Mitsubishi HC5000BL Projector Review

Since the HC5000BL (link to specs) is the first “affordable” 1080p projector I have reviewed, it is not easy to truly figure out it’s price/performance, or if it is the best choice of the 5-6 new 1080p projectors that will sell for under $7000 in the next few months.

As a result, as I review additional 1080p home theater projectors you can expect me to comment on how they compare with the HC5000BL.

Since this is the first, I’ll do what I can to give you a good perspective. In part, I can do this by relating how the HC5000BL compares in areas other than resolution, to the 720p projectors. Ultimately, the question is does a projector work best for your requirements.

The number one strength of the HC5000BL is likely to be its price. Based on its MSRP of only $4495, it is the lowest priced 1080p, announced. The Sony VW50 comes close at $4995, and the rest are mostly $5995 to $7999. Such a low price pretty much guarantees that the HC5000BL, at least initially will be your lowest cost entry to the world of 1080p.

Click to Enlarge.So close

Panasonic, I should note has set the list price of their PT-AE1000U at $5995, but no MAP has been set yet, and it’s possible that it will be $4995. I viewed the PT-AE1000U recently at the Panasonic’s first press showing in Hollywood, under “ideal” conditions and side by side with their older PT-AE900U. It too, looked very, very good, and sharper than their older model, although that older projector was considered just average in sharpness, so there is a question, whether the PT-AE1000U with its smooth screen setup will be a sharp as the HC-5000BL. Since 1080p LCD projectors have much smaller pixel structures than 720p, it becomes a question of whether the Panasonic, needs Smooth Screen, and whether it’s a good tradeoff.

Click Image to Enlarge

The Mitsubishi HC5000BL, we will assume, is the least expensive 1080p projector your money can buy. In addition, it is priced not far above most of the 720p Darkchip3 DLP projectors, making it a projector to seriously consider if you are also looking at other projectors available online, like the Optoma HD7100/HD7300, or the BenQ PE8720.

The 720p res Samsung SP-H710AE is the best projector I have seen to date, in terms of out of the box accuracy, and shadow detail, but the HC5000BL, is superior in terms of black levels and very close to the Samsung in shadow detail. Yet, the HC5000BL provides 1080p resolution, a sharper image and more placement versatility, for only about $1000 more.

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