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Mitsubishi HC3800: Bottom Line Sharpness

Posted on September 1, 2009 by Art Feierman

Sharpness is a major strength. Let me put it this way: Once again, I'm jealous. My far more expensive JVC RS20 can't produce as sharp an image, and that projector is more than 5 times the price. I don't really notice when watching movies, but am aware of the diffference with some nice 1080i hi-def sports, and other top quality digital content. Mitsubishi does extremely well, when it comes to sharpness. I doubt any of the ultra-high contrast 3LCD home theater projectors can match the HC3800's sharpness, and that includes Mitsubishi's own HC7000.

Light Leakage

This particular HC3800 leaks a fair amount of light out the lens, mostly above it. While it isn't a critical amount, there is enough of it. The InFocus IN83 was another projector with a surprising amount of light through the lens hitting outside of the image area, and we forgave it, too. There is also a small amount coming out of side vents, however, it's not much unless you are right in line with the one spot where you can easily see the light. Since that's not likely, don't worry about it.

It may well be that the amount of light leakage out the front will be dramatically different on a full production unit. This may be something they've already addressed. We will report on that, too, when we get the projection version.

Image Noise

No particular issues to report here, but I'll refer final judgement until I've seen a full production unit. This particular engineering sample definitely has some minor issues, not the least, not relating to image noise. The HDMI input is not perfectly stable, but that's not at all surprising, and it's pretty safe to assume the production version will have that handled. Most of the other inputs don't even work on this unit

Audible Noise

The HC3800 is not a quiet projector. In fact, it's a fairly noisy one. That shouldn't surprise many. First, it's a DLP, and they tend to be noisier, than the other technologies. Then, the HC3800 is a smaller projector, as well, making it tough to baffle the fan noise. Based on this pre-production unit, which isn't, by the way, making any strange sounds, I'd put the noise levels to be no more than 30 db, maybe 31 at the outside, and mid-20's in low power. At full power that will be enough to bother those who are noise adverse. For most of us, we'll rarely notice it, and forget about it soon enough (on those quiet scenes).

For most potential owners, the audible noise should not be a deal breaker. Further, for those quiet movies, you'll probably have more than enough lumens in low power mode, where the projector is nice and quiet, and should offend almost no one

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