Mitsubishi HC7800D Home Theater Projector Review

Adding 3D to the HC7900DW

True, the HC7900DW is 3D capable, but you will need a couple things before you watch your first 3D movie.  Besides the 3D movie itself, you’ll need a 3D emitter which plugs into the input panel.  And you will also need 3D glasses.  Those will be the usual active shutter glasses. This Mitsubishi HC7900 uses “universal” glasses, specifically glasses from xPand, such as the 103 and 105 series.

The 3D emitter is $99.  Mitsubishi does not sell 3D glasses, but there are a number of choices out there with varying prices.  When manufacturers sell glasses, these days $100 is a common price, but 3rd party can be found for under $40.  The better glasses out there should be lightweight, preferably be rechargeable (instead of needing new batteries every 30 – 40 movies).  For comparison purpuses, we’ll consider glasses to cost $99 each.  (There are 3rd party glasses for lower costs available for most 3D projectors).

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3D Gaming with the Mitsubishi HC7900DW: Lag Times!

DLP projectors are usually fast, when it comes to minimizing those pesky lag times, and this Mitsubishi HC7900DW makes an excellent gamer based on rather minimal lag times.   As you can see from the image on the right, there is a 34 milli-second delay, between the screen of my MacBook Pro (bottom) and the image projected from the Mitsubishi HC7900DW.   By comparison, this is a similar lag time to the Panasonic PT-AE8000, which in Game mode was in the 37 ms. range.  The HC7900DW is definitely faster than the Epsons – all versions of the HC3020, HC5020, and PC6020, which all seem to be at 50 ms, at their best – which is “just fast enoough” for most serious gamers. the Mitsubishi, is, therefore reasonably fast for hard core gaming, even if some others are even faster.

That’s what my gamer/bloggers tell me, in any case:  50:  OK, 35: very good, below 20:  Excellent.  That’s a rough summary, but the bottom line is that very few serious gamers will have an issue with this projector’s lag-times.

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HC7900 and the Rainbow Effect

I already mentioned that this Mitsubishi projector is a single chip DLP projector.  I better mention now, that it has a dual speed six segment wheel running at 4X or 6X, The 6X is just what I need for movie viewing, or at a slower speed, perhaps for sports where everything is fairly bright – and rainbows don’t appear.  I’m rainbow sensitive but this projector was at least as free of rainbows as any DLP I can ever remember when I was watching 24fps movies!  With most projectors I see rainbows at least occasionally on just about every dark scene.  As a result, this is a DLP projector that should not scare off the “Rainbow sensitive”, beause of seeing those pesky rainbow artifacts.

HC7900DW Lamp Life

The Mitsubishi HC7900′s lamp life is rated 5,000 hours in low power mode.  That’s about as good as it gets with home theater projectors. The HC7900DW, however is only rated a standard 2000 hours at full power. That’s what we have called average until recently, but now the average at full power is a bit higher. Bottom line on lamp life: If you can run the HC7900 mostly in low power (eco-mode), you will have a quieter projector and a much lower cost of operation. At full power, though, all of the competition claims to get at least the same 2000 hour lamp life, but most now offer more.  Several popular competing projectors have lamps they to be 4000 hours at full power (and the same 5000 hours in eco as the HC7900).  Remember, this is not one of the really bright projectors out there, so you may find it hard to stick to using eco-mode.

1.5:1 Zoom Lens

The manual 1.5:1 lens provides very good placement range, more than is typically found in less expensive DLP projectors, and at the shorter range of the LCoS and LCD projectors which mostly have 1.5:1 up to 2.1:1.

The HC7900 offers image correction capable of handling digitally a wide range of setups.  We recommend sticking to lens shift, but this will do in a pinch, for horizontal correction.  (There’s no horizontal lens shift on this projector.) With Mitsubishi’s focus on using this projector in a wide range of rooms, it is even capable of correcting for some pretty off center / off angle work.

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