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Mitsubishi HC4900, 1080p Home Theater Projector Review - Image Quality-3

Posted on August 19, 2007 by Art Feierman

Mitsubishi HC4900 Projector - Overall color handling and image quality

While the HC4900 excels at some aspects, and is a bit weak (black levels), on others, my conclusion is that the HC4900 produces an overall really good picture.

Below are a wide assortment of images for you to peruse. Give or take the limitations in capturing and displaying what the projector puts up on the screen, these should give you a good appreciation of the HC4900 projector's image quality abilities, which include rich, saturated colors, and an overall razor sharp feel.

The BBC/Planet Earth Blu-ray DVD:

The brighter images, such as the one immediately above, were particularly spectacular. I would go as far as to say, they have more punch (and sharpness), than my JVC RS1, which is twice the price. Overall, the Mitsubishi HC4900 produces rich, vibrant colors.

The DTS Blu-ray test disk, consider these:

As with the HC5000, the image sharpness of the HC4900 is excellent. Overall, the image on the screen seems at least as sharp as any other projector we have ever reviewed. This is going to be key ability that will attract a large group of potential home theater projector buyers. (I only wish my JVC RS1 was this sharp.) Some could argue, that that the HC4900 isn't really sharper than the best of the competition, but rather, is in part, the result of the LCD pixel structure. I tend to agree with that idea. The HC4900 may not actually reveal more detail (which sharpness would imply), but rather it just seems sharper than anything else out there. One note: The default sharpness setting of 0, seems to oversharpen the image. I found that -3 or -4 to be better, removing "halos" around some objects. Doing that, however, doesn't change anything, in that the HC4900 still seems extremely sharp.

In the image immediately below, a very small section of the DTS test disk main menu, you can appreciate the sharpness. (You will also note misconvergence of the LCD panels with red along the top, and green along the bottom of the white areas. This amount of misconvergence is not visible at any, even remotely, reasonable seating distance.

Thumbnail Comparison

DTS logo
Epson Home Cinema 1080








Click on the thumbnail (which, shows the entire screen, to give you an idea of how small an area the logo takes up), for a close up of the DTS logo.

Overall, excellent color handling, good shadow detail, excellent sharpness, very good skin tones, and mediocre black levels, is pretty much the story for the Mitsubishi HC4900. Of course, spending the extra $1000 plus for the HC5000, significantly improves black levels, although the HC5000 still isn't a world class performer, being no match for the JVC RS1 (best) Sharp XV-Z20000 (very close to the JVC), and the Sony Pearl (a bit below the other two, but better than the rest of the sub-$10,000 1080p projector field.

Time to consider general performance items like menus, remote control, brightness, projector screen recommendations, and more!

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