Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector Review

An excellent entry level home theater projector, the Mitsubishi HC3800 is a DLP projector, with 1080p native resolution. This review of the HC3800 projector is based on an early engineering sample.

Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector Review

An excellent entry level home theater projector, the Mitsubishi HC3800 is a DLP projector, with 1080p native resolution. This review of the HC3800 projector is based on an early engineering sample.

Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector Overview

First things first. This HC3800 projector is extremely bright in best movie mode, and it’s got impressive color. And a low cost of operation! And other things! The end result is it deserves our Hot Product Award!

Here’s a lower cost projector, in the form of the Mitsubishi HC3800, that like the recently reviewed BenQ W6000 has the ability to handle larger screens or some ambient light, and still provide a really good looking picture.

 

It’s a rare thing for us to complete a review of a home theater projector based on working with an early engineering sample. Yet, that’s exactly the case here with our HC3800 projector review. We received the HC3800 about a week before the CEDIA show where the HC3800 was to be officially announced. In fact, this unit had to be shipped back to Mitsubishi, for the CEDIA show, so folks could see it. Mitsubishi returned the HC3800 to me the week following the show, and work resumed.

In the course of reviewing, I get a chance to work with a number of pre-production projectors, but the even earlier on engineering samples are rare. Generally with an engineering sample, many things don’t work at all, and performance is quite often iffy. As an example, I also have here, at the time of this writing, an engineering sample of the new InFocus ScreenPlay 8602. Unlike the HC3800, we decided that the InFocus 8602 simply wasn’t finished enough to complete a good review. Thus, only a blog was done for now, until they send me a fully updated projector.

In the case of the Mitsubishi HC3800, it is a true engineering sample. For example, only one input works, fortunately, that’s HDMI. Component video, composite, etc. – all inoperative. Not surprising at all for this early a unit.

I’ll discuss, in the course of this review, the things that don’t yet work, and will try to anticipate differences between this HC3800 and a full production HC3800. Mitsubishi has already committed to get me one of the first production HC3800s, so I can update this review when they ship. The reason for this is that the color tables on this unit are not finished and will change. For that reason, I’ll need a production unit, to re-calibrate, so we can post all of our calibration settings for you. The ones we came up with for this sample, would likely be of no help to owners. One thing that I think we can count on, is that a production unit will be at least as good, at everything.

In the case of the Mitsubishi HC3800, it is a true engineering sample. For example, only one input works, fortunately, that’s HDMI. Component video, composite, etc. – all inoperative. Not surprising at all for this early a unit. I’ll discuss, in the course of this review, the things that don’t yet work, and will try to anticipate differences between this HC3800 and a full production HC3800. Mitsubishi has already committed to get me one of the first production HC3800s, so I can update this review when they ship. The reason for this is that the color tables on this unit are not finished and will change. For that reason, I’ll need a production unit, to re-calibrate, so we can post all of our calibration settings for you. The ones we came up with for this sample, would likely be of no help to owners. One thing that I think we can count on, is that a production unit will be at least as good, at everything.

On the other hand, the Mitsubishi HC3800 projector is particularly bright, in its best movie mode, has a longer than average lamp life (keeps long term ownership costs down), and has rather excellent picture quality, with most impressive skin tones – and that’s without finished color tables. This is an affordable projector that should please some rather picky potential owners, especially those into picture quality.

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