If this were 2003 or 2005, I could say that many projectors were rough around the edges. Today, however, while we still use that phrase to describe some projectors, most companies are serving up their 4th or even 10th generation of home theater/home entertainment projectors, so that for well-established projector makers, rough edges are “few and far between.” Still, anytime someone designs a mostly new projector, ie. A UST design, there will be more such edges, as we saw with most first-generation 4K capable projectors.
Since VAVA is rolling out their first projector, I did a little homework. VAVA is a brand of SunValleyTek, established back in 2007.. As they explained to me, they used crowdsourcing primarily as marketing - to get the word out on this projector. Clever. A quick web search shows they have 100+ employees, and run the US out of No. California.
This award goes to products that are either a cut above, but may have a rough edge. Or, if it is a quality, but specialized product.
Fortunately, none of the VAVA’s “rough edges” are fatal. The VAVA Laser TV will appeal to value seekers, as well as the DIY and early adopter types, who, for example, are more interested in the value, or rather performance for the price, than say the duration of the warranty, and don’t mind minor glitches that don’t ruin the viewing experience.
That description also probably includes people who like to buy crowd-funded gear, which is appropriate of course, since the VAVA Laser TV is an Indiegogo project. Update: VAVA tells me they have fulfilled all of the crowdsourced orders, and are shipping to everyone now.
Let’s consider the VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV’s strengths:
Once we calibrated the projector (we publish our settings for you to use), the picture quality became really very good, certainly and within expectations. Good color, and respectable black levels for its class of projector (which is to say, about as good as any current UST projector under $10K), and of course, combined with 4K UHD sharpness, for a picture that can dazzle.
Pre-Calibration: The VAVA looks pretty good, but wait until the next picture.
I’ve logged well over 100 hours on the projector in the 3 months I’ve had it. (I had to do one firmware upgrade – I got mine right before production units were shipping.)
The VAVA looks so much better, and more vibrant with our post calibration settings!
I can say most folks will really enjoy kicking back and watching all kinds of content, on a really large screen. Crank up the volume. Fun.
It is “living room” bright, when paired with the right type of screen, and if your living room has decent lighting control, for general viewing. If you want to watch movies,
Most significantly, the VAVA measured 1017 lumens after calibration in Standard mode (that would be 1097 lumens in High). That’s better than most, for a DLP projector claiming 2500! For example, BenQ’s popular TK800, 4K UHD DLP claiming 3000 lumens, by comparison, post calibration managed only 1007 – 10 lumens less despite being supposed to be 20% brighter.
Skin tones: If you use our settings, you’ll like the skin tones, as most will look really good. If you see bad looking skin tones, figure it’s the content, not the projector. I can think of a number of other projectors that can calibrate even better and have more perfect skin tones, but for most folks, the non-fanatics, I’m just quibbling.
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