Mitsubishi HD4000 Widescreen Projector Review – Image Quality 3

Widescreen projectors

Click enlarge. So close. That has just started to change. The Mitsubishi HD4000 is one of the first to hit the market. Other units are starting to ship, from other manufacturers. I had originally planned to review the Optoma EP1690 – also a widescreen, for the multi-projector comparison, but they weren’t able to deliver one on a timely basis and Mitsubishi stepped up and offered the HD4000.

So here we have the HD4000. The review unit puts out over 1200 lumens in its video and cinema modes – two to three times the brightness of most home theater models. Since I am looking at this projector as a “bright” HT model, I was actually more concerned about it in it’s brightest modes than lowest (which is still pretty bright).

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I was very pleased, when I discovered that both the Cinema and Video presets, mixed with the High Brightness setting, delivered not only lots of lumens, but color balance very close to the ideal 6500K, although greens were too strong. Although I did not formally calibrate the projector, I did a quick “eyeball” adjustment, by going to User 1 which allows access to RGB controls. I reduced Green brightness and contrast by -3, and -5.

Black Levels and Shadow Detail

The HD4000 can’t quite match the best black levels and contrast of dedicated DLP home theater models, such as their own HC3000, but rivals some of the LCD home theater projectors (when you turn off their “enhancements”). As a result, you get very good contrast and very acceptable black levels. In reality, if you have even a small amount of light in your room – maybe a 25 watt lamp in the back, that is on, that light will throw enough lumens at your screen to easily wipe out the difference in black levels and contrast between the HD4000 and projectors with 2-3 times the contrast. You need a fully darkened room for best black levels to be achieved.

I also ran the HQV test suite on the HD4000 feeding it a 480i signal from my DVD player (Oppo). It’s performance was very acceptable there. In the HQV jaggies tests it achieves a Pass (out of Pass/Fail). I have seen some home theater projectors do better on the test, but the Pass assures overall very good handling of jaggies. On the Image noise tests it also did well, achieving Pass ratings.. Motion artifact (noise) was also very good. It’s not the best I have seen, but it does perform at levels demanded for good home theater, and rivals many dedicated home theater projectors. Not surprising, I would guestimate that it’s performance in these areas is virtually identical, to Mitsubishi’s very popular and well regarded HC3000 home theater projector.

What I did encounter was some, for lack of a better term, is posterization. Almost like large pixels seen in bright areas during image panning on video. (I learned of posterization, long ago, as a graphic effect in Photoshop). Unfortunately my attempts to capture this with my camera were unsuccessful – it is subtle.

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