Pros / Most affordable 1080p projector on our list; quality picture.
Cons / Color artifacts due to DLP technology; menu can be awkward when adjusting the image.
Verdict / The price is right, but there are a few glaring problems to be aware of.
The Vivitek H1080FD DLP Projector is a very affordable, quality 1080p home theater projector featuring DLP technology. There are some issues with color artifacts and the menu can be tricky to deal with, which is why it lands in sixth place on our list.
Ease of Use
The H1080FD is smaller than similar home theater projectors and weighs only 7.8 pounds, making it easy to install either from a stand near the floor, or from the ceiling. Once it’s set up, you can use the image presets or customize the overall image in the menu.
Speaking of the menu system, navigating through it can be a little tricky since it takes up most of the screen and doesn’t leave much to see of the image. So when adjusting the image manually, you can’t easily see the results until you quit out of the menu.
Sports, television programming, movies and video games look great on this affordable system that supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p and 480i/p resolutions. It uses DLP’s DarkChip 2 and BrilliantColor technology to deliver a very good, quality picture. But like other DLP home theater projectors, little streaks of color (color artifacts or chroma noise) can be seen in darker images.
The contrast ratio is rated at 5,000:1, which is higher than most other units in its class but well below the higher-end units we looked at. The BrilliantColor feature can make whites look brighter without affecting the rest of the image, though this can be turned off.
The 230-watt lamp means business and hits 1800 lumens, giving it a bright picture. The lamp should last around 2,000 to 3,000 hours. The projected image’s throw distance ranges from a respectable 36 inches to 360 inches, while the image size (diagonal) is between 25 inches and 300 inches. As with other projectors, it can handle large screens and distances, whether it’s in a smaller room or a large auditorium.
The H1080FD’s interface (where cables connect to) is pretty extensive for the cost and includes HDMI, Composite (RCA, A/V), Component, S-Video, RS-232c, VGA, +12V trigger and audio ports.
As mentioned above, the unit is smaller and lighter than similar home theater projectors. The overall dimensions are 13.2 inches wide, 10 inches deep and 4 inches high, while the weight is 7.8 pounds. It’s easy to install and to carry around.
Help & Support
Vivitek offers a one-year warranty for parts and labor and 90 days for the lamp, one year less than those offered by similar home theater projectors. You can purchase an extended warranty, but according to Vivitek’s website, it’s through “selective partners,” which means a third-party company. There’s probably nothing wrong with that, but if Vivitek isn’t providing extended warranty repairs, it’s something to consider.
Tech support options include phone and email support, so you can get direct access to help from a technician, a user manual or a FAQs/Knowledge Base page for those common questions and answers.
All in all, the very affordable Vivitek H1080FD DLP Projector is a great value for a 1080p projector, but it gets beaten in some key categories compared to similar units. The menu system is a real drag when adjusting the image, and the color artifacting is slightly more noticeable than other DLP projectors.