Mitsubishi HC8000D Projector - Physical Tour
As is usual, we will start in the front of the Mitsubishi HC8000D. This Mitsubishi is one of the smaller home theater projectors out there. It's finished in a shiny black finish all the way around. It's got some sculpted lines.
1-31-2013 - Art Feierman
Mitsubishi HC8000D Projector - Appearance
The HC8000D projector has a slightly "euro" look to it.
The most obvious feature in the front is the recessed 1.5 to 1 zoom lens which has a lot of placement flexibility compared to many other DLP projectors. Overall 1.5 to 1 zoom is about average for home theater projectors although many of the LCD and LCoS models stretch out to 2 to 1. All considered, 1.5 to 1 zoom is pretty good, however the big news (that it shares with the 7900DW), is that the H8000D has vertical lens shift.
Combining the zoom's range and lens shift, makes for really good placement flexibility. You'll also find an IR sensor for the remote control on the front, and down below - two adjustable front feet.
HC8000D Control Panel
Moving to the top - towards the back, you'll find the control panel. It's in a round configuration. There's a power switch and indicator lights nearby. The four navigation arrows are in a round configuration. In the middle, are the menu and enter buttons. As I indicated above, there's also a vertical lens shift feature on the Mitsubishi HC8000D, and you will find it under a spring loaded small door, right behind the lens.
The photo has been taken, will be posted later this evening.
HC8000D Projector - Input/Output
The rear of the Mitsubishi HC8000D, houses all of the inputs and connectors. The back panel itself is pretty standard with just a couple of surprises. As you would expect, there are two HDMI inputs (both 1.4a, to support Blu-ray 3D), and also your standard red, green and blue RCA jacks for a component video input.
Also on the back, is a standard HD15 connector best known as the standard analog computer connector, that will allow you to hook up a PC to this Mitsubishi home theater projector. What is interesting about this HD15, is that it serves multiple purposes. It can be used as an analog computer input as intended, or as a second component video input, and finally it can also be used for composite video, which is normally found on most projectors as a separate RCA jack color coded yellow. In this case, all three capabilities are rolled up into one jack (typically some HD15's support analog computer and component video). It also means you can only choose one of those three input types. The HC8000D also has a serial port for command and control and next to it, a networking port which could be used for firmware changes and other purposes.
Finally on the far right is the 12-volt trigger. As many of you know, that can be used to cause a motorized screen that is properly equipped to rise and come down as the projector is powered off and powered back on. It can also be used for other purposes, however, that is the most common one.
The only other items on the back, are, of course, the power receptacle and, as is typical, a Kensington life lock for security. All considered, the HC8000 is equipped with a pretty standard set of inputs, even if they've saved on a few connectors. Also worthy of note, is the venting, none of which is in the back, which means that the HC8000D conceivably can be placed on a rear shelf. That works out great for a lot of folks. I myself have spent many years with projectors on rear shelves, including the last few years. With only a 1.5 to1 zoom ratio, however many people will not be able to place the projector far enough back to find a rear shelf unless they have a particularly large screen. Since this projector isn't really built for huge screens, that means the HC7900 in a rear shelf environment, is probably going to be working something between an 80 and 100-inch screen in a room that is not especially deep. Consider shelf mounting - if it makes sense in your room.
As the HC8000D is a 2D and 3D projector. I do wish Mitsubishi would give us more than just 3 AV memories. True, there are a pair of ISF modes (Imaging Science Foundation) the folks known for training and certifiying professional calibrators. ISF Day, and ISF night, are designed for their calibrators, and is password protected so that you and I can't screw with them. That means they are only of use to us, if you hire a ISF calibrator, or know someone who knows the password.
Above, the main Image menu. Next, some of Image menu's sub-menus:
Color Temp sub-menu (where you would the "dreaded" High Brightness color temp), if not one of the programmable memories. Reference allows you to select whichever color temp mode you want, to base your grayscale calibration on. There is one exception though, you cannot modify the High Brightness Color Temp.
CMS: (Color Management System) for calibrating the individual colors.
Below, Image menu's Advanced menu:
Below: The Installation menu, including lamp brightness, projector positioning (front rear, ceiling, table), standby, and other features.
The feature menu, is mostly items relating to displaying menus, setting the IR receiver, and menu language, but it also offers control of aspect ratio, and there's a Password feature for you if you want to lock those kids out of adjusting things!
The Signal menu, deals first with horizontal and vertical positioning of the image, electronically. That, sync and tracking controls are primarily for working with analog computer signals. Also present is an overscan control, if your source material results in some noise around the edge of the image. Again, personally I favor edge masking to using overscan. Edge masking lets you choose a slightly smaller image by simply not projecting the noisy outer edge of the image. Overscan magnifies everything, so when projected, that outer edge is "off the screen", and you are seeing data that should have been several pixels inside the outer edge, before overscan.
The thing is, edge masking maintains 1:1 pixel mapping for best precision and sharpness. But the image is a touch undersized. Overscan is softer, but continues to fill your screen. That's a bit of an oversimplification, but should help!
The Mitsubishi HC8000 will interface with networks. Controls are rather typical (for networking savvy folks). This image was taken of the HC7900's menu. I overlooked shooting it for the HC8000D.
Finally, there's an information menu. Nothing you can adjust here, but it lets you know some of what's going on.
Mitsubishi HC8000D Remote Control
(A sharper photo coming soon.)
Mitsubishi HC8000 remote control is basically the same as last year's, and the year before's...and it remains one of my least favorite backlit remotes.. Range is just okay, however this is a really old design type of remote, in fact I have been complaining about it for years, on a number of previous Mitsubishi projectors.
Don't get me wrong. There's nothing really terribly wrong with this remote. To me, though, it looks dated, although it fits well enough in the hand. The backlight is dim enough to be of little use. If it was brighter, I could probably easily read it. Maybe you younger folks...but I have to bring it close to my eyes, due to the dimness. I find the buttons to be a little soft. Complaints aside, the HC8000 D's remote control does get the job done. Again, range is OK, not great. When I placed the projector on a low middle shelf, without much clearance above, I found I had to point the remote back toward the projector. On the upper shelf it works better.
Mitsubishi HC8000D Lens Throw
The HC8000D offers a 1.5:1 zoom ratio.
To fill the usual 100" 16:9 diagonal screen, the front of the projector can be as close as 10.17 feet from the screen, or as far back as 15.1 feet. That's pretty typical.
Mitsubishi HC8000 Lens Shift
The Mitsubishi HC8000 just like last year's HC7800, and this year's less expensive HC7900DW, as noted, has vertical lens shift and lacks the less critical horizontal lens shift. Most folks are primarily concerned with vertical. And the Mitsubishi has that covered nicely. With the adjustments, you've got reasonable top-to-bottom placement range, as opposed to many of the DLP competition which lack lens shift, having fixed lens offset. You are at the mercy of that offset when you are determining if the projector will work in your room. Now, this won't be an issue for you, if you choose the HC8000. Consider the above a quick reminder as to why lens shift is a good thing. Our example: Many of the DLP competitors that lack lens shift, need to be mounted so their lens is about 15-20 inches above the top of your screen surface, if you want a 110-inch screen. If your room has 8-foot ceilings, guess what? Mounting close as possible to the ceiling a projector lens is still likely to be almost 10 inches down. For a 110" screen, that's 10 inches down to the center of the lens, and another 20 more inches to the top of the screen. Your ceiling is 96 inches high, so the top of screen is going to be at about 66 inches off the floor.
Since a 110 inch diagonal screen is 55 inches tall, the bottom of the screen is going to be just about a foot off the floor. Now it's going to be really tough for your second row of viewers to see the lower half of the screen. That's why lens shift is great, you get some flexibility instead. Well, this Mitsubishi HC8000D has lens shift. Life is good, or at least better.
With lens shift, no problem, you could, if desired have the screen top flush with the ceiling if you chose.
Anamorphic Lens - Wide Screen
Yes, the Mitsubishi HC8000D supports an anamorphic lens. Not only does it support using one in 2D, but Mitsubishi also claims to support the use of an anamorphic lens with 3D. That's not something most manufacturers mention, and at least a couple of projectors cannot do (3D with an anamorphic lens). From a more practical standpoint, most people shopping in this price range, are likely to forgo an anamorphic lens, to save a thousand dollars or two. The alternative is found on a number of projectors (with motorized lenses). I'm talking about lens memory. If you want a 2.35:1 screen shape (wide screen, aka Cinemascope), lens memory accomplishes that without the anamorphic lens. For a projector to offer lens memory, it must have at least both motorized zoom and focus.