Mitsubishi HD4000 Widescreen Projector Review

Sharpness

Click enlarge. So close. The HD4000 is not the sharpest projector on the block.You can see this in the spreadsheet text image. The softness is more than managable for presentations, but if you are looking for that “razor sharp” look and feel, (that LCD projectors tend to be known for), you won’t match that here. I would say sharpness is barely average for DLP projectors. Video also appears a touch soft even with a HD 720p source, significantly so compared to my BenQ 8720, but probably only slightly so compared to Optoma’s HD7100 home theater projector. In terms of business projectors, it was not quite as sharp as the Dell 2400MP, but comparable to Optoma’s TX700.

This is an important section, due, in particular to the HD4000 projector being a widescreen XGA model. If you are using a traditional XGA laptop, the HD4000 will be happy to present normal XGA on the screen, with the far left and right sides of its widescreen capability being unused.

Click Image to Enlarge

Compression Technology

If you can feed it a source that is widescreen, at 1280×768, again, excellent clean text.

Throw some SXGA+ source material at it (1400×1050) as is popular on some of the larger laptops, and the HD4000 compresses down to XGA with minimal degration – almost certainly unnoticeable on typical Powerpoint sized type. Small type such as typical spreadsheet 10 point type is highly readable with the typical small amount of softness and unevenness normally associated with better compression technologies.

HOWEVER:

Ahhh, got your attention! One of the advantages of a widescreen laptop, is that many people are switching to widescreen laptops – I myself have access here to two of them for testing, a Dell Inspiron, and an Acer. The thing about widescreen laptops, however, is that most do not follow the widescreen (HDTV) standard of a 16:9 aspect ratio. Instead, they are often 16:10 ratio, (as both of mine are) as a result, they are 1280×800.

Now the HD4000 uses the new 1280×768 DLP chip, the same one used in many new home theater projectors. TI (the inventor of DLP) apparently likes selling this chip because it can serve two markets – those that want XGA (without compression) which the traditional widescreen DLP chips (1280×720) can’t do. And they want to use it for home theater. This gives them higher production numbers, and lowers cost.

But, I digress. So the bottom line is, if I want my Dell (or Acer) to run with both the laptop display doing widescreen, and the projector being fed at the same time, I’m going to end up with 1280×800 to the projector as one of my options. I could not get both “screens” going, when set to 1280×768. As a result, a very small amount of compression is used to rescale 1280×800 down to 1280×768.

The image you see above, shows the compression losses on the HD4000 at the laptops’ native 1280×800. As you can see on the right the text comes out just a little bit soft, but fairly even. You really have to look down to the 8 point white text on black type to see significant degradation, and it’s still very readable.

The HD4000 also did a good job on our color compression test, with light yellow text on a medium blue background. Performance here was very good, but again, only the slightest amount of compression is used.

Basic Video Performance

For business purposes, video performance is impressive enough. That’s all I need to say at this point, as next, we look at the HD4000 as a possible bright home theater projector, and I will further explore video performance.

I should comment that video performance is sufficiently good that the HD4000 should do great in sports bars, etc. for showing HDTV, as well as general business use.

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