Vivitek H5080 review

Vivitek fills the gap between its appealing budget and high-end projector ranges

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For

  • Tidily designed
  • Three HDMi inputs
  • Excellent contrast and colour performance

Against

  • Runs slightly loud
  • A little video noise during dark scenes

Taiwanese brand Vivitek has hit the ground running in its recent bid to conquer the UK projector market, having already impressed us with both a strong sub-£1,000 budget model and a spectacular £10k three-LED flagship variant, labelled the H9080FD.

So we're intrigued to be looking at a mid-range model, the H5080, which is well built and glossy enough to avoid any accusations of ugliness, thanks to the symmetrically mounted lens.

But it is chunky. Its connectivity is unexpectedly good, though, thanks chiefly to its provision of not two, but three HDMis. The H5080 also handily provides two 12V trigger outputs, and both RS232 and USB ports to help the projector integrate properly into a wider home cinema installation.

These latter connectors could help the H5080 become a favourite with custom installers seeking an inexpensive but flexible big-screen option.

With this in mind, Vivitek also makes four different lens options for this lightbox, with one short and two long-throw options available, plus the standard mid-throw affair. Other handy setup tricks include very responsive horizontal and vertical image shifting, with straightforward manual zoom and focus rings around the lens.

Vivacious colour

The H5080 continues to offer good picture flexibility in its onscreen menus. There's a decent colour management system, for instance, plus a series of sensibly calibrated picture presets, plenty of gamma setting options, an auto-contrast 'DynamicBlack' system delivering a claimed 25,000:1 contrast ratio, plus Vivitek's 'ViviSettings' in-house video processing system.

The latter includes motion compensation processing, sharpness fine-tuning, and a Flesh tone setting that provides a quintet of 'base' skin colour options. Unfortunately, none of the settings actually benefit the H5080's pictures and, in many ways, actually make them worse.

This is particularly true of the ViviMotion system, which consistently generates unwanted side effects. Happily, with ViviSettings turned off, the H5080's pictures are really very good.

Particularly pleasing, given that the H5080 uses single-chip DLP technology, is how little the projector suffers from the rainbow effect, even during particularly challenging sequences such as the opening credits of Alien, where bright lettering sits atop dark backgrounds.

Making this all the more impressive is the fact that the 'gap' between the peak whites of the titles and the deep blacks of space is extremely wide, thanks to the machine's startling ability to paint rich, black colours within the same frame as bright whites and colours.

The H5080 also produces a very intense colourscape, with vibrant, punchy saturations during bright and dark scenes alike. Critically, though, these well-saturated colours seldom, if ever, tip over into looking forced.

With HD material, the lightbox produces a likeably sharp, detailed picture. Certainly rival projectors at the H5080's level, such as Epson's TW4400 and JVC's DLA-HD550, can deliver a crisper, more forensic HD experience. But we suspect some tastes might prefer the H5080's slightly softer scrutiny. The H5080 upscales SD material quite effectively, too, if you have to watch this from time to time!

Our complaints are few, but we must say it does run more loudly than we'd like, with Vivitek's 27dB claim feeling a tad conservative. And the pictures contain slightly more video noise than those of its best non-DLP rivals, too, with greenish grey dotting visible during dark scenes and an occasional slight fizzing to expanses of rich colour.

Finally, the H5080 doesn't run quite brightly enough after calibration to reproduce as much shadow detail as some rivals, though you might argue that its black level depth sufficiently compensates for this.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDLP Projector
Native Resolution1920 x 1080
Maximum Lens ApertureF/3.1
Standard Mode Brightness1700 lm
Native Aspect Ratio16:9
USBYes
HDMIYes
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Video Signal FormatNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Input Scan Format1080p
Output Scan Format1080p
VGA InYes
Maximum Diagonal Image Size7.62 m
Brand NameVivitek
Contrast Ratio25,000:1
Lamp TypeUHP
Projection MethodFront, Rear, Ceiling
Normal Mode Lamp Life2000 Hour
Economy Mode Lamp Life3000 Hour
Height180.3 mm
Width431.8 mm
Depth342.9 mm
Optical Zoom1.3x
Lamp Power280 W
ManufacturerVivitek Corporation
Product ModelH5080
Product NameH5080 DLP Projector
Manufacturer Part NumberH5080
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.vivitekcorp.com
Weight (Approximate)8.62 kg