So you want to play Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on your PlayStation 4, Grand Theft Auto V on your Xbox One, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on your Nintendo Switch, but not on the HDTV. Oh no, you want a more cinematic experience this time around. You want to play with a projector and the 100-inch screen that came with it. So you set everything up, you play, then you stop, grimacing. There’s too much input lag! The controller isn’t responding as fast as you want! Is the problem your projector itself?
We consider the ViewSonic Projector PX700HD as the best projector in the game when it comes to low latency or low input lag, which is great if you want your video to be in-sync with the sound from your speakers or if you want to play videogames with the twitch-reflex, real-time quickness of 8-bit or 16-bit gaming or even a pinball machine.
What Is Input Lag and Why Is It Important?
Input lag or delay is when the input from your videogame controller comes with a delay, especially when using a projector. This didn’t use to be an issue with CRT TVs and simpler game consoles, but as both appliances became more advanced and PC-like, problems with lagging or latency started cropping up. Latency problems can also crop up when watching movies in the form of the sound coming before the video, with them not being in sync.
Because graphics are so advanced now, there’s a bit of a delay in movement from when you press your controller button and when your player avatar moves, even if it’s by mere milliseconds to a full second. Sure, with movies, you can use a delay switch to sync sound with video, but wouldn’t it be better to have a faster, low-latency projector instead?
- Is It an Important Factor to You as a Consumer? Input lag might matter to you a lot or not at all depending on what you want to use your projector for. If the lag is so minuscule that it’s barely noticeable, it becomes a non-factor. If you’re not a gamer and you merely wish to watch movies, then the bare minimum delay in latency is all you care about. As long as the sound syncs with the video you’re good to go. If you’re a gamer, then lag is a huge deal for you, especially in light of the fact that high latency is a notorious issue for projectors and other factors such as online play can exacerbate existing latency issues.
- Low Input Lag Is Always Good: As a rule of thumb, you want low latency in your projector, but some projectors specialize in lowering the latency as much as possible to ensure gamers of responsive quick-twitch controls in real-time gaming. Low latency ensures that video and movies won’t require an audio delay in order for sound and video to synchronize together. This also means that games will move quicker (or almost as quickly as) their simpler 1980s and 1990s counterparts. However, for non-interactive media, a simple audio delay can fix the latency problems of an otherwise fully serviceable projector. Many A/V receivers include this circuit by default. Otherwise, you can buy solutions or gadgets for this.
- Gamer Want and Need Low Latency Projectors: Gamers want low-latency projectors because an audio delay switch won’t solve their latency or controller responsiveness problems the same way passive viewers of movies and shows on Netflix would. Sure, there are plenty of games that can be played on high-latency projectors without issues such as a puzzle, strategy, or RPG games that rely more on menu manipulation than split-second timing. If you’re dealing with first-person shooters, fighting games, shoot-’em-up games, beat-’em-up games, sports games, and driving simulators, it’s a whole different ball game.
- Latency or Lag as It Affects Games: Latency won’t affect console games like turn-based games or casual mix-and-match tile games that might even belong more to a smartphone than a home console. Many 8-bit games from the Virtual Console feel responsive and snappy on projectors as well. Laggy gaming is fine for many casual gamers for sure. However, hardcore gamers that are quite competitive won’t last 5 minutes dealing with laggy FPS gaming for Overwatch or Fortnite. It would drive them crazy. For those who require twitch-reflex, split-second responsiveness from their controls, low-latency projectors like ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD is a must.
What Does The ViewSonic 1080p Projector PX700HD Bring to The Table?
The ViewSonic PX700HD is specifically advertised to be low latency. What this means is that its HDMI connection speed is as fast as possible so that when you input your command, there won’t be any delay to what your game avatar is doing. It reacts in real-time or near real-time, which is especially important in online FPS gaming since certain connections bring with them a bit of lag by the milliseconds that could turn to full seconds when paired up with high latency or lag projector.
- Low Input Lag: The ViewSonic PX700HD specializes in low input lag. With that said, how does it stack up against other gaming projectors like those from Optoma Corporation and the like? For one thing, it’s an excellent DLP (Digital Light Processing) projector with all the trimmings of a great gaming projector, from its verifiable low input lag performance to its 3D technology, dual HDMI ports, and 3,500 lumens of brightness that works on both low-lighting and ambient-lighting situations. It’s also an excellent home theater projector on top of being a specifically gaming-centered projector to boot.
- Gamers and The PX700HD: Do gamers love the ViewSonic Projector PX700HD? Yes, they do. The delay is so slight that they can do online without worrying about latency or lag ruining their online experience, whether they’re playing FPS or fighting games. What’s more, those genres of games are quite hot at the moment. Additionally, many other games—such as survival horror or even platform games—require a modicum of twitch-reflex quickness from the gamer that is ruined by lag. Playing those games on PC or console will always require some sort of decreased latency because you want your input and reaction to happen in real-time with no delay for a solid gaming experience when all is said and done.
- Super-Sized Movies and Games: McDonald’s isn’t the only company offering you super-sized options of your usual favorite items to enjoy. The ViewSonic Projector PX700HD is also available to give you a bigger gaming and cinematic experience at home without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on huge HDTVs. A projector and a house or room big enough to contain a 100-inch projector screen is all you need in order to play games in a super-sized and low-lag format while also not needing audio cue delays when watching movies because of latency issues with your projector. After months of debating, we’ve ruled out the Panasonic 2,000-lumen projector and went with this beauty instead.
- Extensive Connectivity Options: Gamers also require extensive connectivity options aside from your usual HDMI inputs. The projector even features dual HDMI inputs and USB power, allowing you to use a multitude of devices on it. It also offers PC connections, VGA ports, audio in/out ports, and Mini USB ports for handheld devices. By getting HDMI converters or adapters, it’s also possible to connect to vintage game consoles from the 1980s and 1990s that range from Atari consoles to Nintendo and Sega consoles as well. As a home entertainment solution, it’s also possible for your ViewSonic PX700HD to play classic movie players ranging from VCRs, Betamax players, Laserdisc players, older DVDs with no HDMI input, and more through the right adapters.
- Works with a Myriad of Modern Devices: The ViewSonic specifically lacks RCA ports or those with the red, yellow, and white cables with it. It’s best used for HDMI devices like modern 2010s or 2020s cable/satellite boxes, the latest gaming consoles (Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii-U, and Nintendo Switch), and the latest DVD and Blu-ray Disc players (for 1080p Full HD—this projector doesn’t have 4K). For our setup, we used a 3-in-2 HDMI Matrix Switcher with remote control and AC adapter that allows us to switch from multiple devices in our home entertainment system. This enabled us to work with all of the above as well as with our Apple TV, HDTV, and Roku streaming stick as needed. We just unhooked what wasn’t in use and hooked up what was in use.
- Mounting the ViewSonic HD Projector: When mounting the ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD on the ceiling using the amount we’ve used on at least two other projectors we’ve reviewed, it fits perfectly in our designated mounting place. The device comes with a standard bolt-up for ceiling mount usage. Additionally, it also has several display options or the image to allow you to manipulate it in case the aim and placement are a little off and you’ve already installed the mount for multiple projector use as we have. In any case, the projector can work on a table, ceiling, and when front-mounted or reverse image for darkroom projection purposes. Long story short, the projector was quite versatile.
- Easy Setup, Piercing Brightness, and Immersive Gaming: In our setup, we mounted the short-throw ViewSonic Projector PX700HD about 13 feet from our motorized Homegear projector screen with 110-inch diagonal screen size and great reflective properties. This worked excellently with the high lumens of the PX700HD. We even tried the projector on a blank wall and it still worked great because of how bright it was, especially when the lights are all turned off. Nevertheless, if you want the fine details from your 1080p BD or your FPS videogame-like Doom Eternal, a projector screen is a must. The projection image from this device is so vivid that it looks like it came straight from an extra-large HDTV. The low-latency also helped keep the immersion from breaking as well.
- The Immersive Super Color Technology: The ViewSonic 1080p Projector PX700HD also comes with what it calls Super Color technology. According to its advertisement or sales copy, the tech provides the image with a wide gamut of colors for beautiful image reproduction. What this means to the average viewer is crisp images and details that move with live sports smoothness. How does this bolster the low-latency features of the PX700HD? Nothing ruins your smooth viewing or gaming action like out-of-sync sound or a delay in your player avatar’s reaction when you press a button or move the directional pad. The interactivity of the game requires low lag and detailed rendering to give gamers and viewers the ultimate eye-popping immersive experience from movies to games.
- The Native Resolution of The ViewSonic PX700HD: As its name suggests, the ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD has a native 1080p resolution of 1920 x 1080. It’s not at 720p that’s then blown up to meet 1080p (thusly losing fine details and image sharpness). It’s a truly Full HD projector. It’s not for 4K use though. Regardless, when playing your movie or your game, you will see crisp lines on the text such as subtitles, titles, credits, and so forth. Everything is clean and smooth. You won’t lose details here and only 4K offers even more depth and accuracy when it comes to showcasing image clarity and minutiae. It also sports a wide color range thanks to its Super Color technology for good measure. It gives even flatscreen LCD HDTVs a run for their money in both size and quality.
- The Multi-Function Remote: The ViewSonic Projector PX700HD also showcases its excellence from how well its remote functions. With it, you can set the picture settings and the keystone correction so that you can place your projector anywhere without readjusting your ceiling mount or moving your coffee table. The ViewSonic Projector remote also has a red “on” button and a green “off” button, which might seem reversed to some but you can get used to using it pretty quickly. It’s weird to have separate buttons for turning the projector on and off but at least when you accidentally push the on the button you won’t turn the system off immediately.
- Energy-Saving Super Eco Feature: Another thing that makes the low-lag ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD such a delight for gamers and movie watchers alike is the fact that it saves you energy. Your movie marathons or your long dungeon-crawling campaigns in action RPGs like Dark Souls will consume loads of energy from the power grid that should translate to expensive bills when push comes to shove. The Super Eco feature of the HD projector from ViewSonic can extend its lamp life for 15,000 hours, which doesn’t only mean cheaper monthly bills on your part but also a longer-lasting projector for gaming and movie-viewing when push comes to shove.
- Cost-Effective Low-Latency Projector That Lives Up to Its Pledge: The ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD is an excellent investment because it has a very affordable price due to its use of cost-effective LED projector technology. This projector meets and exceeds our expectations from it, even if we’re primarily concerned about getting low-latency performance from it. In gaming terms, one-off our staff is a PC gamer and his experience with the projector yielded positive feedback. He told us that his controls were reactive and it felt like he was playing on an old CRT in terms of reaction times and instant video to controller feedback. He had great things to say about how the projector handled Call of Duty on the PlayStation 4 as well.
- Is This ViewSonic Projector Strictly a Gaming Projector? Movie viewers and casual gamers need not fret regarding what the ViewSonic HD Projector PX700HD brings to the table. Low input lag is something that’s always good, but the main concern of some consumers is that gamers will probably appreciate this feature more than them. However, low latency is what you need in order to get faster and smoother frame-by-frame action, especially when you activate a sports mode feature to watch the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals. When viewing things on the big screen where every movement counts, you need a fast-action projector to give you fast-action results that your eye can see and appreciate.
To Sum It Up
We’ve ultimately chosen the ViewSonic PX700HD as our low-latency projector of choice because as a projector, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Even if you’re a single-issue “voter” when it comes to projectors and you only want to get the PX700HD because it specializes in ensuring low-latency gaming, it’s not, in turn, a single-issue projector. It gives you its specialty and many other sides and alternative dishes plus desserts you’re sure to adore.
For example, this “gaming” projector features 3,500 lumens of brightness to ensure that even in daylight or ambient light, you can get your game on without shutting off the lights or pulling down your curtains or blinds. Additionally, it’s in full HD 1920 x 1080p native resolution, which means it won’t shrink down your HD games then blow it up on your projection screen, leading to missing details and artifacts. It also comes with a user-friendly design that’s easy to set up and install on a chassis that’s sleek and white to boot. The bottom line is that it’s a great gaming and home video projector for its price that gives more expensive options a run for their money.
- Bill Livolsi, “Input Lag and Projectors for Gaming: What it is and why you should care“, ProjectorCentral.com, May 19, 2015
- “ViewSonic 1080p Projector (PX700HD)“, Amazon.com, Retrieved May 13, 2020