Mitsubishi HC6500 1080p 3LCD Home Theater Projector Review: Overview
10/17/2008 - Art Feierman
Most impressive! I have enjoyed using the HC6500, and have watched it extensively. Despite an only minor improvement in terms of published contrast rating, compared to Mitsubishi's entry-level 1080p home theater projector, the HC5500, (which we reviewed back in August), the HC6500 definitely has superior black level performance. In addition, the HC6500 projector offers more range in its zoom lens, making placement easier.
One thing I really like about the HC6500 projector, is that it I found the picture quality to be very film-like, more so than most 3LCD home theater projectors previously reviewed. More on that in the Image Quality section, and the summary.
Mitsubishi HC6500 Projector Highlights:
- New "diamond" dynamic iris and new Epson C2Fine inorganic LCD panels definitely improves black level performance compared to old HC4900, and to a lesser degree compared to the newer HC5500
- Brighter than most of the lower cost 1080p projectors when comparing "best modes"
- Extremely quiet operation
- "Out of the box" color accuracy is good, but needs some work- the HC6500 will definitely benefit from an end user calibration using a consumer disc, a full calibraton, or even just plugging in our post calibration settings
- Very good remote control
- Motorized zoom, focus and lens shift! Overall, good placement flexibility but many of the 3LCD home theater projectors have a bit more
- Very good warranty
- 5000 hour lamp life, in low power mode can reduce cost of ownership significantly
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Projector: Basic Specifications
Click for full specs, and access to a pdf of the projector's brochure: HC6500
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.6:1
Lens shift: Vertical and Horizontal
Lamp life: 5000 hours low power (eco-mode), 2000 hours at full lamp power
Weight: 16.5 lbs. (7.4 Kg)
Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor
Mitsubishi HC6500 Projector: Physical Tour
First, I must say, that the HC6500 is one great looking projector from a styling standpoint. It is definitely one of the best looking projectors on the market under $10,000. Of course, most of us, are far more concerned about performance, than how the projector looks when turned off, and with room lighting on. On the other hand, it might help out with the "wife factor".
Let's start, facing the front of the HC6500 projector. The large lens assembly is offset to the right. There's a hard to spot infra-red receiver for the remote, on the lower left side. Below, there are two screw thread type adjustable front feet.
The 1.6:1 motorized zoom lens allows the projector (measured from the front of the lens), to be as close as 10 feet, 2 inches to a 100" 16:9 diagonal screen, or as far back as 16 feet, five inches.
The Mitsubishi HC6500 projectors do not have a visible control panel, instead there is a large door that opens from the rear to reveal the control panel. Two indicator lights are visible along the top back, on the door, so they can be seen with the door closed.
The control panel is the usual affair. The larger power button (once for "on", press twice for "off"), is on the left. There is the typical four navigation arrow keys in a diamond configuration, with the Enter button in the center. In the upper right is the Lens Shift button, and a button that toggles between power zoom and power focus controls is in the lower right. The Menu button is on the bottom left.
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When not using the menu system, the Up arrow button doubles for Auto Position (for computer signals). The left button toggles between the HDMI and computer inputs, and the Video button on the right arrow key, switches between standard video sources. Nothing surprising here, just a good control panel layout with all the usual capabilities.
Moving to the back of the projector, the input panel is recessed, and the HC6500 home theater projector comes with a cable cover, to hide "the mess", once everything is plugged in. That's especially nice for those ceiling mounting their projectors, and a feature not found on most projectors in this price range. (Sorry for the off angle shot, it's tough getting lighting in there, because it is so far recessed, without glare.) The inputs are pretty typical for a 1080p home theater projector. There are two HDMI 1.3 inputs, a computer input, that can alternately used for a component video input, a second component video input (3 color coded RCA jacks, an S-Video input and a standard composite video input. In addition, there are also an RS-232 for command and control from a room control system or computer, and finally, a 12 volt trigger, for motorized screen control. Of course, there's the power receptacle, and a Kensington Lock slot.
Time for the next section - Image Quality, where we will see how good the Mitsubishi HC6500 performs with the lights down!