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Mitsubishi HC7000 - Competitors-1

Posted on November 19, 2008 by Art Feierman

Now it's time to consider how the Mitsubishi HC7000 home theater projector stacks up against much of the competition. You will find our impressions of the Mitsubishi projector as it compares to a mix of projectors that are now being phased out, as well as conjecture on how it will perform compared to some brand new ones that we have not yet received for review. It's that time of the year (Sep. - Dec.) when most new home theater projectors hit the market. I'm not going to cover all the competition as many will be replaced, but you should find enough information to help you make choices.

HC7000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB

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I have to start here, because this Epson was our Best in Class winner in the heart of the 1080p projector price range. It's replacements are due out next month (December), but until then, the 1080 UB remains a good "standard" to compare against.

The Epson is the brighter of the two (roughly 21%) in best mode, and significantly brighter in its brightest mode (slightly over twice as bright) giving it an advantage for those wanting larger screens. The Epson was the lower cost king of black level performance, and the two are pretty much equal in black level performance.

The HC7000 (link to specs) has the advantage in terms of "film-like" imagery when watching movies. The Epson image seems just a bit "hard" looking by comparison.

In terms of sharpness, while the Epson is fine, the HC7000 is definitely the sharper of the two, and you can best appreciate that on all digital source material, rather than film.

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Click to enlarge. SO close

When it comes to placement, the Epson has the advantage with it's 2.1:1 zoom compared to the HC7000's 1.6:1, although this difference will not affect, probably 80-90% of buyers, who will find either works fine for them. A few folks with long rooms, who want to shelf mount the HC7000 and use a smaller screen, may find that the HC7000 won't place far enough back to work on that back of the room shelf.

The HC7000 supports an anamorphic lens, and can work with one, without a motorized sled. The Epson does not support an anamorphic lens. Zoom, focus, and lens shift are motorized on the HC7000 and are manual on the Epson. The more expensive (similarly priced to the HC7000 - or a bit less) Epson Pro version does support an anamorphic lens, but would need an expensive motorized sled for the anamorphic lens that the HC7000 doesn't require.

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Lastly, the Mitsubishi HC7000 has 24/48fps frame interpolation which reduces motion blur. The Epson sticks with 24fps. This is a very slight advantage for the HC7000.

With the current closeout prices on the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, it is still a bargain. The HC7000 is almost twice as expensive, but has a number of advantages, while it only really comes up noticeably short, in brightest mode lumen output.

Mitsubishi HC7000 vs. Mitsubishi HC6500

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This comparison is easy. Figure roughly a $1500 price differential (at least right now at launch time). The projectors are pretty much identical, except for advantages all favoring the HC7000. With the HC7000, you get the 24/48 frame interpolation, and black levels that are a very significant step up in performance. It's simple, if you are considering an HC6500, just ask yourself if you want to spend the bucks to get a projector (the HC7000) that really is quite visibly better in black level performance.

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