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Mitsubishi HC3800 Projector - Performance

Posted on September 1, 2009 by Art Feierman
In this section we consider the brightness, sharpness, and image noise of the Mitsubishi HC3800 home theater projector. Also considered are the physical attributes of light leakage and audible noise.

Mitsubishi HC3800 Brightness

Keep in mind, this review is based on the engineering sample that was provided by Mitsubishi. Color tables will likely change somewhat, and measurements will also therefore change, with final production units. Since the HC3800 does calibrate nicely, though, we felt that the results here, will be pretty indicative of a full production projector, even if the settings we report in the calibration section will be different. We will update all our setttings recommendations once we have received a projection projector.

Here's another projector that's extremely bright in its best mode. The HC3800 manages about 950 lumens in it's best mode (Cinema, Medium color temp, Brilliant Color on. That's almost as bright as the more expensive BenQ W6000.

When you need maximum lumens, the HC3800 doesn't have many more in reserve, measuring maximum brightness of 1142 lumens, with gamma mode on Sports, and color temp on medium, but that's still better than the average home theater projector (average is about 1000 lumens for "brightest" mode, and just under 500 lumens for "best" mode.

Lumen Output for various Gamma modes at 100 IRE, color temp on Medium:

Auto 948 @ 6611
Cinema 968 @ 6590, 726 @ 6238 w/BC off
Video 953 @ 6617
Sports 1142 @ 6352, 880 @ 6154 w/BC off

Lumen Output at various Color Temps at 100 IRE, Gamma on Auto

Medium 948 @ 6611
High Brightness 1091 @ 6143, 1142 @ 6148 on Sports gamma
Cool 655 @ 8942
Warm 843 @ 5342

As you can see from the numbers above, turning Brilliant Color off, drops the brightness about 25%.

Since there are tons of lumens for movie viewing, many will take advantage of the quieter low lamp mode, which is plenty bright, and has an extremely long lamp life rating (5000 hours). Low lamp will drop the brightness of the projector by approximately 22%.

Turning Brilliant Color off, and lamp to low, and the Mitsubishi HC3800 projector still manages 565 lumens!

Click to Enlarge.So close

Since the HC3800 projector has a 1.5:1 zoom lens, we measured the difference in brightness betwwen full wide angle, mid-point, and full-telephoto settings on the lens. Full wide angle (the projector filling the screen from its closest distance), increases brightness by a modest 7.5%. Full telephoto decreases brightness by 9.3% compared to the mid-point.

Click Image to Enlarge


30 IRE 6513K
50 IRE 6652K
80 IRE 6649K
100 IRE 6556K

That's pretty darn good, for before a calibration, and for that matter pretty good for after a calibration, too!

The Calibration page will provide the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset. We will revise, with numbers from a production projector when available, if there is a noteworthy difference.

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