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Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
4
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Vivitek H1080FD Projector Vivitek H1080FD
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:4,000:1
Lumens:1800
Weight: 7.8 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:DLP
Lens:1.2x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:2,000 Hrs
3,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.3 (x2), Audio Out, USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

Vivitek H1080FD
1080p DLP Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, October 7, 2009

Limitations

1080p/24. On our test sample, the H1080FD could not properly display 1080p content at 24 frames per second. It would lock on to the signal as normal, but then the image will begin to shift in color and gamma, constantly, so the picture is unstable.

Vivitek is aware of the problem, and a fix is in the works. In the meantime, all Blu-Ray players can output 1080p/60, which the H1080FD can display just fine. So until the firmware is updated, set your Blu-Ray player to output at 1080p/60. Actually, many people prefer 1080p/60 anyway.

Color adjustments. As mentioned earlier, some simple calibrations can make the H1080FD look fine with regards to color. But if you wish to adjust one specific color (say, to reduce the amount of green in the image), you will need to use the projector's individual color controls, which are difficult to operate. The controls can be adjusted over a range of over a hundred stops, and single stops seem to have little or no effect on the image, so it can be frustrating to find the right balance.

Color temperature. The H1080FD has four color temperature presets - Warm, Normal, Cool, and Lamp Native. Lamp Native is meant to be used in ambient light, where brightness is paramount; it has a decidedly greenish cast. The other three presets look identical. Switching between them seems to do nothing at all.

Rainbow effect. The H1080FD has a 3x-speed wheel, with RGBCMY segments. This wheel configuration is more likely to induce rainbows than 4x-speed or faster color wheels, and indeed we saw more rainbows on the H1080FD than on a comparable projector with a 4x-speed wheel. If you don't know whether you are sensitive to rainbow artifacts, you will want to audition this model before taking the plunge.

Menu and remote. The projector's menu takes up a large portion of the center of the screen, is opaque, and cannot be moved. When making adjustments, the menu does not minimize into the common "one-line" format seen on many other products, so you have to close the menu to observe any changes you made. When you are doing adjustments to color or gamma, this can become annoying.

Placement flexibility. The H1080FD has a 1.2:1 zoom lens and a fixed throw angle. The 1.2:1 zoom will allow you some flexibility for a couple feet of leeway when mounting the projector. The throw angle, on the other hand, must be computed carefully. It has a fixed offset of 15%, meaning that a 100" diagonal image will appear almost eight inches above the centerline of the lens. The ideal mounting situation for the H1080FD is either a low table between the seats or a ceiling mount almost directly above the audience.

The remote control is laid out well, with most commonly used functions clustered around the directional pad. It also has a very strong bright blue backlight, which can make it difficult to read the labels on the buttons themselves and leave spots in your eyes. The backlight also turns itself off while you're pressing a button, then reengages once you release, leading to a strobe effect if you make many adjustments.

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Comments (15) Post a Comment
Jimbo Posted Oct 27, 2009 5:59 AM PST
Would love to see these compared with the Benq W1000 and the Mitsubishi HC3800.
Eric Posted Nov 20, 2009 8:52 PM PST
I just purchased this projector based on this review. What are your preferred settings?
Keith Davies Posted Nov 28, 2009 12:46 PM PST
I have just received a Vivitec H1085 rated at 2000 lumens and 5000-1 contrast. I note that the menu position is movable and reasy to use. I do not yet have a screen and projected onto an off white wall {buttercup white}. Even with all the lights on the 120inch image was very watchable and when the lights were turned down the picture was extremely good. I did notice some colour flashes or"rainbows" while watchingthe DVD "Tristan and Isolde" but I was watching intently for "rainbows" and would honestly say that I saw very few and was not troubled by them.This may not be the same for everyone. My previous experience of projectors has been LCD projectors at work and this is my first home cinema projector. Please can anyone give me advice regarding a screen as my viewing room has a white ceiling and light coloured walls and a maple floor with light coloured furnishings. WHITE or HIGH CONTRAST GREY?
Diddiz Posted Dec 15, 2009 1:44 PM PST
I have never viewed a DLP projector until now. The rainbow effect has fully engaged me and i cannot use this projector. Especially for video games. First person shooters with white crosshairs became a blur of rainbows for me and left me with a sense of vertigo. Maybe Im just overly sensitive to the rainbow effect but my girlfriend also noticed it when reading words off the screen. Also, there was a pulsing effect coming from the screen when viewing at 24fps that was annoying. Not to mention the reddish hugh all along the upper righ half of the screen and the light leakege out of the front of the projector is visible on your ceiling and sidewalls.

This was going to replace my Sanyo Z60 and it did look much better and impressive when i originally set them up side by side, especially in brightness. However with all the set backs on this thing I would not give it a very good rating. I wish i would have went with the Optoma HD20 for the same money since it has the 4x color wheel which lessens the rainbow effect, the biggest set back i feel from the vivitek.
ketan Posted Jun 9, 2010 6:44 AM PST
if i were to compare vivitk 1080 to panasonic ae4000 which would be better for home theatre.
LAM cti19124 Posted Jun 12, 2010 10:18 PM PST
Can you tell me which model is the best would like to buy one of those? thanks
Sam Jos Posted Aug 1, 2010 1:49 PM PST
after reviewing somanypro & users reviews online, I choose to buy Vivitek 1080FD, & was impressed with its performance, but to my great dismise,bulb just blown within 15-20 hours usage, eventhough using with surge protector. I had read premature bulb blown out with Epson 6100, but I experienced it within 1 month. Amazon asked me to contact Vivitek people without any further help, let me see if vivitek people agree with 90 days bulb warranty & supply me with free replacement bulb..... So NEW POTENTIAL BUYERS of vivitek 1080FD - please BEWARE of this possible havok!!!!!
sudhakar rao Posted Dec 4, 2010 5:48 AM PST
vivtek lamp is not sold by retailers. it is difficult to obtain it on line. when you call vivitek, there is a recording. difficult to get service. I spoke to a woman.I want a lamp for my projector. she said" is that all you want from us?"then she hung up.
Nathan Posted Aug 17, 2011 3:09 PM PST
I have owned this projector for 13 months. After 11 months the projector began flickering. I contacted Vivitek and received a repair order number. I was told I would have to pay to ship the projector across the country to be repaired. Before I boxed the projector up I decided to watch several movies on it to make sure it was still flickering so that I would not waste my money shipping it only to have it returned not diagnosed. The flickering did not occur then so I did not send the projector to be repaired. One month later the flickering returned HORRIBLY!!! I contacted the company and they said I was now out of warranty! They had the problem documented prior to the lapse of the one year warranty period but did not want to accept repair of the unit because it was now barely out of warranty.
RyanR Posted Oct 17, 2011 1:15 PM PST
The projector was great for the first 250 hours then the bulb began flickering. (FYI I am at 5500ft and I am using the obnoxiously loud High Altitude mode. Vivitek support states that you will void your warranty and can except extremely short bulb life if you live above 5000ft and do not use this mode. It is unfortunate because it is whisper quiet on normal mode and sounds like a vacuum hanging from my ceiling in high altitude mode.)

I switched the bulb to High mode and this eliminated the flickering so I continued using the projector. Now at about 520 hours the flickering is back in High mode and if I switch to Low mode its like a strobe light.

I will be contacting their support again tonight but it seems like flickering/bulb issues may be a problem with this device.
jpn Posted Oct 30, 2011 4:37 AM PST
Flickering intermettent issues since i have this pj... Now at 800h hours of usage, hdmi port #1 is not working anymore (pink colour all over) under ports are still ok. Will begin rma process monday morning, its suppose to be covered until march 2012... Based on the reviews i hope its not going to be a nightmare to get it replace...
Anthony Posted Dec 20, 2011 1:50 PM PST
Have owned this projector since August of 2010 and the flickering problem started within 45 days of purchase and installation...sent the projector back (shipping prepaid from my own pocket) to Vivitek and they kept it for approximately a month and "could not duplicate the problem". So, it was returned to me and the problem they could not see on their end was still there. This is a well known problem with this model now and Vivitek refuses to acknowledge or repair. They did however offer to send me a refurbished model at no charge...let's see... you buy a new product 45 days earlier, have problems, send it in for repair, they cannot see the problem, and still yet offer you a refurbished unit? Sounds like they know something but won't admit to it. I paid for a "NEW" unit and expected a "NEW" replacement. My last VIVITEK purchase for sure...$1000 is not a cheap projector and it most certainly should have come with a satisfation guarantee but DID NOT...STAY AWAY FROM THIS MODEL or STAY AWAY FROM VIVITEK...VERY POOR COMPANY AND SERVICE AND PRODUCT!
Rodrick Posted Apr 10, 2014 12:59 PM PST
If anyone is still dealing with this flickering problem, READ THIS. I dealt with this for about 6 months and tried everything. I finally fixed the issue by removing the black circular panel around the lens, so that more air could flow through the projector. I also took the whole thing apart and blew it out with a leaf blower to get all the dust out. After doing that it works like a charm, even in regular mode. Previously I could only get it to stay on for about 5-10 minutes even in high-altitude mode.
Brandon Posted Mar 7, 2015 2:13 PM PST
Rodrick,

How did you remove that black piece? Does it just pop off are there screws etc? I have the flickering and its really bothering me.
Bill Posted Sep 1, 2015 8:24 AM PST
I own two Vivitec 1080FD projectors, one used at our company, and one used at home. I have never experience 'any' flicker whatsoever. I live basically at sea level though so perhaps this is a high altitude problem. These projectors have been in regular use for multiple years, the home projector in daily use for 8 hours a day for over three months and no issues.

I just want to provide some perspective here, I'm sure the other posts are genuine, just not necessarily the complete picture of ownership. I love the quietness and performance and price point. If you look now on projector central for 1080 and low sound you will pay $1000 more for the cheapest option.

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