Mitsubishi HC8000D Home Theater Projector Review

Adding 3D to the HC8000D

True, the HC8000D is 3D capable, but you will need a couple things before you watch your first 3D movie.  Besides the 3D movie itself, you’ll need a 3D emitter which plugs into the input panel.  And you will also need 3D glasses.  Those will be the usual active shutter glasses.

The 3D emitter is $99.  Mitsubishi recommends either their new proprietary Mitsubishi glasses ($199), or universal glasses from 3rd party manufacturers such as XpanD.   Their new proprietary glasses are expensive (most competitors are close to $100), although JVC’s glasses were $179 at last look. (They too, charge $99 for their emitter.)   These proprietary Mitsubishi glasses are moderately light, at 55.2 grams (almost two ounces).  By comparison the Epson glasses are 34.2, the new JVC’s are 37.8, and the Panasonic’s came in just under 1 ounce.  For reference, my lightweight regular glasses that I wear (which are very light) come in under 23 grams, and my Ray Bans weigh more than all of those mentioned except for these Mitsubishi glasses.

Here’s the thing.  If I have this straight, when viewing, you can use either the Mitsubishi’s or the universal glasses, but not both at the same time. If you have friends who own universals they can bring them over, for larger groups.  The proprietary Mitsubishi glasses, though are brighter, and use the High Speed setting in the 3D menu.

3D Gaming with the Mitsubishi HC8000D: Lag Times!

DLP projectors are usually fast, when it comes to minimizing those pesky lag times, and this Mitsubishi HC8000D should make an excellent gamer based on rather minimal lag times.   We measured the lag times for the HC7900DW.  There do not seem to be any differences that would affect the HC8000D differently, from a lag time standpoint.  The image above is from our lag time test of the HC7900DW.  As you can see from the image on the right, there is a 34 milli-second delay, between the screen of my MacBook Pro (bottom) and the image projected from the Mitsubishi.   By comparison, this is a similar lag time to the Panasonic PT-AE8000, which in Game mode was in the 37 ms. range.  The HC8000D would definitely be faster than the Epsons – all of the 1080p Epsons; the HC3020, HC5020, and PC6020, seem to measure 50 ms, at their best – which is “just fast enough” for most serious gamers. the Mitsubishi, is therefore, reasonably fast for hard core gaming, even if some others are even faster.

That’s what my gamer/bloggers tell me, in any case:  50ms:  acceptable, 35ms: respectable, below 20ms:  Excellent.  That’s a rough summary.

The bottom line is that very few serious gamers will have an issue with this projector’s lag-times, even if they could be a bit better.

Click Image to Enlarge

HC8000 6X Color Wheel vs. Rainbow Effect

The HC8000D uses a dual speed, six segment wheel running at 4X or 6X, The 6X is just what I need for movie viewing, or at a slower speed, perhaps for sports where everything is fairly bright – and rainbows don’t appear.  I’m rainbow sensitive but this projector was at least as free of rainbows as any DLP I can ever remember when I was watching 24fps movies!  With most projectors, I see rainbows at least occasionally on just about every dark scene.  As a result, this is a DLP projector that should not scare off most of the the “Rainbow sensitive”, because of seeing those pesky rainbow artifacts.

HC8000D Lamp Life

The Mitsubishi HC8000′s lamp life is rated 5,000 hours in low power mode.  That’s about as good as it gets with home theater projectors.

The HC8000D, however is only rated a standard 2000 hours at full power. That’s what we have called average until recently, but now the average at full power is a bit higher. Bottom line on lamp life: If you can run the HC8000 mostly in low power (eco-mode), you will have a quieter projector and a much lower cost of operation. At full power, though, all of the competition claims to get at least the same 2000 hour lamp life, but most now offer more.  Several popular competing projectors have lamps they to be 4000 hours at full power (and the same 5000 hours in eco as the HC7900 and HC8000.)  Remember, this is not one of the really bright projectors out there, so you may find it hard to stick to using eco-mode.

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