The has three adjustable feet on the bottom. The front foot has a quick-release button, while the back two screw in and out more ponderously.
The uses a 220-watt lamp (Vivitek part number 5811116617-S). It's rated for 5000 hours in Boost mode and 6000 hours in Standard mode. Unlike a lot of projector we've reviewed, this was quite easy to access. There was just a single screw to remove the top cover of the projector and three screws to dismount the lamp.
The remote control that ships with the is light and comfortable. The button layout is sensible and color-coded for ease of use. Vivitek also included a laser pointer built right into the remote.
The includes great assortment of cables – almost everything you need to get started. There's an HDMI cable, VGA cable, a set of component AV cables, and the AC power cable. You'll also find the remote (with built-in laser pointer) and batteries, as well as a soft carrying case.
At 7.5 pounds, the is not the most portable projector we've reviewed, but Vivitek includes a carrying case. It wouldn't be too much trouble to carry this around once in a while, but if you're commuting to the office everyday, there are definitely better, lighter choices with more padded cases.
The does not require much work to set up.Just above the lens are two wide, grippy rings to manually control zoom and focus. You'll have to do this by hand, as these functions are not motorized and can't be done automatically.
The has a black, high-gloss finish. It's attractive, but woefully susceptible to fingerprints. For everything that Vivitek included in the box, we also would have appreciated a wipe cloth.
At its brightest, the is looking mighty with 2477 lumens. This peak brightness competes with some of the brightest models at this price point, making it versatile for a host of situations from the classroom to a darkened theater room. Using our calibration, where we adjust for the widest and most accurate range of colors and black and white values, the brightness was significantly diminished. For our calibration, the one that will be best for your home theater setup, we suggest that the only be used in a very dark room for best picture clarity.
Our tunnel contrast test is typically very difficult for video projectors. We display varying amounts of black, from 0 to 100% area, on a screen and test the brightness of the black level in the center of the screen. As these areas get smaller, the black level tends to rise significantly. The , though definitely getting brighter, maintained a presentable black level throughout the test. The changes in black level may seem large, but are barely noticeable.
In the brightest mode, we noticed falloff of brightness on some of the edges and the corners. The dimmed areas were wholly inconsistent, with the bottom right corner as bright as the center, but the top right corner was the dimmest section of the projection by about 25%. Looking at the screen, it was hard to tell the difference between the center and the corners, and ultimately the gets a high score here.
The greyscale gamma graph shows the amount of difference between black and white values along the spectrum from darkest to lightest. A flatter line would indicate little difference between values, meaning an inability to show detail at a given section of the brightness spectrum. A steeper line would mean that there are big differences between values, differences that can be too large. Ideally, we look for a straight-ish line with a slope of 2.2.
The graph in the chart we see below is both too shallow and too steep. At the darkest end you can see that the line is almost flat, meaning that shadows will appear as big black cutouts rather than showing subtle details in the dark. With an average slope of 2.46, we know that, when the line starts to get steep, it is overly steep, increasing far too fast for the input signal. The result of differences too large is a lot of contrast, but also a loss of overall detail distinction.
Color temperature stayed steady throughout the spectrum of light and dark. You may see some slight wavering off the center line, but the minor bumps do not breach the allowable error for human perception. In other words, you won't see any tinting of your picture at any level of brightness.
These three graphs of the primary colors represent the brightness produced by the matched against a given brightness input. All three lines should increase in unison along a curved line that reaches from 0 to 100% brightness without any nadirs or peaking.
What we see in the chart is pretty close to this ideal. Each of the three lines is very smooth and more or less coincidental. This tells us that the entire spectrum of colors is used, that each increase in color brightness is evenly incremental, and that each of the primary colors follows these guidelines.
The Rec. 709 is the international standard for HD colors. We recorded the colors from the and matched them up against this standard and found this projector lacking. The green and blue values are significantly undersaturated. We adjusted the colors to retain some accuracy in the red values because they were so oversaturated, at the loss of green and blue accuracy. There is no even middle ground. We could make adjustments to make all the colors incorrect, but we went with this calibration instead because it had the least overall error.
Some finer details in photographs were lost when we projected them moving across the screen. Faces became blurry, but were definitely still recognizable. Closely drawn lines lost their intricacy, but stayed mostly separate in motion. Colors trailed a little bit, leaving a smidgen of the previous frame on the screen for a moment. The color trailing was the worst of it, but for a video projector without motion processing functions, its ability to produce smooth motion was presentable.
Artifacting occurs when a device is unable to reproduce a difficult input signal. Images that were not part of the original signal will end up on screen as creations of the display device. The had trouble minimizing artifacts when showing moving objects.
We saw what we call "parallelogramming" where moving rectangles slant into parallelograms. The reason for this error is that the processor on the cannot actively refresh the whole picture at the same time. Instead, it is updating rows of pixels from top to bottom as fast as it can. Consecutive rows are trying to catch up with the one before it, thus vertical edges will appear as slanted because each row of pixels is one step behind the previous row. What was once a rectangle, is now a parallelogram; an artifact created by the projector. Other than this distortion, we saw minor jagged edges, further indication of a slow processor, but no random artifact colors.
Reproducing 24fps film content was no problem on the . We often see flickering of high density patterns because of the change in frame rate, but we saw nothing of the sort using this projector; just an accurate picture. We also look at a pan of a football stadium. In this shot, we are inspecting for pixel motion among the seats and a shaky pan rather than a smooth one. We saw a very minimal amount of pixel motion in the furthest seats, and the small amount of judder you expect to see when using a projector.
The displays natively at 1080p. Unfortunately, with such a high resolution and some keystone adjustment to the picture, many of our high density patterns were not well portrayed. Every one of our moire patterns banded together as a result of this adjustment, but small text was easy to read.
Broadcast and other content will often come in different resolutions, such as 720p and 480p. We tested both of these formats and found that with less information to display, the keystoning had less of an affect on the high density patterns and the resolution performance was stronger.
The does not have a good throw. Throw is a measure of versatility: a projector's ability to be setup at varying distances from the screen, both close and far away. The larger this range, the better the throw score. For a screen of 80 inches, this projector needs to be setup a little more than ten feet away. This is not very easy to work with, considering you may not have ten feet of space for a presentation or in your living room for that home theater you wanted.
Considering the needs to be setup far away from the screen to produce a picture, the distance will affect the strong peak brightness recorded in the Black and White section. The brightness is strong enough that you can project a rather large screen, provided the ambient light is low.
The table below shows that, with more ambient light and distance, the has diminishing returns on visibility. For the most part, the brightness is high enough for a host of lighting situations and distances. You can see in the table that large projections in moderate amounts of light are not going to be very visible. This aspect makes the not the best projector for extreme situations like big classroom speeches or presentations in well lit conference rooms. What we do see, is that the is a versatile machine, ready for home theaters in the living room, or the depths of a mancave.
This projector is specifically crafted for home theater use. As such, there are no modes to help project onto materials that are not a white screen. Some projectors have settings for blackboards, green blackboards (oxymoron no?), colored walls, wood grain, fish scales (we haven't seen this one yet, but it sounds cool), and other textures that adjust the colors and picture to give you an optimal picture. The is a bit of a princess in this regard, but if you are looking for a home theater setup, you probably have the screen you need to project a proper picture.
We noticed a very sharp picture when we projected this pattern. Often we see some of the one-pixel dots in the center of the squares bleeding over into two or more pixels. Each little dot was contained without any blur or bleed, a feat very difficult for many projectors. Some of the top rows of lines bowed, but mostly this projection was sharp and straight throughout.
There is no autofocus or step-focus on the . We had to use our grubby hands to rotate the lens to achieve a focus that we thought was accurate.
The has a native resolution of 1080p, and can accept all other NTSC formats. It can also drive just about any computer, or custom resolution you can muster.
The color temperature starts at 5999K, which is pretty close to perfect. In fact, it is as close as the comes to the ideal 6500K, because the color temperature settings do nothing. Change the color temperature from normal, to warm, to cool, to high cool, and no differences in perceivable temperature or recorded temperature occur. The only difference you can make is by setting it to native lamp temperature which increases the color temperature over 9000K: too cool for school. This setting may be helpful for presentations because the picture appears brighter in this setting.
Aside from the color temperature, the Movie mode is very close to our recommended calibration. We started with these settings in User 1, and knocked the color down quite a bit because all colors were oversaturated, especially the reds.
There are a couple of video modes on the . We recommend bright for presentations or rooms with more ambient light, and our calibrated settings for a home theater setup in a darker room.
There is quite a variety of new and old connections to be made on the back of the . There is one of each of component, composite, and S-video connections for older devices. The two HDMI ports allow for two high-def devices to be connected at the same time. The VGA in and out ports make for great compatibility with computers, and the LAN port lets you control things like calibration settings and standby mode remotely using your local network.
All of the ports are on the back, arranged in a grid for easy access. The layout of the ports allows for diversity of connection. For instance, the RGB ports for the component connection are located away from the analog audio LR ports, which are also separated from the analog video in connection.
This layout is good for multiple types of connection, hooked up any way you could imagine. The only problem is that you may have to cut your component cord a little to get it to stretch the distance from one side of the projector to the other. For presentation purposes this makes sense because versatility is the prime factor, but for home theater, you would want these ports all next to each other for easier connection of multiple devices at the same time.
There are no internet or extra media features on the .
The menus do not control much functionality other than the calibration settings, lamp settings, and some date, time, and language settings. They are easy to navigate with general category headers at the top opening into the various settings below.
Only a quick setup guide comes in the box with the , you can get a more in-depth user manual here, under downloads. The quick setup guide may be all you need actually. It covers how to get the picture to fill the appropriate sized screen, the connections in the back, and how to operate the projector. The .pdf user manual just goes into a level of depth and simplicity that we consider extra. If you can't figure something out, or have a question about the specifications, refer there for more information.
With the lamp set to Boost, the only omitted a couple of decibels of fan noise, increasing the ambient noise from 38 dB to 41.5 dB. Our readings mark it as surprisingly meek for a projector. If you adjust the lamp to Standard, the noise output is almost unaffected, lowering the noise by 0.3 dB.
We measured the intake air temperature at 81º F, and the output at 133.5º F, which is really not bad for a home theater setup that can produce such bright pictures at 1080p. Changing the lamp from Boost to Standard will reduce the output temperature by about 25%.
The difference in power consumption between modes was veritably negligible. Bright is the most expensive mode. Changing the lamp setting from Boost to Standard will drop the yearly predicted cost. The costs listed in the table below are what we expect to see from projectors of this size and price point.
Both of these projectors are about equal in price, resolution, motion processing, and connectivity. We place a high value on color accuracy here at VideoProjectorInfo.com. As such, if you are looking to setup a home theater, we think the Viewsonic Pro8200 is the way to go for having a better color gamut. The has a higher peak brightness making it more versatile: a better bet for presentation purposes, as it can project a larger screen in brighter light. However, there are better presentation projectors out there for about the same amount of money.
The has a better peak brightness and a can transition through black and white values more evenly than the Viewsonic Pro8200, which had some trouble with both.
The Viewsonic here has comparable color temperature accuracy and color curves, but the more accurate color gamut is the most important trait in our reckoning. The colors must start off looking correct for the color accuracy to be strong. If the colors are strange to start, it does not matter how even and consistent they are, they will be wrong regardless.
We saw some strong motion smoothness processing on the but some definite artifacting in our motion tests. The Viewsonic Pro8200 was about average in both categories. We like the Viewsonic for having fewer artifacts.
With a zoom capability of only 1.2, the throw score for the was more or less abysmal. The Viewsonic Pro8200 uses a 1.5 zoom lens and can be set up a bit closer to a screen.
The and the Viewsonic Pro8200 have a similar amount of connectivity, with the two HDMI ports being the most important. We thought the layout on the Viewsonic made more sense, especially for a home theater, allowing for a multitude and a variety of connections to be made simultaneously in a permanent setup.
Though the Optoma HD20 is slightly cheaper than the (by about $70), but it's not a better value. The is had superior performance in just about every testing category, and if you are going to make an investment for a home theater, the extra money will be worth it.
The Optoma HD20 is one of the dimmer projectors we have reviewed recently. You won't get much versatility out of it as it will need to be kept in a dark room in your house, much like that horrible secret you promised never to speak of. The has a much higher peak brightness which really drives the black and white performance on a projector.
The produces more even color curves and a more accurate color gamut than the Optoma HD20.
The Optoma HD20 had trouble producing the kind of smooth and accurate motion to which our keen eyes have become accustomed. We would much rather watch moving objects on the .
The has an abysmal throw distance and must needs be set up far away from any screen. The Optoma HD20 is a bit better, allowing for a closer setup, which is nice because the peak brightness won't allow for much distance anyway.
The Optoma HD20 is a bit limited in its connectivity. It does have the two HDMI ports we find cardinal for a home theater, but it is lacking the audio connectivity you will want for a versatile surround setup.
The Epson PowerLite 1775W will make you pay a couple hundred dollars more than the . That said, you get an unmatched peak brightness, a great throw distance, and fantastic portability, three points of quality that make this projector an anytime, anywhere, for anything device. But there are people looking for a permanent, ceiling mounted installation in a dark theater room in their home. For less money, you could have such a setup with better color, and resolution performance out of the .
The Epson PowerLite 1775W has the brightest projection we have seen at this price point, while maintaining good detail quality for a projector. The doesn't quite match up in this category.
The has a solid set of colors, but an unfortunate color gamut. The Epson PowerLite 1775W was not as good in any of the color accuracy categories, including color gamut, as well as having an inaccurate color temperature.
The Epson PowerLite 1775W showed some really great motion processing, displaying no visible artifacts at all. This is very difficult to do and we congratulate Epson on this feat.
We would like to highlight that the is a native 1080p projector, whereas the Epson PowerLite 1775W is a 1200 x 800 (XVGA) native projector that does best with 720p material, and is not so great at 1080p.
The Epson PowerLite 1775W comes with a few material detection modes that help you project a more accurate picture onto a blackboard or a whiteboard. It also has a grand throw distance, allowing again for an ease of use and versatility that you do not get with the .
There is some connectivity on the back of the Epson PowerLite 1775W, enough to get you connected to whichever device you are trying to drive. One of the most notable bits of connectivity is the built-in WiFi on the Epson PowerLite 1775W. Supposedly, this allows you to use the projector as a wireless display, but we had difficulty doing so using multiple devices. Still, it is a feature we are sure works for some people and must be considered a big positive.
The ($899 MSRP) is a 1080p home theater projector from Vivitek that would work well as a presentation projector due to its peak brightness. It's a bit large to be carted about to and fro every day, but it has all the connections you need for any kind of AV connection, wherever you may be.
There are some highlights to consider. The peak brightness was strong, the color temperature consistency was perfect, the color curves showed some great detail, and we saw some strong detail retention in motion. These are excellent qualities, but we think the drawbacks outweigh these positives.
The throw distance was poor. There is not a great range of possible setup distances because it only has a 1.2x zoom. Though the color accuracy was mostly great, the , when calibrated, uses a set of colors that are off. Staying true to incorrect colors is not a big plus to our thinking. The range of black and white values was grand, but the amount of detail distinction in producing these values was either too large or too small.
We think you could be happy using this projector as a permanent home setup, but it's not the best at this price point. We take color reproduction very seriously here, and we found that for about the same price, you can get a home theater with a better set of colors from the Viewsonic Pro8200, the first comparison model in this review. We see that the could be used in both presentation and home theater situations. But in this price bracket, there are better projectors if you are transporting it between home and work, and better straight up home theater projectors if you are planning to mount it in your home.
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