Mitsubishi HC9000D Projector - Performance
7/21/2011 - Art Feierman
In this section, we consider the brightness, sharpness, and image noise of the Mitsubishi HC9000D home theater projector. We'll discuss brightness in conjunction with 3D usage, as well. Also considered here, are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise.
Mitsubishi HC9000D Brightness
Mitsubishi claims the HC9000D projector is a 1000 lumen projector. As it turns out, they are right. Mike's highest measurement was 1005 lumens. Here's the whole story:
First are the lumen measurements for each of the preset and user modes. Also included was the measured color temp for white, for each one.
The Mitsubishi HC9000D projector brightness numbers below were recorded by Mike before and after calibration.
Lumen Output and Color Temp for various Picture modes at 100 IRE:
Dynamic = 865 @ 7866
Cinema = 687 @ 6452
Video = 750 @ 7429
3D = 813 @ 9263
User 1, 2 or 3 = 700 @ 6607
Cinema wss the best looking image before Mike calibrated. These measureents were all taken with the zoom set to mid-point.
Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode):
Zoom out= 940
Mid zoom= 865
Zoom in= 735
Measuring Dynamic mode at full wide angle and telephoto shows us almost a 9% increase in brightness with the projector at its closest position (wide angle, zoom out).
Switching from mid-point to furthest (telephoto, zoom in), causes a 15% drop. Those shelf mounting will normally be at or near the telephoto end of the range, unless you have an awfully big screen relative to room size.
Low Lamp Eco-Mode Brightness
The HC9000D measured a 24% drop in brightness when switching to the lower lamp mode.
Below: sample color temperature snapshot, pre-calibration - actually rather good.
Color Temp over IRE Range, Best Mode (Cinema):
30 IRE – 6686
50 IRE – 6757
80 IRE – 6591
100 IRE – 6452
"Best mode" calibration of the HC9000D yielded an impressive 701 lumens beating the Sony and JVC projectors.
As Mike mentions below, you can only save one custom grayscale color temp. That prevented him from tweaking Dynamic, exchanging minimal brightness loss for improved picture quality.
For a brightest mode: Use Dynamic, but change the color temp to High Brightness. That doesn't seem to cost much in lumens, but definitely looks better. Of course "best" mode, isn't that much less bright.
3D mode has a completely different color gamma setup. Mike measured the 815 lumens using the default setting for their brightness/shutter glasses setting. I would expect using the highest setting will increase brightness to about the same as Dynamic.
Here's how the final color temp looked in "best" (now in User 2):
Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration):
20 IRE - 6687
30 IRE - 6532
40 IRE - 6564
50 IRE - 6672
60 IRE - 6690
70 IRE - 6552
80 IRE - 6493
90 IRE - 6412
100 IRE – 6368
Average gamma= 2.16
Mike's NOTES: As there is only one User color temp, you can only calibrate one mode. All RGB settings are carried over to all modes. The projector has a JVC RS1-like color gamut, everything (especially green is oversaturated). I did a quick check of the color management and it appeared to affect secondary colors while adjusting primary colors, making it difficult to use. Measurements showed that the Color control should be turned down to -14, but the picture seemed a bit washed out at that setting, so I switched it to -8. Dynamic mode with the High Bright color temp looks a little better than the default 9300 color temp, so I would use that combination for daytime viewing of Sports etc.
The Calibration page provides the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.
Mitsubishi HC9000D Sharpness
For your consideration, our usual close up images:
Top left: HC9000D, Top Left Center, Runco LS-5, Top Right Center - JVC RS25, Top right - Epson Home Cinema 8700UB
2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE4000, left center: Sony VPL-VW90ES, right center: , right: Sony Pro1.
Mitsubishi HC9000D: Bottom Line Sharpness
I've usually complimented Mitsubishi for their projectors' sharpness. The HC9000D is no exception. No three chip (be it LCoS, LCD, or DLP) will converge flawlessly (giving single chip DLP's an advantage), but beyond all that, there are still degrees of sharpness and clarity. Nothing with 3 panels, of late, has looked as good as JVC's $12K RS60, but, that aside, the Mitsubishi looks very crisp and clear. It's still not going to appear quite as sharp and crisp as a comparably well done, single chip DLP like the competing Runco LS5 we reviewed not long ago.
I left the sharpness control at default 0. It takes a lot of movement to get a little sharpness out of it. Those looking for a crisper image will find Detail Enhancement, to probably the control they're looking for. Low really does crisp up the image, with seemingly greater sharpness. Medium is a slight increase but High, looked over the top. Using the control also makes the image noise more visible. The more detail enhancement, the less natural the image. Try low, though, you might like it.
HC9000 Light Leakage
None to speak of. One note, like most other LCoS projectors the panels used are not pure 1080p. In the case of this Mitsubishi HC9000D, the panels are 1920 by 1280 - instead of 1920x1080. You can dimly see that extra vertical putting out "black" but enough to show up faintly on a dark scene, if your screen frame isn't masking it. Normally, though, it is, so, not an issue.
Other than that, nothing you will notice during normal viewing
HC9000D Image Noise
Silicon Optix Reon VX processing assures a very clean set of image processing abilities. Since we use the Silicon Optix test disc, there were no surprises, the HC9000D does very nicely.
Engaging Detail Enhancement makes the background image noise more visible.
Mitsubishi HC9000D Audible Noise
Medium quiet, but low pitched, the HC9000D should be fine for all but the really noise adverse. Low power definitely brings the noise down to quiet levels.