The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Mitsubishi HC3800 Home Theater Projector – Update

Greetings all,

This is a quick blog, with only two things to discuss.

I received a full production HC3800 last week, and have been enjoying it.   I sent it out to Mike, who calibrated it.  As expected the color tables (firmware) have been updated since our review based on the engineering sample.  As a result, the original grayscale balance settings reported are not suitable for the units everyone is buying now.  The review has been updated, and now has the new R, G, and B color contrast and brightness settings on the HC3800 projector calibration page.

The color accuracy is now even better than before, with the color temp numbers even tighter, and the spike in color temp we saw in the sample (around 90 IRE) is no longer significant.  Also the gamma with the new HC3800 is also more consistent, and closer to the ideal 2.2 than the sample.

Bottom line, the HC3800 just got better!  Of course we’ve reviewed some interesting competitors since the original review – including the Epson Home Cinema 8100 and Panasonic PT-AE4000, but how those stack up will be dealt with in the newer reviews, in their competitors sections.

Item number two, is a report that early HC3800′s sometimes shut down for no apparent reason, when on for relatively short periods of time, often minutes, and sometimes hours.

Mitsubishi is aware of this situation, and I’ve been catching up on the forums to read what early owners are experiencing.  I was just made aware of the issue over the Thanksgiving  holiday weekend, so have no answers for anyone yet.  I did however send emails to my primary product management contacts, in the last 48 hours and have already heard back from the person I had hoped to hear from.

He advises that he will try to get back to me late tomorrow (Monday, 11/30), with more information.  As a result, I’ll do a separate blog on the premature shut-off problem tomorrow, or, quite possibly, the following day, in case he’s overly optimistic about having a full answer tomorrow.  With luck, we’ll know if all the new inbound HC3800 projectors have eliminated the problem, whether dealers have stock of the “new” versions, and how they will handle upgrading anyone experiencing this problem with their existing HC3800.

As many of you know, I just love to “meddle” when such problems to crop up.  I like making sure the manufacturers are fully aware of the extent of such problems, and that they commit quickly to a cure.  We shall see, but it definitely looks like Mitsubishi will deal swiftly with this one.  Hang in there, and we’ll know soon enough.

Finally, interestingly enough, neither my original sample, or the one I received last week exhibit the shut-off problem.  I logged dozens of hours on the first one, and so far, and there’s now 28 hours on the full production HC3800 projector.  -art

News And Comments

  • Sam Calvin

    Art, thanks for looking into this for us. If possible, I’d also like to find out more about another issue, namely, the difficulty of the HC3800 to maintain solid sync with the HDMI signal when a long cable is connected. Many of us have setups that require a long HDMI cable, so resolution of this issue is also critical. Thanks again!

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

      Hi Sam, that’s a new one on me.

      BTW, I use it with a 12 meter Gefen HDMI cable, no problems. Is yours losing sync while viewing, then locking right back on, or an even more serious problem? -art

  • KilgoreT

    Thanks VERY MUCH for doing this Art! We have been in the dark since receiving our projectors, and would like to know the answer before returning or exchanging our existing units.

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

      Hi, One more thing in addition to what I just posted to Chris.

      It obviously makes sense to deal with Mitsubishi, rather than the dealer, in this case. The dealers don’t have replacement units yet, etc., and Mits should be very efficient in handling this. -art

  • http://www.avsforum.com Chris

    Hope you have some good info back from Mitsubishi. A lot of people on the forums are counting on it! Hard to tell how many are having this problem at this point, but it seems very high.

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

      Greetings Chris,
      (update – 12/1)
      Spoke with Mitsubishi twice yesterday, once today. Here’s the scoop. Yes, Mitsubishi here in the US is well aware. Mitsubishi has already determined the problem, and they have the fix for it. Mitsubishi here in the US already has, I believe, has plenty of “good” machines available for any who are having problems.
      If you have an HC3800 that’s doing it, contact them. I just got this word late in the day yesterday, so, who knows it might take a day for them to put all the process in place, but that’s the word. All new projectors coming in to the country are, apparently, good.

      The first batch of “good ones” is already in the US, and is being shipped to dealers, I learned today. Which dealers get them first, I’m not sure, but figure the larger online dealers, because they move most of the tonnage. That should mean “new units in some dealers’ hands early next week, who knows maybe by this weekend?

      Anyway, sounds like Mitsubishi has a good a handle on it, and are reacting quickly. Hey, it’s definitely a hassle if you have one of the bad ones, but at least the cure is now immediate! Give Mitsubishi a shout if you are having this problem.

      I’ll post more as I hear of units arriving at dealers -art

  • Sam Calvin

    Art, I have my HC3800 on order but it won’t be filled until mid-December. I currently have an Optoma HD70 connected to my HDMI passthrough A/V receiver with a 25 ft HDMI cable and I am able to switch between four HDMI sources without a hitch. I am basing my concerns on the following posts on the AVS “Unofficial HC3800″ blog. It’s hard to be sure, but I get the impression that the weak sync issue may be separate from the shutdown issue.

    #859-#864
    #892
    #893
    #932
    #979
    #983

    Again, many thanks for your help!

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

      Hi Sam,

      Sorry, nothing really to tell you. I can say that both the engineering sample, and the current production HC3800 that I have worked with, don’t seem to be having any problem.

      I’ve run the HC3800 through my Octava 4×2 HDMI switcher, and through a 12 meter Gefen HDMI cable, with 1080 signals from DirecTV and my Sony PS3, and I haven’t experienced any issue at all, of failing to lock on, or losing the signal. The new HC3800 now has 32 hours on it, at least 24 in my main theater with the switching.

      And, the rest of the hours were in my testing room (theater#2) There the only signal sent was from PS3 (blu-ray), through a 2 meter gefen cable (from PS3) to a Gefen 2×2 HDMI switcher. From there a pair of 3 meter Gefen HDMI 1.3 cables feed whatever two projectors I’m working with, in this case, one being the HC3800. BTW with that setup several projectors do struggle a bit (my JVC for one), but no problem with the HC3800.

      Sorry, not much help. Digging…… -art

  • Hari

    Art, Thanks for the info….very helpful! I was ready to ‘click’ on purchasing a HC3800 but came across your blog…Now I am thinking twice on waiting for a few more days (weeks?) to get the product….
    In your previouspost you said “Which dealers get them first, I’m not sure, but figure the larger online dealers, because they move most of the tonnage.”…would you mind throwing a couple of names? would ‘Projector People’ be one of them? They have a good deal on this projector, but I don’t know if they are a heavy seller or not…

    Appreciated.

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

      Hi Hari,

      You won’t have to wait long. One of the dealers said they were expecting tomorrow or Monday. I’d love to say which, but, since I don’t know the story for the other dealers advertising on our site, and can’t report for them, then one of them would end up all bent out of shape. If I said – “Dealer B has them”, and it turns out Dealer C also has them, C would not be happy!

      So let me leave you with this. There are no more than 4 dealers advertising the HC3800. And it’s one of them. Figure one or more of those four will have them in the next 2-4 business days. You’ll find them. -art

  • Sam Calvin

    Art, I have discouraging news to report. My HC3800 arrived on Wednesday, has firmware 3.0, and just shut down about thirty minutes ago. The shutdown took place while I was using my PS3 to do frame forward and reverse. I’ve had no problem watching movies at 60hz or 48hz, but the unit shut down no more than two minutes after I began the frame-by-frame activity. I wonder if you would be willing to look into this matter. As things stand, I’ll probably be returning this unit within the week.

  • Sam Calvin

    I tried to duplicate the shutdown I had last night by doing extensive freeze-framing, frame-forward, and frame-reverse on my PS3. No shutdown. I’m beginning to think that it was coincidence that it shut down when it did last night. Since this has a 2-year warranty and I’m very happy with the picture quality, I’ll hold on to this unit unless there’s a recurrence of the problem.

  • nadeem

    Art, I am taking a plunge in 1080p with budget around $1800(my first pj). Being far away from USA(in middle east), I cannot afford to buy and than return the unit(if it malfunctions). I have narrowed down my choices to epson 8100 and Mit HC3800. Placement is not really a problem but ambient light is there in my family room. Have read tons of thread on the net but could not decide. your input comes highly recommended, so what do you recommend??? I will only buy from pp or visual apex.

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

      Always a tough call. Since you don’t sound biased in favor of DLP, I’d say Go Epson. In a pinch it’s LivingRoom mode, properly adjusted does a great job of the Theater Black modes won’t cut it, and is nice and bright, and it is the more versatile of the two projectors, for sure. It also has the maximum brightness of the two, if absolutely needed. The Epson is better for mixed viewing. If, however, you are pretty much movie only, then you might givce the HC3800

  • Aaron D.

    Hello,

    I was wondering at what manufactured date is the cut off point for the “shutdown” projectors. The new batches are fixed but when did the incorporate this fix into the projectors?

    Thank you

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

      I don’t have a date, or serial number, but, to my knowledge, I believe Mits was swapping out units in dealer inventory, and that many weeks ago. So, if you haven’t bought one yet, there should be no issue, but, remember, serious home theater projector dealers online move quantity, and get fresh shipments every few weeks. It’s the oddball dealer who moves very little in projectors, who buys from distributors that is more likely to have one in stock months after everyone else has new ones.

      You could give Mitsubishi a call, and if they tell you something helpful, please post it here. As they say, “Inquiring minds want to know.”

  • Sue

    Update:
    Mitsubishi reps visited, took the unit down and back to Mitsubishi service where the techie updated firmware and checked operation.
    The unit was returned same day and operated without fault through a couple of movies and PS3 games.
    Firmware now 7.0 :)

  • Ad

    Not sure if anyone is still following this post, but my HC-3800 has just recently started shutting down. Unfortunately now I’m out of warranty.

    It worked perfectly fine for a couple of years. I have it running off a onkyo receiver, with signal coming from either a PC or a PS3. Troubles started when I upgraded the video drivers on the PC. It would shut down randomly. I installed an older video driver and it went back to being fine.

    I recently bought a new video card, installed that and got it up and running, but now the shutdown problem is back and no combination of video drivers/old video card seems to make a difference. It does run perfectly fine for hours on the PS3 though…

    Because I’m out of warranty I’m trying to avoid taking it for a repair, (which stinks given it’s a known issue) so I’m trying to narrow down exactly what causes it, why some setups work but others don’t. I’m running Firmware 3.0

    For me I’ve noticed teh following:

    1. Runs fine on PS3
    2. Runs fine on PC at less than maximum resolution
    3. If I set it to 1080p from the PC, it shuts down constantly, usually within 5 minutes.

    Any advice/ideas?

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

      Hi Ad,

      I’m not a PC guy when it comes to driving projectors. I would suggest calling Mits tech support, but you’ll definitely need some “level 2″ help, not the typical first level support people that work from the “universal playbook”…is it plugged in? etc….. Ask for level two, a supervisor, etc. Next – I assume you are a gamer? I figure you’ve got a PS3 to run movies… If you aren’t familiar with the forums, try AVSforum.com there are folks on the HC3800 and HC4000 threads, and also threads for gamers and for PC users… best of luck. -art

  • Focal forge

    Ad, I’m curious if you ever got a fix for this. You just described the issue I e been haveing today. I upgraded my old receiver to an hdmi unit, and now my projector shuts down when my computer is connected to it…

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

      Greetings Ff,

      Honestly, that was so long ago, so many projectors ago, that re-reading my blog doesn’t even refresh my memory as to what the outcome was. My suggestion would be to contact Mitsubishi projector support, and see what they might have for you as a solution, or work around. -a