Vivitek H1080FD Projector Review

Vivitek H1080FD Calibration notes: We calibrate each home theater that is reviewed. Our calibration is pretty standard. A professional calibrator will do a good deal more, although we cover the items that cause the greatest improvements.

Vivitek H1080FD Color Temperature

Cinema: Color Temp over IRE Range:
30 IRE 6961K (dark gray)
50 IRE 6912K (med gray)
80 IRE 6978K (light gray)
100 IRE 6984K (white)

We used Movie 1 mode as the basis for calibration. Results were then saved in User 1, which was used for all photo sessions unless otherwise noted. We refer to User 1 as Movie 1).

Pre-calibration, the color temperature measurements came out like this:

While the numbers across the range are exceptionally close, interestingly the H1080FD doesn’t have the usual R,G,B controls for doing a grayscale balance to 6500K. Mike tried some work arounds, including the CMS (individual color tuning controls), but to no avail.

As a result, our final measurements are still all up around 7000K. That means a touch too much blue, relative to red. This isn’t a big miss, and it’s very watchable, but not as accurate as an enthusiast would hope for.

Fortunately, they didn’t build this one for the video enthusiast, but for normal folks who just want a good, bright image, at an affordable price.

Vivitek H1080FD Basic Settings

Settings for measurements (default values are in parenthesis):
Movie Bright Normal User 1 User 2 User 3
Contrast (10) 0 (4) (10)-10 (4) -10 (0) -10
Brightness (37) (48) (40) (37) 53 (40) 53 (48) 53
Color Sat. (0) -2
Tint (0) 5
Color Temp (Normal) (Lamp Native) (Normal) (Normal) (Normal) (Lamp Native)
Gamma (9)
 Lamp Mode = Boost (High)

In addition to our goal of calibrating Red Green and Blue for a correct grayscale balance (6500K), there are a number of other settings that come into play. (As noted, this projector lacks those RGB gain and bias controls for a grayscale balance.) Typically Contrast and Brightness (white balance and black balance), need to be done first. Color saturation and gamma also need adjustment.

Vivitek H1080FD Post Calibration Grayscale: User mode

Color Temp over IRE Range (User 1, Post CMS):
20 IRE 6909K
30 IRE 6966K
40 IRE 7017K
50 IRE 6937K
60 IRE 6963K
70 IRE 6952K
80 IRE 6983K
90 IRE 7016K
100 IRE 7007K

Post calibration, we ended up with the same color temperature as we started, due to the lack of the grayscale RGB controls. Still the picture looked pretty good! when watching the H1080FD.

As you can see, very tight range, just about 450K too cool. Fortunately, 450K is rather slight. As one calibrator once said to me (roughly): “When I calibrate a projector that starts out, inherently pretty good (such as off by 400 – 500K), and the customer sees the before/after, they see a small difference, and wonder why they paid a lot of money. Nevermind, that the picture does look better, even by their admission.”

Gamma: Mike recommends Gamma of 9 (the default), which measured a near perfect 2.23 (theoretical ideal is 2.2).

RGB Settings

As mentioned above, the Vivitek H1080FD does not have the usual RGB settings. Instead, Mike came up with the best color he could for our “best” mode, using the CMS controls. This improved the overall color, even though it didn’t have any real impact on the measured color temperature:

RGB Settings
Red Green Blue Cyan Magenta Yellow
Hue (-12) (-22) 10 (-10) (-8) 0 (20) 65 (-30) 70
Saturation (105) 110 (94) 95 (98) (86) 95 (98) 101 (90)
Gain (100) 93 (104) 159 (104) 67 (104) 114 (106) 123 (100) 129

Drop in thses settings, you should like the improvement.

Brightest Modes:

Our brightest mode measurement worked out to 1777 lumens. You can up the contrast a bit to find a few more lumens, but that will cause some slight crushing of near whites (a small price to pay when you’ve got too much ambient light).

The brightest mode definitely has that heavy green push, that many projectors add to a bright mode, to get out more lumens. With the H1080FD, however, there’s no good way to adjust the brightest mode. I did open a couple of blinds, taking advantage of all the lumens. I would normally prefer to give up a couple hundred lumens for improved color, but when I dropped down to the next mode, giving up about 600 lumens was a big drop in brightness. In the Normal mode, however color is very good. So, Normal, when you can for sports/TV, and Bright when you need every last lumen.

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