With the alphabet soup of UHD, HDR, 4K, P3/DCI capturing people’s attention these days, it’s easy to forget the pleasures provided by a nice 1080p BT.709-capable front-projection system: low prices, great image quality, and a huge selection of content on Blu-ray. At CES 2016, I saw a new projector from Vivitek that aims to offer performance, value, and flexibility—the H5098.
Vivitek's H5098 DLP projector.
The specs are in the range you’d expect for a projector with an MSRP of $3000, and street pricing that will range from $2500-$3000 depending on the channel. For the money, you get a single-chip DLP projector with a six-segment RGBRGB color wheel. It provides 2000 lumens with a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and it can cover the BT.709 color space as well as sRGB—lamp life is listed as 5000 hours. So far, nothing to get terribly excited about, but those specs do improve upon the $2000 Vivitek H5080 that offers 1700 lumens and a 25,000:1 contrast ratio.
What’s unusual about the H5098 is it offers five interchangeable lens options, along with both horizontal and vertical lens shift that works with all the lenses. The idea is you can choose the optimum lens for your installation. Depending on the lens you choose, the projector's throw ratio can be anything between 0.77:1 and 5:1. Vivitek sent me this chart that lists the compatible lenses and their features:
You can add the H5098 to the list of projectors that are compatible with these lenses.
Vivitek did not offer a dark-room demo at CES; the projector was out on the open show floor, which was very bright. I hope to get my hands on an H5098 to review; the world can use another good option when it comes to 1080p home-theater projectors. It will ship this April.