Mitsubishi HC7900DW Home Theater Projector Review

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The HC7900DW fills my 124″ Studiotek 130 screen (1.3 gain, 2.35:1), even with lamp on ECO, without even trying, when lights are down for movie viewing, and in best mode (calibrated)  700 lumens will do that.  Or, if you want some lights on, try to have the ambient lights coming from the sides, look for a screen that’s high contrast and gray, for rejecting a lot of side ambient light. Most manufacturers have them.

If your room has ambient light but not from the sides, rather straight back, those HC gray projection screens aren’t going to help that much, so you might be better off with a nice “plus gain” screen – say 1.3 to 1.6, to brighten the image. That won’t help though, if your ambient light is coming from the same area of the projector. Some HC gray screens are better at rejecting light coming from above, than others.  I find the Stewart Firehawk to be very good, and the newer Black Diamond screens perhaps even better, although the older ones allowed too much color from side lighting to come through.

Assuming your room isn’t a home theater (afterall, the DW is white – the color of projectors for all “the other” rooms, I offer this advice relating to improving the room itself:

Should you be able to pull it off, darken your walls and ceiling, and if possible, also the floor of your room, to dramatically improve your experience. Keep in mind with a bright projector like this Epson, however, you can cut through quite a bit of ambient light when you want to watch sports, regardless of walls… 2000 lumens can go a long way.

If you can’t really redo the room, do what you can. But, if you can do nothing else, and can manage to darken the wall your screen is on, that alone will make a real difference. If you have the usual off white ceilings, you can, as I did, darken them several shades – They will likely still seem as bright to everyone, since the ceiling will likely still be the brightest surface. That worked in my old great room. I darkened the ceiling several shades, and the result – well less than half the reflected light getting back to the screen. – And no one noticed the ceiling change.

3D is another matter.  I’d say with a typical screen (gain 1.3), you really can’t push this projector much above 100″ diagonal and have any decent brightness for 3D viewing.  Remember, this projector has about 1100 usable lumens with good color.  True, you can punch out over 1300 lumens, but the image is so green shifted that the movie The Matrix almost seems normal.

In a more family room environment, the HC7900DW with those 1100 lumens can tackle more than minimal ambient light when paired with an HC gray surface.

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