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207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to the recent popularity of the Viewsonic Pro8100 and the various technical information/ owner feedback being spread over 4,000+ posts, some owners requested we create a new summarized thread to assist current and potential owners looking for information. I was volunteered (which of course grants me some freedom of opinion
) The original thread can be found here. I also put this thread in the under 3K forum since MSRP is now less.

Many new purchasers seem to have chosen the Pro8100 based on the feedback and support provided by existing owners in the original thread. You might it time well spent to read through the whole thread before making a purchasing decision.

Release History

Based on on-line information and owner feedback, the Pro8100 was originally released in early 2008 with a MSRP of $4,999 and targeted for custom installers. There are at least 3 known build dates in 2008 with latest I found reported as May 2008 at the time. The Pro8100 then seemed to disappear (or was not widely reported on) by end of 2008. There are some reports of purchases in 2009 but popularity increased substantially when it started to became available again from an on-line retailer in the $1,200-$1,700 range. Recent purchasers report build dates of Nov/Dec 2009 and Jan/2010. There is no indication at the time this was written if there will be a successor to the Pro8100 or how long it will continue to be made available.

OP.Note: Just some common owner speculation. Recent units are reported as new, look prestine including new packaging but it's unclear if production is actually restarted or new units are being assembled from previous original part manufactoring, i.e. availability of this projector in the future is uncertain

Key Links

Manual PDF, Firmware updates and PC Monitor driver - Viewsonic

Viewsonic Warranty (some owners have actually had to show VS CS their own policy to get Express Exchange).

Screen size and Throw distance calculator

Technical Specifications from Viewsonic Site


Type 3-panel LCD 0.74 Poly-Si TFT with micro-lens

Pixel Format 1920x1080

Lens Power zoom, power focus

Lens Shift Powered V/H lens shift; vertical 250% (± 75%/side), horizontal 120% (± 10%/side)

Zoom Factor 1.6x

Keystone Vertical ± 30º, Horizontal ± 40º


Display size 1.02m - 7.62m (40" - 300") (Diagonal)

Throw Distance 1.2m - 93.4m (49" - 368")

Throw Ratio 1.41~2.28:1

Lamp type 160W, 2,000 hours normal

Eco-mode*: 128W shut off time 5,000 hours

Brightness 1,000 ANSI lumens (ed. ** Other sources suggest this is 1,200 ANSI lumens)

Contrast Ratio 13000:1 (typ)

Aspect Ratio 16:9 (native)


PC Analog: VGA up 1920x1080

Mac® Analog: VGA up 1920x1080


Frequency Fh : 15-100kHz; Fv : 56-90Hz

Video RGB analog, NTSC M, NTSC 4.43, PAL, SECAM, HDTV (720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24) SDTV (480i, 480p, 576i)


RGB Input 15-pin HD, D-sub

Composite Input RCA

S-Video Input Mini-DIN 4-pin

Component Video Input RCA (x2 sets)

HDMI (input) HDMI 1.3 (x2)

RS-232 9-pin D-sub

Screen Relay (12V) DC power jack


Voltage 100-240 VAC, 50-60Hz (universal)

Consumption 230W (typ)


Temperature 32° - 104° F (0° - 40° C)

Humidity 10% to 90% (non-condensing)


Normal 23 dB (typ)

Eco-mode 18 dB (typ)


Physical (WxHxD) 21.2" x 6.7" x 15.3" (537mm x 170mm x 388mm)


Net 19.8 lb. (9.0 kg)

Gross 33.1 lb. (15.0 kg)


Silicon Optix Reon-VX with HQV, Precision Color System, auto iris, H/V lens shift, backlit remote, daylight mode


Projector, power cable, RGB cable, HDMI cable, micro-fiber wiping cloth, soft projector cover, remote control with batteries, Quick Start Guide, ViewSonic Wizard CD (with User Guide)


3-year limited warranty on parts and labor, 1-year or 1,000 hrs. on lamp and frst year free Express Exchange® service

On-Line Reviews

(all from 2008 when it was first released). Most of the reviews provide screen shots with commentary so I have not included any in this summary since screenshots are misleading and need to be qualified to what is actually seen on-screen versus the picture.

Projector Reviews: http://www.projectorreviews.com/view...8100/index.php

Audioholics: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/p...ic-pro8100-lcd

ProjectorCentral: http://www.projectorcentral.com/viewsonic_pro8100.htm

Cine4Home (translated): http://translate.google.ca/translate...%3Den%26sa%3DG

Common Positive Comments Reported by Owners

Build Quality and Unboxing

- Looks expensive and well made

- The included silk wrapping and velvet dustcover are a nice touch

- It's huge

Image Quality

- Convergence is rarely reported as a problem

- Beautiful image

- Image is very sharp

- Great color

- Bright even in econ mode (most owners report using econ as primary setup)

Fan Noise

- Most have to put their hand near the exhaust to know if the fan is running in econ mode

Common Opinion

- Worth every penny

Common Issues Reported by Owners

Horizontal Banding

Some recent purchasers have reported constant horizontal banding (looks like scan lines) when viewing light solid colors (grays, beige, blue skys). While infrequently reported, this seems to be a defect in the unit and needs to be exchanged.
Moved to common issues due to increased frequency of occurrence on newer units. At this time, the only real solution is to exchange the unit

Vertical Banding (workaround exists)

A fair number of owners report light vertical streaking on the image when powering up the projector if it is left plugged into the wall socket. For most owners, the streaking will disappear within 30-60 minutes of use. Owners have confirmed this can be 100% avoided should it occur by either unplugging the unit (after the cool down cycle is complete) or putting a wall socket timer on the wall plug set to power off the unit in the early morning hours for 2-3 hours (i.e. power is removed at 3am till 6am automatically). Note, not all units suffer from this issue. Some owners have never had the issue after hundreds of hours plugged in.

Insufficent Dust Filter (workaround exists)

While reports of dust blobs are infrequent, the Pro8100 has a cheap foam filter that many owners have chosen to improve by applying a cheap aftermarket filter (noted below). A few owners that did report dust blobs also managed to clear them by just running the fan in High Altitude mode for 10 minutes. The replacement filter (applied with the original filter) used by some owners does not seem to impied air flow with no reports of overheating (I have done the mod and it stays at normal operating temperatures). The most common replacement is a Endust generic vacuum filter that you can cut to size (makes 8) and placed white side out along with the existing filter.

Example of the filter. Has been also located at some Walmarts.

Iris Yo-Yo effect (fixed)

Firmware 2.5x will resolve the early reported issue of the auto-iris adjusting being too visible. Owners can perform firmware updates themselves (see below). Strange, but new units still do not have the most recent firmware so expect to update it.

Infrequent Issues Reported by Owners

Broken HDMI port

At least one owner reported the HDMI port broke off the circuit board inside (which is a reminder to always ensure any hanging cables are not putting unnecessary stress on the ports, take the weight off the cable by hooking them to something solid)

Purchasing Evaluation

In any purchasing decision, what others think is 'the best thing' may or may not the right choice for you. Below are very common remarks taken from the owners thread (including my opinions of course). What you consider more important only you can decide.


- Excellent price to feature ratio

- Zoom, lens shift and focus all motorized (can be controlled by remote or unit)

- Full 1080p resolution (supports 1080p 24f)

- Generally good convergence and build quality reported

- Extremely quiet in econ mode

- Good placement flexibility (75% vertical shift/ 10% horizontal), keystone correction

- Good out-of-the-box color (but it's not perfect if your a perfectionst)

- General consenus is this is a brighter projector than the specifications suggest including in econ mode

- Long potential bulb life (up to 5,000 hrs in econ mode)

- Good warranty inclusions (1 year express exchange, 1 year/1,000 hours on bulb, 3 year parts/labour)


- Uncertain long term availabilty (in regard to get replacement units or part repairs later)

- For those chasing perfect calibration, it can be calibrated better but like many projectors, it cannot achieve perfect results (green is slightly off, near perfect grayscale substantially reduces brightness, no individual brightness controls for primaries, colors are oversaturated which can be improved but not perfected and gamma tracks reasonably well but not perfect). To answer the question if you shouuld care, try this approach. Is your TV calibrated by you or a professional? If not, you'll never notice these issues in day-to-day use.

- Black levels are acceptable but not outstanding (screen choice is a factor here)

Screen Choices

From the original owner thread, Pro8100 owners seem to have had good success with numerous screen types from gray screens, matte-white through to Da-lite 2.8 HP. Viewsonic of course recommends a 1 gain, matte-white screen. Depending on your lighting enviroment and desired brightness, screen choice seems pretty flexible to your personal preference and conditions.

Mount Options

Owners have reported using various mounts including shelf mounting (the unit is big). Some mounts used by owners include,



Firmware Update Process

The Pro8100 firmware can be updated by the owner. The process is fairly simple and can be completed in a few minutes. Most Windows OS's can be used but Vista owners have reported it took multiple attempts to perform (try using XP compatibility setting in Vista and Win7). The update process requires a A/B type USB cable (commonly used for USB printers)

Example of cable required: http://www.datapro.net/products/usb-...e-type-ab.html

1. Download VS Firmware updater program

2. Download current Firmware (currently 2.51 is for older single on/off button remotes, newer units use firmware 2.50)

3. Unzip the firmware to a location you can find later

4. Unzip the device driver program and the Updater program to a new folder

5. Follow instructions in the included PDF file within the Updater program zip

6. Projector should be off, but plugged in (green light blinking slowly)

7 . To put the projector in service mode, using the side control buttons, press and hold the 'menu' button down and press the power button until the top green light starts blinking rapidly.

7. If it fails or comes out of service mode before you get the firmware updated, just repeat the process

8. The projector will automatically come out of service mode if left untouched within a minute

· Registered
207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Q. Are the LCD panels organic or inorganic

A. Inorganic

Q. Where are the air intakes and heat exhausts located

A. Primary intake is from the rear, heat exhaust is on the left side (facing projector)

Q. How far would the lens be from the wall when using a rear shelf wall mount

A. Minimum is 18" for an open shelf with good air circulation

Q. How loud is the fan

A. In econ bulb mode, it is almost undetectable. In norm mode, fan can be heard but only on very quiet scenes

Q. Can I use it with some ambient light

A. Like all projectors, screen choice, the type of light, location and strength will affect how much the image will get washed out. The Pro8100 when using other color temp settings can put out a bright enough image for watching sports, etc with a lamp or two on

Q. Is there a service manual available

A. Yes, but there is nothing useful within the service menu for users except do to a full factory reset (i.e. don't play with the settings) http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B2ko...ZGMzYTQ0&hl=en

Q. How do you access the new iris settings offer in firmware 2.5x

A. Using the remote, press the following buttons in order, Up, Down, Left, Right, DOWN, Up, DOWN, Up, menu button. Then use right/left arrows to select. The most common choice is setting 3 (iris action is rarely noticeable).

Q. How do I see what firmware is installed

A. Press the 'menu' button on the remote, then the left arrow. The firmware number is shown in the bottom left.

Q. Is it better to use my receiver/cable box to upscale standard TV signals or the projector

A. The Pro8100 has an excellent scaler built-in. If you don't might the projector re-syncing when changing from HD to SD broadcasts, the projector will do a better job unless you have a high-end receiver with good scaling capabilities (it was much better than my decent Pioneer receiver, cable box or Blue-ray player)

Q. How do I flip the image when using a ceiling mount

A. You can change the orientation under the 'Config' menu option, called 'Projection Front/Desk'

Q. I have some dust blobs that won't clear running the fan in high altitude and I don't want to sent it for service, can it be cleaned

A. One owner has posted steps they took to open the unit. Op.Note, this is NOT recommended while the projector is under warranty or for those not use to working around delicate components. Consider yourself properly warned about messing around inside the projector


Q. Can you set the focus while displaying an image (blue-ray, DVD, TV).

A. Yes. Press the focus button on the remote, then press any of the 'image scale buttons' on the row below the focus button, it will switch to display whatever signal you are viewing.

Q. Are there any direct one-to-one Owner comparisons for the Pro8100 (i.e. owner had access to both projectors)

A. Pro8100 vs Epson 8100: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post17640629

A. Pro8100 vs Panasonic AE4000: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post18196823

· Registered
207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Settings - General

Settings vary between machines but after owning two of these projectors, I found there are common characteristics and general similarities to get you into the right ballpark (or better than the defaults). One thing I did confirm is these projectors have a base grayscale done that is locked within the service menu and an external signal generator is needed to alter them, therefore any custom color temperature settings offered by other owners might get you much closer than the defaults, but they more than likely will not be perfect. There is no harm is trying other users settings, but let your eyes be the guide if you find them better or worse than what you currently use. Watch for skin tones, things you would recognise as looks right such as lemons, bananas, Santa's red suit, etc.

While less useful for most users that do not want to spend the money and time to learn more advanced calibration, a basic calibration disk is helpful for some basic settings and gives you a few other test images you can at least use by eye to ensure you are not pushing your settings too far (clipping whites, clipping colors, color tinting when contrast is too high, etc). If you have access to a DVD burner, a free calibration source can be found here,

You can of course purchase a blue-ray or DVD calibration disk on-line that come with blue filters (but be advised, you will not change the 'hue' control on the Pro8100 as the hue overall is fine, it should remain in the default 50 setting).

A couple of older setting options posted by owners

Picture Menu Settings - Basic
Contrast (28-52) - I found anything near 50 is pushing the boundaries but it depends on your machine

The contrast sets overall brightness (what you would consider making the image brighter) and having it too high will cause clipping of white detail and red tinting. Without a calibration disk it's harder, but if you have a movie with a bright natural scene (bright sky with white clouds), turn it up until you see the detail in the clouds start to lose detail (i.e. get too white) or you see any color tinting occur. Also watch for no increase in brightness when turning it up since you are only crushing some color that may not be immediately noticable. Once you find that point, turn your contrast down 4-10 points lower. For my machine with a meter, I know the grayscale is the most linear in the 28-32 range but it's a little dimmer than I like so I turn it up a bit as needed.

Brightness (52-58)

The brightness control really just sets the base black level. It's handy if you have a basic calibration test to set brightness/contrast, but if you don't, get something on-screen that is 100% black (i.e. pause a movie), then turn the brightness way down, then start turning it up until you see the screen start to brighten. Once you find that point, just it down 1 number and that will be close enough to perfect

Saturation (44-58)

The Pro8100 colors are over-saturated in general (like many projectors) out of the box.

The main picture saturation control basically makes colors brighter and more saturated. The rule of thumb with the Pro8100 from what I've found is at warmer color temps, lower it to around 46 and for cooler color temps, increase it up to 58. I wouldn't set it outside of the 44-58 range.

Hue (50)

Hue will shift the tint of all the primary and secondary colors. Leave it as it's default setting

Sharpness (36-50)

Without a test pattern, this is hard to set. Most owners cannot see any visible change moving it up and down but my 2nd unit was adding some noise to fine lines above 36. You can set this low as a safe-guard as it has limited effect overall

The Pro8100 colors are over-saturated in general (like many projectors) out of the box.

The main picture saturation control basically makes colors brighter and more saturated. The rule of thumb with the Pro8100 from what I've found is at warmer color temps, lower it to around 46 and for cooler color temps, increase it up to 58. I wouldn't set it outside of the 44-58 range.

Picture Menu Settings - Color Temperature

The most common setting is 'Warm 1' (try saturation 46 for this temp). When you need a brighter image, Cool 1 is pretty good (turn up your saturation control after, try 56-58). Normal is really bright but has quite a green tint. The 'User' setting is only selected if you are going to enter a custom color temperature via the 'Memory' menu

Picture Menu Settings - Image Adjust

This is used to address any centering issues when using a PC

Picture Menu Settings - OverScan

This option basically crops (expands) the images to remove a percentage of the borders. Normally used for TV stations that show white lines at the edges. Normally this should be set to OFF

Picture Menu Settings - Geometry Adjust

Keystone correction for when you cannot level the projector and have to adjust for the image not being square (equal in size). Most users will tell you to find a way to level/square up the projector than to use keystone correction since it impacts image quality but it's there if you need it.

Advanced Menu Settings - Picture Mode

The brightest mode is Cinema. One thing to note here. Generally any other picture settings you alter will be remembered for this picture mode so if you prefer to leave the defaults as is, choose 'User' and then alter the basic settings as you like (you can save them via the Memory menu function when in user picture mode). Try them and see what you like. Trust me
don't assume the defaults they set for brightness/contrast, etc is the 'best' choice as most set contrast too high and brightness too low. Change them to suit your viewing conditions.

Advanced Menu Settings - Black Level

General consensus is use 'Normal'. The blacker-than-black settings will actually brighten darker scenes (similar to turning up the brightness control in a sense). Low, Medium and High just darkens or crushes shadow detail if that is something you prefer.

Advanced Menu Settings - HQV
Detail Enhancement

General consensus (and if checked against a sharpness pattern) is 0 or 1. 2 and above will just adding artifacts to the edges ruining the image.

Film Mode

Set to 'Auto'


Some form of luminance adjustment. No one has confirmed it provides any value to this point. Set to 'OFF'


Some form of chrominance adjustment. No one has confirmed it provides any value to this point. Set to 'OFF'

Advanced Menu Settings - HQV-NR

These options are only available when sending a signal less than 1080i. They are the built-in image noise reduction options that do a beautiful job (see owner manual for details or just play around). No 'preferred' settings known at this time

Advanced Menu Settings - Color Space

Generally set to 'Auto' unless your player (such as a PS3) can offer specific color settings which you want to match.

Config Menu Settings - Projector Settings
Auto Source

Turning this feature on will cause the projector to scan through all it's available ports (HDMI 1/2, RGB, etc) looking an active signal and use that port. Most users turn this feature 'OFF' and manually select what source to view

Fixed Sync

In 'Auto' mode, projector will keep sampling the source versus using internal information for various signals. Manual states signals with black borders may cause incorrect sizing. I have it 'OFF'

Auto Shut-Down

Not sure why someone would use this but it basically allows a user to set how many minutes after projector goes in stand-by mode (i.e. no signal) to automatically power off. I have this 'OFF'. One owner suggested this might be useful for those using harmony remotes as on occasion due to the double off signal it requires, the projector doesn't power off and being so quiet in econ mode, you might not notice it didn't turn off.

Lamp Mode

Setting to switch between 'Normal' and 'Econ' bulb modes. Most users find 'Econ' mode sufficiently bright which should give almost twice the bulb life. A side note to those that like to calibrate, normal mode produces a stronger red signal and would need a different calibration than any produced for econ mode.

Daylight Sensor

From my quick tests, it seems to increase color saturation. It can be set to 'Auto' and Manual with Low,Med,High options. I have it set 'OFF' since it is altering my preferred settings but it's another option to boost colors it seems if desired.

Projection Front/Desk

This is the setting to use when ceiling mounting the projector. Select 'Front/Desk' for shelf mounting and 'Front/Ceiling' for a ceiling mount. It has been reported that the status menu (left panel when you push the menu button) still shows desk as the setting but the image is correct when ceiling mount is selected.

Config Menu Settings - OSD

OSD stands for On-Screen Display, i.e. the menus. You can set where the menus show on screen, menu transparency and how long the menus stay on-screen. I prefer changing the timeout to '25' seconds.

Config Menu Settings -Languages

Pretty self-explanatory

Config Menu Settings - Timers

The Pro8100 will display warnings for filter cleaning and lamp replacement (I believe the lamp warning comes on at 1,500 hours). Use this menu to reset the warnings after bulb replacement or filter cleaning.

Config Menu Settings - High Altitude

Option uses for people operating at high altitudes needing more air flow (increase fan speed). Some owners that found dust blobs found turning on this mode for 10 minutes cleared the dust blob. Normally 'OFF'

Config Menu Settings - Auto Iris

Enable/Disable the internal Iris. The actual Iris setting is set using the secret menu button sequence noted in the FAQ. Most uses chose Auto-Iris 'ON' and an Iris setting of '3'.

Only Iris setting 0 will close the Iris lower than the other options on really dark scenes but it's more noticeable. Settings 1, 2 and 3 never close more that (guess here) 40-50% and open as brighter scenes are displayed but each behaves a bit differently. Setting 3 is the least noticable.

Other menus still to be added

· Registered
207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For those that don't know, screenshots are generally misleading due to how cameras effect the image. Many mixed scene shots will show blacks much blacker than real-life viewing (even though mixed content in general will always look blacker even in general viewing since our eyes adjust for the brighter sections). Cameras can also introduce color shifts, over-under saturations, make images appear sharper than they are, etc. The best screenshots are those where the owner provides commentary on how it looks on screen versus what the image shows. Anyway, now that I've qualified that you shouldn't trust any screenshot, here are some from owners (currently just mine at this moment) for your viewing pleasure.

Meret - Da-lite HP 2.8 screen - Highlights the rich colors the Pro8100 can put out


· Registered
2,408 Posts
here is a quality link.


here is my uncalibrated screen video. S-I-L-V-E-R on TWB Thrifty White Board, 4x8'. aprox 1.5 gain.

the whites are way washed out, detail not as good, and some motion blur = its the camera, not the image. + the image is a bit oversaturated. towards the end, it shows how it does with some ambient light. the light is 3 60w in a gold/brownish globe of a ceiling fan. just to the left of my position with the light on.

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