So extensive are the H1085’s adjustments, in fact, that apparently it can be calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) engineer – a major feature boost over the H1080. However, at the time of writing I was unable to access the ISF setting, and couldn’t find anyone not already off for Christmas at Vivitek who could help me out. Maybe it’s in a service menu or something?
The only other really handy things are the facility to knock all overscan off the picture – essential in getting the best from HD sources – and an auto keystone adjustment, which does a surprisingly nifty job of automatically calculating the level of digital image manipulation required to compensate for the likelihood of your projector being positioned somewhat below or above the centre of your screen.
And when we say likelihood, we mean it. For sadly – if completely expectedly for its money – the H1085 doesn’t sport any optical image shifting, leaving many people with keystone correction as the only way of getting the edges of their picture perpendicular.
Since keystone correction is essentially a distortion of the picture, obviously I’d recommend that you try and minimise the amount of it you have to use by getting the projector as close as possible to the optimum height in relation to your screen. But at least the keystone correction algorithms Vivitek is employing seem pretty solid as such things go.
The H1085’s level of optical zoom is a touch limited too, but again this is hardly unusual in the budget projector world. In fact, the H1085 is far from the worst offender we’ve come across in this respect.
The final thing I should do before assessing the H1085’s performance is look for other differences (beyond the already quoted if unproven ISF support) between the H1085 and the slightly cheaper H1080. Particularly important could be the fact that the colour wheel is a 3x affair, rather than the 2x spinner found in the H1080 I reviewed (though I gather the revamped H1080 also has a 3x colour wheel). This has the potential to greatly reduce the rainbow effect that troubled us so much on the H1080. Fingers crossed.
Other improvements find the maximum brightness upped to 2,000 Lumens from the H1080’s 1,600, and contrast upped to 5,000:1 from 4,000:1 – both potentially key components in a more satisfying image, provided the higher brightness and contrast can be made to work with rather than against each other.