Vivitek H9080FD - Review Summary

August 19, 2009

A summary of our review of the Vivitek H9080FD projector, including pros and cons and capabilities.

Click to enlarge. SO close

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Vivitek H9080FD Projector - The Bottom Line

Most impressive. This is the first close look I've had at at a home theater projector with an LED light source. All considered, the picture quality is great. After our basic grayscale calibration colors were pretty close to dead on, with skin tones appearing natural, and rich, without looking over the top. Black levels are fairly typical for what I dub "ultra-high contrast projectors", which includes some home theater projectors starting just under $2500. The Vivitek beats out a lot of them in terms of black levels, but still comes up short of the best ones. Still it's black level performance is good enough that other factors become more critical.

Thanks to the picture quality, the uniqueness of the LED light source, and a few other points, the Vivitek H9080FD projector, receives our Special Interest award.

I had seriously considered our Hot Product Award, but the high price tag, prevents the Vivitek from having a good price/performance value proposition.

I spent almost all my time viewing the H9080FD in my large theater with the Firehawk G3 screen. Due to the long throw lens I could only project about 90 inches diagonal. I can tell you that it is reasonably bright with a screen that size. I was able to let in a little light from outside to watch sports (no sunlight), but the projector has few lumens to spare. The projector screen combination looked great, with the Firehawk helping keep the already dark black levels even blacker.

The projector's brightness range depends on settings, and varies from about 400 to a bit over 500 lumens maximum. That translates to not very bright overall. There's a "positive" catch though. Consider my JVC DLA-RS20 in comparison. While the Vivitek measures 407 lumens in "best" and my JVC measured 775 lumens, by the time the lamp in my JVC approaches 2000 lumens, the JVC will have dimmed down to the Vivitek's range. For brightest use, my JVC's 884 lumens will likely be around 450 near end of lamp life, vs. 500 for the Vivitek. So, while the JVC may be brighter most of the time, unless I replace my lamp earlier (I plan to), it wouldn't end up being any brighter, probably for the last 400+ hours on the JVC's lamp.

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