on April 22, 2013
I recently moved to a new house and I'm in the process of building the family room/man cave in the finished basement. First task was to finally get the projector I've always wanted since I was a kid. Since I got the go ahead from my wife, I quickly bought a used infocus IN26+ on ebay. after testing it out it seemed okay a bit fuzzy, but lacked what I really needed it to do, which was run HD content from my PS3, so I sold that one and came here to grab this Vivitek D518 while it was still on sale. This projector is AMAZING. it surpassed all of my expectations. I never knew you could get a picture so sharp and bright from a projector. It's better than watching it on my 50" 1080p TV. It's quiet as a mouse when running, and it has direct HDMI input. Don't hesitate on this one, you're not going to find a better projector with 15,000:1 contrast ratio (which highly contributes to the image quality & sharpness) in this price range. And yes it's bright enough that you can see the picture while lights are on. The only downfall I can find is that it lets out a good amount of heat while running, so do block the vents. Other than that, 5 stars...
on November 26, 2013
For the price of this projector, it does a great job with clear, bright illumination. The projector is pretty easy to use. It has some nice features like being able to change the quality of the color in the projections (like the "movie," "tv", etc. settings on your television. It even has a blackboard version, which is sort of weird but makes sense if you're doing something with a tablet). Focusing was not a problem and it has the ability to correct for key-stoning.
Here's what I don't like about this equipment:
1) The speaker is lousy. You can't hear it very well over the fan. Now, if you are connecting directly from a device, you can by-pass the crummy speaker by connecting from your device (computer, tablet, etc,) directly to your sound system. You may lose a little bit of quality in the sound syncing. (In other words, the sound of dialogue may not perfectly match the video.)
2) With the poor speaker it would have made sense to have sound output. But there isn't a sound output port on this. So you sort of have to gerry-rig improved sound if you want to use this with any quality sound output. When I first looked at this online and read the other review, I was under the impression that you could hook up speakers DIRECTLY to the projector. Not so. So make sure you can deal with the sound issue directly from the device you connect to this.
3) You can send stuff from a wireless device using an HDMI dongle, but the sound becomes a problem. Mostly because the speaker is not very good. Since there's no output port for sound, if you connect the originating wireless device to speakers, everything gets out of sync. So this work-around isn't a good idea. I have a Kindle Fire HDX that I was trying to mirror to the device with the dongle. You can do this but you cannot compensate for bad sound because there's no way to link directly from the projector to a speaker system. So your choices are watch everything out-of-sync or listen to the crummy sound. (Actually this is more of a Kindle Fire HDX problem since they dumped the mini HDMI connection on the new Fire. Bad idea. Wait for the improved Kindle Fire HDX. I wish I had.)
4) They failed to send the promised remote with the projector. I can work the projector without the remote, but it would have been nice if the package was complete. I've asked them to send the remote...we'll see. If they send it, I'll update this review reflecting that.
All that being said, I'm probably going to keep this equipment (unless they don't send the remote) but I'll connect it to my iPad without using the wireless dongle. Update 11.29.2013: Actually I returned the device. I tried connecting it to my iPad to watch Amazon Instant video and it would not allow the video. It kept giving some weird message about Apple Airplay. I couldn't correct it, so I had to send it back.
I had hoped to use the Kindle Fire HDX for just this sort of thing, but without a direct HDMI connection, there's big problems with syncing the sound to external speakers from the originating device. My iPad will work just fine with this directly connected, but not with Amazon Instant Video. So while I love my Amazon videos and Prime viewing, this projector won't work well with the new Kindle Fire HDX through a wireless dongle or through the Amazon Instant Video App on an iPad. Using another sound source is a must for viewing videos with a soundtrack. Otherwise it's pretty hard to hear over the noise of the fan. Given these limitations, if you have a way to add sound from the originating device and you never want to connect something that needs a wireless dongle (like a Kindle Fire HDX), this is a pretty nice piece of equipment.
I actually ended up swapping this for a BenQ projector which DOES have an audio output. It also has a better speaker! And better still, synching through the dongle was a breeze!