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Mitsubishi HC5500 Home Theater Projector Review: General Performance-3

Posted on August 9, 2008 by Art Feierman
Mitsubishi HC5500 Projector: Light Leakage No real issues here! The tiny amount of leakage through the lens, is well below the black level threshold, so it is unlikely that you will ever notice it.

Mitsubishi HC5500 Projector: Audible Noise Levels

Definitely no issues here! The HC5500 continues Mitsubishi's leadership in terms of quiet 1080p projectors. Even in full power mode, Mitsubishi puts their noise level in the low 20db range. By comparison, most competing DLP projectors and more than a few 3LCD projectors, are much louder - around 28db to 31db, in their quiet modes. I know of nothing significantly quieter, and no one, I repeat, no one, will have any problem with the HC5500's audible noise, unless they are using the projector as a pillow!

Mitsubishi HC5500 Projector: Screen Recommendations

Screen recommendations for the Mitsubishi HC5500 are going to depend on a three factors, including type of materials you watch, (ie, all movies, mostly movies, or more TV, HDTV and sports in general), room conditions, and whether you are willing to give up some brightness for better black levels.

If you are hard core movie watching, and an AV enthusiast, who wants the best overall picture out of your HC5500, then I'd recommend a high contrast gray surface. The Stewart Firehawk works extremely well with the HC5500 in my room, but, there are other good (if not as good) HC gray surface screens available from just about every player, including Elite, Da-Lite, Grandview, Draper, etc.

We've reviewed the Elite HC Gray surface for example, and it would be a good match for those on limited budgets. It's not overly high contrast, nor very dark gray, so you get a nice picture, with some side ambient light rejection, and slightly improved black levels. Now that the HC5500 has a dynamic iris, the end result is pretty good (not exceptional) black levels when watching, with a screen like that.

If sports are you thing, and I see myself recommending the HC5500 for sports fans, I would tend to recommend a white surface with some gain. How much gain, is dependent on where people are sitting, as, if you have folks sitting too far to the sides, they will see some unevenness in brightness. For most setups, I'd stick to white surface screens with gain from 1.0 to 1.4 - 1.5. If your viewing cone is fairly narrow (say everyone inside the outer edges of the screen, and normal or further than normal seating distances, then perhaps up to a 1.8 or 2.0 gain.

These higher gain screens will give you a brighter picture, if you sit where you need to. That gets rid of the need to watch sports in a really dark "cave like" setting.

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