Vivitek H5080 Projector Review
Welcome to our in-depth projector review of the Vivitek H5080 home theater projector.
We've rushed this to you, because we know you are waiting! Enjoy!
July 2010 - Art Feierman
Vivitek H5080 Projector Overview
This review has been a long time in coming. I've been receiving requests to review this projector, since about the time we published the Optoma HD8600. These two projectors are very similar, as they are coming off the same assembly lines. They are cosmetically a bit different, and there are also performance differences. With all the home projectors out there awaiting review, it seemed foolish back at the beginning of the year, to review a sort of non-identical twin, the H5080.
In fact it was mostly my issue with the HD8600's iris action (and nudging from people's comments) that really got me to pursue the Vivitek H5080 for review. I brought it in primarily to see if the iris worked the same way as the Optoma. It did not. Because of that, I decided that a short review was called for. As such, I've pirated some text from the HD8600 review, where the projectors behave the same, and I'm using a number of its images, since the two projectors do have similar look and feel. I will be doing a short photo shoot and dropping in some critical photos from the Vivitek H5080, but, Vivitek fans, you won't see near as many as with most reviews. Bummer!
I am now sorry I waited so long!
Seems like the Vivitek H5080 isn't as similar to the HD8600 as I expected. And of course, there's the fact that the H5080 projector is a $2999 projector available online, while that Optoma is "local dealer only" and about twice the price. Hmm!
The projector itself is a 1080p resolution, single chip DLP. It claims 1700 lumens, and while it didn't quite get there the way we measure - "close enough." This is one bright projector!
Whereas some projectors have very long range zoom lenses for great placement flexiblity, Vivitek (and Optoma) took a different tack. They offer a choice of three lenses. The standard lens is a 1.25:1 zoom, but there are two others, one is a longer throw zoom, and the other an extremely short thow fixed lens (no zoom). The advantage of Optoma's design is that shorter zoom lenses are brighter, and easier to make with less distortion. Some of that shows up in the brightness of this projector, no doubt.
The H5080 is loaded with a number of dynamic features. The native projector performance itself, however is impressive. The dynamic iris, as it turns out, is pretty smooth, the opposite of the iris action in the Optoma HD8600. It also, however, doesn't have the range it seems, as the Vivitek projector's blacks are not its strength.
We seem to have another serious contender under $3000. It's got plenty of competition though. It's got brightness, a nice sharp image, and bright vibrant colors going for it.
Let's get started!
H5080 Projector Highlights
- Extremely bright "best mode"- over 1200 measured lumens
- Really good post calibration color accuracy with excellent skin tones
- Extremely sharp image
- Excellent placement flexibility thanks to a choice of a "standard", wide or telephoto lens, plus lens shift
- DynamicBlack and manual iris for good black levels, but no dynamic iris
- CFI and other dynamic features
- Very good price performance
Projector Specs for the Vivitek H5080
MSRP: $2999. Wiith standard lens
Technology: Single chip DLP
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 1700 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: standard 1.25:1, two optional lenses, all manual
Lens shift: Vertical and Horizontal - manual
Lamp life: 2000 hours at full power (Bright), 3000 in low power (Standard)
Weight: 19.0 lbs. (8.6 Kg)
Warranty: 1 Year Parts and Labor
Click for more complete specs and brochure
Above image from The Hunt For Red October (Blu-ray disc). The H5080 looked especially fine on scenes like this one.
H5080 Projector - Special Features
ViviMotion: Creative Frame Interpolation
CFI is discussed at several points in this review. The H5080 offers three selections - Low Medium and High. The purpose of CFI is to smooth out motion. This is a feature that started appearing last year on a couple of projectors and is getting more widely used. Many, if not most, LCDTVs now offer it. As with CFI in general, when used with movies at 24fps, the end result tends to have a bit of a "live digital video", or "soap opera" look. As a result, a limited number of people use it for movie viewing although it's very popular for sports. Use the feature where you like it. Consider it a bonus feature. Sports fans, rejoice!
Color Management System (CMS)
Vivitek provides a CMS with the usual ability to separately adjust each color. There are also the usual primary color controls for adjusting color temp. In other words, lots of image color control.
Most likely this feature is the same as the Optoma's Pure Color. Vivitek describes it as a dynamic sharpening control, and it seems like a typical Brilliant Color type implementation. It's mostly like dialing up the "pop and wow" of the image. This feature can be really nice, but, like most dynamic features, takes a toll someplace else. You want the more dynamic look, you'll also get a less natural look. That's a common trade-off. View the three images immediately below. The first one has ViviPeaking set to 0, the second, set to 1, and the third, set to the max which is 3. Three's pretty nasty.
Note these two images are "placeholders" the correct three images are coming.
That of course just gives you an idea of the extra kick from cranking up their peaking feature. One can be a touch over the top, depending on the content. Hey, if you like it...
Interchangeable Lens System
Choose between two zoom lenses - the standard lens, which most will use for ceiling mounting, a longer zoom which will primarily be used by those rear shelf mounting, or a fixed wide angle lens suitable for rear screen setups, or very close, front ceiling mounting. The lenses use a bayonet mount and easily snap in. You can get the projector with any of the three lenses.