The Acer V7850 brings Ultra HD HDR projection a step closer to a very reasonable budget. This projector is clearly based on their first model, the V9800, and we are curious how Acer has worked on the performance.
Acer V7850 specifications
- What: Ultra HD DLP projector
- Arrangement: 3.840 x 2.160, light output 2.200 ANSI lumen, dynamic contrast 1.000.000: 1, projection ratio 1.39 – 2.21 (100 inch diagonal between 3.08 and 4.89 m), noise level 29/27 dB (standard, ecomode)
- Connections: 2x HDMI (1x v1.4 and 1x v2.0a), 1x VGA, 1x USB, 1x VGA off, 1x stereo minijack in, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x 12V trigger, 1x network, 1x rs-232
- Lamp life: 4,000 / 10,000 / 15,000 hours
- Extras: HDR10
- Dimensions: 398 x 115 x 298 mm
- Weight: 5.3 kg
- Consumption: 315/260 / 0.5 watt
- Recommended retail price: 2,999 euros
Acer V7850 – design
From the V9800 we could say without a glance or blush that it was a giant projector. The V7850, on the other hand, is a lot smaller. He falls in the typical size of the better home theater projectors. Not so small that you can put it anywhere, but not so big or heavy that you have to make special arrangements for it.
The glossy white housing is nicely finished. Around it, horizontal ribs give him a more pleasant view. The ventilation opening is located at the front right, and the projector also leaks a lot of light there. Given the fairly long projection ratio, that will not disturb your image.
All connections are at the rear. Of the two HDMI connections, only one is marked with (UHD 4K). Choose this connection for your Ultra HD Blu-ray player or other UHD HDR source. The other HDMI connections do support Ultra HD, but no HDR. Furthermore, a VGA input and output are provided, and a mini stereo jacket for audio in, and one for audio out.
Who wants to control the projector can use RS-232, or the network connection. A 12V trigger is provided to automate your screen. The USB connection serves only as power for any HDMI dongles such as a Chromecast.
Acer V7850 – Location and ease of use
The projection ratio is standard for a home cinema projector, which means that for a 100 “image you have to provide at least three meters distance between screen and lens. The 1.6x zoom lens gives you some extra freedom to place the projector up to 4.9 meters from the screen for the same 100 “image. The lens offset is 115 percent and you get a very limited lens shift of fifteen percent. The bottom of the image is therefore at the same height as the lens or up to fifteen percent of the image height above the lens. There is therefore not much room for adjustment. There is no keystone correction, so placement is pretty crucial. You control the lens shift with a rotary knob at the top of the projector. This is very difficult, but because it is normally a one-off operation, we do not count it as a negative point.
DLP projectors are sometimes quite noisy, but the Acer keeps it reasonably under control. In the standard lamp mode, the fan is clearly audible, but not a heavy jammer. We recommend that you do not sit near the projector. In the eco mode, the fan noise is completely eliminated, and only the buzzing of the color wheel and the pixel shift remains. That is a quieter, but unfortunately slightly more irritating sound, which you might hear in silent scenes. Finally, there is a ‘silent’ mode (not with the lamp settings, but with the image presets) which actually is silent. The Acer then turns off its pixel shift, so you lose a little detail (and the pixel grid becomes a bit bigger), but it remains a good choice if you really want silence.
The menus provide all necessary settings, but are in the middle of the image. There is also no option to move them, which can be tricky when calibrating. There is a long list of presets available such as Movie, Dark Cinema and an sRGB and Rec709 mode. A downside: you can not adjust the image presets. This means, among other things, that you can not tune the ‘silent’ mode to your own taste.
As soon as you adjust something in the image menus, the image preset jumps to ‘User’ and the pixel shift is reactivated. Those who opt for ‘silent’ must live with a gamma curve with a slight S-curve that emphasizes the contrast and hides some black and white detail.
The small remote is equipped with lighting, always handy for a projector. In addition, he has a large selection of keys that gives you direct access to certain image adjustments.
Acer V7850 – features
Just like the V9800, the V7850 uses the latest DLP chip from Texas Instruments. It offers four million pixels (half of Ultra HD) and uses pixel-shifting technology to show Ultra HD images. Who wants to know how this works, looks here .
The 5 Watt stereo speakers are fun, but in our eyes really unnecessary. No content comes into its own, and although you can buy an optional bag, we think that this Acer will end up in fixed setups.
The most important optional accessory is a Wireless HD, useful if you do not want to lay a long HDMI cable. Keep in mind that this set is limited to 1080p, so for Ultra HD and HDR it is not a solution.
Acer V7850 – Image quality
The projector delivers very nice and detailed images, but you have to dive into the menus to get the best results. During our sharpness tests, we reset Acers ‘Super Resolution’ setting. Even in the lowest position she delivers a little bit of fake detail. And the ordinary sharpness setting is too high for our taste, which we eventually put somewhere between five and eight.
On test images, after all these adjustments, we still found that we lost some detail. However, when we did the same tests on real images, the result turned out to be more nuanced. We were more inclined to set ‘Super resolution’ to two, with sharpness still between five and eight. You accentuate some detail with it, without really creating excessive sharpness. Experiment yourself, but keep the above settings as maximum. Higher than that and the image almost contains noise, due to false contours. One last tip: stay away from ‘Super Resolution’ stand one. For reasons that are unclear, it sometimes gave a much too heavy effect.
You should choose progressive sources (720p and 1080p) instead of interlaced (1080i). In the deinterpreting , the Acer occasionally shows some moiré effects in fine detail. Many points the projector can not score on image processing. There is no noise reduction available, and the ‘Dynamic Black’ setting especially boosts the brightness.
Motion interpolation is available, under the ‘AcuMotion’ setting. It does little for the sharpness, but it does take shocks from pan images. We found the result pretty good, without obvious image artifacts. It remains a personal choice, of course, whether you activate it, some people think it spoils the film look.
The light output is a bit disappointing compared to the specifications on paper. In Bright mode we clean up to 1,570 lumens from the projector, while still having to reach 2,200 lumens on paper. In the Movie and Dark Cinema modes this drops to about 1,050 lumens and in the Rec709 mode to 670 lumens. With the lamp in eco-mode you lose another 33 percent. That means that the rec709 mode is meant for full darkening, unless you use 80-inch or smaller as the screen size.
We suspect that the difference with the V9800 (which with the same specifications was quite a bit clearer) is due to the lens. After all, it seems to scatter a lot of light around the image. In our tests we could clearly see how a part of the wall was lit around the image. That is obviously light output that is lost. What he shares with the V9800 are the weak black performance. Much more than a contrast of 1,250: 1 (in Dark Cinema and Movie) and 830: 1 (in rec.709) we could not get the picture. There is also no iris to improve that. The V7850 is therefore not very comfortable in dark scenes. You see all the black detail, but the scenes lose a lot of impact because the black value is too high.
The rec.709 image preset is properly calibrated. The gray scale tends towards red in the lightest shades, but otherwise the result is fine. The gamma value of 2.4 provides a good picture when darkening. The color reproduction is even excellent. Those who want more light, choose the Movie of Dark Cinema preset. They have a slightly cooler color temperature, but are considerably brighter. The Movie preset uses an S-gamma curve that emphasizes contrast, the Dark Cinema preset opts for better visible black detail. Our advice: choose one of them, and adjust it by changing the gamma value to 2.2 (slightly lighter) or 2.4 (slightly darker). That preset will then end up on the ‘user’ preset, and you can alternate between ‘User’ and ‘rec709’ to see what you prefer.
Unfortunately, just like the V9800, the V7850 is far less convincing with HDR. He needs to do it with HDR10 support. The weak black value and the limited contrast are quite a problem. In dark scenes, detail is sometimes lost and the bright accents swim in a shapeless dark gray background. In bright scenes the result is a lot nicer, even though the color range and contrast is absolutely not comparable to that of a television.
The projector offers four HDR modes (1-4). They make the image progressively brighter, but also cleave more and more white detail. The right choice will depend on viewing conditions, the film in question and personal taste. HDR 2 or 3 seemed the best choice for most cases.
It must be said that the V7850 does slightly better than the V9800, which had only two HDR modes, and slightly too aggressive color change. But with the detection of HDR it sometimes goes wrong. For example, after our HDR images, we looked at an ordinary SDR source on the other HDMI input, and the projector stayed in HDR mode. Eventually we had to turn it on and off to get the picture back to normal.
The V7850 has a lag of 87.7 ms. That is probably noticeable for many players, so be careful if you wish to play games on this projector.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag-meter.
For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AVFoundry HDMI Pattern Generator , an HDFury Integral for HDR patterns and the Spectracal Calman for Business software.
Acer V7850 – Conclusion
The Acer V7850 shows that there is already some improvement in the HDR view compared to the V9800. But the projector remains a bit too weakly equipped (contrast, color range) to really smoothly with HDR to jump. It is a good choice for SDR content, provided you can live with limited contrast. Provided the correct image setting, and darkening or minimal ambient light, the Ultra HD projector gives excellent images. The ‘silent’ image mode makes it even more silent. With some improvement and expansion of the software, a few minor annoyances would disappear. The price tag is correct.