Viewsonic PJ755D £1367
31st Jul 2005 | 23:00
The PJ755D is a real bright spark
At first sight the 2700 ANSI Lumens light output seems unfeasibly high for DLP. The explanation appears to be that the basic engine is a dual purpose one also meant to fulfil an office-centric brief as well as a cinema one.
This generally means widescreen compatibility and other such subtleties are secondary, as long as the projector is bright enough to show PowerPoints to big audiences in rooms not always fully blacked out. Sound is also included, but it's low grade, only really suitable for setting up and for small scale presentations.
The range of socketry also shows a predisposition to the office user, hence VGA in/out, an RS232 control socket and USB. But all the usual interfaces required for home cinema are featured, up to and including component video and DVI-I HDCP.
The PJ755D has an impressive 1,024 x 768 pixel resolution, which means a standard aspect ratio of 4:3. Although it will project widescreen images, the unused area just above and below the projected image is dark grey, which can be distracting.
It also means that not all the theoretically available resolution of the optical processor is realised in widescreen mode, though it remains impressive enough at the price.
The menu system is attractive and easy to use, and includes such niceties as vertical and horizontal keystone, though don't forget that any such digital correction reduces picture quality.
Despite the bargain price, the PJ755D is as bright most LCDs at considerably higher prices. It's brighter even than three-chip DLP projectors at £20,000 to £25,000 a throw! The Viewsonic PJ755 is a very powerful projector, with enough raw optical power to cope in rooms that are not fully blacked out.
For non-critical purposes, it is more than usable in daylight with just the curtains drawn, where some products would look dull and pasty. It's quiet too, even on full power.
The default colour balance is also very attractive, with very pure, whites, with just a hint of blue. The effect is vivid even during indoor scenes, but subtlety is not its strong suit. The visible contrast ratio is not impressive. Black clothing, for example, reproduces as dark grey and lacking in detail.
Processing of motion artefacts is relatively primitive - another legacy of the Viewsonic's office origins. The (unspecified) internal image processor appears to handle moving information in large rectangular blocks, which gives a rather crude image lacking detail when significant amounts of motion are involved. Scrolling text looks mechanical and doesn't move smoothly.
So this is model is something of a mixed bag, neither fish nor fowl, but it has an obvious attraction for use in large rooms. It is let down in the end by the lack of native widescreen processing, by crude handling of motion and by a gamma curve that appears to be uneven and compressed in the blue part of the spectrum - which is not uncommon. We also noticed some 'tearing' at the top of the image.