Vivitek D950HD Video Projector Review
The Vivitek D950HD is one of a few 1080p home theater projectors out now that cost less than a grand.
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 Vivitek D950HD 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 D950HD 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.
3:2 Pulldown & 24fps
Reproducing 24fps film content was no problem on the Vivitek D950HD. 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 Vivitek D950HD 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.
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