Some good news today for the casual videophile with a hankering for bargain home theater. There will soon be a true HD 1080p home theater projector on the market for just $999. The new Vivitek H1080FD projector is expected to ship in August 2009, and it’s burying the price barrier by taking entry level 1080p downtown to $999. So how can 1080p be so cheap?
[ In Photo : Christopher Yang, Vivitek senior product manager. Photo via Twice.com ]
We don’t have the official Vivitek spec sheet just yet, so there may be additions or changes before the projector hits the streets. But based on what has been reported, the features appear to be similar to previous low-priced home theater projectors with a couple nice additions.
So what are the compromises buyers will have to make to get a true HD projector for this price? We haven’t seen the product in person yet (and we hope to soon) but if we just compare spec for spec it looks like the biggest loser on this projector is the contrast ratio. At just 5000:1 contrast, the H1080FD doesn’t compare to the current 1080p champs at around 60,000:1. This means blacks may appear more gray, and that the image may be a bit less punchy.
But if you’re not picky about contrast, this projector will save you a few hundred bucks. And for buyers who care mostly about price, a lower contrast ratio may not be a big issue. That is as long as the video quality is up to true high-definition par.
Features of the Vivitek H1080FD Projector
There is no lens shift mentioned which makes sense, as it is not common in an entry level projector. The H1080FD is a DLP home theater projector and using DarkChip II technology. But with 1800 lumens the H1080FD should produce a nice bright picture. It also has two HDMI inputs, a 12v screen trigger, and RS-232 control, which are all strong features in entry level home theater.
So When Can I Buy a 1080p Projector for $999?
Vivitek should have models on the streets by August of 2009 – next month. We also expect to see some other manufacturers coming out with $999 1080p projectors soon. So you should have a bit more selection in this low-end 1080p category after Summer and into the holiday season.
How Much Am I Really Saving?
Currently entry level 1080p projectors hover at around $1499 to $1799, and have reached as low as $1299 for close out models early this year. That means your actual savings is around $300 – $700 for a comparable unit today – but with lower contrast. It also remains to be seen if the video quality matches the quality of current entry-level projectors, or if this projector represents a new lower entry level category that may just open up 1080p front projection to a broader audience.
You can check out an article on the Vivitek H1080FD here. [ via Twice.com ]