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As you would expect of a projector costing the eye-watering amount of £10,995, Vivitek's H9080FD is no ordinary projector. In fact, it's a world's first. For no other 1080p home cinema projector before has been built around LED lighting.
This is pretty startling news as our experience of projectors that use LED lighting has been that they're extremely low on brightness, and have thus only found a home within 'convenience' products, such as pocket-sized Pico projectors. Yet Vivitek claims that the H9080FD's LED modules should - and I quote - "give the viewer an impression of a much higher video brightness than those projectors with a conventional mercury lamp".
What's more, the immediate full brightness response of the LED module means that the H9080FD can claim an instant on/off feature, with none of the tedious waiting around for bulbs to warm up or fans to cool lamps down that you get with conventional projector lighting.
There are other claimed advantages of the LED lighting system too. Particularly striking is a claimed 20,000-hour LED module lifespan. That's around 10 times longer than the lifespan quoted for your average mercury lamp, and goes some way to justifying the projector's cost given that you won't be investing in lamps as regularly as you would with a 'normal' projector.
Another important performance benefit of the LED lighting engine, meanwhile, is the way it can drive the DLP DMD device without any need for the usual DLP colour wheel. In fact, since they're able to switch 30A on and off in one micro second, the LED driver algorithms Vivitek has developed for the H9080FD can switch the currents to each of the projector's three LEDs so fast that the effect is equivalent to a 20x DLP colour wheel!
Doing away with the traditional DLP colour wheel should also reduce operating noise, and abolish the dreaded 'rainbow effect' (RGB colour striping) that colour wheels tend to cause.
The LED driving algorithm Vivitek has created for the H9080FD is also claimed to do away with the need for another mechanical part of a standard projector: the dynamic black shutter. Despite this, the projector still claims a huge contrast ratio of 100,000:1.
There's also another claimed benefit of the H9080FD's LED lamp system, and that's its power consumption. For apparently it consumes just 175W or so when running with the optimum settings for film viewing.
A final claimed LED lighting bonus for the H9080FD is its wide colour gamut potential. Vivitek claims that the H9080FD can produce a 200 trillion-shade colour range that's 25% wider than the NTSC standard, and 77% wider than the Rec. 709 standard. Of course, having a wide colour gamut can actually make pictures look less natural. But the H9080FD allows you to choose from a wide range of ‘real world' colour gamuts if you think the wide settings are overcooking what you're watching.
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