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Video Review: Vivitek D5500

Feb 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jeff Sauer

Flexible features and sharp imagery make this affordable projector an attractive option.

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What difference will you see when you change the color wheels from the default four-segment wheel to the optional six-segment wheel? To begin with, brightness decreases by more than 20 percent once you go without the large clear segment in the four-segment color wheel. In my tests with the six-segment wheel, I measured the D5500's maximum brightness at 3769 ANSI lumens. That's compared to an average brightness of 4553 ANSI lumens in High-bright mode with the four-segment wheel, which is more than 15 percent lower than Vivitek's 5500-lumen specification. Even the unit's bright spot was lower at just more than 5000 lumens.

Naturally, switching image modes dramatically affects brightness as well. Brightness in sRGB and Movie modes, for example, is less than half that of High-bright mode, while Graphics and Video modes drop about 40 percent.

Yet equally revealing is the massive color range expansion you'll get with the six-segment color wheel. With the four-segment configuration, the D5500 primary and secondary colors were all within the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) reference triangle, with green being significantly weaker. Not surprisingly, switching to the six-segment wheel afforded much greater color saturation, moving the blue and red points just beyond the triangle — albeit each hinting slightly toward green — and the green point well past the reference triangle mark. Cyan, thankfully, moves away from green toward blue, while yellow and magenta get pleasantly close to reference.

Admittedly, opening the projector's chassis and switching out color wheels may not be something you'll do regularly between presentations, lecture to lecture, or even day to day — although it's easy enough that an ambitious AV tech certainly could do it. However, the difference in performance does make it a potentially attractive option should the projector be requisitioned for an occasional movie screening or photography-filled presentation.

Having two color-wheel options is a nice feature to have in your proverbial back pocket, yet it's the D5500's more routine features that will likely make it most attractive to installers. The five easily switched lens options and powered lens shift will aid installation, and the automatic lamp-usage monitoring and switching — as well as the remote administration over a network — should make the D5500 easy to maintain over the long run. What's more, it's a feature-rich installation projector with a price of less than $6,000.


  • Company: Vivitek


  • Product: D5500

  • Pros: Flexibility with dual lamps; dual color wheels; image setup features.

  • Cons: Somewhat disappointing brightness for a dual-lamp installation projector.

  • Applications: Business presentations and lecture notes that require accurate color and sharper images.

  • Price: $5,999


  • Brightness: 5500 ANSI lumens

  • Contrast: 2500:1 full on/off

  • Native resolution: XGA+ (1024×768)

  • Configuration: 1× 0.7in. DMD

  • Light source: Dual 260W lamp (rated up to 2000 hours)

  • Resolution: XGA (1024×768)

  • Lens options: Five options (fixed 0.77:1 to powered zoom up to 8.3:1)

  • Standard lens: F1.7-1.9, f=26mm-34mm, Powered zoom 1.2:1

  • Projection distance: 3.2ft.-39ft.

  • Screen size: 30in.-300in. diagonal

  • Throw ratio: 1.78-2.35:1

  • Lens shift: 50 percent vertical, 10 percent horizontal

  • Keystone: ±40° vertical, ±35° horizontal

  • Speakers: 3W stereo

  • Dimensions: 19.9"×7.6"×15.2" (W×H×D)

  • Weight: 57.2lbs.

  • Warranty: Three years parts and labor, 120 days lamp

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