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Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

Posted on September 1, 2009 by Art Feierman

The HC3800, at its brightest - a combination of Sports gamma, and High Brightness color temp, yields up almost 1150 lumens on this pre-production projector. That said, color accuracy is compromised for lumen output. For a better compromise, with some very respectable color, use the Video, Auto, or Cinema gamma, and Color Temp on Medium to still get over 950 lumens. Now, average brightness for 1080p projectors falls right about there - around 1000 lumens, so, for sports viewing, and dealing with ambient light, the HC3800 projector is only about average brightness.

Actually, for that matter, just about every combination of this projector except when selecting Cool or Warm color temperatures, yields upward of 900 lumens, and we can't think of a normal use for the Cool (way too cool) or Warm (way too warm) settings.

In other words you get average to slightly brighter than average output for your sports and general HDTV, TV viewing with some ambient light present.

Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV Sports

Well, it could of course have more lumens. That's one area where, perhaps it's closest new competition - the Epson Home Cinema 8100 should have a noteworthy advantage. (We just received the Epson, and expect it, like its predecessor, to have about 1400 to 1800 lumens in its brightest modes. On the other hand, the Mitsubishi has the big lumen advantage in "best mode" with probably double the lumens of the Epson in that case.

Thanks to the really sharp image, sports look really good. I must admit to not having watched too much, though, as I've been rotating through four projectors - the HC3800, the BenQ W6000, the InFocus SP8602, and as of this weekend, the Epson Home Cinema 8100. Of this group, for brightest sports viewing, the HC3800, along with the InFocus, were the two least bright of the four. Other than the "it can always stand to be brighter", the HC3800 though looked really good on my football games, and high quality digital content (Discovery-HD, PlanetGreen-HD, Travel-HD, etc.) While not as bright as some, color is better than those guys, when they are pumping out their maximum lumens, but both the Epson and BenQ can muster up more lumens than the Mitsubishi, with the sacrifice of some color performance.

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