Mitsubishi HC7900DW Home Theater Projector Review

HC7900DW vs. Sharp XV-Z30000

A pretty good competition.  The Sharp is slightly more expensive, and not as bright calibrated, but should be at least as good in terms of black level performance.  Both are DLP projectors.

The Sharp and Mitsubishi are about equally bright around 1100 lumens in “brightest” mode.

Frills go to the Sharp, notably better placement flexibility with a 2.0 motorized zoom and lens shift.  Sharp takes advantage of that and provides a lens memory feature so you can choose to go with a wide screen such as a 2.35:1 aspect ratio screens for watching “Cinemascope” movies without letter boxes.

Both have 3 year warranties.

Mitsubishi HC7900DW vs. Viewsonic Pro 9000

No contest here.  The Viewsonic has the laser light engine, so no lamp to replace, which means a nice low long term cost of operation, if you plan to keep your projector for many years.

Other than that, and the Viewsonic being a bit quieter, I have to recommend the HC7900DW. It’s this simple:  picture quality!

Skin tones – which are gorgeous on the HC7900DW, are only acceptable at best on the Viewsonic.  The Viewsonic just can’t be calibrated to have a great looking picture…

As a side note, the Viewsonic doesn’t offer 3D.

Mitsubishi HC7900DW vs. PT-AE8000

This comparison is, of course similar to the Mitsubishi vs. the Epsons, but the Mitsubishi is even stronger here:

Calibrated:  Both are excellent, but the HC7900DW still has the edge in skin tones.  When it comes to calibrated brightness, the Mitsubishi has more than a 10% advantage.

Black levels:  Very close.  the Mitsubishi might have the slightest advantage, but call them a tie.  Variation from scene to scene may make a difference as to which does better.

Brightest:  No contest here, the Panny has the advantage in the family room, or in the theater with ambient light present. The Panasonic has about 75% more brightness, and that’s huge

3D:  The Mitsubishi is cleaner, but the Panasonic has a big brightness advantage.  All else being equal, as with the Epsons, I’d rather have the 3LCD projector over the Mitsubishi, thanks to the significant extra horsepower, which moves 3D out of the dim range.

Pricing favors the Mitsubishi, using our $2799 pricing with emitter and glasses, vs. $2999 on the Panasonic with 2 pair, remember, that if you are reading this after 1/1/2013, the free glasses offer for the Panasonic is scheduled to end.  If it does, then you have about a $2800 to $3200 difference.

The Mits kills Panasonic on warranty – 3 years on the Mitsubishi, vs. 2 years, with a 2000 hour limit on the Panasonic. Heavy users of the Panasonic may see their warranty run out before the end of year 1, despite the “2 year warranty”, since it’s a “whichever comes first”.

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