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Viewsonic Pro8300 review

Katharine Byrne
9 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
833
inc VAT

Its bright 3,000 ANSI makes it great for using during the day, but its overall image quality is average

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 3,000 ANSI lumens, 110x333x263mm, 3.9kg

Getting the best picture from your home cinema projector often means plunging your room into total darkness. Not so with the Viewsonic Pro8300. Despite technically belonging to Viewsonic’s business range, this DLP projector shows a lot of promise for home cinema.

It has a Full HD (1,920x1,080) resolution and its 3,000 ANSI lumens lamp is roughly 1,000 lumens brighter than most other home cinema projectors. This means it can punch through daylight much more effectively, and we had no trouble at all using it in our brightly lit test room.

Viewsonic Pro8300

In fact, it was by far one of the best projectors we’ve seen when it came to watching films with the lights on, and our test footage was clear, sharp and full of colour even during particularly dark scenes. This makes it a much more attractive option for those who’d rather not shut off every light source every time they want to watch a film or even TV, but the Pro8300 isn’t without its faults.

It takes up a fair amount of space, but it also projects images quite high compared to other projectors. This is great if it’s just standing on your coffee table, but if you’d prefer to install it on a shelf, then you’ll need to make use of its height-adjustable feet on the back of the unit so you don’t end up with the picture being projected into the ceiling. There's plenty of choice for inputs with two HDMI, VGA, component, composite, S-video inputs and a single USB service port.

Viewsonic Pro8300

We found it difficult to find a good balance between its various preset colour modes. There are two individual User modes as well as settings for Brightest, Standard, Theatre and Dark Room, but all of them can be customised to your liking. Along with the brightness and contrast, you can adjust the colour saturation, tint, sharpness, individual colour values, gamma and personalise the colour temperature if its three dedicated options aren’t quite up to scratch.

We found that Standard produced the most natural colour configuration on its default settings, but its overall image quality seemed a little more washed out compared with other dedicated home cinema projectors. Its black levels, however, were some of the deepest we’ve seen, but this produced mixed results in practice.

Most of the time, the image was simply too black to pick out any of the finer detail, especially when the lights were turned off, and it made night scenes particularly difficult to watch. Changing the gamma helped to make the picture brighter and increase the level of detail in these dark scenes, but this also increased the amount of noise in the image, which was already a problem when the gamma levels were set to normal. Another issue we encountered was images becoming quite jerky during intense action sequences. Sadly, there are no menu options to help remedy this, and the noise reduction settings are constantly locked to Low.

Viewsonic Pro8300

This means the Pro8300 will be far more suited to some type of films than others. Darker, moodier films like Star Trek were almost unwatchable, but brighter, animated films like Ice Age 3 looked great. We were also pleased that there was only a very minimal rainbow effect when we moved our eyes across the screen.

It also has integrated 10W speakers, but we’d recommend connecting up a pair of dedicated speakers. Voices were clear and there was a small amount of bass, but overall the sound quality was quite tinny and there wasn’t really enough volume to fill a room.

The Viewsonic Pro 8300 is useful if you’re looking for a projector to use during the day that can double up for work use, but for pure home cinema the Optoma HD25 is the better choice.

Details

Price£833
Detailswww.viewsonic.com
Rating***

Specifications

Projector technologyDLP
Lamp brightness3,000 ANSI lumens
Lamp life2,500
Lamp life in economy mode4,000
Contrast ratio4,000:1

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,600x1,200
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft69in
Throw ratio1.4:1 to 2.14:1
Optical zoom1.5x
Projection distance0.9m to 10m
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontal0%
Lens shift vertical0%
HD Readyyes
Special view modesstandard, theatre, dark room, user, brightest

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputNo
Sound inputs2x 3.5mm
Composite inputyes
S-video inputyes
HDMI inputyes
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio output3.5mm
Video outputVGA, HDMI
Others inputs/outputsUSB service port, RS232, DC 12V trigger

Other

Noise (in normal use)33dB(A)
Size110x333x263mm
Weight3.9kg
Internal speakersyes (10W stereo)
Extrasremote, power cable, VGA cable, carry case
Remote special featuresaspect ratio, colour mode, input select, freeze
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on310W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£170
Lamp supplierwww.projectorlampworld.co.uk
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.07
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.04

Buying Information

Price£833
Supplierhttp://www.projectorpoint.co.uk
Detailswww.viewsonic.com

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