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Vivitek H1085FD review

Kat Orphanides
10 Jan 2010
Vivitek H1085FD
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
971
inc VAT

This budget 1080p DLP projector is a good all-rounder with good colour and contrast, but its overall image quality isn't quite up to that of similarly-priced rivals.

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 2,000 ANSI lumens, 102x335x256mm, 3.5kg

Vivitek's quiet 1080p DLP H1085FD comes with a wider selection of cables and accessories than most similarly priced HD projectors. Its price includes a carry case, as well as HDMI, component and VGA cables. It also has the flimsiest lens cap we've ever seen: a thin, transparent cover that resembles a plastic yoghurt pot lid. It keeps the dust off, but it's fragile and easy to lose.

The projector defaults to its VGA PC input when powered on, but the button to switch source is easy to find on the remote control, from where you can switch between composite, component, S-Video and two HDMI inputs. It's equally easy to mute the built-in speaker. The illuminated remote control and menu layouts are well designed and will be suspiciously familiar to anyone who's used a recent BenQ projector. Several other factors, such as the layout of the input and output ports, dimensions, and the position of the lens and focussing wheels are remarkably similar, although the projectors' image quality is distinct and their specifications differ slightly.

The Picture: Basic menu lets you switch between three image modes. Movie mode has rich colours and decent contrast, although black tones were slightly greyish in all modes. Normal mode has slightly more intense colours, but this causes some areas of subtle gradation to blend into one another. Bright mode, intended for use under lighting (possible, as the projector has a bright 2,000 ANSI lumens lamp), has a cold blue-grey tint that seriously affects colour reproduction, so we preferred the other two modes for use in both light and dark rooms. There are also three user-configurable modes, which allow you to tweak the contrast, brightness, colour intensity and sharpness of the standard modes to your own taste.

The second menu, Picture: Advanced provides access to noise reduction, gamma and colour temperature controls, along with the obscurely named HSG (Hue, Saturation, Gain) sub-menu. The sliders aren't particularly elegant but provide full control over your colour balance. Although, even at default settings, colour was balanced and contrast was generally good, picture quality wasn't quite as precise as that of some similarly priced projectors, like Optoma's HD200x. Tweaking the sharpness and noise reduction settings improved this a little, but the sharpness also resulted in a few edge enhancement artefacts on complicated areas of fine detail.

Other menus provide access to features like keystone correction and test patterns and the lamp settings menu. This allows you to switch between Standard and Boost mode. Unlike most projectors, which by default use the highest lamp brightness and have an optional Eco mode to dim the picture, the H1085FD's Standard mode is the less intense of the two modes. Boost mode made surprisingly little difference. Everything was a bit brighter, but we were already impressed by the projector's powerful performance under even normal room lighting. It's relatively expensive to run, though, with bulbs costing 11p per hour at full brightness.

Like most projectors at this price, the H1085FD makes a few compromises and requires tweaking to deepen the black tones and improve sharpness. It didn't suffer too badly from the dreaded DLP rainbow effect in high-contrast sequences of most films, although it was obvious on black and white footage. This is a great value 1080p projector, but there are others with better image quality and colours for a similar price.

Details

Price£971
Detailswww.vivitekcorp.com
Rating***

Specifications

Projector technologyDLP
Lamp brightness2,000 ANSI lumens
Lamp life2,000
Lamp life in economy mode3,000
Contrast ratio5,000:1

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft53in
Throw ratio1.6:1 to 1.92:1
Optical zoom1.2x
Projection distance0.7m to 11.3m
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontalN/A
Lens shift verticalN/A
HD Readyyes
Special view modesMovie, normal, bright

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputNo
Sound inputs3.5mm, phono
Composite inputyes
S-video inputyes
HDMI inputyes
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio output3.5mm
Video outputnone
Others inputs/outputssecond HDMI input, USB service port, RS232, DC 12V trigger

Other

Noise (in normal use)26dB(A)
Size102x335x256mm
Weight3.5kg
Internal speakersyes (5W mono)
Extrasremote, cables (power, HDMI, VGA, component), carrying case
Remote special featuresnone
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on234W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£213
Lamp supplierwww.projectorpoint.co.uk
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.11
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.07

Buying Information

Price£971
Supplierhttp://www.projectorpoint.co.uk
Detailswww.vivitekcorp.com

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