3D is here. Yip! Yip! Yipppppppeeeeee! As overheard at an Avatar screening: "I wish I could see in 3D all the time!".
We are now experiencing the second age of 3D, after the first wave came and went in the 50's. As you'd expect, the technology is so much more advanced these days even if there's only one movie to show for it. In fact, cinemas in Korea are showing Avatar in 4D which, if we know anything about physics, means you actually do get three hours of your life back!
So manufacturers are now jumping on the 3D bandwagon, only some are doing it more successfully than others.
Design and features
Our first impressions of the PJD6381 weren't very good, and unfortunately this was a pattern that the ViewSonic followed during our testing period. You see, as soon as we got the projector out of the box the adjustable foot on the front of the projector snapped clean off. To continue with testing we had to make do with what we, and we suspect most people would have available — DVD covers.
The ViewSonic PJD6381 is a 3D projector, yes, but it comes with a couple of caveats. Firstly, you need to own a recent Nvidia graphics card, and secondly you need to buy a set of Nvidia 3D glasses, which will set you back a cool AU$300. We heaped the first 3D monitor to cross our desks, the, with faint praise back in 2008, but in hindsight it was a pretty dreadful product: you had to sit a specific distance from the computer otherwise you ended up puking. Zalman used a passive technology in its product whereas the ViewSonic method uses active glasses, which works so much better.
Unfortunately, for users interested in hooking this projector up to a Blu-ray player and watching Avatar when it comes out then you just can't. There are no digital inputs of any kind on the projector, and as far as we can fathom 3D Blu-ray will only work via HDMI.
Connectivity is heavily PC-centric with two separate VGA inputs and one output. Accompanying this are an S-Video and a composite input. On the audio side there are two stereo 3.5mm inputs and an output. According to the Quick Setup guide it is possible to use a component-to-VGA converter to connect set-top boxes, but there isn't one included in the box.
The ViewSonic's biggest selling point — apart from 3D, of course — is its short throw capability, which means it projects a large image from a very short distance. However, this is also the projector's greatest weakness, but more on that shortly.