Projector Reviews

Mitsubishi HD1000U Projector Review – General Performance-3

Mitsubishi HD1000U Projector Brightness

Wow time. Mitsubishi claims 1500 lumens with the HD1000U, significantly brighter than the 1000 lumens of their HC3000. Much of the extra claimed brightness would be due to the new seven segment color wheel. When it came to measuring the brightness of the HD1000U projector, there were some real surprises.

Setting the projector to its brightest mode – Sports, and High Brightness, the HD1000 came up short of claim – significantly. That said, it still pumped out a very impressive 1115 lumens. Strangely the color temperature was very low (warm – towards red), 6820K whereas most projectors to get out maximum brightness tend to set color temp around 8000K, closer to the natural color temperature of the lamp. Note, ideal color temp for movies, is 6500K. By fiddling around with color temp, brightness, Brilliant Color processing (from Texas Instruments – maker of the DLP chips), I was able to push out slightly over 1300 lumens, and I believe you can get pretty good color and a very watchable image around 1200 lumens. Remember, we’re talking brightest mode here, the “darker” or “best” modes like Cinema and Video will have more natural color balance, etc., but, hey, if you need the lumens to cut through ambient light, you make that sacrifice.

So we have a very bright projector here, when you need it. Only the Panasonic of anything we have tested under $10,000 has had more.

That brings me to the strangest part of my testing: Unlike most projectors where best modes are often 40 – 60% (or even more) dimmer than brightest, the Mitsubishi HD1000U home theater projector, is almost as bright in its best modes. For measurements, we left Brilliant Color set to its default 3, contrast and brightness both at 0. The exception is when we calibrated the projector using Cinema mode with User settings.

Cinema mode, Color Temp set to Warm (movie): 768 lumens!
Wow! The Optoma HD72, our previous DLP lumen champ, only clocked in at 518 lumens!

After a basic calibration, (with lamp still running at full power – the HD1000U also has a low power mode), I came up with a slightly higher measurement, (still in Cinema mode) of 829 lumens!

Then I switched to Video mode, which I would recommend as your normal mode for viewing non-movies – TV/HDTV, etc. Much to my surprise, and despite a much more pleasing overall picture quality (color balance, gamma, contrast, etc.) than Sports/High Brightness, the HD1000U was almost as bright as brightest, with a dazzling 1033 lumens!

As noted, there is also a lamp life extending low power mode for the lamp. This reduced brightness by about 22%, yielding 647 lumens in the HD1000U’s best image mode!

All this boils down to the fact that you can tackle a really large screen (like my 128″) with no problem, or use a smaller screen and deal with more than a little ambient light. Hey, if you go with a smaller screen, such as 100″, and you should find the projector to be too bright in a darkened room, just cut the lamp power! It is nice, though, to have all those lumens working for you.

Light Leakage

The HD1000U projector leaks light out the front, through the lens. The amount is extremely small, and I do not consider it to be anything you would notice while watching, except if you have light colored walls and the screen image is completely black. In that case, you might be able to see some light on the wall, mostly toward the right side if you are looking for it to be there. Realize that the image below is dramatically overexposed. The bright gray on the screen is supposed to be black. The areas in the upper (small) and lower right corners are white text and graphics (the lower is the DVD logo, so badly overexposed that it’s completely blown out).

You can see the light leakage in a oval shape, over, and more noticable to the right. Then there’s an extra light aberation in the far upper right.

You’ll note that there seems to be a mask around the DLP in the light path, because there is a black area all around the projected image. (Yep, that’s not a screen frame!)

I never noticed it once, while watching hours of movies, but it is there!