Projector Reviews

Mitsubishi HC7800D Black Levels & Shadow Detail

Black level performance:

The Mitsubishi HC7800D claims 100,000:1 contrast ratio.  There was a time when one could presume, with a number like that, that black level performance would be amazingly stellar.  However in this day and age with dynamic irises, contrast numbers tend to be generally poor indications of actual performance.  This Mitsubishi HC7800D home theater projector is a good example.

The 100,000:1 claim had definitely led us to expect deeper blacks then we actually were able to see.  Keep in mind it’s not just Mitsubishi. Epson’s lower end LCD projectors claiming 40,000:1 and 50,000:1 contrast ratios do not produce blacks near as good as their high end 1080UB from several years ago – which also claimed a 50,000:1 contrast ratio.

Numbers are fine, but when it comes to black level performance, it’s how it performs that counts, and that’s why our black level analysis is subjective.

So, how good is the black levels of the HC7800D?  They’re okay!  I would say that the HC7800 is on the borderline of what we call being an “ultra high contrast projector”.  There’s no scientific measurements for that, it’s just how I group them.  Where that positions the HC7800, it is with black levels that can’t stack up to the best competition around the price range, such as the Epson Home Cinema 5010, the JVC RS45, the JVC X30 or the Panasonic PTAE7000.  Overall, the black level performance is still better than almost any of the lower cost projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 8350, Mitsubishi’s own HC4000, and it’s a world better than some of the $999 projectors. So don’t get me wrong. The HC7800D projector does pretty well, but if black levels are your thing (as they are mine), then this probably isn’t the projector for you. Certainly, as an example, the HC7800 with its dynamic iris, does much better blacks than the HC4000, which lacks one.

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