Vivitek H5080 review
Vivitek’s H5080 is the biggest DLP projector we've ever reviewed. Unlike most large projectors it’s glossy, curved and quite attractive. We were even more surprised to find a set of lens shift controls hidden beneath a flap at the top of the projector - this is the first DLP model we've seen with this feature.
The projector has a whopping three HDMI ports along with the usual component, composite, VGA and S-video inputs. It makes a whirring whine when operating, but it's not too loud; it doesn’t generate much heat, either, and it’s all concentrated towards the back of the projector.
The remote control is comfortable to hold. Source selection buttons are at the top, navigation just below, and below those is a large bank of function buttons. These include keys to cycle through picture modes, change colour settings and – inexplicably – control volume and mute settings, even though there’s no built in speaker.
The on-screen menu looks very snazzy, but isn’t particularly easy to navigate, with some important features hidden behind obscure labels in deep sub-menus. In Picture: Basic, you can you switch display modes and create custom profiles based on the default modes. Picture: Advanced lets you do more serious tweaking, including noise reduction, colour temperature and gamma adjustment on your user-defined profiles, dynamic black configuration and more. Most of these features can only be changed on a user profile; this includes dynamic black and motion smoothing. The latter is hidden in the ViviSettings sub-menu and is enabled by default.
The H5080 easily has the best picture quality of any DLP projector we’ve ever reviewed. For almost £3,000, we’d be offended if it didn’t. In our black and white test, the DLP rainbow effect was minimal to the point of being almost invisible – we had to go out of our way to see any trace of it at all. This is almost unheard of in a single-chip DLP projector. Our dark test scene also looked fantastic, with excellent detail and plenty of subtle shading in the shadows. Our high contrast test also looked good, particularly when we enabled dynamic contrast.
There are just three default picture modes: Movie, Bright and Normal. The colours in movie mode are beautifully balanced and there’s not much to choose between this and Normal mode. Bright mode suffuses the screen in a hideous shade of turquoise, so we recommend avoiding that one. You’ll want to create your own user modes, though; for example, the default Movie configuration forces you to use both ViviMotion smoothing and Dynamic Black, which aren’t suitable for all movies.
Our moving image tests showed some motion blur when motion smoothing was disabled, but we only recommend using it for sports – smoothing that makes it easier to follow the ball during a football match makes films look very strange, as though everyone’s moving at the wrong speed.
The H5080 is easily the best DLP projector we've ever reviewed in terms of both image quality and lack of the irritating rainbow effect. It’s bright, has great contrast and a wide range of configuration options. Unfortunately, although it’s an excellent projector, it’s almost twice the price of our Ultimate award winner, the Panasonic PT-AE4000E . It’s good, but it’s not that good.
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