CES 2011: Vivitek

by: Dan -
More On: CES 2011 D538-3D D536-3D D512-3D H5080 D795 Qumi
One of the coolest aspects of attending CES every year is that you get to meet with companies as they are starting out at the show and you are able to continue to cover them as they grow and take a more prominent place on the CES show floor. One such company is Vivitek, who I covered last year at the 2010 CES at a last-minute appointment that actually provided me with one of the best products (the H1080FD) that I reviewed in 2010. One reason I was excited to meet up with the Vivitek folks was that this would be the first year that I covered them in a booth on the floor at CES.

While Vivitek had quite a few new projectors on display this year, the main thing they brought were two new technology launches, including the D5 line of projectors with 2D to 3D conversion technology and a new Pico projector. The D5 lineup consists of three new projectors (D512-3D, D536-3D and D538-3D) that will convert a standard DVD or Blu-Ray from 2D into 3D. I saw quite a few LCD based TVs that did this last year, but this was one of the first projectors I have come across that can do this without an external box to do the conversion. The three will have varying prices and resolution. The D512-3D is native SVGA (800x600), D536-3D is native XGA (1024x768) and the D538-3D native WXGA (1280x800), and will be available around May 2011 with MSRP between $899 and $1,299.

The new Pico projector Vivitek introduce is called the Qumi, which is a LED-based projector that is also 3D capable. The Qumi also features WXGA (1280x800) resolution, 300 lumens with 2500:1 contrast and weighs 1.6 lbs. The LED lamp also gives it an estimated 30,000 hours of lamp life, so chances are you will never be replacing it. Other features include a black or white color choice, built-in 1 watt speaker, mini-HDMI input (among others) and USB and MicroSD slots to play content directly off storage devices. The display in the booth (seen in the images below) really shows off the Qumi’s versatility, as it was hooked up to a game console (PS3), digital camera, netbook, iPad and Apple TV. The Qumi should be available sometime in May 2011 with an MSRP of $499.

From their Professional-Grade consumer line came the H5080, which is probably best suited for a dedicated home-theater room or game room. The projector is all class with a high-gloss black finish, 1,700 lumens and full 1080P DLP from the Texas Instruments DLP DarkChip3 and BrilliantColor technologies. It ships with a standard lens, but you have the option of adding on a short or long-throw lens as an accessory. As I was passing by this projector in the booth, it really stood out to me as something that I would want in my home, especially with its three HDMI and component input, as none of my gaming or TV viewing sources would be left out in the cold.

The coolest projector (and most unique) was the D795, which is an extreme short-throw projector that uses a concave mirror to reflect an image up to 93” on the screen, all from about a foot away from the wall. Although it is billed as an “education” projector, the D795 was displayed at CES with gamers in mind. They actually had a Kinect demo set up on it to show how effective it is to have the Kinect camera in front of the projected image, so there would not be any conflict with the projector. The D795 is WXGA (1280 x 800), 3D ready, has a 2K-4K hour lamp and is available now with an MSRP of $2,999. Although it is not your typical projector, I can see where this would work well in many gaming, as well as educational purposes where space is of the essence.

Vivitek had a great lineup at the 2011 CES and I hope to bring you at least one hands-on experience from one of their new technology projectors or their impressive home theater projectors.

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