Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – Best in Class Awards for 2010-9

Special Interest Award: Mitsubishi HC7000

The HC7000 projector performs extremely well, but in several ways is very different from the other award winners in this class. What the Mitsubishi is, is a home theater projector with especially good color, and the second best black level performance (trailing the Epson 8500UB/9500UB), of the class. It’s also extremely quiet, compared to almost everything else. It does lack the CFI newer projectors offer, but it does take 24fps to higher frame rates.

It’s got power everything! It’s real strength though is the overall picture quality.

On the downside, from a performance standpoint, it’s below average in brightness. Of course that’s not a problem for all you people whose rooms call for smaller screens – 100’s 96’s 92′ inch diagonal or even smaller. If you are looking for a great image on a smaller screen, that’s almost the dictionary definition of this HC7000.

Pricing. The HC7000 when launched, was only sold through local installing dealers but it can now be found online as well, with a price around $3000.

The HC7000 is another “ultra-high-contrast” projector, and delivers on that promise with excellent black levels. The HC7000 can’t quite match the Epson’s black levels, but it is sufficiently close, as to be of little consequence. This Mitsubishi did have a slight advantage in black level performance over the Panasonic PT-AE3000, and might still, over the the newer PT-AE4000.

The HC7000 comes with an “industry standard” two year parts and labor warranty.

Perhaps the only potential shortcoming of this projector is that the HC7000 is not one of the brighter projectors in this class. In this regard, it is best when used with typical screens of about 100″ diagonal. You can push it a little larger, but not by that much.

On the other hand, there is a great deal to like about the HC7000. It’s quiet, almost silent, and is actually quieter in its high power lamp mode, than most projectors can accomplish with their lamps running on low power, and the matching slower fan speeds. It is one of perhaps 3 or 4 projectors that you simply will not hear in your theater, even if running the lamp and fan at full power.

And it’s automated – power zoom, focus and lens shift, all very nice touches. Styling is pretty impressive as well, the HC7000 scores very high in terms of “wife approval factor.” I should note that it has a little bit less placement flexibility than some others, but enough that shelf mounting should work in the vast majority of rooms.

I described the Mitsubishi HC7000 this way, in last year’s Awards page:

The real strong point of the HC7000 though is the overall picture quality. Properly set up, the HC7000 is more than the sum of its parts. The excellent black levels, very good dark shadow detail, and very natural color accuracy (post calibration), combine with a lot of “pop and wow” (for a projector without an abundance of lumens), to provide what I described in the full review, as “one of the most enjoyable projectors to watch.” In fact this concluding line in the Overall Picture Quality section of the review, says it all:

“The point here, is that the HC7000 has no significant weaknesses in any areas directly dealing with color and overall picture.”

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