The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Projector Review Updates: Mitsubishi HC8000D

Greetings home theater projector fans, welcome to some “first look” comments on the HC8000D from Mitsubishi.

New Mitsubishi HC8000D 3D DLP Home Theatre Projector

This Mitsubishi H8000D is another DLP projector from Mitsubishi, similar to the white HC79ooDW we reviewed a couple months back, but finished in black, and with additional performance.  It offers higher contrast: 330,000:1, claims 1300 lumens, and sports a 6 segment 6X color wheel.

Mike has calibrated it, and it already looks much better than before it did when taken right out of the box, without adjustment (I spent about 5 hours with it pre-calibration), the  Cinema and most other modes exhibit too much red, which is easily noticeable on skin tones.  When I was first watching it, I “solved” that problem temporarily. just by turning down the color saturation slightly to make it more watchable.  Still, it was a lot better looking than the LCDTVs on display at Best Buy, just to have a perspective.

Mike’s calibration made a world of difference.  (OK, that might be a little much, so:  made “significant improvement!”)  Of course that’s for those of us seeking superb color accuracy.  Mike determined to calibrate this projector with Brilliant Color turned off.  (On low cost DLP projectors, if the Brilliant Color option isn’t too severe, he usually calibrates with it on.  This is a decision I normally leave for him.   Of course if you are hiring a pro calibrator, you might want both calibrated, since with this projector there’s more than a few extra lumens with it on.

The Mitsubishi HC8000D isn’t  a low cost  projector rather it street prices for about $2999, same as the projector it replaces.  As is typical of DLP projectors, it’s not particularly bright.  Still in 2D, no problem at all filling my 124″ 2.35:1 screen when watching wide screen movies, in my theater environment.

3D was a bit tougher, of course.  One real difference between this HC8000D and the lower cost model, is that this one has “custom” 3D glasses.  When you are viewing in 3D, you have a choice.  You can hand everyone these new glasses, or you can use the “universal” type that the HC7900DW has.  Why bother?  Easy.  Per Mitsubishi, you get a brighter image in 3D with their “special” glasses.  Works for me.  So far I’ve only watched about half of the Avengers in 3D.  Based on that, I’d say the projector is doing a respectable job at about 100″ diagonal with a typical 1.3 gain white screen.  When I tried to push out to fill my screen with a widescreen movie for a few minutes I definitely felt brightness was a problem.

As I’ve said many times in recent years, Mitsubishi doesn’t build light canons.  Their emphasis has never seemed to be on brightness.  Thus, I’ve usually recommended their projectors for screens 110″ diagonal or less (depending on all the usual variables.

That’s all I’ve got for you now.  The photo shoots I’m doing are:  HDTV sports, (in a few minutes), and all the movie based tonight late, and tomorrow night.  Also I’ll have a chance to run the Mitsubishi HC8000D for black levels and shadow detail, against the usual Epson Home Cinema 5020UB, but I also plan to probably embarrass the HC8000D, because the JVC DLA-X95R arrived yesterday.  Timeline wise, Mike will pick that one up for calibration on Monday, return on Tuesday.  Then I’ll also shoot some side by sides with what is sure to be outstanding black level performance (and picture), as one would expect from a $11,999 “hand built” projector with the JVC label on it.

Enough!  Photo shoot time for the HC8000D.

Hang in there.  -art

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