ViewSonic Pro 9000 laser hybrid LED projector review
Can a brand new light engine tech make projectors cool again?
Dark side of the room
The Pro9000 is certainly a comfortable projector to watch. While the image delivers 1080p clarity, the projector doesn't exhibit the same clinical delineation commonly associated with single chip DLP. The result is very cinematic, with colour performance a particular strength. Skin tones are nuanced and believable; deep reds, so often the bane of LCD, exhibit stunning fidelity. The newly remastered VistaVision Hitchcock classics (Blu-ray boxset) look simply gorgeous as a result.
On-screen display tweaks
The projector’s light output is rated at 1600 lumens, which in a fully dark room is generally acceptable. At 4m you can throw an image measuring 120-inches diagonally. However, stray ambient light quickly diminishes contrast and colour. You can’t use the Pro9000 effectively in a partially lit lounge.
There are other caveats too. Truly deep blacks prove elusive and shadow detail is hard to find. Trees by night take on a blobbyness that wouldn't disgrace Noel's House Party. On the plus side, there's no overt pixel noise either, which at least lends a smooth sheen to darker scenes. The projector is 2D only and can’t be used with an external DLP 3D-XL processor.
Long running, energy efficient but there's a trade-off in lumens
As a technology development, Laser Hybrid LED has a lot going for it. It’s only marginally more expensive than similarly specified LCD and DLP models, and its colour performance is striking. However on the Pro9000 it’s not quite bright enough to function well in a moderately lit room and blacks still have some way to go before they’re Dark Knight approved. Whether the lack of 3D will prove an additional deterrent for buyers remains to be seen. ®
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