The Viewsonic brand is well known for its monitors, many of which have received our awards — and not only ours — and have proven that the company’s products can compete for first place in a wide variety of market segments. The manufacturer, as before, does not rely on large-scale marketing campaigns (in other words, advertising) and tries to win over consumers with the help of a recognizable name, a competent pricing policy and the necessary amount of technologies and functions, without artificially increasing the cost of products due to unnecessary and imperceptible chips .
For some, this will probably be a revelation, but desktop monitors are far from everything that Viewsonic does: there are also projectors, interactive whiteboards, embedded PCs, large format displays, electronic posters, and even multimedia players.
Today we will talk about a rather specific, but no less interesting model of the projector — Viewsonic PX706HD. This is, as it is commonly called in a modern manner, a Full HD gaming projector. By its very existence, it makes you think: does a lover need to play (both on a PC and on a console) a large desktop display — or does it make sense to get such a projector and play big right away.
⇡ # Reference information, specifications and features
The manufacturer positions the Viewsonic PX706HD model as a short throw Full HD projector «for games and other home entertainment.» In the product line, it is between such models as the PX700HD with a conventional optical design and the ultra-short throw PX800HD advanced in all other areas. The hero of the review was introduced a little over a year ago and is sold in the United States at a price of $ 700-750 (excluding taxes). In Russia and with taxes this turns into $620. The device comes with a 3-year warranty.
|Viewsonic PX706HD Projector Specifications|
|Brightness||3000 ANSI Lm|
|Supported resolution||VGA 640×480 to Full HD 1920×1080 @ 60Hz|
|Number of displayed colors||1.07 billion|
|Contrast||22,000 : 1 (in SuperEco mode)|
|Lamp Specifications, Normal / SuperEco Modes||Approximately 4,000 / 15,000 hours, 240 W|
|projection system||0.65-inch, FullHD DMD Chip from Texas Instruments, Brilliantcolor technology|
|Projection ratio||0.69-0.83 : 1 (distance/width)|
|Diagonal image size||60″ — 120″|
|Projection Distance||0.9-2.2 meters, 100 inches at 1.5 m|
|Lens Options||F=2.6–2.78|f=10.2–12.24 mm|
|Zoom, focus||1.2 : 1, manual zoom/manual focus|
|Image Format||16:9 standard, 2 formats to choose from|
|Keystone Correction||Vertical, ±20 degrees|
|Lens shift horizontal/vertical||Not|
|Horizontal Frequency||15-102 kHz|
|Vertical frequency||23–120 Hz|
|Installation||Desktop, ceiling mount|
|Projection||Frontal or reverse|
|Supported standards||480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, NTSC, PAL, SECAM|
|Interfaces||2 × HDMI 1.4, USB 3.1 Type-C, VGA (D-Sub), RS-232 (for control), mini-USB (for upgrade/firmware), 3.5mm Audio-In, 3.5mm Audio-Out, Composite-Video, IR receiver (front and top)|
|Peculiarities||Short throw optics, Brilliant Color technology, USB 3.1 Type-C connection, low input lag — 3X Fast Input, SuperColor Tech., Gaming Mode, Sonic Mode, SonicExpert, 3D support, auto-on, SuperEco|
|Security||Kensington lock, keypad lock|
|The weight||2.7 kg|
|Noise level||NR/27dB (Standard/Eco Mode)|
|Power supply||100-240V, 50/60Hz|
|Energy consumption||310W (maximum), 260W (Eco),|
|Additional accessories||lamp module;
|Guarantee||3 years projector and 1 year lamp|
|Estimated price at the time of testing||620$|
So, the basis of the projector is a 0.65-inch DLP DMD chip (matrix) from Texas Instruments with a physical resolution of the Full HD standard (1920 × 1080 pixels). The new PX706HD uses a 240W lamp (total system power consumption up to 310W) capable of up to 15,000 hours of SuperEco operation, and a maximum light output of 3,000 ANSI lumens, which is only needed when the projector is running in a dark room.
The technology with the familiar name Brilliant Color should be responsible for reliable color reproduction, and the preset Gaming mode is configured so that all shadows are clearly distinguishable, and the image output delay is reduced by three times relative to the standard value (16 ms versus 35-40 ms for most projectors) using 3X Fast Input technology.
The manufacturer does not say how many segments the color wheel with primary and secondary colors is divided into, but, based on the fact that the RGBRGB version is carried only by more expensive models of the brand, and the maximum luminous flux of the PX706HD is quite high, we can assume that based on an RGBW wheel with one transparent (white) segment. This saves on production and increases maximum brightness without installing a more powerful lamp, but at the same time increases the likelihood of seeing the «rainbow effect» and increases the complexity of color reproduction.
The projector uses a short throw manual 1.2x zoom lens that can project a 100″ diagonal 16:9 image at a distance of 1.5 meters and 80″ from just one meter. At the same time, the manufacturer does not recommend exceeding a diagonal of 120 inches (due to the physical parameters of the optics) in order to maintain the sharpness of the picture over its entire area. The physical shift of the projection along two axes is not presented, but there is a correction of keystone distortions along the vertical, including in automatic mode.
The model dispenses with the support of various HDR standards, but is able to work with 3D video display. One 5W mono speaker is responsible for the acoustics, and a technology with the beautiful name SonicExpert is working on creating a more pleasant sound path, which should not be disturbed by the declared noise level of the PX706HD at 27 dB when the projector is in Eco mode.
The model is equipped with a sufficient set of interfaces: two HDMI 1.4 (you don’t need more for Full HD 60 Hz), analog D-Sub, RS-232 for software control, mini-USB for firmware updates, a composite video input and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The main feature of the hero of the review, which distinguishes him from competitors, is the modern USB 3.1 Type-C interface, thanks to which you can connect a phone with video streaming support to the model (which many modern models have, in particular, Huawei devices) and output to a huge screen is everything you have in a smartphone, including trying to play any of the mobile games.
⇡ # Delivery set, appearance and design features
The Viewsonic PX706HD projector comes in a small cardboard box with no frills. The company logo with parrots perched on a perch invites us to “see the difference”, while other inscriptions on the package can tell that we have a game short-throw projector and get acquainted with its five main features.
One of the stickers on the package allows you to find out the serial number, date (April 2019) and place of manufacture (China) of the device. The other is to find out the dimensions of the device, the supported standards and the scope of delivery.
By the way, this kit includes:
- two power cables (different standards);
- USB Type-C cable;
- two AAA batteries;
- remote control;
- warranty card;
- brief instructions for installation and configuration.
We were a little embarrassed by the lack of an HDMI cable, however, given the orientation of the model and its cost, it is obvious that a real buyer will not have such complaints. Indeed, for each conditions and premises, a cable of a certain length will be required.
The appearance of the projector is of little interest — there are no design frills here. The rectangular body with rounded edges is entirely made of white matte plastic.
The optical block is shifted to the left edge. On both sides of it are an IR receiver and the Viewsonic logo. The rear part is replete with signal and service ports, a complete list of which is presented in the table with technical characteristics.
To ensure the safety of the device, you can use the classic Kensington lock and lock the control keys on the case (protection from children).
The device is cooled by two 80 × 80 mm fans located on both sides of the case. One of them works for blowing, and the other for blowing.
The convex lens does not go out of the body without using the zoom, but if you use 1.2x zoom, you can start to worry about its condition. Therefore, if the projector is not used and there is no desire to constantly adjust it, close the lens with a plastic cover attached to the rope.
For zooming, a lever is provided next to the optical unit, and focusing is performed by rotating the lens itself. Keystone correction is carried out electronically, through the appropriate settings in the menu, either from the remote control or the buttons on the projector itself.
On the upper plane of the projector there is a control unit with physical keys without backlighting (with only one button — on), which partially duplicates the capabilities of the remote control.
Three LED indicators present here inform about the status of the lamp, power supply and overheating of the system. Any flashing of the indicators or red/orange color indicates the presence of certain problems.
On the lower plane of the projector there are three support legs (but only one of them is height adjustable), a pair of stickers with various information, as well as special holes for fixing the projector during ceiling mounting.
The built-in mono speaker is located on the left side of the case, behind the ventilation slots. The sound quality is average (for a single speaker), and the maximum volume allows the projector to be used for presentations in a room up to 50-60 square meters.
The plastic of which the Viewsonic PX706HD case is made is of good quality and practicality, but the accuracy of joining many elements leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, existing assembly defects are only visible if you look closely. The case does not crackle and does not make sounds when heated and for a long time, and in general — the projector is not a device that you will always look at, like, for example, at the same monitor.
⇡#Management and customization options
You can control the projector using both ten physical buttons on the device case, and a separate remote control from the package.
The remote control itself does without a backlight, which creates some difficulties in controlling the projector in poor ambient light. Of the pluses, it can be noted that this is a fully functional remote control and each key provides access to the function assigned to it — most likely, you will not need to wander through the menu for a long time.
The menu design is made in the style of most of the company’s products, in particular monitors of the last 2-3 years. It contains seven sections, each of which we will consider.
The first section that opened before us was called «System». In it, you can change the menu localization language, set the position of the projector (projection type), customize the appearance of the menu, enable high-altitude mode (if the projector is in rarefied mountain air, it needs enhanced cooling) and quick source auto-search, set an access password and lock keys on case.
The second section provides operating information: signal source, color mode, resolution, color scheme, firmware version, 3X Fast Input and serial number.
The next section allows you to set the color of the working field (for making internal color reproduction corrections), format (aspect ratio) and image scale, adjust the image position for analog connection, activate the 3X Fast Input function and perform keystone correction.
The main settings related to the quality and color reproduction of the picture are presented in the «Image» section.
Here you can select one of the preset modes, adjust the brightness, contrast and color temperature, reset the color settings. In the “Advanced” subsection, depending on the selected preset, access to saturation, hue, sharpness, noise reduction, gamma modes and the degree of influence of Brilliant Color technology is provided (by default it is set to a maximum of 10 units). More advanced users can get to the 6-axis hue, saturation, and gain controls. However, to do better than it was, without any devices, you are unlikely to succeed.
The next section is responsible for the power supply system. In it, you can configure automatic shutdown, standby and reboot of the device, as well as deactivate quick turn on.
In the General section, there are settings for the built-in sound system, presentation timer, blank screen timer, preset template, mute prompts, and a choice of welcome screen when turning on the model.
The «Advanced» section contains subsections with settings for 3D display, HDMI connection, backlight, filter, dynamic contrast, and subtitles. You can also reset to factory settings here.
In order not to wander through the menu, you can quickly adjust the brightness from the remote control (however, these settings have a greater effect on gamma), contrast and color temperature, go to the desired picture mode, select a specific signal source (and not sort through them in a chain), set the sound mode equalizer and perform keystone correction.
⇡ # General impressions and picture quality
We will evaluate the projector from the very first steps that need to be taken to display the picture. The new product takes no more than one minute to turn on and enter the operating mode. After a few hours of operation, a full shutdown with deactivation of the cooling fans occurs in about the same time — no long wait, even when running the PX706HD at full brightness.
The noise from the cooling system is low and does not cause discomfort. When you turn on the Eco-mode of the backlight, the noise is significantly reduced — and in this case, the PX706HD can be safely called almost silent. In other words, you can easily believe in the declared 27 dB.
For trouble-free operation of the PX706HD with mobile devices with a Type-C connector, the projector firmware must be updated according to the suggested instructions from the manufacturer’s website. In addition, you will need a suitable smartphone (unfortunately, I did not have one) with video streaming support and the included cable. Such a set will allow you to display everything that you see on the smartphone display on the big screen and play mobile games (in this case, we recommend purchasing a wireless Bluetooth joystick).
The projected image is characterized by high clarity and detail, even though manufacturers are quickly switching to new UHD DLP matrices with mechanical shifting of micromirrors, and Full HD has not surprised anyone for a long time. In this matter, you should realize the following: if you are interested in a diagonal of 100-120 inches, there is a sufficiently high-quality canvas for displaying a picture, there is suitable content, and the distance to the screen is at least 3-4 meters, then there is no discomfort a high-quality projector with a working resolution 1920 × 1080 pixels will not create for you — you can safely take it.
In addition, the Viewsonic PX706HD has no significant problems with gradients, and the brightness uniformity is quite expected and is at an average level (and for the money it is completely good). With a black field, the situation is similar, but the depth of black itself may seem insufficient to some consumers.
Due to the use of a quite ordinary RGBW wheel, the «rainbow effect» can appear in some specific scenes, but most users who are not very versed in the differences in projection systems simply will not notice it.
In a well-dark room, without strong light sources, you can’t find fault with the brightness and contrast of the picture, even considering the fact that the declared brightness level of 3000 ANSI lumens can only be achieved in the High Brightness mode, where the colors are clearly drawn to a greenish parasitic shade.
When the Brilliant Color technology is turned off, which is activated by default to a possible maximum of 10 units out of 10 (or when set to low values in front of the corresponding item), the brightness visually drops, the details in the light midtones disappear, the color balance seriously changes — the saturation increases. No benefits were found from deactivating this technology.
As for the 3X Fast Input mode, we couldn’t clearly see it in action. The input lag of a device without this technology, according to measurements of specialized foreign resources, does not exceed 33-34 ms, which is a very worthy result for a projector, and when the advertised delay reduction technology is activated, the figure is set at 16.3-16.4 ms. It will be extremely difficult for the average consumer to catch such a difference at a refresh rate of 60 Hz, but the ability to achieve such values on an entry-level projector is a big advantage.
By default, the Viewsonic PX706HD is set to Gaming mode. It cannot use keystone correction, change the picture format and perform some other actions, but according to the general impression, it offers the optimal combination of settings and at the same time the most decent color reproduction that does not require additional correction. In comparison with it, the «Standard» mode (here is such a translation into Russian, alas) demonstrates poor visibility in the shadows and increased image contrast, as well as more saturated colors. It’s for an amateur.
In Film mode, the Brilliant Color technology is set to 8 units, the brightness is reduced, the color temperature becomes cooler, and the color saturation is increased. In turn, «Sport» is as close as possible to the «High brightness» mode and is best suited for viewing content in a room that is poorly isolated from external light. Obviously, there are no other conditions for its use, since the color rendition leaves much to be desired.
If you have any complaints about the projected picture, then the PX706HD has all the necessary options in the menu to eliminate almost any display flaws (but there is no question of ISF calibration, of course). More than 15 different gamma modes are available, CG presets allow you to choose the most suitable output style, and deep and multi-stage correction along six color axes will allow you to do it the way you like it. Combine this with a SmartEco backlight switch (if the work area is well-lit) to significantly reduce noise levels, and your PX706HD will be “ready for work and defense” for many years to come.
Based on the results of our acquaintance with the Viewsonic PX706HD, we have an opinion that this is a sufficiently functional and high-quality projector that can compete on equal terms with eminent competitors. It will fit well to create your own small cinema or game room — if a TV with a diagonal of 65-75 inches is no longer very impressive, and you do not plan to refuse games on the big screen from a PC or set-top box (and now also from a smartphone).
The PX706HD does not have dozens of technologies with colorful names, there are not a ton of settings, there is no ultra-precise factory calibration, there are no loud claims of a first-class optical design, but against the backdrop of all this, it does an excellent job with its obligations. Yes, in his case, you should not dream of HDR (although on projectors this is actually a very controversial feature), high compliance with sRGB or Rec.709 color spaces and deep black field thanks to the dynamic iris. Viewsonic PX706HD is about something else — about how easy it is to install a projector, set it up and display a picture that satisfies most users on a big screen, watch movies and play games without worrying about high signal delays. If this is what you need, you can safely choose it.