Presentation of the Vivitek H1188
The home-theater projector Vivitek H1188 has now been in a detailed review and we would like to share it with you, dear readers!
The projector Vivitek H1188 is sold for approximately 1200€. This projector has also a twin without frame interpolation: the Vivitek H1186.
The Vivitek H1188 is a Full HD 3D projector using the DLP technology so familiar to Vivitek. The design of the projector is nice and compact.
The projector’s weight is 3,15 kg and it measures 28,5 x 26,1 x 12,18 cm. It is small, which makes it easy to find a place in the living room. The throw ratio, which is the distance of the projector to the screen divided by the picture width, varies between 1,39 – 2,09:1. That means that you can get a picture of width 2,5m with less than 3,5m between projector and screen.
It also has a manual vertical lens shift, which allows for a projection offset between 115% and 130%. That also means that the Vivitek H1188 projects upwards and is thus very adequate as ceiling mounted projector, or on the table in a living room.
The menu of the projector is accessible with the remote control, but also with a top panel on the projector. This can be very helpful in order to use the projector if the remote control is not available or even lost.
The projector Vivitek H1188 has all connections needed in the back panel including 2 HDMI 1.4 inputs and also a mini USB connection which is very useful to perform the firmware updates at home. It has also a 3D VESA port to connect a 3D Rf Emitter in order to use 3D RF glasses: this is something we appreciate a lot!
Vivitek uses the 3D RF technology with rechargeable glasses, which allows for a user friendly 3D experience. The 3D RF glasses are sold for about 60€.
The remote control allows for a quick access to some important functionalities like for example brightness or contrast adjustment. We have however missed some direct controls over the “Vivid Engine” for frame interpolation and sharpness boost. The buttons of the remote control are relatively small and as a consequence the remote is small and light. Also mentionable is the the presence of a laser pointer which can be quite useful for a presentation. The remote control also has red backlight quite useful when watching a movie in the dark.
The projector in action
Movies in 2D
Out of the box the projector shows a punchy picture with high sharpness.
To get this high sharpness however, you need to go to the Vividsettings menu (Picture advanced – VividSettings) and put VividPeaking on the value 1. Check also the the sharpness value is set on 7. Without these two settings, the picture looks too soft.
Especially in bright scenes the Vivitek H1188 performs very well. But in dark scenes the high black level, that is typical for DLP projectors, is clearly visible and black turns to grey.
The presence of frame interpolation is a very big plus for a projector in this price class! In addition, Vivitek’s FI works really well with almost no artefacts and film scenes with travelling or a lot of movements get really smooth. In fact, it is one of the best frame interpolation implementations we have seen to date even considering higher end projectors! Congrats to Vivitek!
Below you can see a few screenshots taken from the Blu-rays “Casino Royale”, “Lucy”, “Mission Impossible”, “Monsters Inc.”, “Oblivion”, “The Dark Knight” and “Tron Legacy”. You can click on each picture to open it in the original resolution.
Movies in 3D
When looking at 3D the Vivitek H1188 shows a very nice performance even in comparison to the higher priced competition by Epson, Sony and JVC. This is due to the DLP typical absence of ghosting and the high refresh rate of 144Hz. Indeed, the Vivitek H1188 shows very little ghosting and no visible flickering.
The advantage of the RF technology used by Vivitek in comparison to DLP link glasses is that you do not lose the 3D signal when turning your head and there is no red tint in the picture due to the synchronisation red flash of the DLP Link technology.
Furthermore the Vivitek H1188 delivers a really smooth 3D experience due to the presence of its frame interpolation.
Analysis of the Sharpness
The single chip DLP projectors unlike the tri-LCD projectors do not have convergence problems. The sharpness is however like always dependent on the lens quality of the projector.
You can see on the first picture below the DLP grid which shows nicely each pixel from close-up. It is with sharpness setting on 7 and VividPeaking on 1.
You can see on the cross pattern very little chromatic aberration. That’s a very good result. Thumbs up to Vivitek!
However, when the VividPeaking is desactivated (out of the box setting!), the vertical line becomes blurry. But you can also notice that the horizontal line stays sharp.
When you also put the sharpness control to 0, the horizontal line becomes blurry as well.
Overall the sharpness is great sitting at a 3,5m distance from the screen and the picture width being about 2,5m. The grid effect and chromatic aberration become invisible!
Sharpness VS Sharpness controls:
Here we make an analysis of the sharpness of the picture with different levels (0,1,2 and 3) of “VividPeaking”, Vivitek’s numerical sharpness improvement system. We also change the value of the sharpness setting from 0 to 7 to 15.
This earlier mentioned phenomenon, that VividPeaking works vertically and the sharpness control horizontally, is also visible from viewing distance.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 1. Note that only the vertical line is getting sharper when increasing VividPeaking.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 2. Note that only the vertical line is getting sharper when increasing VividPeaking.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 3. Note that only the vertical line is getting sharper when increasing VividPeaking. The difference between the vertical and the horizontal line is now huge.
Now we switch to the sharpness control and leave VividPeaking on 0.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 0. Note that now only the horizontal line is getting sharper when increasing the sharpness control.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 15, VividPeaking 0. Note that only the horizontal line is getting sharper when increasing the sharpness control.
Our final recommendation is to put the Sharpness control to the value 7 and Vivid Peaking to 1. The result is a very sharp picture in both the horizontal and vertical direction 🙂
On the sharpness test pattern of the reference disc AVS HD 709, we left the sharpness control on 0 and progressively increased the level of VividPeaking from 0 to 3. Then we left VividPeaking on 0 and changed the sharpness control to 7 and 15. We see clearly that the lines but also the numbers show more and more artifacts as we increase the numerical sharpness treatments. Indeed, on the lines we see more and more crosses and on the numbers some white ringing is appearing.
You should click on each picture to open it in the original resolution and zoom in. If you don’t, the resolution of your screen will create some crosses on its own which do no exist in the true picture.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 1.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 2.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 0, VividPeaking 3.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture the settings were: sharpness 15, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture of Oblivion, the sharpness settings were the ones “Out of the Box”: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture of Oblivion, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 1.
On the following picture of Oblivion, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 2.
On the following picture of Oblivion, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 3.
On the following picture of Monsters Inc. , the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 1.
On the following picture of Monsters Inc. , the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 2.
On the following picture of Monsters Inc. , the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 3.
On the following picture of The Dark Knight, the sharpness settings were the ones “Out of the Box”: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 0.
On the following picture of The Dark Knight, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 1.
On the following picture of The Dark Knight, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 2.
On the following picture of The Dark Knight, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 3.
And to finish with this sharpness analysis, here a shot zoomed on the word “sharpness” from the Vivitek H1188 menu.
On the following picture the menu, the settings were: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 1.
On the following picture the menu, the settings were the ones “Out of the box”: sharpness 7, VividPeaking 0. Look at how soft the letters become, especially on the vertical axis.
Conclusion: the Vivitek H1188 delivers a wonderful sharp picture IF you use our recommended settings: sharpness 7 and VividPeaking 1.
Our exemplar of the Vivitek H1188 shows on a white pattern with 100 IRE a perfectly white and uniform picture.
On dark content however, there is some background noise in the picture. The Vivitek H1188 is not the only projector with this problem. In fact, many DLP projectors show this behavior to different degrees.
On a pattern with 4% APL level, we can see clearly some dots on the background which should NOT be there. It should be instead a smooth dark grey background.
Colors: Out of the box
Out of the box, the projector has 6 predefined modes: ISF Day, ISF Night, Vivi, Movie, Game and User 1. Every mode was analyzed with the colorimeter i1 Display Pro profiled to the spectrophotometer i1 Pro 2 with the software Chromapure. The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The mode that is closest to the norm REC 709 is the mode User 1 with a relatively flat gamma curve with an average of 2.22 and an average CIE94 dE of 7.2 for the colors (75% saturation & 75% brightness) and 8.5 for the grayscale. That’s not a good performance for the price class. However, with a calibration, you can get the best out of the projector and correct a strong push of the blue color (color temperature of 7399 instead of 6500K).
Ideally, you would like to have a flat gamma curve of 2.2 and a CIE94 DeltaE under 2 for all colors and the grayscale. Furthermore, you want to adjust the brightness and contrast to the right level. With that, the black will not be crushed, the white levels will not be clipped and the color will be natural and as close to to the movie producer’s choice as possible.
Here are the Chromapure results for the grayscale and the CIE diagram for a saturation of 100% and brightness amplitude of 100%. The projector is positioned with zoom MAX. The lamp had 9 hours.
The picture width projected on the screen was 250 cm for all these measurements.
Out of the box: detailed predefined mode analysis:
Calibration of the projector
The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The calibration is based on the “User 1” mode with the lamp brightness put on ECO.
For the color calibration, we used patterns of 75% saturation and 75% brightness.
- Grayscale & RGB analysis:
The Grayscale after calibration of the preset User 1 shows an excellent behavior with an CIE94 DeltaE average of 1.
- CIE and color management analysis:
The colors in the CIE after calibration of the mode User 1 show a very good behavior with all CIE94 DeltaE values below 1 except green being 3 and 0.8 as average for 75% brightness and 75% saturation.
- Gamma analysis:
The gamma curve is pretty linear even if slightly increasing with an average around 2.2, which is very good.
In-depth analysis of all saturation levels after calibration:
The calibration is valid not only for 75% saturation, but also for 25% and 50% saturation. But for 100% saturation the error values are larger for green and cyan.
The projector Vivitek H1188 was easy to calibrate. The controls were responsive and in the end the calibrated picture of the Vivitek H1188 is very enjoyable! Thank you, Vivitek!
Brightness & Screen size recommandation
The Vivitek H1188 is bright for the projection on a big screen. After calibration in the low lamp mode the Vivitek H1188 puts out 1102 lumens. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.9m and 3.9m.
The highest number of Lumens is achieved in the normal lamp mode with 1429 Lumens. It could be useful to watch football on a bright day.
Advanced contrast measurements
A great number of contrast measurements were made to deliver you results that are unique in the world. Actually, in the different tests of projectors around the world you can often find native contrast measurements (ON-OFF with one picture completely black and one completely white) and sometimes ANSI contrast measurements (checkerboard with 50% white and 50% black).
The problem is that these contrast values are two extremes, but most images from movies are in between.
Have a look at our article where we made a big brightness analysis of 53 movies:
Therefore we have created appropriate patterns in order to give you contrast curves BETWEEN 0% and 50% white in the middle of the screen:
Also our optimized room has the advantage of being transformable into a room with white walls and ceiling. Thus it is easy to compare the contrast performance under very different conditions:
- with opened curtains (comparable to a living room with white walls, reality of home theater in many homes)
- with closed curtains (optimized room with black floor, ceiling and walls)
- measurement at the lens (highest contrast possible, but not reachable in any room)
Illustration of our reversible room:
Left: opened curtains / Right: closed curtains
In the following table are the contrast results measured in the middle of the screen for the Vivitek H1188:
To visualize these numbers, here the resulting 3 contrast curves.
The scale on the contrast axis is logarithmic to represent the perception of the human eye. For example your eyes will see the same difference between a contrast increase from 1000:1 to 2000:1 and a contrast increase from 10000:1 to 20000:1.
The curves confirm that the Vivitek H1188 has a contrast performance that is typical for DLPs: The ANSI contrast is high and the On-off contrast is not the best, but pretty good for the price class.
In our optimized room we measured at the screen a modified ANSI contrast value of 462:1 (for 50% ADL). At the lens, the modified ANSI contrast value reaches 573:1. That’s very good results!
Remember our results from the ADL analysis (with a gamma of 2.2) of 53 famous movies:
- 90% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 20% (ADL=% of white)
- 80% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 13%
- 50% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 5%
- The average brightness/ADL of all analyzed movies is 8%
Overall we can say that the Vivitek H1188 has a solid contrast performance. In bright scenes it delivers a punchy picture, but in dark scenes as long as some bright elements are there, the picture keeps having some pop thanks to the high ANSI contrast. If the picture is only very dark, the black turns into grey.
The projector Vivitek H1188, currently sold for 1200€, gives a very nice and enjoyable home cinema experience. If you are planning to buy a projector in the price class 1000€ – 1500€, the Vivitek H1188 is a very good choice.
Sharpness and motion:
The Vivitek H1188 delivers a typical DLP-sharp picture with almost no lens chromatic aberrations. The VividPeaking sharpness improvement system from Vivitek works also very well and increases the precision of the picture even more when set to 1 (combined to the sharpness setting on 7) .
The motion handling is very good, thanks to Vivitek’s frame interpolation which is one of the best we have seen to date with very few artefacts on the low setting.
The contrast behaviour is DLP-like with a typical relatively high ANSI contrast. As a result the picture looks nice in bright scenes. In dark scenes you can clearly see the typical DLP black level, when black begins to look a bit grey. However, thanks to the high ANSI contrast, as long as there is some brigh elements on the picture, the picture retains some “pop”.
The Vivitek H1188 is not the most quiet projector, but the noise is acceptable if ceiling mounted and in ECO mode. The high lamp mode, which is needed for 3D, is quite noisy.
Out of the box colors & calibration:
Out of the box the colors and greyscale are not very close to the norm, but it is possible to get a good calibration. The gamma behavior is already very good out of the box!
Brightness & Recommended screen size
The projector is bright even in comparison to other projectors of the price class, and the ECO mode is enough for most screen sizes in 2D: 1102 Lumens after calibration with maximal zoom. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.9m and 3.9m.
– the price
– the native sharpness
– the VividPeaking sharpness improvement system
– the frame interpolation which is very good with few artefacts
– the nice 3D performance with no ghosting, a high refresh rate and RF glasses
– the good ANSI contrast
– the controls for calibration
– the small size
– the presence of a small vertical lens shift
– the presence of a laser pointer
– low contrast in dark scenes
– picture noise in dark scenes
– noisy in the high lamp mode which is necessary to watch 3D
– a calibration is necessary