VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector Review

Vava's 4K Laser UST projector - $2799.99 on Amazon - has changed my view on projection and fully replaced in my living room. If you crave a bigger picture, be it for TV, sports, gaming or movies, take a serious look at replacing your TV with a UST projection system.


These are interesting times for pans of front projection. The combination of "pixel-shift 4K" DLP (using a 1080p DLP chip and 4X pixel-shift tech) and comparatively affordable laser light sources has resulted in a new crop of projectors that look great and behave much more like a TV than bulb-based units. Add UST (ultra short throw) in the mix and suddenly you have a viable option for putting a 100" or larger screen in your living room or media room, without the hassle of installing a long-throw projector. Just a few years ago, the cost of this capability was like buying a car. However the VAVA projector sells for only $2800, making it comparable to a premium 75"-class TV in cost.

When I first heard about the VAVA 4K UST Laser projector, I confess I was dismissive. The product launched with an indegogo campaign and promised a lot, from HDR to Dolby Audio to an image size up to 150". That initial campaign was funded in a mere 22 minutes and ultimately raised over $2 million. Now, you can buy the VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theater Projector on Amazon for under three grand.

So, what do you get for the money? A very slick projector that performs better than expected yet is easy to set up and use. While at CES 2020, I was glad to see that my primary concern—that I'd suffer the dreaded DLP "rainbow effect"—was unfounded. Although this unit uses a color wheel, I witnessed no artifacts while watching the VAVA. This continues to be the case after many dozens of hours of home viewing: The viewing experience remains rainbow-free.

FEATURES & SETUP

The packaging and the product show an attention to detail that befits a piece of AV gear in this price range. Un-boxing only took a minute and did not involve any awkward-to-handle packaging. It's arguably one of the nicest-looking projectors you can buy and looks perfectly at home sitting on a credenza, if you didn't know better, you might think it was a fancy smart speaker.

Let's talk raw specifications for a moment. The ALPD 3.0 light source is rated to last 25,000 hours, making this a projector that can withstand years of continuous use. Even if you watch 6 hours of TV and movies per day, you can expect to get over a decade of use out of the laser light source.

VAVA lists this projector's brightness at 2500 ANSI lumens, which is enough to overcome ambient light and the relatively low gain of UST screens. But the upshot is that by using a UST screen, you gain deeper shadows. You can in theory use a UST projector with a "Lambertian Diffusion" screen (a screen that reflects light evenly in all directions). But, to make it work, you'll need a dark room, but you can expect a dazzling image. This is a special use case, in most scenarios I expect this projector will be installed in living rooms with windows and white walls—just like mine.

This is a "Smart Projector" that connects to the Internet with Wi-Fi. It offers an app store, file manager (USB and network), multiscreen capability (to mirror what's on a phone or tablet) and the ability to select between the four HDMI inputs (one of which supports ARC).

Setup was a cinch, with the only real challenge being to mount the screen at the right height (if you use a fixed-frame screen). Once you get the screen positioning right, it's just a matter of focusing lens, the result being a sharp image with minimal geometric distortion—even at the edges. The importance of good geometry is that it allows you to use a screen that has thin bezels with no light spilling over onto the wall, besides being a sign of a better lens and the fact that it is more faithful to the source. I did not see any significant chromatic aberration or blurriness near the edges, and unlike 3-LCD UST projectors, this DLP had zero issues with alignment. The result is a remarkably clean image that really comes alive when you feed it high-quality 4K source material.

I recommend that you use a screen specifically designed for UST projectors, it's especially important for daytime viewing, or any time when there's a lot of ambient light in the room. The good news is this is a bright projector that's able to create a 100" image when placed a mere 7.2" from the wall (or projection surface). I used it with a 110" screen.

This projector is a "TV" in the sense that it has smart apps built in, and a speaker system. Because it sits at the front of the room, instead of behind you, it means you need nothing more than the projector and screen to enjoy content. However, I do recommend adding a surround-sound system for a more immersive viewing experience, with the one caveat being that you must find a creative way to place the center channel since the projector goes where you'd usually find one. In my system, I forewent the center and use "phantom" mode.

I found the remote comfortable to hold and easy-to-use Thanks to its mercifully simple interface. You will have the position of the buttons memorized in no time, so you can use it without looking... that's the hallmark of a great remote. Menu navigation is snappy, and I could connect to my Wi-Fi network with minimum fuss.

PICTURE QUALITY

This is a very consumer oriented projector. AV enthusiasts looking for deep-dive calibration menus will not find them here. However, one of the positive characteristics of DLP is its consistency... You can factory tune a DLP projector to look good right out-of-the-box, and it will maintain that without the panel degradation that is an issue with LCD/LCOS technologies. Mind you, there are some basic color controls that would allow you to tweak the projector to better match a screen or hit a specific color temperature by adjusting RGB gain. Just don't expect to be performing at 20-point adjustment with CMS on this projector, it's not designed that way. Instead, it offers a minimalist selection of pre-tweaked options that are more than enough to get a good picture out of it. Even if you made no adjustments after unpacking this VAVA, what you'll see on screen looks good (with some room for improvement through optimization).

While you can set a custom color temperature, I switched between "Standard" for TV watching, because it's the brightest, and "Warm" during the evening when watching movies, because it is more accurate.

For the first week or so that I had the projector, I did not even realize that the "Brightness Mode: Standard" setting is actually the "Low" setting and that you have to choose "High" to get the maximum light output. Which is to say, the projector was bright enough for me in "Standard" mode. The benefit here is that there's less fan noise in the lower bulb brightness setting. The amount of fan noise will depend on how well ventilated the area around the projector is (the vents are on the sides of the unit, with the exhaust coming out the left side). Even on the "High" brightness setting it was only intermittent.

What's key is it's nice to be able to crank up the brightness on this projector by putting it on "Brightness Mode: High" when watching a daytime sporting event, or to get that extra "pop" that is missing from much projection-based HDR. With this VAVA, you can get highlights that "pop" and give you a good HDR effect.

As for contrast, DLP is a "known quantity" with modest black levels compared to the very best home theater projectors. Nevertheless, the Perceived contrast of this VAVA is great. Because there is no assumption of a totally light controlled, blacked out room, trying to achieve really deep black levels is actually a waste. Better to focus on those highlights and overall brightness, which for many scenes in many movies (anything bright and colorful) is what really makes the HDR version "pop." Plus, it really needs to be said... DLP (as long as there are no rainbow artifacts) looks really great. Crisp motion is a huge plus versus giant TVs, as is a level of screen uniformity that TV makers have only dreamt about since the demise of plasma. Taken together, the qualities of modern DLP projection are highly complementary to this application.

Buyers should be aware that this projector maxes out at 60 Hz and does not process 24 Hz natively, therefore it does have some "judder" when showing 24 Hz content (it did not pass the rtings.com judder test). However, I did not find it distracting in practice and I do feel it's better than big-screen TVs, even TVs that handle 24 Hz properly. The one exception to this are plasma TVs. Another thing to look out for is this projector has significant input lag, so it's not going to be the best choice for gamers. But considering its picture quality, with a focus on detail, brightness and light-source longevity, what you do get is worth the money, IMO.

It's important to note that this is not a native 4K projector and it is unable to render a 4K 1-pixel checkerboard pattern. But if you step away from test patterns, the reality of good pixel-shift projectors is they often (perceptually) look just as sharp as a native 4K model. There are various reasons this is the case, which I will not delve into here except to say it could be the content, it could be the lens and it could be the viewing distance. What's key is if you have 4K source material, it looks distinctly better than 1080p HD, in terms of sharpness and overall quality. This is thanks to the higher bandwidth of 4K, and when HDR is included in the mix, you also get richer colors and better (smoother) gradations.

AUDIO

Since the VAVA has built in sound by Harman/Kardon, I gave it a listen. Truth be told, it sounds at least as good as a budget soundbar, and certainly better than most TVs can muster on their own. Crucially, it gets loud and has enough bass to do a serviceable job with movies, and for sports you really don't need anything more.

Another audio option is Bluetooth, you can either stream sound to the projector, effectively turning it into a speaker, or you can use the projector to output Bluetooth audio to another device, be it headphones, wireless speakers or a soundbar.

This projector is equipped with HDMI ARC, so you can connect it to an AVR with a single cable, like you would a TV. Additionally, there's an optical SPDIF output and a headphone/aux stereo analog output. In all, it's enough audio features to ensure you can enjoy this projector on its own, or else connect it to better speakers or a whole surround-sound system.

CONCLUSION

There is no one projector that can "do it all" but when it comes to ultra short throw options for the living room, the VAVA does many things right and presents a strong value proposition for anyone looking to super-size their living room/media room TV. Compared to an 85" TV, it is much easier to handle, even hanging a 11" screen is easier than dealing with a TV that size. And compared to the $25,000 Sony UST I reviewed just two years ago, let's just say there's a lot you can do with $22,200.

Everyone's situation is different, but here is where I landed: I'm using the VAVA projector as my TV. Yes, at night when I watch a 4K movie on Ultra HD Blu-ray, I fire up the ole' 4K long-throw bulb-based projector. But for everything else I watch, I now turn on the VAVA instead and enjoy a 110" picture when catching s Sixers game or streaming Family Guy.

It is a huge relief to not have to worry about putting hours on a bulb, I can leave the VAVA on all day and see album art as I stream music. I find it preferable to a TV and have been using a projector in this capacity for the past two decades. Indeed, that's how I found AVS Forum to begin with, is researching screens for my living room system.

Now, with the VAVA 4K UST Laser projector, enjoying a top-notch big screen viewing experience in the living room is practical, and more affordable than ever. That's why it's a Top Choice for 2020 in this category.

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Last edited by imagic; 03-02-2020 at 06:34 AM.
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post #2 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Smooth, judder-free motion is a huge plus versus giant TVs, as is a level of screen uniformity that TV makers have only dreamt about since the demise of plasma. Taken together, the qualities of modern DLP projection are highly complementary to this sort of application.



I'm sorry but this is not at all the case, the image of the VAVA 4K is not at all spared by the judder.


You can read my test here with measurements (in French and English).


https://www.passionhomecinema.fr/blo...is-de-gregory/
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post #3 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kraine View Post
I'm sorry but this is not at all the case, the image of the VAVA 4K is not at all spared by the judder.


You can read my test here with measurements (in French and English).


https://www.passionhomecinema.fr/blo...is-de-gregory/
I certainly do not doubt the veracity of your review. However, from my subjective perspective, it does better than TVs, even 120 Hz TVs, for whatever reason. Also, when I run test patterns on blurbusters.com, the cadence looks good. No tearing, no stuttering or micro-stuttering at 24 Hz. I'm running it right now, just to be sure. Looks fine.


I mean, sure... not as good as my VPL-VW295ES, but better than a 85" LCD TV.

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post #4 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kraine View Post
I'm sorry but this is not at all the case, the image of the VAVA 4K is not at all spared by the judder.


You can read my test here with measurements (in French and English).


https://www.passionhomecinema.fr/blo...is-de-gregory/


Just see French...


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post #5 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 08:47 AM
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You didn't get down low enough in the text.
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post #6 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by kraine View Post
I'm sorry but this is not at all the case, the image of the VAVA 4K is not at all spared by the judder.


You can read my test here with measurements (in French and English).


https://www.passionhomecinema.fr/blo...is-de-gregory/


You said you measured judder, but I didn’t see a measurement, just your observation. Did I miss your actual measurement?


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post #7 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 09:28 AM
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I stopped posting pictures of motion sights, which are useful in... motion. Vava converts everything into 60hz and suffers from judder in 24p.
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post #8 of 77 Old 02-27-2020, 10:44 AM
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Thank you for the review.. Can anyone recommend a 110"-125" screen for the VAVA in the <$500 range for a light controlled room? Also, can anyone comment on the unit heat/temperature output too? Is it minimal compared to a bulb projector? My UHD51 increases my standard size room temp 8-10 degrees during the spring/summer months. Had the same issue with the HT3550.. Thanks in advance!

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post #9 of 77 Old 02-28-2020, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
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The quick update on testing for judder... Although it does fine with the blurbusters judder tests, the VAVA does fail the rtings 24p judder test. Even so, subjectively speaking it looks better with horizontal pans than many TVs that can do "perfect" 24p (aside from plasma).
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post #10 of 77 Old 02-28-2020, 08:01 AM
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While reviewing this projector Chris Eberle noted that motion resolution is OK but there is noticeable judder in side-to-side camera pans with 24p content converted to 60 fps. Every projector has a different mix of pros and cons that will suit people with different sets of preferences and priorities.
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post #11 of 77 Old 02-28-2020, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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While reviewing this projector Chris Eberle noted that motion resolution is OK but there is noticeable judder in side-to-side camera pans with 24p content converted to 60 fps. Every projector has a different mix of pros and cons that will suit people with different sets of preferences and priorities.
Absolutely true. And the key thing is that UST is a growth category, filling out different price points and applications with 4K UST Laser products from more and more brands. When I spoke to them at CES. VAVA was upfront about the fact that they are not pursuing the home theater purist with this product. It really is designed to be a living room display, and used more like a TV, which includes the pragmatic reality that just about all the content it receives will be 30 Hz or 60 Hz and not 24 Hz.

The subjective impression I wish to convey is that after watching numerous movies, there was not a single moment where I thought judder was an issue, as compared to large TVs. I'm not making the same claim as compared to high-end home theater projectors, since I have a projector right here that does a better job at it, in the form of the Sony VPL-VW295ES.

Anyhow, when it comes to subjective impressions, it's always YMMV. You get a lot of projector for your money with the VAVA but you also give some things up to hit the price point.
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post #12 of 77 Old 03-01-2020, 12:39 PM
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I have been watching streaming content on VAVA for 3 months and overall its been excellent just like the whole idea with UST projectors. However I disagree that exclusion 24Hz was a good idea or because it meant for "TV watching" since Netflix is using 24 Hz and judder is present. You can live with out 24 Hz but I am not thrilled about that.
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post #13 of 77 Old 03-01-2020, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been watching streaming content on VAVA for 3 months and overall its been excellent just like the whole idea with UST projectors. However I disagree that exclusion 24Hz was a good idea or because it meant for "TV watching" since Netflix is using 24 Hz and judder is present. You can live with out 24 Hz but I am not thrilled about that.
A good idea? I certainly do not say that.

"buyers should be aware that this projector maxes out at 60 Hz and therefore it does have some "judder" when showing 24 Hz content (it did not pass the rtings.com judder test)"

" I'm not making the same claim as compared to high-end home theater projectors, since I have a projector right here that does a better job at it, in the form of the Sony VPL-VW295ES. Anyhow, when it comes to subjective impressions, it's always YMMV. You get a lot of projector for your money with the VAVA but you also give some things up to hit the price point."

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post #14 of 77 Old 03-01-2020, 09:15 PM
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A good idea? I certainly do not say that.

"buyers should be aware that this projector maxes out at 60 Hz and therefore it does have some "judder" when showing 24 Hz content (it did not pass the rtings.com judder test)"

" I'm not making the same claim as compared to high-end home theater projectors, since I have a projector right here that does a better job at it, in the form of the Sony VPL-VW295ES. Anyhow, when it comes to subjective impressions, it's always YMMV. You get a lot of projector for your money with the VAVA but you also give some things up to hit the price point."
I didn't say you said it, whoever at VAVA decided to exclude that or maybe it's a limitation, but you said "used more like a TV". Netflix is used for TV streaming though and they should have taken that into account that a lot of folks will be using the most popular service.

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I didn't say you said it, whoever at VAVA decided to exclude that or maybe it's a limitation, but you said "used more like a TV". Netflix is used for TV streaming though and they should have taken that into account that a lot of folks will be using the most popular service.
Gotcha. In that case, your comment is good feedback for VAVA.

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post #16 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 12:11 PM
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Gotcha. In that case, your comment is good feedback for VAVA.
Already did, hoping it could be magically solved by firmware update, but even without it, it's still good value for what you get actually much better then Xiaomi I had for a year.

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I'd be curious to see how this compares to the Optoma CinemaX P1 from people who have demoed both side by side.
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I'd be curious to see how this compares to the Optoma CinemaX P1 from people who have demoed both side by side.

There are a number of comparisons online already:


Both the VAVA and Optoma are single laser solutions and offer similar levels of performance. The Optoma has slightly higher specs but costs $1200 more. From most of the comparisons online, the performance difference is not substantial but from a price per performance standpoint, you can buy the VAVA WITH a high end ALR screen and still come out ahead of the P1.

The dilemma for the P1 is $4000 after tax is out of range for a lot of people. At that point you then have to consider spending another $1500 and getting an LG with dual lasers which would offer a much bigger performance gain than going from the VAVA to the P1. You can always go higher and higher but at the end of the day, most people I know are very limited by budget and do not want to spend any more than a few thousand dollars for their setups.
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post #19 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 05:11 PM
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Im still hoping for a 4k projector with a Short Throw lens, a nice in between of the standard throw and Ultra Short Throws that you typically see. Specifically a similar throw range as the BenQ w1500 which was my only projector option to throw a 135in 16:9 image from 11 feet away. So I basically need that but in a 4k model.

Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, HTPC, nVidia Shield TV Pro, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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Im still hoping for a 4k projector with a Short Throw lens, a nice in between of the standard throw and Ultra Short Throws that you typically see. Specifically a similar throw range as the BenQ w1500 which was my only projector option to throw a 135in 16:9 image from 11 feet away. So I basically need that but in a 4k model.


Benq HT3550 and BenQ TK850– both will target a 135” screen in just over 11 feet (11’ 1” I believe).

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post #21 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 06:16 PM
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A friend bought the VAVA. I tried it in his media room. I have two big issues with the caveat being that I have no measurements, just eye test impressions:

-the HDR color volume is just not deep enough. We watched Aquaman and Lego Batman (both have amazing HDR color) and while brightness and pop were there, the overall color volume just didn't cut it. It was barely above SDR in my opinion.

-as mentioned in the review, the input lag is abysmal. I plugged in my Xbox One X and Switch and Call of Duty and Halo were completely unplayable on the VAVA. Even playing casual games like Super Mario Odyssey, which requires precise inputs for certain platforming sections, was unacceptable on the VAVA. Input lag can also have an effect on TV and movie viewing in that I detected some lip sync issues while watching other content.

In conclusion, the VAVA is a decent product and I commend its laser light engine and daytime usability, but it feels more like an alpha or beta test product than a fully formed device meant for consumer use. I want a solid state engine projector without have to run wires through my wall or the headache of hanging a 40 lbs. brick on my ceiling but I just don't think UST is mature yet so I'll hold off for a few years.
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post #22 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 09:15 PM
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Far be it for me to challenge the experience of the experts on AVS, but considering the VAVA is based on the ALPD chipset which powers the Xiaomi, and Fengmi units et al, the price should be in the $2000 range. They crowdfunded it at almost the same price (on Amazon) and have a fair following on Facebook. They appear to be good at listening to user feedback and updating firmware. Not sure if this plus the English menus are worth the extra $800+

I got my Xiaomi 4K PJ shipped directly from mainland China over a thousand dollars less than the VAVA MSRP and am thrilled with it every day. After paying for the 120" Pet Crystal ALR screen, I still paid less than the VAVA. It's not a bad projector but completely overpriced in my opinion, especially given the onslaught of able competitors such as Changhong (CHiq) and XGIMI.
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post #23 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 11:17 PM
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Me and my wife are absolutely 100% regular consumers. We've had the Baba since July 2019. This is what we agree on:

- size of the picture is amazing. For the money, really great.
- without a proper screen (2000 USD for the one I want... So waiting until summer when the sunlight forces us) the picture for sci-fi requires evening time, but I watch esports when the room is well lit. But it doesn't replace the TV (we just don't turn it on during the day...)
- Bluetooth for wireless headphones is great... If you don't stream content to it via Chromecast (audio delay)

Overall we are very happy with it, but there are issues that should be said.
- there is lag in fast paced games. I don't play them on the projector, but does not seem as if the "refresh" rate is that great.
- and the killer... The fan noise. After 3 months the fans now turn on and do so emphatically. They are NOISY and they are on most of the time, alternating between full blast and semi-loud. I can mentally tune it out, but during a quiet moment in a scene... it is super noticeable.The cooling is dog ****. Had I known this I would not have bought it. I will build it into a separate hide-away with speakers later, and add fans and cooling myself. But this is inexcusable for any viewing experience other than watching sports with friends.

So, buyer beware.
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post #24 of 77 Old 03-02-2020, 11:29 PM
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Surprisingly the noise levels are much lower then Xiaomi. Where Xiaomi had annoying coil whine which I lived with for a year. VAVA may not be completely silent by any means but it's very much acceptable and I have perfectly fine ears.
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post #25 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monakh View Post
Far be it for me to challenge the experience of the experts on AVS, but considering the VAVA is based on the ALPD chipset which powers the Xiaomi, and Fengmi units et al, the price should be in the $2000 range. They crowdfunded it at almost the same price (on Amazon) and have a fair following on Facebook. They appear to be good at listening to user feedback and updating firmware. Not sure if this plus the English menus are worth the extra $800+

I got my Xiaomi 4K PJ shipped directly from mainland China over a thousand dollars less than the VAVA MSRP and am thrilled with it every day. After paying for the 120" Pet Crystal ALR screen, I still paid less than the VAVA. It's not a bad projector but completely overpriced in my opinion, especially given the onslaught of able competitors such as Changhong (CHiq) and XGIMI.
If you're in the US, did you have to use a 240->120V converter to operate the Xiaomi?

Regarding the extra $800+, I bet a lot of it was to license and incorporate the HK sound system. This also makes the VAVA a lot bulkier than the Xiaomi. Since I'd be plugging the projector into my AV receiver, the HK sound system would not benefit me at all.

Last edited by 10basetom; 03-03-2020 at 01:39 AM.
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post #26 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 10basetom View Post
If you're in the US, did you have to use a 240->120V converter to operate the Xiaomi?

Regarding the extra $800+, I bet a lot of it was to license and incorporate the HK sound system. This also makes the VAVA a lot bulkier than the Xiaomi. Since I'd be plugging the projector into my AV receiver, the HK sound system would not benefit me at all.
It's a multi-voltage PSU. I am actually in the Middle East but using it on 110v without a converter.

I think most people on AVS would agree that the HK sound system or any other accouterments are not necessary, we would all rather save the money and purchase a nice Denon or Yamaha 7.1 receiver.

I don't think it's that anyway. VAVA has just gotten away with this pricing because they hyped up the launch and originally touted it as a "True 4K" PJ (rather than XPR). They were corrected by some astute early backers on their FB group and went through a considerable spell of embarrassment as a result. Some dropped out at that point but many simply didn't know better.
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post #27 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monakh View Post
Far be it for me to challenge the experience of the experts on AVS, but considering the VAVA is based on the ALPD chipset which powers the Xiaomi, and Fengmi units et al, the price should be in the $2000 range. They crowdfunded it at almost the same price (on Amazon) and have a fair following on Facebook. They appear to be good at listening to user feedback and updating firmware. Not sure if this plus the English menus are worth the extra $800+

I got my Xiaomi 4K PJ shipped directly from mainland China over a thousand dollars less than the VAVA MSRP and am thrilled with it every day. After paying for the 120" Pet Crystal ALR screen, I still paid less than the VAVA. It's not a bad projector but completely overpriced in my opinion, especially given the onslaught of able competitors such as Changhong (CHiq) and XGIMI.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10basetom View Post
If you're in the US, did you have to use a 240->120V converter to operate the Xiaomi?

Regarding the extra $800+, I bet a lot of it was to license and incorporate the HK sound system. This also makes the VAVA a lot bulkier than the Xiaomi. Since I'd be plugging the projector into my AV receiver, the HK sound system would not benefit me at all.
The audio is obviously not free, but on its own does not constitute a $800 value add. But taken together—brighter, made for North America, and has onboard sound—the price premium makes more sense

Correct me if I am wrong but the Xiaomi advertises a 5000 lumen light source and 1500 ANSI lumen output while the Vava advertises a 6000 lumen source and 2500 ANSI lumen output.

I brought up my concern about the Vava being a "rebadged Xiaomi" but that's not really how it works. Yes, they both license the same technology platform, but that's not too different from how cars are make. The actual components used determine the final performance. Since measurements indicate the Vava roughly meets its ANSI spec, the question is whether it really is that much brighter than the Xiaomi. If all else is equal, that's still worth something.
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Last edited by imagic; 03-03-2020 at 04:15 AM.
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post #28 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but the Xiaomi advertises a 5000 lumen light source and 1500 ANSI lumen output while the Vava advertises a 6000 lumen source and 2000 ANSI lumen output.

I brought up my concern about the Vava being a "rebadged Xiaomi" but that's not really how it works. Yes, they both license the same technology platform, but that's not too different from how cars are make. The actual components used determine the final performance. Since measurements indicate the Vava roughly meets its ANSI spec, the question is whether it really is that much brighter than the Xiaomi. If all else is equal, that's still worth something.
Nope. You are right. Early on, VAVA mentioned that there are extra Laser diodes which should result in a brightness upgrade. Yeah, sure. Is it worth 800 dollars, though? I think most would say, nope.

The projector comes off of the same assembly line as its ill-begotten ilk from Fengmi and Xiaomi (and another vendor I can't remember off the top of my head). It's brighter but not by much.
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post #29 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Nope. You are right. Early on, VAVA mentioned that there are extra Laser diodes which should result in a brightness upgrade. Yeah, sure. Is it worth 800 dollars, though? I think most would say, nope.

The projector comes off of the same assembly line as its ill-begotten ilk from Fengmi and Xiaomi (and another vendor I can't remember off the top of my head). It's brighter but not by much.
We would not even have a new "class" of pixel-shift 4K USTs at these prices had someone not built a production line. Like cars, one production line can build different models and even do so for different brands, but it has to be based on the same platform.

If we were talking a bulb projector, I'd agree about the price premium being too much to get that bump. Agree the extra cost may turn off budget-minded shoppers. But with laser and the fact these projectors have to overcome ambient light in their intended application, I go with "it depends" (on the application) because the extra lumes can translate to a larger picture at the same brightness, or allow you to run the projector with the light source at the lower setting, which has the benefit of lower fan noise. But definitely "it depends" and regardless the extra cost is obviously split between the sound system (I do not use) and the extra brightness (I do use).
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post #30 of 77 Old 03-03-2020, 03:32 AM
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There are videos on YouTube demonstrating the difference in brightness. It's not discernable to me, though the PQ quality may vary based on tweaking. We still don't have great settings for the Xiaomi 4K.

I will maintain that it's better to invest in a cheaper PJ and a good ALR screen. In the end, though, it's your money and you're the best judge of how it needs to be spent.

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