Mitsubishi HC3000 - General Performance

July 9, 2006

Mitsubishi HC3000 - General Performance

The Mitsubishi HC3000 is pretty typical of most DLP projectors using the Darkchip2 technology. I mention this, because like others, including the Optoma HD72, BenQ PE7700, and InFocus IN76, the HC3000 (link to specs) is relatively small, under 10 pounds, has a zoom lens with a limited amount of zoom range (certainly compared to LCD projector competition), and lacks adjustable lens shift. If you spend more, on a Darkchip3 projector, like the BenQ PE8720 (that's what I own), the Optoma HD7100, or others, including far more expensive ones, you will normally find that those projectors have a bit more range in their zoom lenses, and do have variable lens shift, and are typically larger.

Below are links to the many topics in this section. However, I'm going to start with an unusual item. The Mitsubishi HC3000 is the first home theater projector that I have tested that does NOT have filters to change or clean. Since few users actually follow the recommended schedules for doing so, that are recommended, most projector owners have projectors that are not cooling optimally, which results in them running hotter, and that, in turn, means that they won't get as many hours out of their lamps as if they did follow the maintainence schedule. Note: Mitsubishi still recommends that you occasionally inspect the ventilation grills and when they get dirty, wipe them clean with a soft, damp cloth with mild detergent.

So, kudos to Mitsubishi, for an improvement that we all should appreciate!

Mitsubishi HC-3000 Menus

Overall, the menu system is easy to use. Pressing menu brings up a horizontal strip of four menu items. Arrow keys allow you to choose one, and the enter key takes you to the first menu item. The strength of the menu system is that you don't have lots of menu levels to navigate. Almost all controls are on those four menus. Items that have multiple choices allow you to scroll through them with left and right arrow keys.

I personally would favor highlighting and getting a pull down menu, so that you can see all the options, but this is a perfectly acceptable, and fast menu system.

Shown are the main menu, and images of the image and installation menus.

User Memory Settings

The HC3000 offers three savable settings. These can be accessed from either the menu system, or directly off of the remote control. You must select one of them to get into the advanced menu controls to separately control RGB brightness and contrast.

Click to enlarge. SO close

Mitsubishi HC3000 Remote Control

The Mitsubishi HC3000's remote control is a small black affair, with backlit buttons

There is no separate backlight button, but all buttons are backlit, and hitting any of them will light up the remote.

Unfortunately the backlighting is rather dim. At least I find it difficult to read the buttons in a dark room without difficulty. It's not the size of the text on the buttons, but the dimness that bothers me.

The range on the remote appears to be acceptable. I had no problem standing behind the projector, while filling a 106" diagonal screen, and intentionally bouncing the infra-red signal off of the screen to the projector's front IR receiver.

As to the layout, it's pretty easy to navigate, with Power buttons on the top, followed by the source buttons.

Next comes the four arrow keys for navigation, with the Enter button in the middle, and directly below, on the left is the Menu button itself, and across from it, the Aspect ratio button, to toggle between 4:3, 16:9, etc.

Directly below that are your 3 user memory recall buttons.

Next comes direct access buttons for Contrast, Brightness, Color Temperature, Gamma, Sharpness and the Iris control.

On the last row is the auto position button, for correct lock on to analog signals, a Blank (the screen button, and the dreaded Keystone correction button (you should definitley try to avoid using keystone adjustment, as it slightly degrades the image.

Click Image to Enlarge

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