Vivitek H1080FD Projector - Performance
12/15/09 - Art Feierman
Vivitek H1080FD Projector Brightness
Wow! The Vivitek H1080FD is bright! While a number of relatively low cost DLP projectors are brighter than the average projector (450-550 lumens), most of them are not much brighter in what we call their "brightest mode". Typically those same DLP projectors produce just about 1000 lumens or maybe up to 1200 lumens in brightest mode.
Not so the Vivitek projector. It sizzles in "best mode" with just over 800 measured lumens, but then really gets fired up when you switch to it's Bright mode, where it produces a whopping 1777 lumens with lens at mid point.
These were the measurements for all modes, Pre-calibration. Shown along with the lumens are the color temperature measurements for white (100 IRE):
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Movie= 806 @ 6995K
Bright= 1777 @ 6964K
Normal= 1081 @ 6806K
User 1= 773 @ 6984K
User 2= 1026 @ 6856K
User 3= 1763 @ 6945K
You'll note that the white point color temp is virtually identical in all modes, and always just a touch cool.
Going from mid-point on the zoom to full telephoto (it's really not far to go) drops the brightness by about 3% to 1726 (for Bright mode) Going from mid-point to full wide angle increases brightness by 3% to 1832 lumens. In other words, place the projector where it fits best, and don't worry about the minor difference in brightness.
Switching to "low lamp" which Vivitek calls Normal, from "high lamp" which they call Boost, results in a drop of only about 15% (for Movie mode that's 683 lumens down from 806 lumens).
Since this projector is especially bright many will actually use the lower power mode, and get a 50% boost in lamp life to 3000 hours.
Think this way: The H1080FD in Movie mode, low power, is still every bit as bright as the Optoma set to high power. When comparing brightest modes, the Vivitek remains far brighter than the Optoma, even when it's in low lamp.
Hong Kong skyline. Projected in Movie mode, off of Blu-ray disc.
Vivitek H1080FD Sharpness
Note, my old dts-HD disc has died. It was their first release and I haven't been able to replace. That means I am forced to stop using some images, including the DTS logo. Starting recently, we are switching to a closeup of the Video icon and nearby icons from the Sony PS3 main screen. It works just as well to demonstrate sharpness.
Top left: Vivitek H1080FD, Top Center, Optoma HD20, Top right: Panasonic PT-AE4000
2nd row left: Mitsubishi HC3800, middle: BenQ W6000, right: InFocus X10
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right H1080FD, Epson Home Cinema 8100, Mitsubishi HC3800, and Optoma HD20.
Vivitek H1080FD: Bottom Line Sharpness
Like almost all single chip DLP projectors the Vivitek produces a very sharp image. It isn't the sharpest of the DLP projectors, but it is sharp enough to easily match or beat the sharpness of any of the LCD competition. That's pretty darn good, for $999! In other words, no issue here at all. You could buy, for example, a $2500 Epson 8500UB, perhaps the best under $3000 projector on the market, and it's image still would be a touch softer thant he Vivitek.
Very good, in terms of light leaking out from vents, etc. In other words very minimal leakage of that type. The other type of light leakage is that coming through the lens. In this case, the Vivitek H1080FD isn't so good. There is (when the projector is table top (right side up), a large, soft, faint area above the screen that lights up. The light there is a little darker than the projector's "black" that you would see in the letterbox areas. You aren't likely to spot it at all, if your walls are dark. If, though, the wall behind the screen is off white, you'll see it's "glow" albeit faintly. Is this a serious problem?
Definitely not, expecially with a dark wall (or drapes) around the screen. Consider, some excellent projectors, including a favorite of mine, the InFocus IN83 -which is a $5K+ projector (or was until recently discontinued), leaks at least as much light through the lens, and it never dampened my enthusiasm for that projector. OK, you've been forewarned, now put it in perspective, and don't worry about it, it's just not a significant issue.
The Vivitek exhibits more image noise in it's best Movie mode, than many other projectors, but the same can be said of almost all DLP models. They just seem to produce a noisier looking image than LCD or LCoS projectors. It's there, but another non-issue for most.
When you switch to Bright mode, however, where there seems to be some dynamic enhancement going on somewhere, the image noise seems to mix with the higher dynamic, and on occasion the noise is noticeable and a touch distracting.
That's OK, though, as you are probably using Bright mode, primarily for sports type viewing where you aren't likely to notice, and less likely to care. That said, I have three images here, that show the Vivitek H1080FD projector on the same scene, but with the three different modes.
Look particularly at the noise in the woman's face, and especially the neck. In Movie mode, it just appears as a touch of noise as with any projector, Normal is a little worse but shouldn't be an issue. Bright mode, however, was starting to get visible at close, but normal seating distances. Again, though, Bright, as with any projector, is an inherent compromise between lumens and image quality.
Another note: In comparing these images above, you can see that the Vivitek does have a bit too much green in Bright mode (again, as is very typical). Besides noting the differences in color, I did want to say that the shift to green is there, but less noticeable on the screen, than in the picture. (I've commented many times that there is usually a little too strong green coming out of my dSLR when doing these shoots, that I've never been able to fully remove.)
I complained about the audible noise of the Optoma HD20, when I reviewed it recently. OK, DLP projectors tend to be the noisiest of the three projector technologies, and it tends to be made worse when the manufacturers are building particularly small projectors like the HD20.
Fortunately, the Vivitek H1080FD is definitely quieter than the HD20. It's not night and day, but definitely several db worth. Vivitek claims 26 db in low power, which likely translates into 30 - 31 db at full power. And yest, that would be definitely quieter than the HD20, and about average among the lower cost DLP projectors.
The HD20 does appear to be noiser than some of the more expensive competition. It's likely just a little noisier than both the Mitsubishi HC3800 or the Epson Home Cinema 8100, two under $1500 projectors we really liked when reviewed.