Vivitek H9080FD - Performance
8/19/2009 - Art Feierman
Vivitek H9080FD Brightness
H9080FD Projector - Uncalibrated:
Color Temp set to Standard, Gamma to film: 407 lumens
Same as above, but with Brilliant Color on: 508 lumens (25% brighter)
Cinema= 407 @ 7341
Bright= 409 @ 7343
Graphics= 409 @ 7319
CRT = 409 @ 7308
Maximum lumen output – any gamma setting, Cool color temp, with Brilliant Color On= 526 lumens
Brightness with gamma set to film, for other color temperature settings (Brilliant Color off):
Warm color temp= 376 lumens @ 5754K
Cool color temp= 421 lumens @ 8727K
Cooler color temp= 421 lumens @ 11,820K (way too cold - not watchable)
The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness: Our standard measurements reported are done with the zoom at its mid-point. Here are relative numbers taken using Standard color temp, Film gamma, Brilliant Color off, for different lens positioning:
Zoom out (closest position - wide-angle): 419 lumens
Mid-zoom: 407 lumens
Zoom in: 383 lumens
The Vivitek has a relatively limited 1.3:1 zoom, so a large change in brightness wasn't expected, still, that's not much change from wide to tele. That probably indicates particularly well designed optics.
Lamp Brightness: Unlike other projectors, the Vivitek H9080FD does not have an "economy" mode with less lumens and more lamp life. Afterall, 20,000 hours - 10 years of 40 hours a week, should be sufficient lamp life for everyone.
Sharpness is impressive. Though not the sharpest projector around, it definitely fits into what I call "sharper still". I generally break down 1080p projectors as either average sharpness, or "sharper still". 1080p source material that is all digital looks really sharp (as a JVC owner, I'm a little jealous), even though the difference is hardly great.
Of particular note, on the close up, of the monitor image (from Space Cowboys) below, I could read the smaller type on the screen as well as on any other projector. That's probably a tribute to the sharpness not being "oversharpend" to the point, where it hurts, rather than helps, on really small objects.
Score the Vivitek H9080FD as extremely good when it comes to sharpness!
For your consideration, our usual close up images
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE3000, right center: Optoma HD8000, right: InFocus IN83
Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right H9080FD, JVC DLA-RS20, Panasonic PT-AE3000, and BenQ W20000. The H9080FD is one of the sharper 1080p projectors out there.
Vivitek H9080FD: Bottom Line Sharpness
Better than most. At least as sharp as any 3LCD or LCoS projector we've viewed, but not up to the very sharpest of the DLP projectors, though equal or better than many of them. The overall image is crisp and clear, with the default sharpness looking just about right, without any significant oversharpening. Adjust to your tastes, but remember, what some consider a sharper looking image, tends to be oversharpened and actually deliver less fine detail, (in exchange for perhaps edge sharpening that makes it look sharper at the expense of real detail). No question that the Vivitek's lens is a good one, it rolls off sharpness very little to the corners, and the projector's evenness of illumination is also very good, which would further support the idea of very good optics.
Below, similar images: First the Vivitek, below it, the JVC (different frames).
Immediately below are the same basic image on two 3LCD projectors (which tend to be a little softer looking than DLP projectors), for comparison. The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB (left) and the Panasonic PT-AE3000 (right):
There is a little light coming out through the lens that lands outside of the screen area. It is relatively slight (far less, for example than with the InFocus IN3). This is not a problem. No real light leaks of note around the projector itself. As to the lens light leak, don't expect to spot it unless you have a black image on the screen, and your screen wall is fairly light.
Vivitek H9080FD Image Noise
I mentioned it elsewhere, I did see a few glitches handling HDTV signals, but the projector was clean on Blu-ray. Basic image noise seems a little better than the typical DLP projector. There are a number of image noise settings available, but I never felt the need to try or use them. It's possible one of them would solve the once in a very long while image breakup I spotted with HDTV, but I do think that's more of a firmware issue that likely won't exist on production units.
H9080FD Audible Noise
Interesting, very interesting! The Vivitek H9080FD projector is pretty quiet. That's certainly true compared to other single chip DLP projectors. The manual doesn't provide a noise figure, but a call to Vivitek, and the product manager says the official spec is 28db. That said, this projector's noise has a higher pitched whine type of sound as part of the mix. As such it's not going to be quite as unnoticeable as, say 28 db might be on another projector, but then many projectors are still noisier at 30 -33 db. (the quietest are down just under 20 db.) Certainly its overall noise is not any worse, than say my JVC, which has more overall noise, but lower pitched. I wouldn't consider the whine to be a problem except for those who are the most adverse to audible noise.
One more thing, this is a pre-production unit. It just may well be that the whine will be still lower, or gone on a production model.