Mitsubishi HC4000 Projector Review

Lumen Output on Low Lamp (Sports mode, Medium Color Temp, Brilliant Color off)

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Sports mode)
Zoom out 624
Mid zoom 607
Zoom in 517

The different lens positions aren’t causing a huge difference in brightness, nor slight enough to dismiss from your notice. Basically, mounting at the closest (the zoom lens is a 1.5:1), buys you about an extra 20% more lumens. Personally, I figure most zoom lenses are at their worst, at their extremes, so I’d suggest backing off from the closest possible position, at least a little.

Since there are tons of lumens for movie viewing, many will take advantage of the quieter low lamp mode, which is plenty bright, and has an extremely long lamp life rating (5000 hours).

Low lamp will drop the brightness of the projector by approximately 24%.

HC4000 Low Power mode Turning Brilliant Color off, and lamp to low, and the Mitsubishi HC4000 projector still manages 460 lumens. That approximate percent should also hold true for all modes.

Since the HC4000 projector has a 1.5:1 zoom lens, we measured the difference in brightness betwwen full wide angle, mid-point, and full-telephoto settings on the lens. Full wide angle (the projector filling the screen from its closest distance), increases brightness by a modest 7.5%. Full telephoto decreases brightness by 9.3% compared to the mid-point.

Color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range
30 IRE 6673K
50 IRE 6472K
80 IRE 6522K
100 IRE 6649K

Pre-calibration we measured these color temperatures (target is 6500K) over the grayscale range.

That’s really impressive for before a calibration, and for that matter pretty good for after a calibration, too!

The Calibration page will provide the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset. We will revise, with numbers from a production projector if there are color table changes, between this unit and full production ones. I don’t expect that to be the case, though.

The HC4000 projector is definitely one of the sharper ones out there. In viewing side by side with the lower cost Optoma HD20, the HC4000 was slightly sharper. I would say that it is sharper than most of the 3LCD competition as well, including some of the more expensive ones like the Panasonic and the Epson projectors. In a side by side, the BenQ W6000, has a very slight edge, but it is exceptionally sharp in its own right, as BenQ’s have tended to be.

For your consideration, our usual close up images:

Top left: HC4000, Top Left Center – LG CF181D, Top Right Center – JVC RS25, Top right - Mitsubishi HC7000

2nd row left: Panasonic PT-AE4000, left center: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, right center: Optoma HD8200, right: BenQ W6000.

Please note, we are slowly switching to using the Playstation video logo as our sharpness example, instead of the old dts-hd logo. The original sample test disc from dts died, and they can’t find me another.

HC4000
LG CF181D
JVC RS25
Mitsubishi HC7000
Panasonic PT-AE4000
Epson Home Cinema 8500UB
Optoma HD8200
BenQ W6000

Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right: HC4000, Optoma HD20, BenQ W6000, and Sharp XV-Z15000. I haven’t seen any projector do better than the BenQ when it comes to trying to read the type on the on screen menus in this scene, but the Mitsubishi HC4000 is so close as to not matter. By comparison, the Optoma HD20 is visibly soft compared to the other two, and the more expensive Sharp XV-Z15000 (which we commented on it’s lens softness), is somewhere in between.

HC4000
Optoma HD20
BenQ W6000
Sharp XV-Z15000

Mitsubishi HC4000: Bottom Line Sharpness

I will say the same thing as last year’s HC3800: Sharpness is a major strength. I’m jealous. My far more expensive JVC RS20 can’t produce quite as sharp an image, and that projector is more than 5 times the price. I don’t really notice when watching movies, but am aware of the difference with some nice 1080i hi-def sports, and other top quality digital content. Mitsubishi does extremely well, when it comes to sharpness. I doubt any of the ultra-high contrast 3LCD home theater projectors can beat and most can’t match the HC4000′s sharpness, and that includes Mitsubishi’s own HC7000, which is close.

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