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Vivitek H1085 DLP Projector review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Vivitek H1085 DLP Projector


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Vivitek’s attempt to 'break' the UK has met with rather mixed fortunes so far. Its ultra high end H9080FD, the first projector we’ve seen to use three LEDs as its light source, blew us away. But the brand’s ultra low-end H1080FD, despite catching our eye with its knock-down £850 price, was rather underwhelming.

To be fair, Vivitek has been tinkering with the H1080 since I saw it, and is promising to send me the tweaked version for a reassessment soon. But in the meantime it’s hoping to prove that it really can do budget as well as high end with the DLP-based H1085 - a step up model from the H1080 that still costs a mere £900.

First impressions of the H1085 are pretty good. It’s a reasonably attractive box, for a start, with its glossy black, boldly angular exterior cutting quite a smart dash on your coffee table or projector mount. Oddly, the black finish makes it look slightly plusher than the white finish found on the H1080FD.

The only catch with the design is the light that the spills from the large grilles down both of its sides. Still, to be fair I personally didn’t find this light spillage noticeable when actually watching a film; it just stands out when you look directly at the projector rather than the film/game it’s projecting.

One side point worth raising here is that the H1080’s design and layout has much in common with BenQ’s recently tested and similarly priced (£999) W1000, reminding us that although there are a startling number of projectors around right now, they all start out from quite a limited number of places. Though as both BenQ and Vivitek would doubtless be quick to point out, surface similarities merely hide the inner differences that each brands’ respective engineers are paid to achieve.

This perspective is given extra weight, in fact, by the way Vivitek has been able to get stuck into the H1080 in order to - hopefully! - deliver a much improved performance by the time we see an updated ‘production line’ sample.

All of this talk is deeply interesting, of course (!), but let’s now get back to the H1085’s specifics - starting with the fact that as with the H1080, it’s superbly well connected for its money. Its two HDMIs, for instance, is in line with projector’s costing 20 times as much, while other highlights include a dedicated D-Sub PC port, an RS-232C control jack for system integration, and even a 12V trigger output for driving external kit - most likely a motorised screen. This latter tool is really unusual to find at the sub-£1k price level.

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December 23, 2009, 3:24 pm

Please be aware that this does not appear to be an LED projector, from the lamp life and reference to lamp this appears to be a standard DLP projector not an LED projector.


December 23, 2009, 5:28 pm

Must admit, the current crop of budget projectors are really starting to tempt me. They're now price competitve with, say, a good quality 42 or 46 inch plasma (the latest Panasonic sets spring to mind) so I guess it's a question of whether outright picture quality or screen size is more important. I suspect at the moment I'm more likely to come down on the TV side as there's still too many usability issues with projectors for my liking (noise, need to replace bulbs, cables running a LONG way round the room to reach the projector and of course the need to keep the room dark being the main ones) and once you've factored in a decent screen it's still up over a grand. But good lord it's getting tempting now...

Jay Werfalli

December 23, 2009, 10:47 pm

@Gasper - deleted LED from the title. Cheers!


December 24, 2009, 4:56 am

Yea the LED bit has me foxed too! I was wondering where the advantage of the 'LED' system was with a lamp life of 4000hrs..... Now it makes sense thanks to Gasper!


Don't forget you'll also need some audio - and for movies probably 5.1 surround plus an HTPC and tv card to drive it (the PJ) etc....

Payam Nab

February 7, 2011, 9:46 pm

Just got one today !!!

I am so happy with it !~ it is so much better than my last one ( HD65 Optoma )

contrast is so good . the 2000 lumina is the best thing because i could not watch any thing during the day with my HD65 but H1085 is so bright !!!!

picture is good ! colors are good !!

every thing seems perfect for the money ....

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