November 19th, 2008 Art Feierman
I’m a bit late, getting around to this First Look, as the full review will publish tomorrow night. As a result, I’ll keep this short, so I can get back to the write up of the review.
First, great black levels, even a bit better than the Panasonic PT-AE3000 and comparable to the Epson Home Cinema and Pro Cinema 1080 UB projectors. At it’s best, it may even slightly beat the Epson’s but, in normal viewing, too close to call. (All are very close.)
It’s sharp! It’s quiet. All Mitsubishi home theater projectors using LCD technology are extremely quiet.
Picture quality is great, after calibration. I favor the image slightly over the Panasonic.
It has a great feature, that allows those wanting 2.35:1 screens, and no letterboxing for most movies. Their solution let’s you use an anamorphic lens, but makes a motorized sled (very expensive) to moving the lens back and forth, unnecessary, saving a lot of money.
That brings us to brightness. The Mitsubishi HC7000 projector, as is typical of their 1080p projectors, is not very bright. It’s just below average (I consider average to be 400 to 550 lumens), in “best” mode, and it is definitely below average in brightness at full power.
This Mitsubishi projector will work best with 106″, 100″ and smaller diagonal screens. In the right room, conditions, and content preferences, etc., it can do a 110″ screen. Of course, with very high gain screens you can go significantly brighter, but there are trade-offs.
The HC7000 should prove to be a formidable competitor, for a little less money, than the JVC RS-10 which gets reviewed next month. Since it is sold only by local dealers, as you would expect, it sells for a good deal more than the Panasonic PT-AE3000, and the anticipated pricing of the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB. On the other hand, it will likely prove to be the same price as the Epson Pro Cinema 7500 UB, when that projector ships. (The 7500 UB, like the HC7000 supports an anamorphic lens, the 6500 UB does not.
While that brightness in best mode is still pretty good, those that want to watch a lot of sports or TV with some lights on, is where the HC7000 projector’s brightness, can be a concern.
OK, you have a taste. Full details tomorrow in the review. -art