Mitsubishi HD4000 Widescreen Projector Review - Overview
08-07-2006 - Art Feierman
The Mitsubishi HD4000 (link to specs) is one of a new breed of widescreen DLP projectors just starting to hit the market at the time of this review (8/06). There are two general markets the HD4000 can serve effectively: The first is for business, education and non-profit (including churches...), requiring a widescreen projector, for the various benefits such widescreen projectors offer. I should note that there have been a couple of widescreen projectors available that are LCD driven, on the market for several years, but they tend to be far more expensive, starting around $4000 selling price.
The second market, is home theater, or perhaps I should say home entertainment. Many people wanting their home to have the large screen "theater-like" feel that only projectors can provide, cannot fully darken their rooms, or can only do so at night. As a result, the traditional home theater projectors, which typically produce between 300 and 700 lumens (despite claims), don't have enough brightness to handle rooms with even moderate lighting.
The HD4000 definitely isn't as "perfect" in image quality as dedicated home theater projectors, but should serve many home users well, who are wiling to sacrifice a little in image quality, in exchange for extra brightness.
The HD4000 with its claimed 2000 lumens is a magnitude brighter than the home theater projectors.
We found that the HD4000 not only performed extremely well as a portable business projector, but definitely did an excellent job, as well, as a bright alternative to home theater projectors. Interestingly, it looks very similar to Mitsubishi's highly regarded HC3000 home theater projector which we reviewed a month or so ago, although there are some compromises, as this is a business projector, that can double for home theater. As a result, we had no problem at all, awarding the HD4000 widescreen projector, our Hot Product Award.
A quick seach of the internet, yields authorized dealers advertising the HD4000 at $2495, which would indicate that that price is Mitsubishi's MAP (minimum advertised price). Visiting sites, it looks like the MAP price is pretty much the high price. You'll want to check with authorized dealers showing the MAP price, to find out where their actual pricing is, what they may be throwing in, etc. You can also find dealers advertising it online for less than $2495, but that would be non direct dealers, in violation of Mitsubishi policy. Non-authorized dealers tend to sell for a little less than direct authorized dealers, but rarely can provide the same level of information and support.
Mitsubishi HD4000 DLP widescreen projector - basic specs:
MSRP: $3995 MAP price: $2495
Technology: Darkchip2 DLP front projector
Native Resolution: WXGA 1280x768
Brightness: 2000 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 2000 hours full power, 3000 lumens eco-mode
Weight: 6.5 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years
Let's take a look at the projector itself.
HD4000 Physical Tour:
The HD4000 has a recessed zoom lens mounted in the front center of the projector. Just to it's right (facing the projector) is the infra-red sensor for the remote control. Directly below the lens is a "thumb screw" height adjustment for the front foot.
Moving to the top of the HD4000 projector, there are the recessed focus and zoom rings for the lens. As noted in the specs above, the zoom has a modest 1.2:1 ratio.
The top also houses the control panel, a basic seven button affair, and two indicator lights (power and status). There is a large Power button, in addition, there are four arrow keys, in the usual configuration, with an Enter key in the center. In addition, in the lower left, is the Menu button. When not using the menus, the left arrow button selects computer sources, the right arrow button, video sources, and the top arrow button, is their Auto Position, which will relock on the source signal, if it doesn't seem perfect beforehand..
That takes us to the back of the HD4000 projector. There are a couple of minor surprises in terms of inputs. Let's start with the basics - from left to right:
There is a digital HDMI input, and next to it a standard HD15 connector for traditional computer analog signals. Alternately, that connector can be used to feed the HD4000 a component video source.
Below these two are a serial port for "command and control" of the projector by a computer, and a USB port. Moving to the right side at the top, is a separate component video input, so, overall, you can have a digital source, an analog computer, and a component video source all hooked up at once, or several other combinations using the same three inputs. You will also find below the component video (3 RCA jacks), the tradtional S-video and composite video inputs.
The other two items are the rear Infra-red sensor, and a 12 volt trigger for controlling properly equipped motorized screens. Having the trigger lends me to believe that Mitsubishi sees the HD4000 as a projector that will often be permanently ceiling mounted for business, matched with motorized screen, or being used for home theater, or, of course designed with both in mind. To round out the back, there is only the AC power recepticle.
I should note here, that the HD4000 uses a "sealed light path" no dust or dirt can get in between the lamp, dlp chip, color wheel and lens.
Hot air vents out the front, angled away from the lens. This makes the HD4000 suitable for mounting on a rear shelf, if the throw distances work with your room depth and screen size.
That pretty much covers the basic hardware. We'll look at the remote control in the Performance section.
Time to explore the HD4000's image quality. In this case we will consider it's capabilities for both business/education related use, and separately as a "bright" home theater / entertainment projector.