Mitsubishi HC7800D Projector - Performance
1/30/12 - Art Feierman
This section covers the HC7800's brightness (including many measurements on color temperature), sharpness, and image noise. Also covered on this page, are other physical attributes including light leakage and audible noise for the HC7800D projector.
Mitsubishi HC7800D Brightness
I'll start off by pointing out that the Mitsubishi HC7800D is very typical in terms of "best mode" brightness when compared to other projectors in its price range. On the other hand, it doesn't do as well, when you need the brightest image, and still expect respectable color.
Let's focus on the actuals, and how that might work for you.
Lumen Output and Color Temp for various Picture modes at 100 IRE:
Cinema = 496 @ 7291
Video = 496 @ 6928
3D = 866 @ 7587
A/V Memory 1, 2 or 3 = 670 @ 6585
Those numbers are all "right out of the box", without any adjustments.
Post Calibration: User "best" mode (placed in User AV Memory 1) = 668 lumens
That's healthy, for a calibrated projector. It bests the competing Epson slightly, easily "dusts" the PT-AE7000 from Panasonic, the two best selling projectors in the price range. On the other hand, it comes up a bit short of some of the LCoS, and a couple of other DLP projectors. The JVC, Sony, and Optoma competition are all brighter, but none reaches 900 lumens calibrated.
HC7800D Brightest Mode:
HC7800D: Color Temp = High Brightness: 1299 lumens
Brightest USABLE Mode of the HC7800D: 816 lumens
Sorry folks - the High Bright mode of the HC7800 offers no real way to improve its color which is extremely green. I mean approaching the green caste in The Matrix (if you recall).
Watching the sails of the ship, the Dawn Treader in the 3rd Narnia movie, they looked mostly green-yellow. That's not good, since they are supposed to be more of a soft magenta. Wow, I mean terrible color. If you need those 1299 lumens, ok, but you won't be happy.
Effect of zoom on lumen output (A/V Memory mode):
Zoom out= 678 lumens
Mid zoom= 670 lumens
Zoom in= 612 lumens
Impressive, the projector loses relatively few lumens going from wide angle (closest to the screen) to telephoto. Many of other 1.5:1 and 1.6:1 zoom lenses drop off more brightness. A projector with a 2:1 zoom can lose up to about 40% brightness.
All considered, the small drop means "good glass". Nicely done.
Mitsubishi HC7800D Pre-Calibration Color temp, Cinema Mode:
Mike looked to find the best mode to start with, it was down to the User Memory defaults, or Video:
Color Temp over IRE Range, Best Mode:
A/V Memory 1 Video
30 IRE – 6506 6894
50 IRE – 6445 6923
80 IRE – 6670 6874
100 IRE – 6585 6928
Obviously, the A/V Memory 1 defaults are much closer to our desired 6500K color temperature.
Mike calibrated the User mode, and came up with the results below.
HC7800D Color Temp over IRE Range - Post calibration: User Mode
20 IRE - 6474
30 IRE - 6505
40 IRE - 6492
50 IRE - 6533
60 IRE - 6480
70 IRE - 6489
80 IRE - 6453
90 IRE - 6481
Average Gamma: 2.14
That's a really tight set of numbers above. Mike's calibration is almost dead on the money, just the tiniest bit warm.
Mike's Notes: Unfortunately, Mitsubishi has decided to not allow access to even basic settings like Brightness and Contrast in anything but the A/V Memories. You can’t even change the lamp setting in anything but the A/V Memory modes.
Turning Brilliant Color on increases lumen output, but to the detriment of grayscale. Calibrating with BC on brings the lumen output down close what it is with BC off.
Grayscale was quite good after calibration. Using the 2.4 gamma setting increases average gamma to 2.34, so there’s no stock setting that gets gamma into the 2.2 range. It can be achieved with the custom gamma settings, however. High Brightness cannot be selected as a reference color temp in the A/V Memories, so there no way to get a high brightness quick cal. The best bet is to use an A/V Memory with BC on, but that’s only 150 lumens above the calibrated mode.There are two color gamut settings (see the CIE charts), Wide and Normal, but there’s not a lot of difference between them. Both have an expanded Green gamut.
In 3D mode, you can use either the 3D picture mode or the User mode. I measured a white area on a 3D Blu-ray with both and got 657 lumens with User mode and 606 lumens with 3D mode.
Below, Relative brightness and color: Brilliant Color
Brilliant Color Off:
Brilliant Color On:
Mitsubishi HC7800D Sharpness
Sharpness is excellent. Single chip DLP projectors always have an advantage, and Mitsubishi manages to put some quality glass on this projector (13 elements in 4 clusters).
The HC7800D simply looks sharper than most of the projectors to cruise through here in the last 6 months. That includes pretty much all the LCoS projectors and 3LCD projectors. The image sharpness certainly also looks as good as any DLP in the price range, including the pricier Optoma HD8300.
Mitsubishi HC7800D: Bottom Line Sharpness
Bottom line: There's nothing like a good single chip DLP projector for sharpness. With no panel convergence issues to deal with, a good optical path design, and a good lens, should yield a sharp clear image that lets you appreciate all that good full HD resolution content.
The Mitsubishi HC7800D places a sharper than most of the competition image, up on the screen. You'll really appreciate it more with digital content than film, since film based content starts out a little soft.
For your consideration: Nice and sharp - CNBC and Cramer and lots of small text and numbers!
Sharpness is definitely one of the real strengths of the Mitsubishi HC7800 projector. While there may not be a "night and day" difference, between this DLP projector and the bulk of the competition, you can appreciate the modest sharpness advantage compared to of the LCoS and 3LCD projectors, and the HC7800D holds its own just fine with other DLP projectors around or below its price.
Nothing to be concerned about. A touch of light leaks though the venting, but not enough to create any issue.
In 2D, the projector looks pretty clean in terms of basic mosquito noise, for a DLP. Such noise seems more evident on DLP's but this one is pretty good.
I didn't encounter any problems with panning on 24fps content, which has showed up once in a while on some other (including very expensive) projectors, where you get jerky pan, when the speed of the panning doesn't match up well to something in the processing.
3D noise, as mentioned on the first page, starts with ghosting or crosstalk. DLP projectors are supposed to be clean, when it comes to these 3D artifacts, and, not surprisingly, it is.
In fact, as far as artifacts go, the HC7800D is probably about as clean as I've seen in 3D.
Like most DLP home theater projectors (and a few others), the HC7800 projector is a bit noisy when running the lamp at full power. Not too bad, though. I believe Mitsubishi claims 31 db at full power, and that seems about right. The 25db claim for eco-mode also seems about right. The quietest projectors get down to about 16 db in eco-mode (call that silent for all practical purposes). But most home projectors are in the 18-26 db range in eco-mode, and run from about 23 to 33 db at full power.
Bottom line, if you are particularly noise adverse, you won't like the HC7800D at full power, but then, you also won't like about 75% of the remaining home theater projectors either. Not bad, not great, the HC7800D's audible noise levels are nothing to get excited about - but probably won't be a real issue for you.