Mitsubishi HC9000D Projector Review

HC9000D vs. Sony VPL-VW90ES

Two very similar projectors with seemingly a huge difference in price. Each has strengths. I think the Mitsubishi is a little cleaner on 3D, and it is a bit brighter. Further, I really like the HC9000D’s Creative Frame Interpolation – CFI – for smooth motion. Sony’s is very good, the Mitsubishi’s is better.

The Sony though, counters with essentially better black levels by virtue of the Mitsubishi’s seemingly very slow iris. When it comes to color, both do great. Reviewing my comments and notes, though, I’ll give the slight edge to Sony’s VPL-VW90ES.

I think it’s a tough call to spend the extra few thousand for the Sony. If you’ve got the budget no sweat, by all means, buy the Sony. If money is tight though, the HC9000D is the better value of the two.

Mitsubishi HC9000D vs. Sharp XV-Z17000

The Sharp Z17000 is a touch rough around the edges, and is the new 3D and 2D version of the XV-Z15000 which is 2D only.

Until some new models hit the street, if you are looking for a 1080p with 3D abilities, the Sharp is the lowest cost one shipping on August 1st 2011. Its street pricing, it seems, is a bit above $3500.

The Sharp has a big price advantage. Brightness is roughly comparable, but the Sharp really is the brighter of the two. When it comes to 3D, though, the Sharp looses their brightness advantage. Interesting.

The Mitsubishi HC9000D is a more refined projector – power everything, great lens, motorized, with lots of placement flexibility, including lots of lens shift. The Sharp is the opposite, the minimum in placement flexibility. Despite being single chip DLP, the Sharp really isn’t sharper either. The lens on the Sharp XV-Z17000 comes up a bit soft in the corners, when center focused.

The Sharp is the low cost way in. The HC9000D is the one you want, if you are looking for a nice multi-year investment and don’t care that much about 3D but want the ability. The Mitsubishi is easily the better 2D projector.

The Sharp XV-Z17000, though might make sense for those on a budget, and for those hot on 3D, and realizing (for projectors) we’re going to need another generation, maybe two, to get some things resolved, before 3D is truly first class on all levels. I can see buying the Sharp, to save money, with the idea of an upgrade in 2013, with great brightness for 3D, plus other enhancements.

Mitsubishi HC9000D vs. JVC DLA-RS60 and DLA-RS50

Now we’re talking large projector vs. large projectors. Three LCoS projectors here. Both the JVC DLA-RS50 (not reviewed) and their RS60 (partially reviewed) should offer step up better black performance that’s obvious in a side by side comparison. And no iris related issues for the JVC. Now, I’m a bit biased being an owner of an RS20, which is the predecessor of these two JVCs, but one generation removed. I love the JVC’s black levels that the RS60 demonstrated. They can’t be beat.

On the other hand, the Mitsubishi should have no trouble providing better shadow detail.

With the JVC’s apparently topping out at about 600 lumens (based on the RS60 we had here) without turning off the color profiles and getting ugly), we found the RS60 way underpowered for 3D. The HC9000D would seem to be 60-70% brighter, and that’s a lot. The RS60 at $11,999 is almost exactly twice the price of the HC9000D, but it does look sharper, most likely thanks to its hand picked optics and light engines. The RS50 is the typical version without the hand picking. It should be every bit as sharp as the HC9000D.

One can argue the value of these two JVCs a couple different ways, but against the HC9000D, both are more – about $2000 and about $6000. For that you get the better, natural black level performance, but the HC9000D will support you having a larger screen, or fighting more ambient light. And it definitely has a big advantage in 3D.

All have excellent placement flexibility, (and shiny black piano finishes, and all can be rear shelf mounted as well.

Mitsubishi HC9000D vs. Runco LS-5

Elegance against Elegance. Full featured LCoS, vs. limited features in a single chip DLP. The Runco and the Mitsubishi are both sold though local authorized dealers. The Runco costs $1000 more.

If the HC9000D does really good skin tones (it does), the Runco does even better. Not sure why, but virtually every Runco to come in calibrates beautifully.

Both have excellent shadow detail. Both look comparable on sports and HDTV in general, but the Runco LS-5 lacks CFI – creative frame interpolation – for smoother motion. That’s a big feature difference. But brightness is pretty comparable.

The Runco offers two lenses, but one is standard. It’s a longer throw, so suitable for rear shelf mounting. If you need the wide angle zoom, though, that’s going to cost you extra.

Speaking of different feature sets, the Runco is 2D only. For some, that’s a big difference.

There’s always something about DLP projectors in terms of picture quality, and the Runco offers even better sharpness (by virtue of single chip design) than the excellent Mitsubishi HC9000.

While if all else was equal, I’d take the Runco, I’m not sure I’m willing to give up a good CFI, and some other things over the lower cost Mitsubishi, but, if the Runco had CFI, then I might very well prefer it.

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