Vivitek H1080FD - Physical Tour
12/15/09 - Art Feierman
Vivitek H1080FD Physical Appearance
The Vivitek H1080FD projector is a small projector, finished in a nice shiny white finish. There's just a touch of sculpting. It looks nice. The lens is recessed and mounted to the right (facing the projector). Next to it is the front infra-red sensor. There's a button at the bottom center of the front that releases a front center foot.
Focus and zoom controls are recessed on the top right behind the lens. Further back is the control panel. All connections are on the back.
Unlike just about every other home theater or home entertainment projector, the Vivitek has a built in speaker. That means you can quickly set one up in doors or out, if basic sound is all you need for an occasion.
H1080FD Projector - Control Panel
The control panel is a nice one. There's the usual four arrow keys surrounding the cener Enter button. There is also a second group of four buttons split by the arrow keys. The Power button is below to the side.
Those other four buttons are Menu, Auto, Source, and Blank.
There are a pair of indicator lamps for Temp and Ready.
Vivitek H1080FD Inputs and Outputs
The H1080FD is nicely equipped. There are two HDMI inputs, and an analogcomputer input (which can double as a second component video input). There's also a separate comonent video input (3 color coded RCA connectors), S-video and composite video, RS-232 for command and control (computer, room control gear), and USB for service. Finally there's a 12 volt screen trigger, two sets of audio inputs, and a stereo audio out, as well as the rear infra-red sensor.
Vivitek H1080FD Menus
Vivitek H1080FD Remote Control
It's white, the backlit buttons are fairly bright (blue), and very readable in low or no light. Unlike the Optoma HD20 competition, the blue backlighting isn't over the top. With the Optoma I couldn't even make subtle adjustments to the image, without holding the remote behind me, as the remote's light was so bright, I couldn't see what I was doing. That's not a problem with the Vivitek remote control.
The remote control's range is pretty good, though not exceptional. I can get a good bounce off my front wall and screen - 11 feet to the front, and 16 back to the projector, without too much difficulty. Probably more than half of the remotes I work with have less range than this one.
The H1080FD remote control itself, is well laid out. Separate Off and On buttons are at the top. Next comes 6 direct input buttons for your sources, including two HDMI buttons.
Below that, the usual four navigation buttons, with a centered Enter button. And right below those, is the small Menu button (bottom left) and across from it, the Aspect Ratio button.
The lower half of the remote has five rows of three buttons (with good spacing, I must note). The first three rows are mostly direct access buttons for image controls like Picture mode, Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness... but also include a Source button, a Status (info) button and a Mute. The last two rows have volume up and down, freeze, blank, backlight and Auto (primarily for PC).
All considered a very nice remote, better than most!
H1080FD Lens Throw
The manual lens has a 1.2:1 zoom ratio. - typical for most DLP home theater projectors. For a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 screen, the projector (measured from the front of the lens), can be placed as close as 10 feet 10.5 inches to 13 feet 1 inch. This type of throw distance is also very typical for a DLP projector. This gives you just over 2 feet of placement flexibility for a screen of that size. Looking at a larger or smaller screen, you can calculate the distances easily from the numbers above. (A 10% larger screen - 110" diagonal would have distances 10% greater for both closest and furthest away...)
H1080FD Lens Shift
The H1080FD lacks any adjustable lens shift. This Vivitek projector has a fair amount of lens offset. That means that if ceiling mounting you will be placing it above the screen surface top. For a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, that would be almost 8 inches above (measured to the center of the lens). It also means that the projector can be placed on a table below the bottom of the screen surface (by the same amount). Obviously, the larger the screen, the more offset.
Officially the projector claims 15% offset - a 100" diagonal screen is about 49 and a fraction inches high, so 15% is just fractionally under 7.5 inches. We do not measure to confirm, these are based on provided numbers.
H1080FD Anamorphic Lens
Even ifthe H1080FD supported an anamorphic lens, spending the "big bucks" for one, for any of these entry level projectors really doesn't make much overall sense. To spend twice as much for the lens, as the projector, and then, a sled also costs an extra $1000... You get the idea. If you want to go anamorphic, start with a better projector. You certainly could consider the $1999 Panasonic, which will emulate an anamorphic lens (within limits), and doesn't do a bad job of it.