Ultra HD TVs are now the rule rather than the exception, but that is different with projectors. Full HD is still important here, and Ultra HD models are only still at the top of the range. Anyone who also wants HDR support has even less choice. The Acer V9800 is a welcome addition to that category.
Acer V9800 – 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 1.36 – 2.03 (100 inch diagonal between 3.01 and 4.50 m), noise level 26/23/20 dB ( standard, ecomode, silent)
- Connections: 2x HDMI (1x v1.4 and 1x v2.0a), 1x VGA, 1x micro-USB, 2x 12V trigger, 1x network, 1x RS-232
- Lamp life: 3,000/4,000/6,000 hours
- Extras: HDR10, (possibly HLG after firmware update)
- Dimensions: 563 x 216 x 471 mm
- Weight: 15 kg
- Consumption: 318/241/0.5 watt
- Recommended retail price: 3.999 euros
Acer V9800 – design
You really can not ignore it, this projector is very large, huge even. It is absolutely no model that you place on the coffee table or move quickly. The front with its huge lens and ventilation grille is impressive, but the glossy anthracite black housing lacks some inspiration. That does not mean that he is ugly, just a bit boring. Acer clearly opted for function rather than form.
On the side we find two HDMI connections, one with HDMI v1.4 and one with HDMI 2.0a. Who connects an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, or other Ultra HD sources, does so best on HDMI1 (the 2.0a version). In addition, you only have an analog VGA connection.
For the control there is a network connection, RS-232 and USB connector. Two 12V triggers offer options for automating your screen and other things. The connections are all on the side. That can make it difficult to neatly remove the cables. But considering the projector itself is already 56cm long, connections in the back would make it even longer.
Acer V9800 – Location and ease of use
This projector is equipped with a lens with a fairly long projection ratio (1.36 – 2.03). That means that for a 100 inch image the front must be at least three meters from the screen. Thanks to the 1.5x zoom factor you can go back up to 4.5m for that same 100 inch image. Since the projector itself is also quite long, you really have to provide a lot of space to place it. Acer has equipped the lens with lens shift, which makes the placement considerably easier. You can shift the image vertically to +/- 65% and +/- 27% horizontally. The projector should therefore not be perfectly central to the screen. You control the lens shift with two rotary knobs hidden behind a shutter on the top of the projector.
The projector is pretty noisy, especially if you put it in the highest lamp mode. In the eco-mode, the noise is less, but we had expected a quieter result, especially since the projector is very large and therefore has room for large and quiet fans. The ‘Silent’ image mode deactivates the pixel shift (about which further) and gives the quietest result. In any case, make sure that the projector is not near you to avoid noise pollution.
The menus are clear and well-organized, but are central to the image. This can be difficult during calibration. The Acer has a whole range of image presets, including Movie, Dark Cinema and modes that match certain standards such as sRGB and Rec709. In the menus you will find all the settings required for extensive calibration: color management system, gray scale and a good selection of gamma curves.
The remote is large and uses illuminated keys, always an asset for a projector. The layout is very simple, with the d-pad at the center, and both above and below a number of keys to quickly make adjustments to the image. The remote is handy, but you have to press the keys fairly hard.
Acer V9800 – features
This Acer uses a new DLP chip from Texas Instruments with four million mirrors. That is still not full Ultra HD resolution (which has eight million pixels), but already considerably more than Full HD (two million). To achieve full Ultra HD resolution, this chip also uses a pixel-shift approach (such as the JVC and Epson projectors). Thus, the grid is shifted a half pixel horizontally and vertically very quickly, and together with the correct image processing, this delivers Ultra HD resolution results. Anyone who fears the result can already be reassured. The V9800 delivers razor-sharp images, with pixels that are visible even on a 100-inch image only from a distance of 50 cm.
In all normal viewing conditions you can enjoy perfect detail without disturbing pixel structure. The ‘Silent’ image mode is a special case. This deactivates the pixel shift, making the grid slightly more visible (see photo). At normal viewing distances the difference is small, but you lose a tiny bit of detail.
The projector can not deliver 3D, but does upscaling your sources to Ultra HD. A dynamic iris should improve the contrast. Those who want to view two sources at the same time can do so thanks to PIP and PBP. And of course the projector is HDR compatible (HDR10 only).
Acer V9800 – Image quality
The image processing on the Acer is limited. De-interlacing of video content is excellent, but with film content it sometimes goes wrong with the detection of the right film frame rate. As a result, you may see slight moiré effects in fine detail. The best solution: switch your source to 1080p or 2160p so that the projector does not have to take that task anymore. The noise reduction is fine for random noise, but has difficulty with compression noise.
Motion interpolation is missing, and you can see a slight double contour on the edge of moving objects, such as with projectors that do not have this function. The movement sharpness is therefore rather poor.
If we have to rub a weak point on the projector, then it is the black level. In the Rec709 image mode we do not exceed a contrast of 770: 1 and in Dark Cinema we get about 930: 1. The black bands above and below a film are clearly visible. To improve that, he is equipped with a dynamic iris. This reduces the light output in dark images to improve black rendering. Unfortunately, the iris is not free of problems. That way you can clearly hear them working. The function of the iris is adjustable in three positions, but only the lowest is usable. In high and medium, image processing is so drastic that the result is sometimes wrong. In the lowest position you still have to deal with occasional ‘pumps’ of the brightness, but the result is acceptable.
The light output is 2.200 lumen on paper, in practice we measure just under 1900 lumens in the Bright image mode. However, that fashion is unusable because of its strong green tint. In the Rec709 mode, 1,050 lumens (700 in eco mode) still reach. The Dark Cinema mode achieves 1,280 lumens. Since you fill a 150-inch screen with 1000 lumen when dimmed, and 105 inches with some ambient light, that performance is fine.
We can congratulate the Acer V9800 for excellent calibration. The Rec709 image preset delivers almost perfect results. The gray scale tends to be slightly green-cyan in the clear part, but that is hardly noticeable. Color range and color reproduction are excellent, with very beautiful skin colors. The gamma value of the Rec709 preset is 2.4 and that can hide a bit of black detail. You can adjust that and choose for 2.2.
Where the Acer excels in classical content, he is somewhat less convincing with HDR. Attention, although it is the same kind of images and the same content, you can not compare HDR on a television with HDR on a projector. After all, a television can pump out much more clarity on demand, and generally starts with a better contrast. A projector is much more limited in that respect.
The HDR images of the Acer deliver at least what you expect: punchy, powerful image with bold colors. But the projector is just a bit too far to achieve that result. So it is clear that you lose a lot of detail in the brightest parts of the image by clipping. This means that a lot of detail disappears in some clear images. You can mitigate this by reducing ‘contrast’ (from 50 to 45 eg), but then the image loses some punch. In addition, the skin colors tend to red, making it seem like actors have been in the sun for too long.
The projector is equipped with two HDR modes (HDR 1 and HDR2). The second mode makes the dark detail slightly brighter and also reduces the sunburn effect. It can be a good choice for predominantly dark films, but certainly not for clear films. We found, despite the shortcomings, that HDR1 gave the best result.
The Acer has an input-lag of 54.2ms. Not fast enough for top gamers, but sufficient for a lot of regular gaming fun.
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 V9800 – Conclusion
This Acer V9800 is an interesting projector because it is our first DLP projector with Ultra HD resolution. We easily forgive him for achieving that through pixel-shifting technology. Because whoever sees the result will soon be convinced. All Ultra HD detail is present. The price is tough and we would have preferred him around 3500 euros to better compete with for example the Epson EH-TW9300. His weakest point is the black value (and contrast). He looks fine with eclipse, but he tolerates a little bit of light. His HDR performance is rather poor, but he more than compensates for that by excellent calibration in SDR. Mik on a 100 inch image and the Acer delivers beautiful cinema images.