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Friday
Jun242016

Podcast #745: ViewSonic PJD5255 DLP Projector Review

We typically have some sort of backyard or outdoor theater discussion every summer when the weather is nice and we’d all like to take our movie watching to the great outdoors. We’ll probably do a more in-depth feature on the topic later in the summer, but as luck would have it, we found ourselves as the proud owners of a new ViewSonic PJD5255 DLP Projector ($339), a perfect backyard theater projector. But it’s good for much more than just outside, so you can even use it during the cold or rainy season.

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ViewSonic PJD5255 DLP Projector Review

We typically have some sort of backyard or outdoor theater discussion every summer when the weather is nice and we’d all like to take our movie watching to the great outdoors.  We’ll probably do a more in-depth feature on the topic later in the summer, but as luck would have it, we found ourselves as the proud owners of a new ViewSonic PJD5255 DLP Projector ($339), a perfect backyard theater projector.  But it’s good for much more than just outside, so you can even use it during the cold or rainy season.

The ViewSonic PJD5255 is a DLP projector with a built-in speaker, making it a great all-in-one portable movie theater, just add content.  We ended up with this particular ViewSonic model for a couple reasons. First was that we needed it fast for an emergency presentation and it was available from Amazon Prime Now, second was that it’s a great price. ViewSonic has other models that are less expensive, or more expensive and more full featured, so we encourage you to do some research to find the right model that fits your needs.


Features

  • SuperColor technology delivers superior, richer colors; Up to 3200 ANSI lumen brightness and 15,000:1 contrast ratio for clear viewing even in brighter settings
  • Native XGA 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Integrated HDMI input and 3D Blu-ray ready; Choice of 5 view settings for a variety of usage scenarios
  • Extensive connectivity including HDMI, 2 x VGA, Composite Video, S-Video, 1 x VGA output and Audio in/out
  • Enhanced sound with enlarged speaker chamber and a powerful amplifier
  • Intuitive interface includes tactile keypad, top lamp door, and optional cable management system
  • Industry-leading warranty: 3-years limited on parts and labor, 1 year on lamp, and free 1st year Express Exchange

 

Setup

The ViewSonic PJD5255 really is plug and play, we had it up and running and showing videos in under 5 minutes  It doesn’t have any lens shift capabilities, so the projector really wants to be centered with your screen for the best overall experience.  It has keystone adjustment buttons right on the top of the projector, so you don’t have to hunt through menus to make your image square on-screen, assuming the projector is a bit above or below the center of the screen.  Zoom and focus are manual adjustments as well. The whole prep time for first use was very simple. We didn’t need the manual nor the remote. Didn’t even use any of the menus.

 

Performance

One of the first things you notice with the PJD5255 is that it is quite bright.  The specs boast a 3200 lumen output and it doesn’t disappoint.  We used it on several different screens and even projected right onto a white wall and every time had a nice, vivid movie experience.  The brightness does feel like it comes at a cost though, the color representation feels a little washed out.  It’s a DLP projector, and DLP has its drawbacks, but we weren’t overly distracted by any of them.

The only area that disappointed us was resolution. Admittedly we knew going into it that we bought the projector on the cheap and it was only XGA (1024x768) native, so we shouldn’t have been expecting too much, but after getting used to the native 1080p projectors we both use, the inferior resolution was quite obvious. For a quick and easy projector, it absolutely fit the bill.  If you plan to use it to play back DVDs or streamed content, you should be fine. If you want it for HDTV, you may want to pay a bit more to get a native 1080p resolution projector.

On the audio side the 5255 is designed with ViewSonic’s proprietary SonicExpert technology that incorporates an enlarged speaker chamber and a more powerful amplifier to deliver a full 20Hz – 20Khz sound range. The integrated speaker isn’t any worse than other projectors we’ve tried with built-in speakers - it’s better than a few of them, but not by much.  The built-in audio will work in a pinch, but unless it’s totally quiet, you’ll want some speakers with more power and volume to really delight an audience.  We ended up hooking up come Creative speakers and sub to juice the volume level a bit.

 

Conclusion

This ViewSonic model reviews incredibly well at Amazon.  It has a four and a half star rating across 367 customer reviews. For applications like we’ll be using it for, it was a toss-up on choosing a DLP model or a 3LCD model. The Amazon reviews pushed us over the edge and we decided to bite the bullet on the PJD5255. We don’t have the others to compare with, but we’re satisfied with the ViewSonic PJD5255 for sure. It isn’t meant to be installed as the centerpiece of your home theater, but if you want a projector you can store in the closet for a quick backyard movie, or a garage movie, or a bedroom movie for a sleepover, it’s worth taking a look at.

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Hi guys, I'm a few weeks behind on my podcasts, just listening to this one. I wanted to comment about your wireless network speed discussion and point out something else that has a lot to do with fast/slow networks. I use an older airport extreme (N) and airport express (also N) and have 50/50Mb Verizon Fios. I was trying to figure out why I could speedtest at 50Mb/s on my laptop and only 20 or so at best on my iphone 5s, which should have wireless N speeds. I finally figured out that having the airport extreme base station set in dual band was the problem. The iPhone was choosing the b/g band because it had a stronger signal than the N- band. I turned off dual-mode and made my wireless network N- only, and immediately my phone jumped to using the full 50/50 internet speeds.

I plugged an ethernet cable into my airport express and let it run in b/g mode for my older wireless devices to connect to (instead of having the express join my other network), and gave it a different network name. I joined all of the slow devices to the slow network and now my N- capable devices can all run at N- speeds.

One caveat to this is the network range - the N network has a noticably smaller radius from the base station. Next time I buy wireless routers I will most likely get one of the higher end external-multi-antenna, mulit-band capable ones, but for now that solved my problem. To solve my range problem, I got my hands on another old Airport Express (N) and connected it to my wired network elsewhere in the house, gave it the same network nameas my other extreme in bridge mode, giving my house a nice useful N- wireless mesh!

As far as 100Mb devices slowing down a wired network, that's bad information unless you are using a hub. Any network switch determines the difference and runs gigabit devices at gigabit speeds, and 100 or 10 Mb/s devices at their appropriate speeds without affecting other devices.

Also a shout out to Adam Christianson at the MacCast for turning me on to your show. Thanks for making it!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Cunningham

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