Specifications: 0.47” 4K Ultra HD DLP chip, 3,500 ANSI Lumens, 12,000:1 contrast (SuperEco mode), 2 x HDMI input, VGA input, audio in + out, USB port for power supply, 12V trigger, 4000-15,000hr lamp life, 30-300-inch screen, 330 watt power consumption, 10 watt mono speaker, 4.2kg
Pros: Ultra-bright 4K image, compact and pleasing design, backlit remote, built in speaker
Cons: Not ‘true’ 4K but uses DLP’s XPR switching to create 4K image from 1080p chip, MRP is four times the US$ price ($999), no lens cap/cover, no USB media playback
UHD 4K TVs have increasingly become commonplace thanks to lower prices and more readily available content. It’s not the same story when it comes to 4K projectors though. You may have heard of DLP by Texas Instruments: many consumer and professional-grade projectors use it. One way that DLP is bringing 4K into a more mainstream price segment is by using XPR. Rather than use the expensive, native 4K resolution display chips of the professional grade projectors, XPR technology uses 1080p display chips and ‘upscales’ the resolution to 4K in a process known as pixel switching.
ViewSonic is the latest brand to launch a projector with DLP XPR in India — we recently reviewed a competing product from BenQ (TK800) that uses the same tech. At first glance, there is nothing much out of the ordinary. It has a compact design, is lightweight (4.2kg), has all control buttons on top and comes with a fair selection of inputs (dual HDMI, VGA, audio in + out). You also get a USB port with the sole purpose of supplying power to streaming sticks/ dongles and a 12V trigger output to control motorized blinds/screens. The lens is recessed into the unit but there’s nothing protecting it: no lens cap or sliding door. On top, it has manual control rings for focus and optical zoom.
As soon as you start it up, you’ll plainly see that this is a projector designed for use in brighter environments. The higher brightness is particularly useful if you plan to use it in the daytime with windows that can’t be blacked out. In fact, there is another version of the projector called the PX727-4K that has a much lower brightness of 2200 lumens. It has the same design, the same lamp, the same DLP chip but a lower brightness, mainly because of the colour wheel.
Bear with us for the slightly technical explanation. All DLP projectors have a colour wheel — this circular glass wheel spins at high speed and has red, green and blue segments (the primary colours). Light from the projector lamp passes through the colour wheel in order to create the colours you see on the final image. The PX747 colour has an additional clear segment, allowing much more light to pass through. The end result is that it gives you significantly higher brightness at the expense of accurate colour. That doesn’t mean the colours are ‘bad’ — just extra bright and maybe not as saturated.
From a distance of about 10 feet, you can get a 100-inch screen (measured diagonally). For a 150-inch screen, you’ll need to place it at least 16 feet away from the screen. We couldn’t see individual pixels until we were about 3 feet away from the screen, so that extra resolution really helps. Typical lamp life is about 4,000 hours which can stretch to 15,000 hours in SuperEco mode. You would anyway want to use it in the eco mode for the lower fan noise. A replacement 240-watt lamp should cost you about Rs 5-8k when the time comes.
When it comes to the PX747-4K, one thing is certain: you will get a substantial discount compared to the quoted MRP of Rs 2.5 lakh! At the time of writing, we saw it on Amazon India for as low as Rs 1.8Lakh. You may also be able to wrangle a deal from one of the dealers. The US price is a much more enticing US$999 — though you lose out on warranty. If you’re desperate for a 150 or 200-inch 4K screen, this is still one of the more affordable options around.