With a broad range of HD projector models in their portfolio, Vivitek aims for budget-conscious consumers as well as offering deluxe up-scale models. Their H1080FD 1080p single chip DLP projector is definitely targeted towards the thrifty shopper, and was originally priced at $999 at launch, but now carries a retail price of just $899.
Consider this projector if: you’d like to put together an affordable high definition front projection system, as the Vivitek carries a very affordable price of $899.
Look elsewhere if: you need installation flexibility, as there is no horizontal or vertical lens shift.
Ratings (relative to comparably priced projectors):
As you would expect from the very affordable price tag, the Vivitek isn’t equipped with deluxe features found on more expensive projector models, such as horizontal or vertical lens shift. The projector has a fair amount of offset, which is desirable when ceiling-mounting the projector, but works against it for tabletop placement. The zoom and focus controls are rather touchy though, needing a gentle, steady hand when getting the picture dialed in during setup.
Along with a component video input, there are two HDMI inputs, an S-video input, a composite video input, and an RGB PC input that can accept signals up to 1600 x 1200 resolution. A 12-volt trigger output is also provided, as is an RS-232C serial port.
On Screen Display
Fairly simple and straightforward, the OSD features logically grouped sub-menus, with adjustment sliders and numerical indicators. In the setup menu there’s a test pattern on/off option, which puts up a crosshatch pattern that’s handy when getting the projector and screen properly lined up.
The remote control is most definitely a cut above the norm, with lots of good design features, not the least of which is soft blue backlighting that can be activated by pressing any of the keys. There are discrete power on and off buttons, which is another plus (handy for programming startup and shutdown macros into a system remote control. There are also dedicated buttons for each of the six sources, and dedicated buttons for the major picture adjustment controls, as well as a freeze-frame function. I’ve seen remotes that come with much more expensive projectors that aren’t as well designed as the Vivitek’s remote.
Surprisingly, the little Vivitek puts out quite a bright picture, even with the lamp set to the more economical Standard mode; in that mode, there’s enough light output to easily handle larger screen sizes, and the lamp life is extended as well. In the Boost mode, the light output increases by about 20%, which is the usual amount for high-pressure projector lamps.
Blu-ray Evaluation: Invictus
The Vivitek puts out a nicely crisp picture with this movie, which has a somewhat grainy look to it.
With the color temperature set to Normal, the Vivitek scores extremely well on the test bench, delivering a remarkably accurate gray scale. That’s important to providing very good overall color accuracy, with bright whites that are neither too cool (bluish) nor too warm (reddish). In fact, the Vivitek measured as well as a properly calibrated projector, no small feat.