The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Vivitek H5080 Home Projector – A First Look Review

Greetings all,

Yes, I’ve been promising, and promising, so finally, here’s my two cents about the Vivitek 5080 projector.  It’s iris behaves differently than the almost identical Optoma HD8600.  The iris is actually rather smooth, however, it also doesn’t seem to have as much range as the Optoma.   It’s been a long time since the HD8600 was here, but my belief is that the Vivitek 5080 cannot produce as dark a black level, because it’s iris isn’t set to close down as much.

That’s a fair trade-off.  In Optoma’s case, they delivered great blacks, but in doing so, ended up with iris action I couldn’t live with for long.  Turning off the iris solves the problem but reduced that projector’s black level performance to something well below it’s pay grade.  (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?)

The bottom line, is that the Vivitek 5080 is being prepped for a full review.  Mike picked it up earlier, and will bring it back measured and calibrated.

The Vivitek 5080, at it’s lower price point (than the Optoma) and smoother iris should be interesting competition for the Epson UB’s, the LG CF181D, Panasonic, BenQ W6000 and others in the Vivitek price range.  Most of you wanted most, though, to hear what I thought of the iris, since much of the rest is the same as that Optoma, and, hey, once calibrated, they all do pretty darn good color.

Meantime, I’m working on the Runco review, and also have a couple of LG’s to deal with.  The full Vivitek projector review will come between the two LG’s (CF3D and AF115). -art

News And Comments

  • Steve Atkinson

    Great Art……. anytime tomorrow will be fine :-)

  • Pierre

    Art, can you confirm H5080 come with greyscale tuning menu? The first firmware release doesn’t had the greyscale menu, only CMS which had been discussed in avsforum. Can you check the firmware version? Thanks.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Pierre,

      To access the grayscale controls (gain, bias, for R, G, and B), you need to enter the service area, which requires a passcode, (or actually a keystroke sequence). I have asked Vivitek for permission to publish that code, and am waiting to hear back. Go back 5+ years ago, and having those controls locked away in a service menu was more SOP, than unusual. Usually, permission gets tied to what other mischief you can get into. Some manufacturers void the warranty if a user enters the service menus, as you can really screw things up…

      I’m hoping they will say “ok”. BTW, the projector is ISF certified, which means ISF certified calibrators should have access to those keystrokes.
      So, I don’t think the issue has anything to do with firmware version, but, if I fire up the projector again, I’ll check the version, and mention it in the review. I’ve withheld discussing the service area, etc. until I hear back, but when I do, I’ll update both the review, and this blog, or do a new blog article. -art

  • Pierre

    Thanks. Hope you can release the service code. It doesn’t make sense that CMS is user accessible but greyscale lock away. Without accurate greyscale, CMS is useless. I know few potential buyers been holding back due to greyscale tuning issue.

    • Lisa Feierman

      PIerre, I hope so too. If not, probably someone on the forums no doubt, already has. -art

  • Steve Atkinson

    Hi Art… thanks for getting this review up!

    Any time frame on when we can expect your comparison between the 5080 v. LG CF181-D v. BenQ W6000?

    After reading everything I am still bouncing… to bad BenQ did not bring the W6500 to the USA!

    • Lisa Feierman

      Oh, in a couple of days… I have to make some corrections, add the LOTR images, etc. And I’m in the midst of writing up the Screen Innovations Black Diamond 1.4 subjective (only) review.

      Not any secrets, you can’t figure out from the review. Nice and bright, I’d say more forgiving image wise than the W6000. When the W6000 looks great, it really looks precisely so. The 5080, seems a touch more forgiving, but probably the W6000 at its best, looks better than the 5080 at its best. The 5080 is similar to the LG, but, that’s the first mistake I must correct. When I did the side by side shots, I forgot that I had the AF115 LG, not the CF181D. I have to adjust my conclusions based on that. the AF115 isn’t as bright, (I should have noticed at the time), and doesn’t do quite as good a black. My surprise that the 5080 beat the “CF181D” was the reason why I also hooked up the Epson. Ultimately I based my call re the Epson’s performance, since that’s the one I use most of the time as a good reference point. -a

  • Gaurav Aggarwal

    Hi Art,

    I didn’t know how to get hold of you on email, I am completely new to the projector world… haven’t auditioned any as yet also… ok here goes…

    I am currently renovating my room as I definitely can’t afford a dedicated theater room… This would have to serve the purpose of my bedroom as well as my theater room… :)

    My current configuration is:
    1. Yamaha RX-V 559
    2. Yamaha RX-V 430
    The above mentioned Home theater receivers would be traded in for another home theater amp which would support blu ray technology

    I have onkyo speakers… (Satellite) with an active Sub-woofer again Onkyo

    I also have AAD (American acoustic development) tower speakers (Vi Series)
    I have an advance acoustic pre amp and two power amps of the same…

    Now I am planning on using these towers as the front speakers and the Onkyo for my surround speakers…

    Now I would really like you to recommend a few things…

    My room is configured such that I will have to go in for a projector in my room as the screen has to come in front of the wardrobe… (btw my room is 15 x 11 ft)

    My budget for the projector would be around $2500 – 3000. Could you please recommend a projector in this range… as yet I have narrowed down on the Panasonic AE4000

    Should I get a motorized screen or a pulldown…

    Which receiver should I get which is blu-ray supportive which is not too expensive but yet decent as I would be only powering my center and surround speakers thru it… as my front towers would be powered by the advance acoustics… (please recommend if it is a good idea or no to keep the towers as the front speakers)

    Is the PS3 a good option to use it as a blu-ray player?

    What screen size would you recommend with the projector you recommend and with a viewing and throw distance of both 12 Ft. (The projector would be ceiling mounted)

    I am completely confused… Is this too much for a small room like mine… the thing is that the Real estate in Bombay (India) really doesn’t allow you to go for a bigger space :(

    I hope you understand my dilemma and reply back to solve this confusion…

    Thanks and regards,

    Gaurav Aggarwal

    P.S. Till date I’ve only been interested in music… but since I am renovating my room… I thought to go all out (In my means)… :)

    • Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Gaurav,

      That’s a lot of questions even at $100 each… But seriously here are some quick answers for you:
      I don’t “comment” on audio – but no reason why towers can’t be in front. You want your best there – if they image (spacial characteristics) extremely well (instrument placement – can you “hear” where each instrument and voice is, on the stage, and how far forward or back) extremely well, you can even skip having a center channel, but if you go with one, it should “match” the sound of your left and right.

      Screens – motorized over pull-down, but either way, you want tensioned, without tensioning if you are raising and lowering it a lot it won’t stay flat very long, and waves in the screen are very noticeable to most, like loud neighbors, or bad taste.

      PS3 is great – still an unknown about 3D in the future, but if you want to 3D proof your blu-ray, you need one with HDMI 1.4 and they are all still over $300 (only 3-4 out there as of now).

      At 12 feet I use a 128″ diagonal, but that’s huge, especially for a bedroom. Most likely you’ll want 92 to 110″ diagonal, depending on what looks right in the room, and what’s the right size for your viewing. Most folks sitting 12 feet back I’d guess have about 100 – 110″ screens, some smaller. Figure out how big it appear and choose for your room. At 12 feet, 100″ is probably about the same relative size, as sitting in the last row of a movie theater. (that varies a lot, of course). If confused, pick the smaller of two possible sizes – it’s “safer”, but me, I’m an “immersion” guy, I like sitting “close” relative to screen size. -a
      PS. I’m still more interested in music I guess – I still do 15 – 20 concerts a year…

  • Raul

    Hi Art,

    Did you ever get the right to release the info for the service codes?


    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi, No, they wouldn’t give permission. (I’m not surprised) I just never posted. Sorry about that.