The three previous projectors we’ve seen from new (to the UK, anyway) kid on the block Vivitek have been just about as far apart in price as they could be. There was the all-singing, all-dancing £11,000 H9080FD LED model at the high end, and two sub-£1k models at the other. So you won’t be too surprised to learn that we’ve headed for some sort of mid-ground with our fourth dip into Vivitek waters, in the shape of the £2,643.75 H5080.
The H5080’s lower-middle range status is perfectly reflected in its design. For it’s markedly larger, better built and more obviously ‘designed’ than the entry-level duo, yet it’s still a minnow versus the hulking H9080FD. All in all, its gloss black finish, ribbed edges and central lens make it a reasonably rather than awesomely attractive addition to your AV room.
Spinning the H5080 around reveals a pleasant surprise: three HDMIs where even many projectors costing tens of thousands of pounds still only manage two. Excellent. Though it’s a pity the remote control only provides one-button access to two of them! The H5080 also impressively manages further highlights of two 12V trigger outputs, a component video input, a D-Sub PC port, and RS 232 and USB control ports for system integration.
These latter two jacks suggest custom install ambition on the part of Vivitek for the H5080 - an ambition done no harm at all by the fact that you can swap the mid-throw lens the projector ships with for either short (£720) or two long (£1,200 and £1540) options, if they suit your room better. You can choose the lens option you want at point of purchase, and pay the difference between the alternate lens prices and the price of the standard mid-throw lens (estimated at £1,100) that comes included in the overall price given at the top of this review.
As I started setting the H5080 up I had a nasty moment where I couldn’t find any vertical image shifting tools, raising the shudder-inducing prospect that I’d have to resort to messing the image’s geometry about with a provided keystone adjustment. Fortunately, though, a patient breath and a quick perusal of the on-CD manual revealed that the projector does in fact have both vertical and horizontal shift options, tucked under a slide-forward panel above the lens.
There are also two sturdy and flexible screw down legs under the projector’s front side, though I’d suggest that you avoid these and stick with the optical image shifting if you can.
Joining the manual optical image shift knobs are simple focus and zoom rings around the lens - and I should add that all of the manual adjustments provided feel ‘tight’ and thus allow for some quite precise manoeuvring.
Couch potatoes might rue the fact that you can’t adjust the lens in any way via the appealingly straightforward (and backlit) remote control. But the H5080‘s ‘manual-only’ approach is par for the course at its price level.