Mitsubishi HC8000D Home Theater Projector Review

HC8000 DW Projector - Brightness for 2D viewing

The HC8000 was measured at 465 lumens calibrated (486 before calibration), with the zoom at mid-point.  That’s pretty close to the 500 lumens we call average. That said, it proves to be one of the least bright (calibrated) in the price range.

That 465 lumens is in full power mode (a little noisy, but not exceptionally so), is with Brilliant Color Off. The HC8000D is definitely visibly better with BC turned off if you are looking for the best possible picture. But if you turn it on, the HC8000 still produces really good color.

The brightest alternative is to change the color temp of the Mitsubishi to High Brightness – but, to me, that’s pretty much unwatchable, the green is so dominant, and you can’t adjust that setting. (See what it looks like compared to “best” mode by clicking here and scroll down to the “green” image).  Too bad, really. If they provided enough control, maybe the ugly 1174 measured lumens, might have yielded a more watchable 1000 or 1050 lumens (with the zoom at wide angle/closest).

Even bumping up contrast to +11, mid on the zoom, which does affect color accuracy detrimentally, still produes less than the average 1000 lumens, specifically 888 lumens measured that way.  In speaking average, we really should raise that to about 1200+ lumens for 3D capable projectors at their brightest.  Consider there are even a few projectors today, hitting 2000 lumens with reasonably good color. Those “shine” on 3D.

HC8000 Projector - 3D Brightness

With a basic white screen with typical modest gain: 1.3 to 1.4, I think the HC8000D is best doing 3D on screens 92″ diagonal or less. At 100″ diagonal I was personally never satisfied with brightness in 3D, and that’s in a very dark theater.  The call though, is yours. As I said, I tend to demand a bit more brightness than a decent number of my readers.

The Very Bottom Line on the HC8000D projector

Great color! Nice, sharp image without “gimmicks”. I really did enjoy watching the HC8000D as long as I didn’t go too large an image.  In 2D, no problem watching a 2.35:1 movie filling my full 124″ diagonal 1.3 gain screen in my theater.  That I found most satisfying.

Black level performance of the HC8000 D is definitely “ultra-high contrast”.  I find it to be better than all but a few projectors in the price range, and expect it has no trouble besting some fine projectors including the Panasonic PT-AE8000U and the BenQ W7000.

The overall brightness we’ve discussed isn’t a problem, it simply sets limits on what type of room setup the HC8000D should go in, and the number of folks who will find it a really good match for their viewing preferences and environment.

Overall, a most impressive projector. It’s not the right one for my room, and my tastes (which include lots of sports with intentional ambient light present), but it might be just what you are looking for, if you have a smaller screen.

I believe that there are enough other really good competing projectors out there – most of which are brighter, that you consumers have lots of choice. DLP fans in particular, though, should give this one a close look.

That said, the HC8000D does have a lot going for it, and it will be a great choice for a good number of people, especially those demanding great color and sharpness, and especially its handling of skin tones once calibrated.

If you are a DLP fan, and the brightness and feature set of the Mitsubishi meets your needs, then consider the HC8000D projector to be one of the best choices available to you.

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