can be seen on a 100 IRE white test image.

Moderate lag time. Although the Pro7827HD's roughly 50 ms lag time is adequate for casual game play, serious gamers will likely consider it too slow. Some models offer as little as 24 ms, and a larger number offer roughly 33 ms lag times.

Conclusion

The ViewSonic Pro7827HD is one of the more impressive home entertainment projectors in its price range. Along with 1080p resolution and full 3D support, it delivers excellent color quality, fewer rainbow artifacts than the vast majority of DLP projectors, and support for ISF-Certified color calibration. It also delivers a bright enough image to stand up to the typical ambient light in a family room at night using a 110" image with the best color-quality preset mode, or as much as a 135" image with the brightest preset mode.

Beyond that, the Pro7827HD is also light enough for portable applications, and it offers a vertical lens shift, 1.3x zoom, and a hidden compartment for a wireless streaming dongle. The fan noise in full power mode may be an issue if you can't set up the projector far enough from where people are sitting. However if you can set it up that way, the noise is irrelevant, and there's little else about the projector that doesn't count as a plus. Overall, this is an exciting home theater projector for $900, and it gets a solid 5 stars for value. 


Click here to see the Viewsonic PRO7827HD on Projector SuperStore!

Ready to purchase? Have more questions? Contact one of our Sales Team members today to see which Viewsonic projector is right for your application! Call us at 888-525-6696


This review was made available by Projector Central and originally appeared on their website. To view the original document, click here. For more information, visit ProjectorCentral.com.