Acer PD727

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Acer  PD727
  • Acer  PD727
  • Acer  PD727
  • Acer  PD727

Pros

  • Bright display, Long throw distance

Cons

  • Horrible rainbow effect, Some haloing on white edges, Minor image noise

Bottom Line

This projector would be recommended for medium-to-large conference rooms if it wasn't for its very noticeable rainbow effect. While there may be some lucky individuals who don't see it, everyone we showed it to did see it. It makes the image completely unwatchable.

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Acer's PD727 is a large, DLP business projector, designed with permanent installation in mind. It has a variety of connectivity types, making it suitable for a range of input devices. While it does offer great specifications, such as a 4000 ansi lumens brightness rating, during our image quality tests we noticed extremely prominent rainbow effect that made most viewing virtually impossible.

The interesting thing about this model is that, despite being pitched as a business projector and having a native 4:3 XGA resolution (1024x768), it also comes equipped with Component and HDMI inputs in addition to the standard D-Sub, DVI and RCA ports. HDMI is entirely a home entertainment medium, so while business users will appreciate the variety of connectivity options, this model also has the capability to fill in a minor role as a home theatre display unit.

However, a few tests quickly indicated to us that watching movies really isn't an option on this model. From the minute we connected our test machine and fired up DisplayMate, it became obvious that this projector has issues.

The most notable is ridiculously prominent rainbow effect. DLP projectors work by projecting light through a wheel which contains the major colours of the spectrum. If the wheel spins too slowly, you wind up getting a rainbow trail when moving your eyes quickly across the screen.

To put it simply, the PD727 exhibited the worst rainbow effect we've ever seen. We brought in numerous staff members from around the office, including several who had never been able to see rainbow effect on past DLP display devices, and all commented on how noticeable it was. While lightly coloured screens looked fine, anything with a black background was literally unwatchable. It was enough to induce headaches after a few minutes of viewing.

We also ran our movie tests, using the DVD Swordfish, to confirm the problem. Here it wasn't as prominent, but in dark scenes it was still extremely distracting. When watching extremely bright scenes users should have few problems, but it was still far from ideal.

Aside from the rainbow problem, the PD727 performed relatively well, although it did exhibit some purple and green fringing along the edges of white lines in our graph tests. This is typically symptomatic of the colours not quite converging properly when projected, but wasn't a big problem unless we were quite close, especially considering that this is a unit designed for boardroom use.

Colours were accurate and thanks to the variety of preset configurations and manual calibration options on hand, any errors could be easily corrected. As this projector has a massive 4000 ansi lumens brightness rating, everything appears incredibly vividly, which may disconcert some people if the unit is ever used in smaller spaces, so we'd recommend a little tweaking if you plan on moving it around.

Black levels were good and, while we were bothered by the rainbow effect, dark scenes were well rendered, with excellent contrast. Our colour intensity ramps showed good separation, although there was some minor blurring in the blue spectrum. There was also a little noise on some of our greyscale charts as well as the block colour screens, but this only reared its head occasionally during our real-world tests.

As stated, in addition to our standard DisplayMate tests, we also ran a DVD through the system to check video quality. The PD727 performed moderately well here. It was evident that it isn't a fully-blown home theatre projector, but the image was sharp and clean, and the contrast levels were good enough to make most film scenes enjoyable. There was a small amount of motion blur, as well as the aforementioned rainbow problem, but aside from those issues video didn't look too bad. The HDMI port is also a great inclusion in this regard, allowing all the latest home entertainment devices to be connected easily using a single cable. It also provides the highest quality video.

Aesthetically, the unit is quite nice. It has a black and silver colour scheme that looks smooth and it should fit nicely in a modern office. It's quite large, measuring 350x282x119mm and weighing 4kg. This means it really isn't suitable for frequently on-the-go users and should ideally be set up in some sort of permanent installation. With a 4000 ansi lumens brightness rating, a 2500:1 contrast ratio and the ability to project an image up to 300in diagonally from a distance of up to 12.2m, it's clearly designed with medium-to-large boardrooms and conference rooms in mind.

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