The Art of Home Theater Projectors

HC3800 projector – Availability

Greetings all,

As per my comment in a previous blog about the HC3800, I’m getting the word from Mitsubishi that dealers will be starting to get the “new improved” units as soon as early next week.  I don’t know for sure, which dealers, but I suspect the larger online dealers will be the first, simply because they likely buy direct and not through distributors, so new product gets to them faster in many cases.   I will, at least, ask the 4 or 5 dealers that advertise on our site (which pretty much are all well known online AV dealers), to let me know when they have received new projectors.

As I’ve stated, Mitsubishi US already has received projectors that have the fix.  I gather it won’t be long at all until everyone is happy!

Finally:

I have a question for any of you that have an HC3800 that’s shutting down.  Did it pretty much start doing it when you first got it, or did it take dozens or hundreds of hours before the projector started shutting down?  -art

News And Comments

  • gorkon

    Hi Art,

    Thanks so much for talking to Mitsubishi and forwarding the info to us! When I (and many other ordinary consumers) called Mitsubishi about this problem, they always pretended that they had never heard of it before.

    Can you please try to find out how to identify good units (with the shutdown problem fixed)? (serial number / firmware version) Thanks!

    To answer your question: The first spontaneous shutdown in my unit occurred about 5 min after starting it up for the very first time. It shut down completely, including the fan. Then, after about 20 sec, the fan started running for about a minute, and after that the unit went into standby. It is still shutting down at random times anywhere between a few minutes and 2 hours of movie watching.

    My unit has also had some optical problems right from the beginning (uneven focus and chromatic aberration).

    Tomorrow I’m going to return it for a refund, but I will give it another try and have already placed a new order.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Gorkon,

      Well, in deference to manufacturers in general, it takes a bit to recognize a real problem. If I understand correctly, the first HC3800′s didn’t ship out until early November, and even then most dealers didn’t get many to start. That means it’s probably no more than 3 weeks from the very first call in.

      The other point is, you call, you first hit customer support – ground floor. The problem is they don’t know. In Mitsubishi’s case, you’ve got a support team handling some 40+ current model projectors, and hundreds of older models. It’s going to take a little time to “notice”, report, product management needs to investigate, find out what the problem is. Once they have that nailed, then support should get brought up to speed, and a fix created, but until there’s a fix, for a problem, they are still “skating” on thin ice. That’s just the way it is.

      I’d like to go a touch further to say that in general, I’m rather proud of our projector industry. While not every company has the same level of support, I’d have to say that our industry is particularly good at taking care of problems and taking good care of customers. Of late, besides the HC3800, there’s a BenQ W6000 iris issue – again, new product, again, very fast to finding a fix, and again, just getting it out, into the field. Epson did a first rate job last year, with their CFI issue, BenQ – about 4 years ago had a serious lamp problem, and ultimately upgraded every projector including covering all costs and a new lamp. (it was a serious problem – most projectors blew their lamps in 300 – 500 hours).

      And so on. Compared to the computer industry (Apple, probably excepted), cars, and most other industries our “guys” do great! We complain when there are initial problems, and sure, they are best avoided, but hey, you guys demand the latest and greatest and have “forced” these manufacturers mostly to go to annual cycles to keep you happy with the latest. For that reason, it’s a constant crunch. it’s amazing sometimes how fast a projector has to come to market. I’ve had engineering samples that could barely turn on, and yet full production projectors start arriving in hundreds 4-6 weeks later. I’m blanking now, but either the HC3800, or the BenQ W6000 samples I got didn’t even have a working component video, but since I don’t test using it, not a problem. So, while when they screw up, it’s a pain, for those affected, all considered, I do think they’re doing a good job. (OK, I’ve brown nosed them enough). -art

      And thanks for the info. anyone else? That is, let me ask this. Let me know if you 1. have the shutdown problem, AND only if it took more than 10 hours to happen the first time. So far it seems the problem is almost immediate. -art

  • http://www.saumil.com Saumil

    Visiting this thread will help one understand how wide spread the problem is: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=17517630#post17517630

  • keoki

    which distributors will be best to buy it?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Keoki – Sorry, I make a living from advertising, and most of it is from the 6-7 dealers on my site. I have no suicidal tendencies. Let me say this. The guys you see advertising the HC3800 on my site (either 3 or 4) are all pretty big online AV resellers. I’ve known the people at all of them a whole lot of years, going back to when I owned one of the larger online projector dealers. “My” Mitsubishi HC3800 dealers are all reputable. They be the guys in white hats. Pick one! -art

  • keoki

    also, some site already allow customers to purchase the HC3800. should i not purchase it until next week as u stated “early next week”? i dont want to receive a defective unit.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      if you are in a hurry, go for it, but we’re only talking a few days. If you buy immediately, and get an old one, then there’s a chance you’ll hit the problem. Still don’t have a good handle on how many people are having it though. Best I can tell, it’s way to many – of course, but still only a small percentage of all the units. -art

  • http://none Uli Goetze

    The first unit i receive, shutdown randomly after 10-50min completly incl. the cooling fans!
    The replacement unit from my dealer switched to Standby (fans still running) twice in about 30h but only with the Panasonic BD30 BluRay.
    Never with my Yamaha DVD-Player.
    Since i set the HDMI-Cable length form “0-10m” to
    “2m” in the Service-Menu about 25h ago, it works realy fine.
    BluRay –> 1,5m to Switch –> 10m to Repeater –>
    1,5m to Beamer

  • KilgoreT

    Hi Art,

    Mine shut down within 1.5 hours during its first use. In my case, and many other reported cases, 24FPS (48Hz) mode shuts down much quicker than 60Hz mode. Sometimes it shuts down as soon as 10 minutes in 24FPS mode, and can run as long as 3-5 hours (maybe more) at 60Hz.

    Thanks again for your help… my replacement is, theoretically, on the way!

  • asay

    Quick question Art,

    what are the voltages for this projector? is it only 110v or the universal 110-240v? i wonder because i’m planning to buy it from the US, but where i live, we use the 220v standard.

    appreciate the help, thanks in advance.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi asay, 100 – 240 VAC, 50/60

  • Grant

    So what exactly was causing the shutdown problem?

  • gear

    Art, did Mitsubishi ever give you any insight as to what caused the shutdowns?

    Thanks

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi gear (sorry, had to do that!)

      No, I have no idea. Probably my fault, I never asked. I came in late to this, and was more concerned for all – you guys, and the manufacturer, that the problem was addressed, and a solution well communicated. -art

  • KilgoreT

    Hi Art,

    Just wanted to let you know that I received my new unit from Mitsubishi… It came with software version 3.0 vs. 1.0 on my original unit. The serial number is around 5000 (old one was near 1400). It seems to be working flawlessly. I’ve also noticed that the color wheel syncs a little quicker/smoother when changing scan rates/resolutions.

    Thanks again for your help in resolving this!

    -Jens

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      That’s interesting about the syncing. I wonder where that fits into the original issue, especially in light of some people stating that the problem with the originals is more prevalent if watching 24fps. -art

  • http://none Uli Goetze

    Hi.
    I was happy to early!
    My replacement unit has the second shutdown to standby at wednesday after 36hours. I send a e-mail for support to Mitsubishi-Germany the next day.
    I have no answer yet, but after the beamer work fine yesterday for over 6 hours, i had 3! shutdowns
    this evening. I tried it again without the repeater
    and standard cable-lenght in service menu.
    No chance! After 30min another shutdown.
    I hope the Mitsubishi-Service in Germany is as good als in the US!

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hmm, I’m just catching up again. Do you have a firmware version number for your unit? -art

  • Brian

    I’m a CI and have installed 4 of the hc3800 and 3 that I know of are exhibiting the shutdown problem.
    Some did it when doing 24hz blu ray, others did it while watching sat. The 3 that have the problem all did it while on for less than 30 minutes. I’m going back to check the 4th one as I don’t think the owner has really used it since I put it in. It didn’t shut down when I had it on after installation but who knows. What a pain!

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      useful info! thanks -art

  • Rob

    I received my projector last week, it’s still in the box. Given the issues at hand and after reading that the “corrected” model appears to be shipping with a firmware version of 3 instead of 1, should I not even bother testing my unit and just send it back?

    If my unit does work ok for a week or a month etc… will Mitsubishi honor the repair and pay shipping both ways if it shuts down in a year?

    What would you do if you had just ordered one and find out this week that “fixed” models will be available next week?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      From speaking to Mitsubishi, and reading comments from others, it seems to me, that those having the problem, are having it immediately. I’ve received comments from people with dozens or even 100 hours+ with no problem, and others experiencing it. If I had to guess as to what percentage of the original’s has a problem, my best, but (relying on thin evidence,), is that probably no more than 20% have the problem. It could, however, be less than half of that, but probably not double it. As I said – just a best guess.

      Without actually being aware of what caused the problem, I’m loathe to make a recommendation. That said, if I am right, and it’s an immediate problem, then if you open it, and it’s fine, no harm, no foul. If it were me, I and the projector was already at my house, I’d open it. If I hadn’t yet ordered it, I would, however, want to get one with the new firmware. -a