ViewSonic PRO8200 1080p Projector Review
The ViewSonic Pro8200 could make for an affordable home theater experience.
At its brightest, the ViewSonic Pro8200 is a little below average for competing projectors in the price range, at least among what we've tested so far. This will hurt its ability to be used in a bright room for presentations or in a classroom setting. Generally, we calibrate projectors in theater mode because it produces the best set of colors, where a presentation mode like Brightest will blow out the color performance. Too much light does not seem to be a problem here, but the colors were still best in Theater mode, optimized for watching movies in a light-controlled home.
Though we recommend theater mode, we tested the peak brightness in brightest mode. You can see that other projectors in a similar price range can get much brighter than the ViewSonic Pro8200, but that it is not the dimmest bulb on the market.
Projectors tend to have trouble maintaining deep black levels as areas of black on the screen decrease. You can see that the black level rises steadily as the areas of black decrease, getting as bright as 10 cd/m2 at 5% black. These are not the type of numbers we see on high-level projectors that can maintain a consistent black level. This Viewsonic has a big problem with consistent black levels that is unfortunately average for mid-tier projectors.
The ViewSonic Pro8200 projects a picture with the brightest spots landing in the center of the screen. The edges and the corners taper off rather significantly in brightness. Some of the corners are about 40% dimmer than the center. For a picture that is already not as bright as the competition, we would hope to see better brightness consistency across the screen. Dimming this significant on the edges and the corners is only going to further obfuscate the picture in a meeting room with plenty of windows or a bright classroom setting.
The gamma line in the chart below is a bit shallow and saggy. The slope should be a bit higher, closer to 2.2. The shallow line tells us that there is a dearth of distinction between dark and light values. One middle grey will not be that different from darker values, thus definition and rounded edges will not be as stark as they should be, according to the input signal. You can see that the graph takes an upward turn towards the brighter end of the spectrum, meaning the line at this part of the graph has a slope more closely resembling the ideal.
We watched some shadowy content (Law and Order, it runs all morning long) and all of these points were readily obvious. Dark hair, clothing, black leather jackets, were all silhouettes, with no evident distinction or curvature; just black negative space. The highlights on the other hand, had excellent detail, and the contrast of the two made for a sharp picture, if not wholly accurate.
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