Vivitek H5080 Physical Tour
7/7/2010 - Art Feierman
There are some differences physically, between the Vivitek H5080 projector and the almost indentical looking Optoma HD8600. That they come out of the same factory, is of little doubt. Some paragraphs that are relevant about the Optoma have been used again, here, with minor modifications. 'The names have been changed to protect..."
Vivitek H5080 Physical Appearance
The Vivitek projector starts with a glossy black case. In the front, you'll find a center mounted lens. The projector, I should note, ships without the lens installed. Installing it was a snap, literally. I took off the packaging, inserted the lens, turned it slightly and the mount snapped into place. The lens almost recessed, but not quite. The lens is manual, you use the outer and inner trim rings to focus and zoom. There's also an infra-red sensor on the front (another in the rear).
Below are left and right front, screw thread adjustable, feet.
Moving to the top of the Vivitek H5080 projector there's a slide forward door just above the front center of the Vivitek projector. Slide it forward, and there are two rotating dial controls, one for vertical lens shift the other for horizontal.
The input panel is located on the back, along with a power switch and a holder for a small "convenience" remote control (there is a full backlit remote as well).
Strangely, the projector has its air intakes on the side, but vents the hot air out the rear. This means for rear shelf mounting, ventilation may be a problem, if you can't provide a fair amount of space between projector and the wall. Keep that in mind.
The Vivitek has a small round control panel on the top center. It consists of two concentric "rings" The outer ring has Menu at the top, Blank to the right, Auto (setup for PC signals) to the left, and Source. The inner ring has the left right up down navigation, and in the center, the usual Enter button. It's your basic control panel, with no additional features or extra functions. After all, an occasional reviewer aside, who uses the projector's control panel except infrequently, if at all?
Interestingly, one thing is missing. That's the Power switch, which is something normally found by the control panel. Not so with the H5080, the Power switch is located on the back in the Input (connections) panel.
The H5080 is rather typically equipped. Actually it has 3 HDMI inputs, one more than most, and that's handy for those who aren't using an AV receiver with lots of switching. There's the classic analog computer input, which can be used as the second component video input instead.
There's also the usual composite video and S-video inputs, not to mention an RS-232 and also a USB for command and control from a computer or room control system.
The Vivitek comes equipped with two 12 volt screen triggers, which can be used for motorized screen control, controlling an anamorphic lens sled, or a screen masking system. Few projectors have two, although that may be a new trend, considering the expanding range of devices they can be used to "trigger". Nice touch, and it may be convenient, however, controlling all such devices can also be done other ways, with infra-red or RF remotes, for example.
Vivitek H5080 Menus
Vivitek's menus work well, and look particularly good - very clean and professional appearing.
There are six main menus - Picture: Basic, Picture: Advanced, Display, System Setup: Basic, System Setup: Advanced, and Information
The Picture: Basic, starts off with Display mode that allows a choice of Movie, Bright, Normal. These three presets are pretty much "what you see, is what you get." Using them locks out virtually all controls. To make any adjustment you need instead to select one of the three user modes (1,2,3).
As a result we used User 1 as "best mode", and User 2 as a "brightest mode". You can set each user mode to be based on the default settings for any of the three presets (Movie etc.).
The Picture Advanced, has control of Color Temp, gamma, the dynamic iris "DynamicBlack", the manual iris, and "Vivisettings" which includes the projectors creative frame interpolation.
There are two different settings for the dynamic iris, of which I mostly worked with Cinema 2.
The Setup menus cover all the things you would expect from projector orientation (ceiling/table/front/rear) to menu options, lamp power, auto off timers, 12 volt screen trigger controls and more.
Basically, the Vivitek H5080 menus have most of the usual goodies, and they're pretty logically laid out. Still, I like (logical or not) to have lamp power with the picture controls. More notable, perhaps is the Overscan feature. You can control the amount of overscan with the slider control, but the H5080 does not have the option to use cropping, instead (which would preserve 1:1 pixel mapping, but create a slightly smaller - but sharper - image).
If I had one other request, I would have liked to see at least 3 more user memory positions, especially since you can't tweak the standard three.
Vivitek H5080 Remote Control
The H5080 remote is about average sized. It's finished in a flat white, which does make it easier to find in a really dark room, than most.
Strangely the remote that came with this H5080 seems slightly defective in that the light button causes the backlight to flash for only the briefest moment. I'd call this one defective, even though all other buttons worked fine, and the range is very good.
The remote has separate On and Off buttons at the top. Afer a space come two rows of three, which are labeled with 6 of the sources. To get to HDMI 3, or a couple others, you need to access the menu, via the Menu button or the Source button.
Next comes the usual navigation controls - four arrow buttons in a round configuration, with a center Enter button.
Menu (and Exit) button are just below to the left, and to the right is the Aspect Ratio button.
Below that section are five rows of three, mostly taken up with a wide selection of picture controls including: Picture mode, Brightness, Color, Tint, Sharpness, and Contrast, as well as items such as Blank, Freeze, Mute.
There's even an audio Mute and pair of Volume controls (OK, they must use this remote for other projectors, too, since there's no speaker!)
The Bottom Line: Nice remote, good range, but I can't comment on the backlight, whether it's bright enough, etc., since it didn't work on this unit.
H5080 Lens Throw
To start with, there are three lens options. The standard lens for a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, will let you place the front of the projector as close as 11.2 feet, or as far back as 14.0 feet. The short throw lens is a very short throw, fixed lens (no zoom). For that same 100" screen, the projector's front would be 5.59 feet, which is extremely close.
The long telephoto starts up where the standard lens lets off - at 14.0 feet, and out to 21 feet.
With the choice of the standard and telephoto zoom, the Optoma's range is extremely similar to a typical LCD projector with 2:1 zoom (typically about 10 feet to 20 feet). Of course there's advantages to building lenses with less zoom range. It's easier to build higher quality, and perhaps more important, brighter lenses.
If the standard lens works for you, as it should for most, the projector lists for $2999.
Vivitek H5080 Lens Shift
The H5080 has a decent amount of lens shift. It is set up unequally, which is always interesting to consider. I found the manual very confusing. Here's how it seems to work, first for shelf mounting. For shelf (or table) placement, it can be anywhere from 10% of a screen height (4.9 inches) below the bottom of the screen, to 30% (14.9 inches) below the top of the screen surface. A 100" diagonal screen is about 49 inches high. That's measured from center of the lens.
For ceiling mounting, where you often prefer the projector to be above the screen, the H5080, (inverted) in a ceiling mount can be from 10% (4.9 inches) above the top of the screen surface, down to 30% (14.9 inches) above the bottom.
I think that by doing it this way, Vivitek has pretty much gotten the best combination of functionality relative to the amount of total lens shift they were comfortable providing in this design. The fact that there are other lens options may have encouraged this final setup, as well.
H5080 Anamorphic Lens Support
The Vivitek H5080 has support for an anamorphic lens and sled.