Gadget review: Viewsonic Pro9000 Projector

I’ve steered clear of buying a projector for years. I’ve told friends to invest in high-end LED TVs and forget about turning their living room into a local branch of the Odeon. The new Viewsonic Pro9000 changed my mind.

£1,366.62 from www.Projectorshop24.co.uk, for more information see www.viewsoniceurope.com

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It’s the world’s first hybrid laser LED projector. In a nutshell, this means no expensive projector lamp to replace – ever. Traditional DLP (Digital Light Processing) or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) projectors use exceptionally bright lamps which slowly reduce in their brightness. After 2,000-4,000 hours of use, a new lamp will set you back £300-£500. The Pro9000 uses a combination of LEDs and lasers to get round this problem, with an estimated lifespan of 20,000 hours. Even if you watch a movie a day, that’s 20 years of usage. The Viewsonic also includes the new Texas Instruments DarkChip3 technology for a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, 1,600 ANSI lumens brightness plus full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) support.

If you are slightly baffled by these stats, in essence they mean that black should look black and images should appear bright and vibrant. I set up the Pro9000 in my second bedroom, propped up by a couple of books, projecting against a blank white wall. I was stunned by the results. The image was more than 100in wide. I popped in a Bluray of Rust and Bone, admittedly not a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, but the colour reproduction was stunning. I had to squint my eyes as the image was so bright. It was a truly immersive experience.

The Pro9000 is not cheap up front, but it’s considerably better value after you consider its “lampless” design. This also makes it ideal for “constant-on” corporate and educational purposes. Personally, I love its simplicity – instant on, no warming up, no bulbs to replace and a guaranteed cinematic experience.