Originally Posted by ptbcomposer
Hey everyone. First of all, this is my first post on avsforum. I'd like to say thanks to the community as a whole for helping me in past years with purchase decisions and tweaks.
With that out of the way...Overview
I just got my PJD7820HD today and have been playing with it since. They are in stock right now on Newegg if anyone's interested! For me it was a toss up between this one and the Acer h6510bd. By the time I had the funds for a projector, all the Acer ones were gone. Even though this one is $100 cheaper, I probably still would have gone with the Acer to have lens shift, but oh well. I can forgive a little skewedness in my picture (middle of room is not an option right now).
This is my first projector, so I wanted to make it count. I'm 29 now and it's been a lifelong dream to have video on my wall, not limited by the confines of a TV border. With this in mind and after much research, my goals were 1080p, 3D, 3000 lumens, and 150+ inch diagonal screen (16:9). I'm happy to say that I achieved all of those goals with this projector, with some limitations.
Now for my observations and review about this projector...ReviewPicture Size/Projector Placement
Firstly, picture size and projector placement. This projector seems to have a sweet spot when it is against the wall opposite of the screen and for me about 3 feet off the floor. Any higher than that creates keystone and when using keystone correction, it made my viewing area much smaller than I want. I don't see how this projector could be mounted on the cieling without having a lot of keystone correction. So, 3 feet off the floor, about 14 feet from the wall, and with the lens zoomed all the way, I get a screen diagonal of about 158 inches. I was shooting for 170 inches, but had a minimum of 150, so I'm happy with that. Because of the low to floor placement, I would give a 3 out of 5. However, because of the short throw distance I would give it a 5 out of 5. I'll take the average. When I move in a few months, I'll make sure to reserve the largest room for the projector and get my 170.
In cast anyone wants to know, you can adjust a setting to flip the image upside down, left to right, whatever for in-front projection floor or ceiling and rear projection floor or ceiling.4 out of 5
*edit: realized later that hanging from ceiling would probably give an accurate experience with placement and be out of the way.Picture Quality/Screen Resolution
On 1080p HDMI for my Xbox 360, picture is very clear. Color is not washed out like some people say. My girlfriend and I watched a 1080p quality Who Framed Roger Rabbit and picture was as good as sitting in a movie theater (except for some lighting issues below). I am using standard mode, not Eco mode. Eco mode is a joke and looks like crap, even at night with no other lights on.
With a VGA connection to my PC (using a DVI adapter on my video card), I was able to fudge around and get 1080p. At first it wanted to give me either a weird resolution that I've never seen before and was much smaller than it should have been (still 16:9 through extended mode with a smaller picture), or it wanted to give me what my monitor's resolution is (1680:1050, or 16:10) and that resulted in a squished picture. After about 30 minutes of screwing around with settings in my video card settings I miraculously got a 1920 x 1080 on the wall from my PC. It is not as big as 1080p through HDMI, but it is pretty darn close and acceptable. I did have to move the image to the right for some reason through video card settings. My PC video card right now is an XFX Radeon HD4850 (way out of date, but acceptable).5 out of 5Brightness
The HDMI on "Brightest" for my Xbox 360 is great. I don't have to tweak any settings for that. In a moderately lit room (during the day, ambient outside light from both sides and shades drawn on window directly in front of projector screen), I'd have to give the HDMI brightness and contrast a 3 out of 5. 3000 lumens was definitely the way to go for me, and anything less would be too dim for my setup and screen size. Right now I am just projecting on a ugly beige colored, textured wall because my diy screen material hasn't arrived yet, so my expectations were a little low. I am happy with the results and expect to raise my rating to a 4 out of 5 for the same lighting conditions but on an actual screen. Again, Eco mode sucks.
Brightness from my PC was just as good, though I can of course change stuff on the video card settings or Windows Media Player/VLC Player settings to get it even better. VGA brightness and contrast gets a 4 out of 5 before my new screen arrives.4 out of 5
*edit: an actual screen really makes a lot of difference in the brightness. It's still not what I would like, but with dim lighting it's more than acceptable. At night, the picture is terrific.3D
I don't have my 3D glasses yet (I ordered the Okeba ones referred to in an earlier post here) so I don't know about the picture quality or 3D effect yet. However, I messed around with the 3D settings on the projector and am disappointed with how dim it is and no option to correct it through the projector. When I go to the movies, its hit and miss with the 3D brightness...Tron Legacy RealD was very bright, but Monsters Inc RealD wasn't. Thor Imax 3D was very bright, but Jurassic Park Imax 3D wasn't. Maybe its how its converted, but I think at a movie theater they should have a brightness control to make every movie equally bright (for the money it costs). Anyway, 3D brightness on this projector is inadequate for my tastes. However, I was able to get the brightness/contrast ratio to an acceptable level once again by tweaking my video card settings. It's a pain, but I don't watch 3D that often so I won't mind doing it every now and then.
That being said, I played with the different 3D formats on the projector and on various movie trailers on YouTube and can guess that the 3D will be close to movie theater RealD quality.4 out of 5 (tentative though this may go up or down once I test it out)
*edit: 3D is about what I expected. The 3D effect is about equal to theater RealD 3D, but not as good as Imax 3D. With a screen, the brightness improved slightly, which is why I am giving it a 4 instead of a 3.5. Like I said above, you can improve the brightness a lot by adjusting your video settings on your computer, but you may get either a washed-out or over-contrasted picture. Several minutes of tweaking the settings for each different movie is required.Nit Picks
A few minor things...because I have to place the projector so low to the floor (about end-table height), it makes a home theater setting impossible (unless you like sitting on one side of the screen; I don't, I like to be in the middle). So there goes my plan to put a couch in the middle of the room unless it's behind the projector; this is pointless because then the picture would be too small. I'll just make do with being off to the side a few feet in front of the projector. Also, the projector gets very, very hot, equivalent to a small electric heater. The fan it has is a bit loud, but so is my computer and window AC. I swear it sounds like mission control in here when everything is on. The remote control only works when pointed directly at the projector; lame considering my Tivo remote works through walls. Like I said earlier keystone correction results in a smaller picture so get you placement about 3 feet off the floor. There is no lens shift, so placement as close to the middle of the room as possible is necessary. Also, there is no lens cap, so I'll have to cover it with cardboard or something when not in use.
The low price and other great features make up for these little annoyances.4 out of 5Overall Score21 out of 25
That's about all I can think of after my first day with my first projector. Overall, I'm very pleased considering I only paid $700 for features usually not seen under $1000. It's like a Comcast DVR vs a Tivo: mostly functional with several minor flaws. At least this cheap projector works, unlike a Comcast DVR which doesn't record a third of the time its supposed to. Despite this being my first projector, I give this projector a B+.