Well even though this is my first projector and I've only owned it for an evening I can comfortably say that my feelings about it are mixed. Before I go into detail, here's a summary of my thoughts. If you don't want the details just read this part:
This projector is great for gamers, DJs, teachers, and businessmen. It has a bright image, 1:1 pixel mapping over HDMI, fast response time, and no input lag. I cannot recommend it for home theater use thanks to its bright image and mediocre contrast.
(EDIT: After further adjustment, I can
recommend this for home theater use. See my updated post for more info
So with that being said, I'll start off by confirming that this projector does indeed seem similar to the Acer H6510BD. I don't own one, but just about everything in Projector Central's review
of it applies to the ViewSonic, save for the color gain/bias settings they recommend.
Out of the box picture is poor, but short of calibration you can get an accurate enough image to please non-videophiles with these settings:
EDIT: See my updated settings in this post
.Color Mode: User (1 or 2)
Reference Mode: Dynamic Movie (or Movie if you need more brightness)
Noise Reduction: 0
Gamma: 7 (EDIT: After some more messing around I've decided 7 is closer to 2.2 across the board. 3 is actually closer with RGB, but makes W way too high)
Color Temp: T2
HDMI Range: Enhanced
Normally, it's recommended to turn off all image enhancements for the most natural, accurate picture from a TV or projector, but in this case, turning them off actually reduces
Gamers are going to fall in love with this projector. There's virtually zero input lag, and its response time is even faster than my gaming LCD! Here's proof:
And here's the response time compared to a CRT (which as you know serves as a baseline since they do not lag at all):
Somehow this thing appears to have the same input lag as a CRT (read: none). That's crazy
good. It actually appears to have negative lag thanks to the rolling shutter effect. The fact that this projector updates the image faster than my camera can scan the entire scene to produce a photo is a very
good sign. As you can see from the blurring of the numbers that response time is very good as well by non CRT standards.
I can also confirm that this projector does in fact provide a 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI so long as you use an RGB source (like a computer) & set the projector to RGB mode (or just leave it on auto):
I used this test pattern
to determine pixel mapping.
So, like I said, if you're a gamer on a budget, don't hesitate -- you need
Moving on, I can't help but be disappointed by this projector's brightness. But before I get into it let me give you an idea of my setup: I've placed the projector 2.7m away from the wall and 41.5" from the ground (any lower and my head gets in the way of the image). With full zoom this gives me a 104" picture (1" image size for every 1" the projector is away from the wall), with the bottom of the image 44" from the ground. Sitting 6' away from the screen, I have to look up towards the image; not exactly ideal. Thankfully my couch reclines, but ideally you should either be sitting behind the projector or ceiling mount it for the most comfortable experience.
Anyway, back to brightness: at this distance, I end up with a picture that's too bright to be used at night, but not bright enough to use during the day without drawing the blinds. Unfortunately I'll have to settle with it like this since I use it during all times of the day in various lighting conditions. I will say this, though: In a medium-sized room with 2 windows, both with the blinds drawn (no blackout curtains necessary), the image is satisfactory. This leaves me with room that's bright enough to see everything clearly both in the room and on the screen, just not deep blacks. This is in a room with ambient lighting at about 25-30 lux when the projector is off (measured using my Galaxy S III's light sensor).
See, now this is what's frustrating about this projector: It's not bright enough to replace a TV unless you plan on having a 60" image, but too bright to be used in a cinema unless you plan on having a 200" image. However, during the day this projector is still
brighter than my 10-year-old 57" SONY rear projection HDTV; by 2003 standards this projector would kick the crap out of any TV of the time. Problem is that we don't live in 2003 anymore.
image contrast really sticks out like a sore thumb in darker movies, but
looks stunning (after calibration) during bright scenes
. Let me give you an idea of what to expect using this test pattern:
On my gaming LCD, I can distinguish every shade of black down to 3. With this projector: at night the first row of blacks is indistinguishable. During the day, it's the first two rows (EDIT: With gamma on 7 I can now distinguish the second row during the day). Therefore, number 5 gives you an idea of the blackest this projector can go. Very disappointing indeed.
On the bright side (pun intended), whites are so accurate that I can distinguish every single step all the way up to 255. Keep in mind that these observations are made with the color settings I mentioned earlier. Hopefully contrast will improve with calibration. (EDIT: Contrast did
improve with calibration, and I can now distinguish every single black step down to 0. See my updated post for more info
Speaking of night watching: like I said it's way
too bright at 104", however, turning off Brilliant Color dims the image quite a bit, but leaves you with an image that's still too bright. DynamicEco is the extra boost you need to further dim the image. Problem is that this feature appears to be bugged.
First off, while it dims the picture to more acceptable levels at night, it also makes it flicker quite a bit. Not really noticable during a movie, but obvious during web browsing. Also, the words "DynamicEco On" appear on the top left of the screen and won't go away until you turn it off. Lastly, pushing any button on the remote turns it off. It's like ViewSonic doesn't want you to use it for more than a couple minutes at a time, but at the same time advertise this feature prominently and brag about how much longer it makes your lamp last. I don't get it, and hopefully a firmware update will fix it.
(EDIT: I was confusing DynamicEco with another Lamp setting. DynamicEco is for saving lamp life when you step away for a few minutes. It still works for making the image darker at night if you don't mind the issues I mentioned with it)I should also mention, thanks to its front-venting design, I can see the heat waves emanating from the projector on the bottom right corner of the picture. It's only noticeable on white backgrounds, and thankfully not too distracting.
(EDIT: These went away after about a month)
Rainbows. I am extremely
sensitive to them. With this projector, whether or not I notice them depends on the content. Browsing the web, I don't see them at all. Watching bright movies or playing most games, I see them here and there but they're not too distracting. Now dark content, or anything with a lot of small bright objects on a dark background: OH. MY GOD. They're everywhere. I actually had to turn off The Dark Knight Rises
halfway through because it was very literally making me nauseated, and I don't get motion sickness ever. Still, for 75% of content they're not too distracting so I'm not about to return this thing.
I ended up typing way
more than I expected, and I haven't even gotten to 3D yet! That will have to wait until my glasses come in. What I will say, though, is that turning on 3D mode cranks the brightness to extreme levels, presumably to compensate for the glasses. Personally I don't want this happening so hopefully you can turn it off.
In conclusion: I can recommend this projector if it's your first and you're not a movie buff, but if all you do is watch movies you're better off plopping down a solid chunk of change for a high-quality, dedicated home theater projector.
But as a general multipurpose projector for stuff like TV watching, LAN parties, DJ light shows, and PowerPoint presentations, you can't do any better for $699.
Here's a gallery of some pics I took of the projector in action during the day with the blinds slightly drawn so that there's still plenty of light coming into the room. It looks better in person, but not by much (and apparently my phone is more sensitive to rainbows than I am!):
I'll report back with my thoughts on 3D either later this evening or tomorrow.EDIT:
I've noticed that if you take Projector Central's calibration numbers for the Acer H6510BD and halve them, it seems to put the colors more in line, therefore resulting in these settings:R Gain: 50
G Gain: 47
B Gain: 48
R Offset: 0
B Offset: 0EDIT:
These are the settings you use if you decide to turn BrilliantColor On. I advise against it for the most accurate colors. See my updated post for more info
I determined this just from eyeballing this test pattern
, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Oh and don't forget to save your color settings or they revert next time you use the projector.