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Viewsonic Pro 8200 Focus Uniformity

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

After seeing the Viewsonic Pro 8200 for $700 with a $50 gift card recently on Newegg, I sprung for it. Overall, it's not bad. But I do seem to have a pretty serious issue with focus uniformity.

I can either have the top-left or the bottom-right focus. If I focus somewhere in the middle, both of those areas are somewhat blurry.

See how blurry the clock is in this pic? https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36854688/proj/1.JPG

And how blurry the top-left is here? https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36854688/proj/2.JPG

Now I understand that I can't expect perfect focus uniformity on a cheaper projector like this, but this just seems absurd. What's the point of 1080P if the pixels are so blurry that a focused SD image would look better?

Can anyone offer me any guidance? Should I just get a cheaper and brighter 720P projector? Or is it likely that this unit is actually defective, and I should replace it?

Thanks for any info.

I wrote to Viewsonic's support and got a rather surprising answer: (for the record I'm projecting 1080P via HDMI)
Quote:
Dear Mr. *******,

Thank you for contacting ViewSonic E-Mail Technical Support.

I apologies for the late update on this case. This projector doesn't have the greatest lens. If you focus on one point, a different part of the image will get blurry. The projector is really meant for video or movies. The text will never get truly sharp on that particular projector. The text will never get sharp on VGA. It can look slightly better if you uses the HDMI port and maxes out the sharpness.

If you have other technical concern, feel free to contact us again. For future reference, you can use this case number C1162666 in contacting us again. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to assist you and for supporting ViewSonic.



Sincerely,

Teresa
ViewSonic Technical Support
post #2 of 28
Coderguy recommends focusing the PJ 1/3 in from the left ( I believe) , to get the best focus point.
Now you are squared facing the screen, you do know if you are not straight back but tilting it a little to right or left of screen, it will effect the focus , right.
I have uniform focus on mine, most of us do, do divided the screen in thirds and focus on the spot I spoke about in first sentence.
How far back are you from screen, is it ceiling mounted,
Try different sources, trouble shoot. Are you using the hdmi cable that came with the Pro8200. If not, try it. Are you going into the back of the PC into Pro8200.
Edited by rgtaa - 12/10/12 at 3:40pm
post #3 of 28
What size image are you projecting. Is the projector square to the screen?
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
The image is about 9-10 feet horizontally. It is square to the screen. I've tried changing the angle back and forth and it doesn't seem to have a substantial impact on the focus.

The projector is sitting on a table, about 12 feet from the wall.

The tech support people at Viewsonic also tried to get me to troublehoot the signal, but it seems pretty clear to me that this issue is optical, not digital. In any case, I have tried two different HDMI cables and two different computers with the same result. All of the testing has been done at 1080P, but I also dropped it down to 720P just to see, and of course the focus issue remained.

I've tried focusing 1/3 from the left. Yeah, it's better, but it's still far from good.

So yeah, I'm thinking I probably have a defective unit. But I sure was surprised by the response from Viewsonic.
post #5 of 28
Did you buy it new, if so, maybe do an exchange, if you got it from newegg, that might be the way to go.
It should look in focus, I mean it's not gonna be razor sharp, but everything should look decent.
Sounds like you did troubleshoot it, if you go through newegg , they should send you a new one, not sure how viewsonic would handle it.
post #6 of 28
I've got sharp focus all over. Sounds like a lemon.
post #7 of 28
Now if you set the PJ back about 9-10 feet from screen, is the image in focus. Generally I make a 80-100 inch image that fits on my screen. Not sure how focused it would be for PC if I doubled the distance. So as test, go back about 9 feet and see if you can get image in focus for PC. If not, you got a lemon. Maybe others have their PJ back 16 feet from screen and can get PC image in focus, I don't know. But it could be defective PJ.
post #8 of 28
I just ordered and received a PRO8200 from newegg today and have the exact same problem that you describe. Sounds like a bad bunch? Anyway where are you in the process, were you able to exchange the unit and if so how? Thanks much
post #9 of 28
I just called NewEgg and they are sending me a replacement. Hopefully the next unit will work properly I will make another post when I get it.
post #10 of 28
Newegg sent a replacement for free, took 5 business days. The new projector has the same problem. Not nearly as bad but it's defineately still there. I'm going to call them again. Anyone else experience these problems?
post #11 of 28
The Viewsonic does not focus perfectly on text due to a 1:1 pixel mapping issue, but on my unit at least, the uniformity is very good, that's not the issue on mine. Use the menu text to focus when the menu is set to display as left, then focus the part of the menu that is about 1/3rd from the left-side of the screen, this will balance the uniformity. The menu text is not affected by 1:1 pixel mapping, that is why it is easier to focus. You can also try focusing on regular HTPC text to balance it out.

If you are wanting a projector that is perfectly sharp on text, you will need to look elsewhere.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyb82 View Post

Newegg sent a replacement for free, took 5 business days. The new projector has the same problem. Not nearly as bad but it's defineately still there. I'm going to call them again. Anyone else experience these problems?

Hook the pro8200 via HDMI to your best PC using the hdmi that came with it. Watch on a SCREEN from 10 feet back in dark room.
Come on guy, you NEVER told us anything about your setup. For all we know you are hooking it up via VGA on low resolution settings from cheap laptop/netbook onto an off colored wall from 20 feet back (no screen). You want help , tell us your setup. And KEEP IT SIMPLE for testing.

No A/V receiver! No VGA! No crappy laptop! On a SCREEN! from 10 feet back! in DARK ROOM! Using supplied HDMI cable! Table top it, making sure you are straight back from screen, with minimum keystone. Then tell us how it looks.

This PJ has very good sharpness at this price point (good top to bottom, left to right). Yeah you can spend 2x or 3x more money for a slightly sharper picture, but this PJ has advantages some of the others don't have. Like 3 year warranty, 20 watt speakers, tons of inputs/outputs, crossover features, super long lamp life with cheap replacement. I rather buy 3 of these pro8200's to one of the other 2,000 dollar ones. (650x3 is 1950dollars) smile.gif
Edited by rgtaa - 1/12/13 at 1:01pm
post #13 of 28
L....O.....L

I wouldn't want three of the same projector. What was that old Robert Dinero movie called, boy oh boy, oh yah "The Fan".... (I'm just teasing)

Every PJ has different strengths and weaknesses, the Viewsonic's strength is good color and very bright. Severe focus uniformity issues on a DLP are generally caused by a mis-assembled lens in the assembly or a warped part. If the projector arrives at your house and you live far up north where it can get below zero, make sure to let it sit 1-2 hours before firing it up, otherwise the cold might be warping something around the lens in shipping. Technically cold weather shouldn't hurt it, but who knows...
Edited by coderguy - 1/12/13 at 1:17pm
post #14 of 28
Hey "guy", thanks for your input. The pj is mounted from the ceiling, about 20' from a white wall, perfectly centered in the room, everything is square except it should be mounted higher for the height of my picture and about 10 steps of keystone was required to make it square. The last projector mounted in the same place was sharp edge to edge. The first PRO8200 I got had about 1/3 in focus and 2/3 out of focus- it was bad. The second unit had about 2/3 in focus, 1/3 out which was better but the problem is still definitely there. I was using the computer desktop to focus which is easiest for me to see the pixels/sharpness. I carefully focused to dead center and it slowly falls out of focus in both directions (left to right). My first thought was coderguy's which was a mechanical problem but this is the second pj I have with this problem so I am listening to what you're telling me and will take a look at the cables I am using.

The PJ is connected to a desktop with a 4' HDMI-DVI to a 4-1 monoprice switch to 10' HDMI cable. I will try different cables and see if it helps..... I think I can get a cable that runs straight to a source with out the switch.

New Egg wants me to speak to Viewsonic about this before they take any further action. On Saturday Viewsonic tech escalated my problem and told me someone would contact me today or tomorrow....

Any other advice or suggestions? Thanks much
post #15 of 28
HDMI from your best pc into back of pro8200 8 feet away, using the included cable in the box. No Vga, no dvi, no adapters, no other hdmi cable, no hdmi switching box. Simple. Just for TESTING.

If the picture is focused, then you can try to narrow down, which cable/component is not up to the task. If you have no hdmi port on the back of your computer, than understand most of us don't get a sharp picture on the pro8200 useing vga/dvi, it's a little blurry, because analog signal. When I got my pro8200 using vga, the picture was a little blurry, and was told to use hdmi port on computer , I did, and picture was sharp.
Edited by rgtaa - 1/14/13 at 12:54pm
post #16 of 28
The htpc video card has a dvi output so I stretched a 6' dvi-hdmi cable and the result is the same. Focus is dead center and the picture blurs on each side slightly. Similar to the OP photos- the clock is blurry while the icons in the center are sharp.

I'm going to try a ps3 or Xbox source and see if that makes a difference but I find both of them soft and hard to notice the fall off.

I wonder what view sonic tech is going to tell me or if they're going to return my call at all. I hope it's just a bad unit again but what a pia to box and ship another.

Also I'm curious why you lumped VGA and DVI together?

Sort of unrelated- anyone know a great 1080 movie or the like that is good for showing detail? I normally like planet earth for a something sharp just wondering what you guys like.
post #17 of 28
If a PJ has a uniformity issue, then you are not really supposed to focus a projector at the center of the screen, especially if focus uniformity isn't perfect, you can but it is usually not the best spot. Focus 1/3rd from left or right of screen and the uniformity should improve slightly.

(I know I am repeating what was said earlier). However, also note that you can't expect perfect focus from an $800 projector.
Edited by coderguy - 1/14/13 at 11:15pm
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyb82 View Post

Hey "guy", thanks for your input. The pj is mounted from the ceiling, about 20' from a white wall, perfectly centered in the room, everything is square except it should be mounted higher for the height of my picture and about 10 steps of keystone was required to make it square. The last projector mounted in the same place was sharp edge to edge. The first PRO8200 I got had about 1/3 in focus and 2/3 out of focus- it was bad. The second unit had about 2/3 in focus, 1/3 out which was better but the problem is still definitely there. I was using the computer desktop to focus which is easiest for me to see the pixels/sharpness. I carefully focused to dead center and it slowly falls out of focus in both directions (left to right). My first thought was coderguy's which was a mechanical problem but this is the second pj I have with this problem so I am listening to what you're telling me and will take a look at the cables I am using.

The PJ is connected to a desktop with a 4' HDMI-DVI to a 4-1 monoprice switch to 10' HDMI cable. I will try different cables and see if it helps..... I think I can get a cable that runs straight to a source with out the switch.

New Egg wants me to speak to Viewsonic about this before they take any further action. On Saturday Viewsonic tech escalated my problem and told me someone would contact me today or tomorrow....

Any other advice or suggestions? Thanks much

I'm curious to see how your same "defective" projector performs when used on at a distance of 10' instead of 20', and without ANY keystone adjustment. Maybe pull your projector off the ceiling, and position table mount, 10' from your screen. Perhaps using this projector on a 160" or so screen, w/ keystone adjustment, is pushing the projector too hard? My guess is that you won't have serious focus issues on a 100" screen, with the projector square to the screen, and with no keystone, using a quality HDMI cable. Perhaps the viewsonic is just being pushed too hard when installing in your conditions (20' throw, 10 degree keystone)?

You might also try a trick mentioned in one of the early posts of this thread regarding overscan - set the proctor to a vga or s-video/composite input, and I believe you can make and adjustment to overscan - you may need to set the "special function" of the remote to be overscan - if I remember correctly. That might help you get closer to true pixel to pixel mapping. I don't know if it makes a difference in HDMI, but it is worth trying.

I know on my 100" screen w/ no keystone, I haven't had any issues with focus. I can set the focus while in the projector menu settings (to see text on the screen), and then I can adjust the "projector orientation" setting (table top v. ceiling etc, rear, v. front) so that the menu bounces to all 4 corners, and my focus is great on all 4 corners of the projector.

If you try that same test under those conditions, and still have focus issues, then I would agree that your projector has issues, and if a replacement still exhibits problems under those conditions, then maybe Viewsonic/Newegg had a bad batch.
post #19 of 28
As per coderguys recommendation on another post I did have it focused 1/3 from the left on the first unit and after watching movies I understand why that makes sense. I have it centered now to get a feel for how much of the picture is out of focus. If 1/3 out of focus is acceptable do you find it weird that the OP and myself (so far) the only posters to report this problem?

I will bring the pj down w/ no keystone 10' away and original hdmi and report back.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyb82 View Post

As per coderguys recommendation on another post I did have it focused 1/3 from the left on the first unit and after watching movies I understand why that makes sense. I have it centered now to get a feel for how much of the picture is out of focus. If 1/3 out of focus is acceptable do you find it weird that the OP and myself (so far) the only posters to report this problem?

I will bring the pj down w/ no keystone 10' away and original hdmi and report back.

Well, the OP never checked back, who knows, maybe he found out what the problem was.
Good that you are taking the PJ off ceiling mount and going 10 feet back. The pro8200 has very good focus for me and most others. Even Coderguy when he first bought his refurb said it had sharp picture, as did the pro reviews (projectorreviews.com) . If the focus sucked most of us would have returned it and complained, trust me, we are a tough bunch. smile.gif
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyb82 View Post

The pj is mounted from the ceiling, about 20' from a white wall, perfectly centered in the room, everything is square except it should be mounted higher for the height of my picture and about 10 steps of keystone was required to make it square.

Any other advice or suggestions? Thanks much


If you applied that much keystone your setup is not square. Your wall may not be straight and your screen will be affected if this is so. you have to buy aftermarket supplies from your vendor to properly setup your screen, as most fixed screens are sold with fixed hardware. ( do the string test to see if picture is square.). same is true for pj. If scroll down screen you might have slight waves present as all scroll down screens develop this over time even tensioned screens. Having said this it still could be your pj that is culprit, dont know until you post screenshots showing problem. as Coderguy said use the menu text from the projector to focus the pj. Fix your screen first before addressing pj. That amount of keystone will have slight focus issues on whichever part of screen was keystoned. your screen was trapezoidal and not perfectly rectangular wasn't it.
Edited by coug7669 - 1/16/13 at 8:57am
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, OP here.

I sent my projector back to Newegg. With the holidays happening, it took about three weeks to get my replacement. But I just received it and I'm happy to report that the focus uniformity is much better.

Overall I'm now quite satisfied with this purchase.
post #23 of 28
It's not totally uncommon for some DLP's to have this issue, even though they do not have convergence issues. There is usually something warped in the lens assembly or something mis-assembled slightly from my somewhat limited understanding of this issue. Could be some other things that cause it, just have read that in a few places.
post #24 of 28
yeah, good points. It could be a faulty PJ.

I think the important thing is in the TESTING. Because some of these guys that first get a PJ, never had one before, might not know how to test the PJ when they get it.

Forget about ceiling mount! First thing first.

Table top it from 10 feet onto wall or screen and using the included hdmi cable, check out the picture. Do nothing else. Make sure the other equipment is set up right, going into our pro8200 thread and read the last 3 months of posts, on what settings their other equipment needs to be set to (ps3,xbox,etc).

Then once you do the first check on unit , and it checks out, good focus, good picture, etc. ... then yeah, then second step is ceiling mount or do whatever, and if you then find something is off after passing the first TEST. You can check the wires, the A/V receiver, the hdmi cables, the settings on pc, 360, ps3.

That is what a number of us in the thread were trying to get across to some of these guys.

If during the first step , if the focus sucks, at 10 feet away with included hdmi, then take the unit back, fast and get replacement.
Edited by rgtaa - 1/16/13 at 5:26pm
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have to admit, I'm a little confused as to why a lot of these steps were suggested.

I fail to see how resolution, cable, or signal source could affect focus uniformity.

It seems to me like the only possibilities are angle, distance, and other optical variables.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdeke View Post

I have to admit, I'm a little confused as to why a lot of these steps were suggested.

I fail to see how resolution, cable, or signal source could affect focus uniformity.

It seems to me like the only possibilities are angle, distance, and other optical variables.

I know, many don't understand this when they get a PJ like the pro8200. So, if it passes the first test, 10 feet away with included hdmi cable and it is in focus , then move on to other steps.

Cables do matter. We had major discussions on this in our pro8200 thread. And all the other stuff I mentioned and others mentioned. So we are condensing it down for new person.

We had the other guy in thread , using dvi to adapter, 20 feet away ceiling mounted, with hdmi switching box, and monoprice cords, etc. and he never told us that, until I ASKED HIM. So, keeping it simple just makes sense. Yes, angle, distance and cables do make a difference, that is how I set up the TEST. Cable included, distance 10 feet, table top. smile.gif
post #27 of 28
The OP PMed me "I got an exchange and the focus is much better."

Anyway I'm doing another RMA but this time through Viewsonic. I spoke to CS on Sunday and they had me forward the receipt in exchange for a pre-paid label but it's been a day and a half with no response.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleyb82 View Post

The OP PMed me "I got an exchange and the focus is much better."

Anyway I'm doing another RMA but this time through Viewsonic. I spoke to CS on Sunday and they had me forward the receipt in exchange for a pre-paid label but it's been a day and a half with no response.

Viewsonic usually emails you the link to a prepaid fedex page. call back and ask for the link. you print out on your printer and drop off at any fedex store. also 10 steps of keystone correction applied with a known pixel mapping issue will not result in perfect focus no matter what you try( only noticeable on computer text not movies.). Dlp's are sharp but their focal point are tighter than other tech..try not to use any keystone correction at all. adjust your screen and or your next pj. 10 steps means your screen goes in or out on one side slightly. use screen masking to hide any overspill rather than keystone.
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