Home Theater Projector Comparison Report: Mitsubishi HC8000D – Best in Class Special Award for 2013
1080p Home Theater Projectors, Our Award Winners:
Class: Medium Priced 1080p Home Theater Projectors: $2000 – $3500
Best in Class - Special Award: Mitsubishi HC8000D
That the HC8000D is an excellent projector, has not been the issue when determining if it would receive an award and what award it would receive. The HC8000D in particular, required some serious consideration. As it turns out, since the advent of 3D capable projectors I’ve definitely noticed that the awards I’ve giving out tend to favor brighter projectors. And that does make sense, because the brighter the projector (all else being equal), the more people who will find that projector works in their environment/room.
I also noticed that with the exception of this HC8000 all the awards in the $2000 to $3500 price class are LCoS or 3LCD. (The three projectors receiving awards in the over $3500 class are all LCoS.) That’s right, not a single DLP – other than the HC8000D.
The Mitsubishi HC8000D is a great projector for a dedicated home theater, with the limitation, though of being best suitable for smaller screen sizes. Here’s a great projector, and a natively extremely sharp projector (withough fancy dynamic features to “fake it”), that will work great on screens 100″ diagonal or smaller, but could be pushed (especially for those not into 3D, to about a maximum of about 110″. I’m talking about pairing the HC8000D projector with a screen with typical 1.3 to 1.4 gain. There will be more than sufficient brightness (post calibration) for a 100″ screen. Although because the lamps dis over time, I feel that the 100″ size is about the largest, that will remain reasonably bright as you rack up lots of hours on the lamp.
The HC8000D has lots going for it as long as you avoid bright rooms or really large screens. I already hinted at the HC8000D’s sharpness. A clean single chip DLP projector with apparently very good optics, will simply look a bit sharper than any of the other award winners in this price range. The Sony HW50ES might seem as sharp, or even a touch more detailed with its Reality Creation engaged, but the HC8000D is native sharpness, the real thing. The Epson’s Super-Resolution dynamic feature isn’t as good as the Sony’s. While theirs also helps with perceived sharpness and detail, I’d still say the Mitsubishi looks a tad sharper than the Epson UB projectors when they have Super-Resolution engaged at reasonable settings.
Right out of the box, you’ll likely find reds to be pushed a little, notably on darker scenes. You might notice this in peoples faces in less than bright scenes. That all changes with calibration. Color handling and skin tones are both excellent post calibration.
Black level performance is really good for a DLP, and can match most of the $2000 - $35000 price range projectors with the exception of the Epson UB’s JVC, X35, and the Sony HW50ES. I put the HC8000D closer in black performance to the likes of the Panasonic PT-AE8000 and BenQ W7000, although I believe overall, the Mitsubishi HC8000D bests both of them!
This HC8000D is, I repeat a DLP. DLP’s have a bit of a different “look and feel” to their picture, and as a group tend to have a lot of pop due to vivid colors especially in less bright scenes. This Mitsubishi projector is no exception. Despite fancier features and more brightness on competing projectors using other technologies, the HC8000D offers up a picture that truly impresses. That folks is why it deserved this award. The HC8000D is not for everyone, nor for most, but if your room is good, your screen size not to large, and you want a great looking image overall, at least considering this projector is a must