Mitsubishi HC7800D Home Theater Projector Review

HC7900DW Projector - 3D Performance

The Mitsubishi HC7900DW is fully 3D capable.  As mentioned above, optional are the 3D glasses and the Emitter (which plugs into the rear of the projector).  I watched 3D using a pair of provided xPand 3D glasses that had “for Mitsubishi” on them.   The big issue with most 3D capable projectors is not the actual quality of the 3D but the brightness.  True, you can go with really high bright screens or very small screens with most projectors to get good 3D brightness, however, the primary problem is that 3D pretty much gives up close to three quarters of your total brightness and that takes what would be a very bright 2D image and reduces it to a wish-it-was-brighter 3D image, with most of today’s 3D capable projectors.  Thus, those of us who like 3D, need to take 3D brightness into consideration.

Due the variation with 3D glasses and how they work, taking straight measurements of 3D brightness doesn’t give you an accurate picture of how bright the image will be.  The Mitsubishi HC7900DW in this case, measured in the high 800-lumen range in 3D mode, and seemed to be pretty bright considering that relatively low number of lumens.

Above: From Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D. This is an image taken of this scene in 2D. In 3D it doesn’t photograph well (of course), but this is part of one very cool 3D animation. Colors looked rich and this scene looked great in 3D, with, as expected, no visible crosstalk. 

This may be because of the DLP design.  With LCD and LCoS projectors, you can often improve picture quality by reducing cross talk but that sacrifices some brightness. As it seems to be with single chip DLP projectors, only one setting, no crosstalk.  Bottom line on 3D brightness: Definitely could be brighter, however, remember that this projector inherently isn’t built to be one of the brighter ones out there.  Even if we go by brightest mode claim of 1500 lumens, there are a few other competing projectors touting 2000-2400 lumens.

In a theater environment, 110″ is about as big as the Mitsubishi HC7900DW projector should tackle with a normal screen.  100″ sounds good in a family room with some reasonable lighting control.

With really high gain screens, of course you can go a lot larger, but the trade-offs can be rather noticeable.  They are not my taste, although they do have a following.

Let’s talk about picture quality!  In 3D, the Mitsubishi HC7900DW is one of the cleanest projectors we’ve seen.  It’s got the usual image noise that we expect in 2D and 3D off of DLP projectors, which means a touch more visible than most other technologies.  The thing is, in 3D there is essentially no cross talk.  It’s just clean looking. Very impressive watching 3D, however I never took the image size above about 100 inches diagonal when watching, and still wasn’t fully happy with the brightness at 100″. With other projectors such as the Epson or the Panasonic, both of which are dramatically brighter in 3D, it was not unusual for me to fill a 124 inch 2.35:1 screen, although at that size, they too were definitely not bright.

Bottom line on 3D performance for the Mitsubishi HC7900DW is simply this:  You will find the image quality to be rather excellent.  The trade off, of course, is that if you’re trying to fill a larger screen, the HC7900DW simply doesn’t have the muscle in 3D.  But then, we’re saying this is a projector better suited for smaller to medium sized room and screens.

Mitsubishi HC7900 Projector: 2D to 3D conversion

Like many other 3D capable projectors, this Mitsubishi is capable of taking a 2D signal and converting it to 3D.  If anything, Mitsubishi spends a lot of ink touting how superior their 2D to 3D processing is.

In the past, I haven’t been a really big fan of 2D to 3D conversion. I figure it’s a lot of fun with personal videos, but, in general too often you notice weird things when converting 2D content to 3D.  An example:  A street light in the background, where the pole seems to be on this side of the street, but the light across the street.  This HC7900DW seems particularly good converting 2D to 3D.  I say that, but know I rarely play with 2D to 3D for more than 10 or 15 minutes, if that.

HC7900DW Creative Frame Interpolation - CFI - smooth motion

The HC7900 offers CFI (Creative Frame Interpolation).  This allows the Mitsubishi HC7900 to provide smoother video than you would get otherwise.  Most people really like this for viewing sports and also a lot of digital content.  For movie purposes, however, CFI impacts the feel of a movie, so is often described as changing the Director’s intent, replacing film-like quality with a soap opera kind of look or “live digital video” effect.

To make things interesting, this Mitsubishi, when creating intermediate frames from 24 fps content (movies), creates 4 frames between each two.  That takes it to 120 hz, instead of the usual 96 hz.  Mitsubishi claims that their CFI maintains the “film like” feel while providing smooth motion.

As with most home theater projectors we review, I’m not a big fan of CFI for movies. This Mitsubishi’s CFI may be s a very good one, but not good enough to still seem film natural.  I wouldn’t use it for movies.  Your call!

That said, be aware that many folks including younger people like my college age daughter, don’t pay attention to such details, and will watch content with CFI on or off.  My daughter can tell you if CFI is on or off, in a heartbeat, but she normally just doesn’t care if it’s on or off when she’s watching. In other words – you (as the person “most into” home theater) are the most critical viewer in your familiy, so you too, may be less likely to engage CFI on any projector when watching film-based movies.

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