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Mitsubishi HC7800D Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

Posted on January 31, 2012 by Art Feierman
The Mitsubishi HC7800D looks rather killer on HDTV and sports.  It starts off with the advantage of being a single chip DLP device, and single chip DLP projectors tend to be sharper looking than any of the competition from LCD and LCOS.  Why?  Answer:  Because there are no panels to align (unlike LCD and LCOS), where you are combining red, green and blue beams of light back into a single image using a dichroic prism.  This leads to misalignment issues.

I viewed plenty of hours of sports. I had CFI running for most of it, without noticing anything nasty. There is a touch of noise associated with the CFI's work, but that's typical.

The DLP projectors don't have any of that, so start out with inherently a cleaner image on the screen.  After that, it's just up to having a really good optical solution, a good lens, and you should have a razor sharp image on the screen. Folks that's exactly what the HC7800D provides you. The image is really sharp.  It's as good as anything I've seen near this price range.  Quite honestly, I believe the Mitsubishi image is a touch sharper than the JVCs, the Sonys, the Panasonics - actually from a touch to definitely a bit sharper.  The new Epson 5010 that I received, seems to be sharper than the earlier preproduction model I had here, but even the new one is not a match for the HC7800D when you're watching pure digital content, (such as the upcoming Super Bowl). That Epson, though, is sharper than the JVC.

Once again, DLP projectors have a reputation for rich saturated looking colors. The HC7800D is no exception.  Football games look great, Revealing China off of HDTV looks stellar.  My favorite Steven Low movies, which are Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D and Legends of Flight, are just stunning.  I was showing them to a friend who was in town last night and they just went like "wow".  The outstanding clarity of a really good single chip DLP projector is something that is and can be truly appreciated when watching both sports and the wide variety of 2D and 3D content now available on HDTV.

If you were so inclined, and it looks like the HC7800D is for you, then, as I am writing this, there's just enough time to buy one in time for your Super Bowl party. (Of course by the time most of you are reading this, Superbowl 2012 is probably well past.)

My recommendation for those going with the HC7800 is to just make sure you're not going with too large a screen for the job, and that you have the necessary lighting control for using a projector that doesn't count excessive brightness as a trait.

As mentioned earlier, the HC7800D does have one very bright mode, which is when you select High Brightness color temp. Problem is, the picture is so shifted towards green, I don't think anyone's really going to use that mode, since you can't color correct that setting.

3D content looked very good, with the caveat that I still would have liked a bit more lumens when trying to fill a 100" diagonal image (16:9). At that size it did well enough with high contrast content, such as Tron, or most animation. Will it be enough for you? Perhaps, with a 100" screen. For someone really into 3D though, there are brighter choices out there. To put brightness in perspective in terms of 3D, the Mitsubishi fell roughly half way between the Epson 5010's 3D-Cinema, and 3D-Dynamic modes (when the Epson glasses setup is at Medium). With the Epson, I watch most things with 3D Dynamic, for the brightness. Hope that helps.

Mitsubishi HC7800D Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV and Sports

I happen to really like the HC7800D for all this digital content. It's really sharp, the CFI works well, and since we're watching in a mode that's not much brighter than, and almost as good looking as the "best" mode, it does deliver better color and a more balanced picture than most projectors who rely on a very bright, but less accurate "brightest mode". Well, as mentioned, the HC7800D has one of those: Dynamic, but I'm avoiding considering the extra brightness, because few will watch its way green color. This is not, by any means, the first projector with a brightest mode that really isn't very watchable, and it won't be the last.

For that reason, we focus on the brightest watchable mode, as our "brightest" mode.

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