Vivitek H5080 review

This is easily the best DLP projector we’ve ever seen, but you could almost buy two of our favourite LCD model for the same money.

30 Jan 2011
Our Rating 
3/5
Price when reviewed 
2,956
inc VAT

Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,600 ANSI lumens, 180x429x343mm, 8.6kg

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.

Vivitek H5080 controls

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.

Vivitek H5080 ports

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.

Vivitek H5080

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.

Details

Price £2,956
Details www.vivitek.co.uk
Rating ***

Specifications

Projector technology DLP
Lamp brightness 1,600 ANSI lumens
Lamp life 2,000
Lamp life in economy mode 3,000
Contrast ratio 25,000:1 dynamic

Picture

Native resolution 1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution 1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio 16:9
Other aspect ratios 4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft 55in
Throw ratio 1.54:1 to 1.93:1
Optical zoom 1.3x
Projection distance 1.5m to 7m
Mirror image yes
Invert image yes
Lens shift horizontal 10%
Lens shift vertical 80%
HD Ready yes
Special view modes move, bright, normal, 3x user

Inputs/Outputs

VGA input yes
DVI input No
Sound inputs none
Composite input yes
S-video input yes
HDMI input yes
PAL support yes
SECAM support yes
NTSC support yes
Audio output none
Video output none
Others inputs/outputs 2x extra HDMI inputs, RS232c, 2x 12v trigger, USB service port

Other

Noise (in normal use) 28dB(A)
Size 180x429x343mm
Weight 8.6kg
Internal speakers none
Extras remote, lens cap, cables (power, component)
Remote special features none
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 295W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT) £235
Lamp supplier www.tekshop247.com
Lamp cost per hour of use £0.12
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy) £0.08

Buying Information

Price £2,956
Supplier http://www.projectorpoint.co.uk
Details www.vivitek.co.uk

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