Review: Vivitek D795T
Extreme Short Throw Projector.
Text:/ Stuart Gregg
This is a projector that knows who it wants to impress. For my money it’s aimed squarely at the classroom or mid-size meeting room, and will serve them well.
The Vivitek D795T has the shortest throw of any unit I have seen. At a distance of just 450mm to front of the projector it produces an image 2.2m wide. The restriction that goes along with these extreme optics is that you can only set your image size to between 2.2 and 2.4m wide, and, as you would expect, you have no lens shift and it requires fairly critical mounting/positioning to get a good square image.
When mounting the projector you need to make sure that it’s perfectly square to the screen and your surface is very ‘true and smooth’ as any imperfections will be exaggerated by the extreme nature of the optics. I originally set the projector up on a tripod screen, but the slightest ‘wave’ in the projection surface showed up very clearly in the image and especially in images with straight lines such as spreadsheets, graphs, etc.
If you need to mount the projector below table height, and consequently need to tilt the unit to raise the image, you do have ±15% vertical keystone adjustment, but when top of screen ceiling-mounted or bottom of screen table-mounted, keystone adjustment is not necessary.
I was impressed with the image quality for such a specialised projector in this price range. When set properly, the image was sharp and focused evenly across the field. Fine detail on data images was clean and crisp. Photos and graphics looked pleasant, with saturated colours and natural looking skin tones.
PROJECTS A GOOD IMAGE
Video images were good, but did require stepping outside the six preset image settings to get the best results. Using the User Mode setting you can achieve a really very respectable video image. Motion was good with very few of the rainbow artefacts that can be seen on all single-chip DLP units. While I’m sure it’s not been designed as a home unit or with heavy video use in mind, it would do a decent job of it.
Running through some standard test patterns and known images, the projector displayed an impressive brightness and colour uniformity. It’s not perfect, as the image does tend to be very slightly brighter at the bottom (not really surprising given how close the bottom of the image is to the projector compared to the top). You would struggle to notice this in general use, as it would only really show up in some static images with large areas of light and dark.
The projector has a good range of inputs including S-Video, composite, HDMI and 2 x VGA (RGBHV) which should cover most situations. I ran a range of signals in from PAL DVD to 1920×1080 files direct from Final Cut, and it handled them all well. It will happily accept signals up to 1600×1200.
All sources and signals were selected and effectively adjusted by the auto image function. The D795T is 3D ready using TI’s DLP link technology for active shutter glasses, but we were not in a position to test that side of its functionality.
The menu system was simple and easy to use. The projector can be controlled and monitored via Crestron software as well as having an RJ45 Ethernet port for network and web connection.
Lamp life is a claimed 4000 hours in normal mode or 6000 in eco mode (still not met anyone who runs a projector in eco mode but…). The requirement for maintenance should be low, with just a clean of the mirror and intake grilles when required. The highly-shaped mirror is fairly exposed to fingers, etc, and if floor-mounted, may become scratched if care is not taken when cleaning.
Hills Sound Vision & Lighting 1800 827 477 firstname.lastname@example.org
Single chip DLP
3000 ANSI lumens
Native resolution 1280 x 800 (16:10)
CLEAN & WELL PRESENTED
The projector looks stylish, and will easily blend into most installations, even though it doesn’t have a tiny profile. No one will be disturbed by fan noise as it is extremely quiet. The overall build quality is good and the unit is finished off with clean lines and design. All connections are at the rear off the projector so cable installs will be neat and out of sight, but will need to be tidy as the projector only just sits out from the wall.
I have over the years had left-of-centre thoughts of using extreme short-throw projectors such as this for ‘intelligent’ ground row lighting on sets. As this unit is whisper-quiet and fairly punchy, maybe those ideas may yet become a reality.