Mitsubishi HC4000 Projector Review

With improved blacks, the HC4000, (compared to the older projectors) could conceivably have you choose a different screen than you would with the 3800, but, the difference isn’t great enough that it’s likely.

Mitsubishi HC4000 Projector Screen Recommendations

Time to consider key factors that will help you determine the best screen solution for your new Mitsubishi HC4000 (click for specs).

The first of course is that the Mitsubishi HC4000 (check out Mitsubishi here) is a very bright projector in its best mode. This allows the flexibility to go with a high contrast gray surfaced screen, without worrying very much at all, about giving up a little brightness.

The second factor has to be the black level performance of the projector. Switching to Darkchip3 performance slightly improves the blacks. That still doesn’t put the projector near the ultra-high contrast projectors (most with dynamic irises) in terms of blacks, but the improvement, could convince a few people leaning towards a high contrast gray surface, to consider a brighter white surface.

Third: A reason that an HC gray may still make sense to many, is – your room. A high contrast gray screen will help reject side ambient light. Assuming you can deal with the narrower ideal seating area of a high contrast gray screen, it should be the choice for movie watchers. It may help with side ambient light, and will lower black levels, (and brightness), but you should have plenty of lumens. One example of when you might consider going white surface for the HC4000 instead of gray with the HC3800 is if you are going very large screen, and have darker walls/ceilings and really good lighting control.

Lastly – its the content! What do you watch? Only movies, A mix of everything? Mostly sports? While the HC4000 is very bright, in “best”, it’s not much brighter in brightest mode. Still, with almost 1200 lumens it should still be a good combo with an HC gray, figuring that you won’t want to be watching sports and most general HDTV and TV in a fully darkened room. If your intentional lighting is on the sides, the screen will help deal with that.

Let’s face it, most people will watch movies at night. Sports fans don’t normally have that luxury, so if your windows aren’t light tight, they become a factor for you selection if you are doing daytime viewing.

I’m not trying to convince you of a high contrast gray surface but, I favor helping the black levels out a bit. More importantly, since this is a fairly entry level priced projector, and a bright one, the Mitsubishi HC4000 should find itself used a lot of family rooms, bonus rooms and the like, where things aren’t as well controlled as in a dedicated theater.

I’ve have watched many movies with the HC4000 projector on my high contrast gray Firehawk G3, filling all 128″ diagonal of the screen. The image is nice and bright. For my sports viewing, I would have liked more lumens for the ambient light levels I prefer, but I solved that by just reducing the image size to about 110″ diagonal and that gave me a small extra boost in brightness that made it work for me. Yes, I could have filled the 128 inches, but preferred the extra brightness. That said, with about 1150 lumens max, the HC4000 is still a little brighter (in brightest mode) than most home theater projectors under $10,000.

OK, two more comments, because they need to be said.

First: In my testing room, when I fill the 106″ Carada Brilliant White with the HC4000, it is a whole step up in brightness, compared to my 128 gray in the other room. The combination of the smaller screen and 1.4 claimed gain is impressively bright compared to viewing in the other room. It’s a much bigger difference, than toggling lamp power, or turning on Brilliant Color. So, if you’ve got the lighting control, then your decision is whether to trade more image punch for blacker blacks.

If any of you are using a masking screen that covers the letterbox area when you are viewing movies, you won’t see the otherwise very dark grays that distract, in the letter box area. That too is a real plus for a projector with good, but not superb, black level performance.

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