They’re expensive — the cheapest in the US is a 65-inch TCL for $2,100 — and there’s nothing in 8K to watch today. There’s no Netflix support, though, so you’ll still need to plug another source into the HDMI port if you want to watch that. Those in need of a new set might want to try and find a 2021 model on sale, or consider waiting for a few months until the yearly discounts start to kick in. While digging deeper into the projector, I was surprised to find that the small power supply tucked between the cooling fan and the LED heatsink seemed to be… Colour reproduction remains a weakness, with slightly unrealistic tones in places, but the picture is bright, steady and sharp, while autofocus ensures you never have to fiddle with a focus dial. In normal or “bright” mode, the image is crisp and well-defined and colour performance is solid, enabling you to project a bright, watchable image up to 100in in size in dim or dark rooms. Picture quality isn’t quite up to the same level as the LG PF50KS or the ViewSonic M2 but you do get HDR10 support and it’s very convenient to use, with automatic focus and keystone correction ensuring a sharp and regular-shaped image at all times.
If you were hoping that the Viewsonic M2 was a sequel to the brilliant M1, you might be disappointed. They might not perform as well as the real thing. Inside we found red, green, and blue lasers of considerable power, as well as all the optics and support hardware to get them running. Keeping it set on a mode called Dark FPS I found lifelike tones, vibrant hues, and subtle gradations in the jungles and temples of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Case in point, the “AppLights Personalized Projection” which I found sulking around the clearance section of the Home Depot a couple weeks back. That being said, I did play around with the “AppLights Personalized Projection” enough to confidently say that as a product it’s rather poor. You can play video back from USB flash drives and microSD cards, stream from your phone or laptop using screen mirroring, holiday projector with motion or play audio through the speaker via Bluetooth. You can connect a streaming stick through the HDMI port, but the Nebula Capsule has its own built-in media player running on Android 7.1. This isn’t as much of a plus point as you might expect – there’s no Google Play store and no official apps for Amazon Prime or Netflix, leaving you to navigate the browser-based apps using a virtual trackpad on Anker’s connected smartphone app.
YouTube pre-installed, along with the Google Play Store. Plus, with Google Assistant support via the bundled voice remote, it’s incredibly easy to search for new apps and content. On several occasions I’ve got a projector up and running, only to have missed a second remote, a hidden Wi-Fi adapter , and more. Around this time last year, the regular Hackaday reader may recall I did a teardown for a Christmas laser projector. The pop-culture icon dubbed the “Pope of Trash” tours the country with a one-man show devoted to Christmas themes. Consider it a late Christmas gift. Don’t do it. Not only does keystone adjustment lower the resolution of the image, since you’re no longer using the entire image-creating chip or chips, but also adds a new layer of video processing that can add quality-reducing artifacts on its own. The keystone adjustment makes the image rectangular electronically. However, the sound is full and powerful enough for some casual viewing without speakers or a soundbar connected, and the image quality is as good as portable projectors get. Sometimes, even with high-end projectors, the adjustments will be too coarse to get perfect.
Even if your projector does OK during the day when you buy it, holiday projector the lamp is only going to get dimmer over time. Adjust the height using a stand or mount, not by tilting the projector. If you’re going to sit the projector on a stand or table, it’s also worth checking which of its feet are adjustable. If the airflow isn’t adequate, the projector could overheat and shut down, you could significantly reduce the life of the lamp, and theoretically start a fire. Just got a new Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV or Fire TV? Most wireless HDMI options don’t require line of sight, but for every layer you place between a transmitter and receiver, the possibility of signal loss goes up. If your transmitter is in the back of a cabinet somewhere, beware. With such a big picture that means the screen door effect is fully apparent if you’re not sitting at least two or three meters back. We consider the best picture quality for the money a sort of holy grail in the quest for a new TV.