Posted on February 6, 2018 By Art Feierman
Vivitek HK2288 4K UHD Home Theater Projector Review – Special Features: Handling 4K Content – BT.2020 and HDR, Resolution, 3D Capabilities?, 3 HDMI Inputs
Let’s start with the BT.2020/P3 Color Space:
4K Projectors are all very different when it comes to picture quality. The short reasons are that HDR – High Dynamic Range – implementations all require some compromise, whether on a $2,000 projector or a $20,000 one. Then, some claim to be supporting the wide color space known as P3 (in a BT.2020 wrapper is the way the tech folks describe it). Some players try to implement P3/BT.2020 (i.e. Optoma, Epson) while others, like Vivitek, all lamp based BenQ’s and others, don’t advertise P3 at all.
What gives? P3 provides a bigger color gamut – more colors are possible, even certain colors that REC709, the standard we’ve been using for a couple of decades, can’t produce. The result is better color fidelity, and also more intense colors.
The problem? It’s near impossible to accomplish P3 using today’s projector lamp technology. Laser projectors and the best LED light engine projectors, however, are up to the task.
There being no laser or great LED 4K UHD projectors targeting the home under $5K, the field of entries has had to compromise – basically convert to REC 709, even if claiming P3/BT.2020.
Calibrators and manufacturers tend to say that lamp based projectors mostly can only get to somewhere in the 80+% of the full P3 color space. Just as an FYI, there are some exceptions (but it’s not easy). For example, Epson’s UB projectors in their Digital Cinema mode insert a special filter in the light path. That costs about half of the brightness but smooths out and extends the color range that can be handled. It works – I’m told they get well up into the 90%+ range. But, as I like to say, there are always trade-offs. Giving up half of the lumens lets them do better color, but makes it tougher to do a really good job on HDR.
Vivitek’s implementation of HDR offers some control, but most of using HDR is automatic. There’s no specific HDR mode along with modes like Presentation, Day, Night, and Movie. Rather, when you feed the Vivitek HDR content, you’ll find the picture mode options greyed out in the HK2288’s menu normally. There is a User HDR mode, however, that gives you those controls back. When it comes to controls, this Vivitek offers a choice of Normal, Details without further adjustment, or User (thankfully) which does.
Enough said – how does it look? We’ll get to that in our Picture Quality pages.
Here’s another 4K UHD DLP projector that lacks 3D. That’s too bad. Given 3D never really caught on with those pesky, tiny LCD TVs (like 65 inch), because they are too small to properly immerse us, many projector owners do enjoy 3D. Since LCD TVs dominate sales, however, that may be why the standards folks didn’t bother to create a 4K 3D standard.
That said, recently, after watching some Ghostbusters (2016) in 4K on a different projector, I decided to instead pop in the 3D disc. It was different. In fact, it was edited differently (shorter movie), but the 3D really did add something to it. Sure, no one likes wearing 3D glasses, but lightweight ones are fine by me. I realized I hadn’t watched any 3D recently, but plan to start up again as the result of my recent experience.
Sorry to say – no 3D here! That won’t matter to probably 2/3rds of you, but if you, like me, enjoy 3D, there are plenty of other projectors, including some 4K capable ones, that do support 3D at the usual 1080p resolution.
Hooray! I’ve been lobbying for 3 HDMI inputs for years. But on less expensive projectors, it is rare. This is a plus if you don’t plan to use an AV receiver for your switching, which is common for folks jumping to 4K, but whose AV receivers won’t support it (most over 3 years old).
Funny thing though, some of the other manufacturers (with only two HDMI inputs) make one the older HDMI 1.4 – just in case an older device won’t work with HDMI 2.0 that is needed for 4K. Vivitek, with its extra HDMI, however, is all in on HDMI 2.0. I have no problem with this, as I have tried a number of older Blu-ray players, etc. without problems, but that doesn’t mean some of you might have something that won’t like HDMI 2.0.
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