Mitsubishi HC6800 Projector Review

The Mitsubishi HC6800 home projector is the middle of three 1080p home theater projectors from the fine people at Mitsubishi. It is stradded by the rather excellent and award winning HC3800 – a low cost DLP projector selling for under $1500, and the more expensive, ultra-high contrast HC7000.

Like the more expensive model, the HC6800 projector is marketed only through local dealers. As is typical that means it will sell for more than a similar product that is available online. For those of us who are not DIY – do it yourself – types, this isn’t a big deal. If you are hiring a home theater dealer to handle your installation, then you aren’t likely to pay much premium. Dealers do have to make a living. If you want a local dealer, for example, to install a projector you buy elsewhere, somehow, some way, they will end up with more income on the installation, as they will no doubt be trying to make up for the lost profits on the projector.

The HC6800 sells for under $2500, but that’s still a good bit more expensive than the most obvious competition, such as the Epson Home Cinema 8100 but about the same price as the Pro Cinema 9100. Epson, offers the 8100 online, and the 9100 is an almost identical product but sells for a lot more through local installing dealers only. In other words, the Mitsubishi HC6800′s direct dealer equivalent model is the 9100, and based on that one, the HC6800 price is reasonable for a local install only type projector of its calibre.

But, it’s time to discuss the HC6800 itself.

The HC6800 sells for under $2500, but that’s still a good bit more expensive than the most obvious competition, such as the Epson Home Cinema 8100 but about the same price as the Pro Cinema 9100. Epson, offers the 8100 online, and the 9100 is an almost identical product but sells for a lot more through local installing dealers only. In other words, the Mitsubishi HC6800′s direct dealer equivalent model is the 9100, and based on that one, the HC6800 price is reasonable for a local install only type projector of its calibre.

But, it’s time to discuss the HC6800 itself. The first thing I do want to point out, is that it is far brighter than the more expensive HC7000. In fact, Mike measured it, post calibration at 589 lumens in “best” mode. I do believe that makes it the brightest “best” mode, LCD projector we’ve seen in a year, though a number of LCoS projectors are in the range. Only the LG CF181D, so far, of the LCoS projectors is both near the Mitsubishi’s price, and is brighter. A couple of DLP’s also can best the HC6800 in best mode.

The point is the HC6800 home projector has a goodly amount of lumens and that will allow it to do well, with say, a 110″ diagonal screen in a typical darkened environment, or maybe even a 120″ diagonal. It can be pushed a bit larger than the Epsons and some others, but really only by an extra 6-12 inches diagonal.

The HC6800 does have a dynamic iris, and an impressive contrast ratio number, but, it really does not have the black level performance to take on projectors like the Panasonic PT-AE4000, the Epson “UB” projectors, Sanyo Z3000, and I presume, the newly announced PLV-Z4000. Nor can it match the better DLP’s in blacks, such as the BenQ W6000, another direct competitor. But, we’ll deal more with those issues later in the report. On the other hand, it’s black performance is in line with the aforementioned Epson 8100/9100, the LG CF181D and other competitors.

The HC6800 is in some ways, elegant. It looks good, it’s power everything – zoom, focus, and lens shift. Styling is, well, more styled than most, and nicely done in it’s black case. In that regard it bests projectors like the Epson’s which are nothing to look at, and manual everything. Ergonomically, it’s better than most.

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