After I Buy ViewSonic PJD7820HD Full HD 1080p 3D-Ready Projector with HDMI, Dual VGA, Composite and S-video
I now have a cineplex sized movie screen in my home. And guess what, the picture quality is better than the movies. I am stunned by how beautiful, pristine and crystal clear the picture is. I'm not even using a screen. I'm projecting onto a white wall that was painted ages ago. Still it looks better than the movies. At only about 14 feet away it creates an image about 14 feet in width and 6 feet in height. It could be even larger but I don't have enough room to move the projector further back. Right now it's about the size of a cineplex screen, which just blows me away given that I'm used to watching a 50 inch plasma.
I had done extensive research and strongly considered the Viewsonic PJD5533W, the 720p version which is currently about $180 cheaper and is getting rave reviews here on Amazon. I also considered the Acer H6510BD, which is a little more expensive than this projector. However, the totality of attributes made this one the right choice for me. And I couldn't be more pleased. Special thanks to Logan who I met on the PJD5533W page for turning me on to this model.
Since my price point was anything below $1000, I didn't mind paying a little extra for 1080p. I decided to apply the funds remaining in my projector budget to an Onkyo HT-S7409 5.1-Channel Network Home Theater speaker system with receiver, since in the course of my research I discovered that this projector's speakers leave a lot to be desired. Now that I own the projector and have experienced it first hand, I agree fully with that assessment. I have the speakers on the highest level, yet I often strain to hear the dialogue. Granted, some movies and shows have better sound than others. But in light of the inconsistency, it's best to supplement the sound for a fuller more enjoyable experience.
I ordered the speaker system refurbished from Accesories4less for a total cost of $437 including shipping. I can't wait to receive these speakers so that we can have a full movie-like experience. But you don't need something quite that extravagant. I plan to use the Onkyo to also listen to music. If all you want is to enhance the sound of this projector, any $30 to $40 computer speakers will do.
My 3D glasses are on the way. I will update this review to include my experiences with 3D or anything else that might come up. But I can honestly say that I have a huge movie theater sized image in my room with a picture quality that's at least as good if not better than the movies. You can't go wrong with this projector.
**Update June 21, 2013**
I received my 3D glasses today (the SainSonic SSZ-200DLB 144Hz 3D IR Active Rechargeable Shutter Glasses) and eagerly tried out Prometheus Blu-ray 3D. WOW! The combination of 1080p Blu-ray crystal clarity and 3D is absolutely stupendous. In some scenes the characters are standing right in the room, and they're life-size or even bigger. My verdict is that 3D on this projector is definitely movie theater quality. The Glasses are currently $30 here on Amazon.
Regarding my set-up, I'm using a single 25' HDMI cable, which I bought for $7 here on Amazon. I'm running it from my PS3 to the projector. Via the PS3 I can obviously play DVD's and Blu-rays. Of course I also have access to Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Vudu, you name it, in addition to all the movies and videos stored on my computer through the wireless network. I'm also able to play PS3 video games on a movie theater sized screen. Awesome!
I don't have the projector mounted on the ceiling. I have it on a table that is about the height of an end table.
Oh, and some reviewers around the Internet had complained about the projector's noisy operation. I haven't found that to be the case. It's very quiet as far as I'm concerned, even when I'm just a couple of feet away.
**Update June 24, 2013**
I added a direct VGA connection from my laptop to the projector. Now everything that happens on my computer is replicated on the big screen. It's a nice option to have to quickly watch YouTube videos and such. But I prefer accessing the content on my computer and YouTube itself via the PS3, which has an HDMI connection to the projector. HDMI renders better image and sound quality than VGA.
One thing to keep in mind, I have white walls and a white ceiling. Plus I don't have the means nor the desire to completely darken the room. So while it's possible to use the projector in the daytime, it's definitely not the optimal viewing experience. For me at least, it's really a dusk to dawn projector. I don't know if other, higher end projectors would work better in the daytime given my viewing environment. It's really not a big issue for me, although it may be for others. Obviously if I had a dedicated projector room like a movie theater it wouldn't make a difference whether it was night or day.
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