The old adage is that size matters. When it comes to screens, there’s no doubt about it, projectors offer the most affordable way of getting an absolutely monster screen size for the money. Fortunately, decent projectors are getting relatively more affordable as time goes on, and ViewSonic have launched a projector that’s smack dab in the £600 price range that may well tempt a few people away from their LED panels.
I’ve had my fair share of experience with projectors, although most of that has come from an IT environment rather than a gaming one, and the Pro7827 really is pushing the boundaries of what I’d consider to be a high-end consumer unit. ViewSonic claim that the DLP technology included in the big black behemoth provides some of the most true to life colours on the market, and I’ve got to say I’d hasten to agree with them. During the time I had the unit, I put it through its paces with the likes of Uncharted 4, Ratchet and Clank and a whole heap of movies, and I was continually impressed, even though I was projecting onto the bare wall of my bedroom, much to the annoyance of my wife! After a little tinkering and enabling the “REC.709” setting, the colours really popped and when the light faded outside, I was left with an incredibly detailed depth to the picture, and a black level that was simply astonishing for the setup I was using. Usually to achieve the black levels I was getting here, I’d have had to purchase a bespoke screen at quite a cost, so I can only imagine what it would look like if I combined one of those with the Pro7827! This isn’t to say that the default settings look anywhere near bad, in fact you’d be hard pressed to complain regardless of what settings you use.
There’s a whole host of inputs to choose from, including 2 HDMI and 2 VGA at the back, as well as a hidden HDMI slot that can be used with an adapter to provide wireless playback straight to the projector itself (Or, if you’re more inclined, a smart device such as a Roku stick or Amazon Fire stick to hide awawy!) An additional cover can be placed over the inputs in order to provide an elegant cable management solution that I thought was a really nice touch. The fan was a little loud on it after a while using the default settings, but if you’re going to be using a projector, it’s not going to be directly next to your head unless you’re really cramped for space (And hey, it’s an excuse to crank the volume even further!). Speaking of sound, the projector itself comes with a 10W speaker built in, but honestly if you’re going to be using the in built speaker on a projector, you should really look at another option. I was more than happy plugging my headset of choice into my DualShock4 and cranking the volume on that to provide my immersion!
In addition to the impressive colour reproduction mentioned above, the performance in general was something of a joy. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how big a picture I could get from the unit at such a short distance. In fact, I was looking at a picture of almost 100 inches from just over 7 feet away. This thing packs a serious punch when it comes to getting a decent sized image! The setup was a doddle as well, the menus are clearly defined and intuitive, as well as having more options in them than you can shake a stick at. Within an hour of setting it up, I was playing Resogun at a flawless 60FPS, and no hint of any major input lag. Typical projector options such as keystoning are present and correct, and you’re not going to be left wanting for any image correction options. If you know what you’re doing, there’s a whole host of options in the menus to tailor your projector to the rest of your environment perfectly.
I put the projector through its paces with some of the most visually demanding games in my library, as well as a fair few Blu-Rays, and I was more and more pleasantly surprised as the time went on. The lush environments of Uncharted 4’s latter stages were brought to life with staggering accuracy, and there were points during The Force Awakens when I genuinely felt like I was going to be hit by a TIE Fighter or laser blast, it was that impressive.
The Viewsonic Pro7827 is a fantastic projector for the money that it’s asking, and I speak from professional experience when I say that only a few short years ago, this could have easily been asking for well over £1,000 for this sort of performance. A solid number of inputs, including one that’s hidden away if you so require, a pin-sharp picture quality and colour and black levels that simply defy logic won me over almost instantly. If I could change 2 things with it, it would be to have the fan calm down a little quicker after powering the unit down, and secondly, I wouldn’t have had to send it back to ViewSonic once I was done with it! A marvellous piece of home cinema kit that fits right at home with any gaming enthusiast.