Some scenes have Morgan Freeman’s Nelson Mandela arising before dawn to go walking with his bodyguards, and the Vivitek does a good job of providing nice deep nighttime blacks.
In a few scenes, such as one where the South African rugby team’s captain (played by a seriously bulked up Matt Damon) is in a darkened walkway leading out to the stadium field, the Vivitek shows some black crush, obscuring dark detail somewhat.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Nicely crisp, the Vivitek does a great job of showing details of a female contestant’s ornate jewelry, and the fine details of her black sequined outfit.
At the same default color setting that looked just fine with the Blu-ray movie, the color seen here is way over the top, and needs to be dialed down by a goodly amount. Why that should be the case is a mystery, but as the projector provides multiple user picture memories, it’s no big deal to save a different color value and switch back and forth as necessary.
The black sequined outfit worn by a female contestant is sufficiently black, as is her choice of jewelry to match, and the Vivitek does a very good job delivering rich, inky blacks. In the episode used for our tests, judge Howie Mandel wears a black dress shirt over a black T-shirt, and the Vivitek easily captures the deep black of his microphone as well.
Overhead pans of the stage and then of the audience show good detail in the shadows, with no evidence of black crush noted with this program.
This Vivitek is a good performer in many respects. It has surprising brightness for a budget projector, and scores very well on the test bench with 1080i and 1080p HD patterns and test clips. It runs very quietly, and has a good complement of inputs. The remote control is one of the better designs out there, with backlighting, discrete source selectors and dedicated buttons for the major picture adjustments, as well as separate buttons for power on and power off.
Where it comes up short is in the upconversion of standard definition content, as the video processor does a relatively poor job of handling deinterlacing, with quite noticeable jaggies on low angle lines such as guitar strings as well as an overall soft picture. But when presented with high definition signals, the Vivitek does a great job overall. At its price, it’s a very good choice for cost-conscious shoppers putting together a high definition front projection system that won’t break the bank.
Vivitek H1080FD DLP Projector
Practical Screen Size Upper Limit (10 Foot-Lamberts, 1.0 gain): 165” diagonal 16:9
Pixel resolution: 1920 x 1080
1:1 Mode: Yes
Has Mode 1 Scaling (vertical stretch for external anamorphic lens compatibility)?: No
Video inputs: 2 HDMI, 1 component, 1 S-video, 1 composite, 1 RGB PC
Other connections: 1 12V trigger output, 1 RS-232C serial port, 1 stereo audio input, 1 stereo audio output
Dimensions (W x H x D): 13.2” x 4” x 10.1”
Weight: 7.8 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year parts & labor; 90 days on lamp