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Vivitek H9080FD Projector - Image Quality-5

Posted on January 1, 2009 by Art Feierman

Overall Color & Picture Quality

If you can forget about the significant color shift in these images, then you can share my enthusiasm for the H9080FD's overall excellent picture quality. While the Vivitek, cannot match a very few projectors are dark scenes (looking a little flat by comparison), that offer better black levels, it's black level performance is very respectable, and right up there with the best other single chip DLP's we've looked at.

Shadow detail is also really very good, as long as you stay away from Adaptive Contrast, and at least one Dynamic Iris mode which adds contrast, with both crushing sharp shadow detail (the Adaptive Contrast is the more destructive of the two. Actually, the contrast adjusted dynamic iris modes still work very well, and only affect dark shadow detail slightly. Reminder, the default brightness is too low (100) we recommend 106. With it set for 100, the Vivitek definitely crushes shadow detail.

Vivitek H9080FDU Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

Only two issues relating to watching HDTV: The firt is the Vivitek's limited brightness. As a result, unless you go with a small screen, you just don't have the lumens to deal with anything but minimal ambient light. With the average brightness of 1080p projectors in the 1000 lumen range, and the brighter ones with modes that can get up to about 1500, the just over 500 lumen best of the Vivitek projector is definitely a bit weak. (Don't forget, though, it won't get dimmer over time, as will projectors with traditional lamp light sources.)

The other issue relates to occasional breakup artifacts I encountered while watching HDTV material. Since this projector is pre-production, that issue may well be solved with full production units. The problem was only spotted a few times, but, with the content recorded, my RS20 was able to show the same sequence where at least one of the visible artifacts seen on the Vivitek, was no where to be found with the JVC.

I got to watch some pre-season football with the H9080FD, and, overall, except for the desire for a fair amount of additional lumens, I was most satisfied. The image is very sharp (though not as sharp as the IN83), and definitely a touch sharper than my RS20.

With the high price tag of the Vivitek, it will almost certainly end up in dedicated home theaters, where really well designed lighting should be able to maintain a decent level of brightness in the room for partying - while watching, even if the projector isn't as bright as I would have liked to see, for general viewing without making the room too dark for the desired ambience when friends are over.

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