Mitsubishi XL1550U and XL2550 3LCD Projector Review
Mitsubishi XL1550U Lens Throw and Lens Shift
As noted in the overview, the XL1550U, and for that matter, the XL2550U, lack adjustable lens shift.
When it comes to lens throw, for a “installation” projector, the standard lens has surprisingly very little zoom range – only 1.27:1. When you consider there are plenty of other choices out there with 1.5:1 or slightly larger, among the competition, this becomes an issue.
On the other hand, unlike a lot of 7-12 pound projectors that these Mitsubishi projectors compete with, the Mitsubishi projectors offer interchangeable lenses. That means there is a wide angle zoom, and two longer throw zoom lenses available. For a 100″ 4:3 screen, choosing from a full range of lenses means the front of the projector can be as close as 10 feet, and as far back as 30 feet, 8 inches, depending on the lens selected. The standard zoom lens, lets you position the projector as close as 11 feet 10 inches or as far back as 15 feet, 2 inches.
The XL1550U and XL2550U come standard with a zoom lens. This is a downside for those needing a longer or shorter thow lens, as you are paying for the standard lens you don’t need. While this may seem silly, the logic is fairly reasonable when you consider the high cost of lenses, and the fact that Mitsubishi no doubt expects most buyers to stick with the standard lens.
XL1550U SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility
As an XGA projector, using 3LCD glass with micro-lens array, and newer LCD panels, pixel structure is still visible from closer distances, but fine enough to be an issue when it comes to generating the annoying moire’ type patterns referred to as Screen Door Effect (SDE). Since this is a 3LCD projector, not a single chip DLP projector, there is no color wheel, and no Rainbow effect.
From reading the brochure of the XL2550U – as to how it differs from the XL1550U, the XL2550U sports newer 3LCD panels that Mitsubishi calls BrightEra panels. These read as being a newer generation, with larger aperture, and even less pixel visibility than the XL1550U.
XL1550U Projector Brightness
The XL1550U Projector claims 3100 lumens. I am pleased to report, that while our measurements came up short of that, it was a close thing. In fact, with lamp on full power, and Color Enhancer (mode) set to Presentation, the XL1550U measured 2985 lumens or within 4 percent of claim. That’s better than most business projectors do. We find that few projectors beat their claimed specs, and quite often projectors measure 10 to 25% below claim. Therefor 4% below is likely better than most.
The image above was taken in our testing room, projecting an 88″ diagonal image, with full room lighting on, and one window providing some outside light. The XL1550U was in Presentation mode at the time, lamp on full power.
I should note that like with most projectors I could likely tweak the settings a bit, and find most of those missing 100 odd lumens.
Any way you slice it, 2985 lumens is a hefty amount of lumens for small and medium sized rooms, and can easily do auditoriums with good lighting control.
The other modes were not that different from Presentation mode, in terms of brightness.
Standard mode: 2902 lumens
Theater mode: 2426 lumens
sRGB mode: 2454 lumens
The XL1550U, of course, offers a low power lamp mode, when you need less lumens, or want quieter operation or longer lamp life. We measured Low power in Presentation mode, where it recorded 2335 lumens. That’s a drop of almost 22% (rather typical).
The XL2550U claims 4000 lumens. We did not have an XL2550U for testing. It would not be unreasonable to expect a drop, to low power, of roughly 20 – 22%. In other words – we would expect the drop to be similar to that of the XL1550U.
Mitsubishi XL1550U lamp life
The big news, is that, in low power mode, the XL1550U projector claims 5000 hours from its lamp. Some heavy users therefore, who can get by find on about 2300 lumens may spring for the XL1550, even though it is expensive for that many lumens, but because they will save a lot if replacing the lamp frequently. Typical of those people will be those using the projector, let’s say 40 hours a week or more.
In Full power mode, the XL1550U is fairly typical in terms of lamp life rating – 2000 hours, probably where 95% of all projectors are rated.
I should note that the XL2550, which also claims 2000 hours in Full power mode, is only rated 4000 hours in its Low power mode.
The XL2550U, uses a higher wattage lamp, as one one to get out more lumens (261 watt vs 200 watt).
XL1550U Audible Noise Levels
The Mitsubishi XL1550U is actually a relatively quiet projector. Mitsubishi claims only 22db in low lamp mode – truly whisper quiet. In fact, that is quieter than all but perhaps 2 or 3 of the quietest home theater projectors. Even in full lamp mode, the projector remains reasonably quiet, in fact much quieter than many other projectors in low power mode. I would guess that in full power mode, the XL1550U is about 6db noisier, which is still quieter than most home theater projectors. (For perspective, many smaller portable business projectors are 33 – 39db at full power.) The XL2550U, however, is more concerned (it would seem) with lumens, than quiet. It is rated 29db in low lamp mode, so about the same as the XL1550U in full lamp power. I’ll guess that it too will increase as you switch the XL2550U to full power, by about the same 6db. Just what I hope is a good guess, on my part. If accurate, that still makes the XL2550U a quieter than average business projector.
XL1550U Image Noise
No real issues, here, on data or video. I never fed the XL1550U anything that needed me to engage the Noise Filte
Other Mitsubishi XL1550U Features
Audio, as mentioned elsewhere, the single 1.77″ speaker, powered by a 3 watt amp, provides basic sound. Don’t expect hi fidelity, and don’t expect it to fill a room with 50 people to a volume that can overshadow people talking. This is a basic speaker system, although it has more punch than is typically found in smaller portables that usually have one or two 1 watt speakers.
Networking – Both models have ethernet LAN inputs, and can be monitored on a corporate network, also the projectors can be controlled remotely. As with many of the newer networking projectors, a browser can be used for controlling/supervising. Mitsubishi calls their setup ProjectorView. The Mitsubishi’s support PJLink, a projector control protocol used by several major manufacturers.
To simplify the removal of a lamp that needs replacing, Mitsubishi provides what they call a Lamp Replacement Tray, with the projector.
Ok, time to spend a moment on the Mitsubishi warranty (one of the best warranties out there), so please visit the Warranty page next, and following that, we’ll summarize everything for you.
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