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.
The Vivitek D950HD does not have a good throw. Throw is a measure of versatility: a projector's ability to be setup at varying distances from the screen, both close and far away. The larger this range, the better the throw score. For a screen of 80 inches, this projector needs to be setup a little more than ten feet away. This is not very easy to work with, considering you may not have ten feet of space for a presentation or in your living room for that home theater you wanted.
Considering the D950HD needs to be setup far away from the screen to produce a picture, the distance will affect the strong peak brightness recorded in the Black and White section. The brightness is strong enough that you can project a rather large screen, provided the ambient light is low.
The table below shows that, with more ambient light and distance, the Vivitek D950HD has diminishing returns on visibility. For the most part, the brightness is high enough for a host of lighting situations and distances. You can see in the table that large projections in moderate amounts of light are not going to be very visible. This aspect makes the Vivitek D950HD not the best projector for extreme situations like big classroom speeches or presentations in well lit conference rooms. What we do see, is that the Vivitek D950HD is a versatile machine, ready for home theaters in the living room, or the depths of a mancave.
This projector is specifically crafted for home theater use. As such, there are no modes to help project onto materials that are not a white screen. Some projectors have settings for blackboards, green blackboards (oxymoron no?), colored walls, wood grain, fish scales (we haven't seen this one yet, but it sounds cool), and other textures that adjust the colors and picture to give you an optimal picture. The Vivitek D950HD is a bit of a princess in this regard, but if you are looking for a home theater setup, you probably have the screen you need to project a proper picture.
We noticed a very sharp picture when we projected this pattern. Often we see some of the one-pixel dots in the center of the squares bleeding over into two or more pixels. Each little dot was contained without any blur or bleed, a feat very difficult for many projectors. Some of the top rows of lines bowed, but mostly this projection was sharp and straight throughout.
There is no autofocus or step-focus on the Vivitek D950HD. We had to use our grubby hands to rotate the lens to achieve a focus that we thought was accurate.
The Vivitek D950HD has a native resolution of 1080p, and can accept all other NTSC formats. It can also drive just about any computer, or custom resolution you can muster.
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