Mitsubishi WD380U-EST Video Performance
For movie or video viewing, Theater mode gives you the best color balance, as well as noticeably improved contrast. While video viewing is typically not a major component of a multimedia projector, the WD380U-EST is certainly equal to the task when required. In particular, technical presentations in science and astronomy classrooms will benefit greatly from the WD380U-EST's video capability. While we did not have an appropriate 3D source or glasses, the WD380U-EST’s 3D video capabilities would likely be of value in such venues as well.
Using the DVD playback from my laptop computer connected via HDMI, in Theater mode, I reviewed scenes from a number of movies I’m quite familiar with. As far as color rendition is concerned, skin tones were quite natural and, as was mentioned about photo presentations, the overall color balance was quite good. Where the WD380U-EST was lacking compared to similarly priced home theater projector competition was in its absolute black levels and contrast ratio. As the WD380U-EST is destined for the classroom or conference room, the tradeoff between black levels and brightness is appropriately weighted. The 3000:1 contrast ratio is still much greater than some of the competition in this market. There is some of the typical DLP “rainbow effect” during viewing, but no more than other DLP projectors in this price range.
For viewing in an average lit room, the high brightness of the WD380U-EST in Standard mode still provides for a highly watchable image, making it a good choice for video presentations in the classroom. Also, the WD380U-EST’s built-in 10-watt speaker has enough power to create an acceptable volume level in most classrooms.
WD380U-EST Projector - Noise
The Mitsubishi WD380U-EST is a fairly quiet multimedia projector. It’s rated at only 28 dB in Eco lamp mode, which is equal to many home theater projectors. There is no rating for Normal lamp mode, but it’s quite a bit louder. In any event, the noise level even in Normal mode shouldn’t pose a problem for a presenter that is speaking during the presentation, even without using a microphone. Also, the WD380U-EST has the ability to combine sound from a video track with a presenter’s voice input via a microphone. This is a nice feature that works quite well to easily overcome any projector noise.
WD380U-EST Projector - Networking
The Mitsubishi WD380U-EST has full network control, reporting and presentation capability. While it only comes ready for wired network capability, wireless capability is available via the use of an optional adapter. Through the use of the supplied software, a presenter can control the projector from a networked PC and project from up to four networked PCs. All major functions of the projector can be controlled from the networked PC. Also, like the recently reviewed Optoma ZX210ST, the WD380U-EST can control a networked computer by plugging a keyboard or mouse into its USB port.
The WD380U-EST also supports Crestron’s RoomView network service. When used with Crestron Room View, integrated control including power on/off control, message display and confirmation of lamp service hours is possible. Also, it’s equipped with AMX Device Discovery for simplified device management.