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Vivitek H1080FD - Projector Screens

Posted on July 9, 2013 by Art Feierman

Vivitek H1080FD Projector Screen Recommendations

Since the H1080FD is an entry level projector, I'll assume there isn't a huge budget for a screen. Depending on the room, you may choose a fixed wall mount screen (more expensive), a motorized screen (can be more or less than a fixed wall screen, depending on brand), or a low cost pull-down screen.

This section is basically the same as I am now using for most entry level projectors, where black levels are not as good as more expensive projectors:

More important than that, is choosing the right surface. There will be two primary questions to ask yourself. How much ambient light will you have to deal with (and where in the room is it coming from), and how large a screen (within reason)? Additionally, what will you be watching - primarily movies, or a mix including lots of TV, both sports and regular programming.

The black levels of the Vivitek H1080FD are definitely entry level, many will be tempted to go with a high contrast gray projector screen surface. This will lower black levels a bit, a very good thing for this projector when watching movies.

This same type of screen will help with ambient light issues, if the ambient light is coming from the sides, be it your own lighting, or some light leaking in from mostly covered windows.

On the other hand, if you have pretty good lighting control, and, are a sports fanatic rather than primarily interested in movies, , and are more concerned with the next NFL game, than watching the new Star Trek movie for the 3rd time, then you might want to choose a white surface screen with good gain - 1.3 - 1.5. (An excellent example - and match -would be the fixed wall Carada Brilliant White, which I use in my testing room, for all the images in this review except for some sports shots). You can have even more gain, if your seating is close to dead center (the higher the gain, the narrower the good "viewing cone"). Keep in mind, that even if you are sitting dead center, a high gain screen, say 2.3, is going to have the sides, and especially the corners of the image appear noticeably darker than the center.

So, what to choose? Based on the above, you might look at fixed screens from Elite or Da-lite (HC Gray, and CinemaVision HC respectively). Both are lighter gray surfaces, and good overall performance screens for the money. If you really want to try to drop down the black levels and have really good room lighting control, consider Da-lite's HC Da-Mat surface.

There are many other brands that make low to medium cost screens. I mention Elite, Da-lite, Carada and Stewart because I know their products best. Other well recognized brands that aren't overly expensive include Draper, Vutec, and Grandview, to name a few.

Again, match your screen to your room, and the type of viewing you are doing. I can't understate how much help a high contrast gray surface can make, though if you are stuck with some side lighting. It's not going to make your system perform like you don't have an ambient light issue, but it really will help, compared to using a white surfaced projection screen.

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