This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Vankyo. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
After years of video projectors being uniformly high-end, big-ticket items, in recent years the lower ends of the market (where the likes of you and I shop) are becoming more densely populated with choice. There are many companies selling full HD projectors with high lumen bulbs and crisp, large screen sizes for not too much money.
Obviously when a technology becomes affordable, yet not cheap, it gets hard to spot the good stuff among the chaff. Vankyo is making a bit of a name for themselves for budget-conscious, sturdy, decent-quality projectors, and their new Vankyo Performance V630 is no exception.
Home Cinema Workhorse
The Vankyo Performance V630 is a full-featured and reasonably-priced HD video projector, part of its Premium V range. It’s a home cinema projector, in other words intended for use in a domestic setting, so is styled to look good in your home.
The build quality is really quite good, and it has a range of useful inputs and outputs: SD card slot, HDMI inputs x2, USB in, VGA, and headphone out and AV in 3.5mm jacks. It also has a USB power out port, but more about that in a moment.
The unit comes with a stylish carrying case, HDMI, AV adapter and power leads and a remote control. At around five feet away from the screen you get a picture of about 46”, but back it off to about 30 feet away, and the size goes up to 300”. Exactly how bright the picture would be then is anyone’s guess (my room’s not that big), but let’s keep it down to normal indoor distances for now and see how we do.
Emphasis on the Home
It’s a good-looking projector, somewhat retro looking actually, with fabric panels in the front and back to decorate the surface. It’s not an ugly, technical-looking item as some are. Setting it up is easy, just plug and play. You can either use the buttons on the remote or on the top of the projector to turn it on.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty: brightness. This is a very bright projector. The website says it’s 6000 lux, and although I have no way to check that, I can believe it. In a daylight-lit room, the screen was clear and bright. Even in a room at night with all the lights on, you can still see the screen very clearly.
The sound is pretty good, too. There are apparently a pair of 5W speakers inside the case, and these are pretty good quality and quite loud. Obviously, they are not Hi-Fi speakers, and of course they will distort if you overdrive them with loud sound at maximum volume, which tends to vibrate the case. But for the purposes of normal people watching films in their living rooms, the volume and quality are ample.
A very nice feature is the digital keystone, adjustable via the remote. The manual keystone dial behind the focus wheel only deals with up/down angle distortion caused by the projector not being square with the screen. (This adjustment should be avoided to keep the picture sharp at the top and bottom.) The digital keystone rotates the picture digitally to correct up/down and left/right angle distortion, and this way you don’t lose focus by tilting the lens.
Some people are needlessly obsessed with fan noise in projectors, the reviews on Amazon are full of them, so here’s the truth: You have to have fans in projectors as the lamps get really hot. Fan noise on this unit is about 50db, about average and quieter than some. For context, a quiet room has a background hum of about 30db, and most movies playing through the speakers will be in the 50-80db range anyway, depending on how loud your like your movies. So you won’t hear the fan, and even in the quieter bits it’s amazing how quickly you tune it out.
The USB power out socket on the back is very useful. You can maintain a charge on a phone or laptop that you are playing into the projector by plugging it in here. Also, I managed to quite happily run a Raspberry Pi2 on it and play movies into the projector, saving a plug.
Are there any negatives? Well, I thought I noticed a very slight frame lag with some videos, almost imperceptible, on scenes which move fast side to side. Also I’m pretty sure it has an acrylic lens, which means although it’s sharp, it’s not the sharpest it could be. You have to be realistic, though, I think in a projector in this price range these kinds of minor issues are entirely excusable, as technical compromises have to be made to keep prices down.
It is an easy-to-use, very-watchable and good-sounding projector which is versatile and easy to place in a room and (let’s say it one more time) has a bright and easily visible screen, even in well-lit rooms. I’d even say it makes a good TV replacement. The Vankyo Performance V630 is a bright, full featured HD projector with nice loud speakers and good looks for not a lot of money. It costs just $269.99 and is available direct from the maker and on Amazon.