Earlier this year,before the Vivitek H1186 came to market, we wrote a review listing the best 1080p HD home movie projectors to buy for under $1000. We wouldn’t rate this new model the best but it deserves a spot on the list. Plus, it’s cheaper.
For around $700, this portable model (7.5 lbs) provides great value. Not only is it 1080p resolution, it’s also loaded with cool features you may only expect to find in higher priced models.
One of our favorite extra features is the 2.35 native Cinemascope mode. This is an aspect ratio (like 4:3 and 16:9). Many motion pictures have been filmed in the 2.35 aspect ratio. Being able to view these movies in the 2.35 Cinemascope mode is a WOW factor! This is somewhat an unusual feature to have, it’s missing in many higher priced models.
Vivitek H1186 review
True Native HD 1080p Resolution
Once you get this out of the box and get it rolling it’s definitely going to impress you for the amount of money you spent.
Portable with a pile of features
We already mentioned the 1080p resolution. For just under $700, this alone is enough to pique the interests of many. What else does it provide:
1.5x zoom lens
vertical lens shift
2000 lumen rating
50,000:1 contrast ratio
Full HD 3D
Also, if you desire to customize your color settings, you have this option by opening the RGBRGB color wheel in the menu. There’s also 6 preset color modes to choose from.
Looking at the ports in the rear-end
Hopefully, the image is large enough for you to read all the ports.
Vivitek H1186 review
All the necessary ports are present: HDMI/MHL, audio in/out, USB and more. Everything you need for movies and gaming consoles.
What’s a better to buy
Writing this review in late-summer 2015, the Vivitek H1186-WT home movie projector has not been on the market very long, still somewhat obscure and unknown to most general consumers. By the holiday season, this will become a popular choice of many shoppers.
If you are looking to spend $1000 or less on a high definition movie projector we are not going to say the Vivitek H1186-WT is the best model on the market in this price range.
In late 2015 – 2016: BenQ HT1075 and Epson 2030 are the top choices in this range. But they are also slightly higher priced as well.
For $697 the Vivitek H1186 holds good value but isn’t quite on par with the two mentioned above. It’s comparable in quality and price to: Optoma HD26 and the InFocus IN8606HD. See what you can get for under $1000.
Are you really buying 1080p High Definition?
A little friendly advice
Many people ask, “What’s the cheapest and best full HD 1080p projector for home movies?”. This is a very common question we receive and also read in forums.
Answer: There my be a great discounted deal that pops up for a short time or you may find a good price on a used model but but overall in 2015-2016 for a new 1080p projector, at the cheapest expect to pay $600 to $700. Closer to $700.
Don’t be misled
For people buying their first ever projector, there’s good chance they are not well versed on this technology this might lead them to getting sucked into buying something that doesn’t
When people ask advice on the lowest priced high definition home movie projector, we have seen very misleading recommendations, even on top projector review sites. We will explain further.
Look for Native 1080p resolution
If you want a 1080p projector, before deciding on any specific model, there’s one thing you must look for.
Make sure you read the words, “Native 1080p”, in the product description or the specifications. If you don’t see this phrase then it’s highly likely the model you are looking at is of lower resolution.
Many, if not all cheaper projectors will actually mention 1080p in their product description. The description will say something like, “compatible with” or “supports” 1080p high definition.
This fools a lot of people into buying the wrong model. What does it mean when you read, “compatible or supports”?
Say you want to play content from an external source, for example, a 1080p HDTV or Blu-ray player. Projectors which are described as being,”compatible or supporting 1080p” this mean they are capable of accepting and projecting the content from these sources but the resolution will be played down to the lower “native resolution” of the projector.
So you need to make sure you read “NATIVE 1080p resolution” somewhere in the product description or specifications.
The Bottom Line
To be clear, the Vivitek H1186-WT does provide native 1080p resolution. How do we rate this model overall?
It provides good value, at $697 it’s one of the cheapest true high definition models on the market. It’s far from the best but provides good brightness, contrast and colors.
It also includes some extras such as: 1.5 zoom lens, vertical lens shift, 3D capable. If you would like to see more suggestions at this price point visit our review page.