Mitsubishi HC7000 projector – First Look

Greetings!

I’m a bit late, getting around to this First Look, as the full review will publish tomorrow night.  As a result, I’ll keep this short, so I can get back to the write up of the review.

First, great black levels, even a bit better than the Panasonic PT-AE3000 and comparable to the Epson Home Cinema and Pro Cinema 1080 UB projectors. At it’s best, it may even slightly beat the Epson’s but, in normal viewing, too close to call.  (All are very close.)

It’s sharp!  It’s quiet. All Mitsubishi home theater projectors using LCD technology are extremely quiet.

Picture quality is great, after calibration.  I favor the image slightly over the Panasonic.

It has a great feature, that allows those wanting 2.35:1 screens, and no letterboxing for most movies.  Their solution let’s you use an anamorphic lens, but makes a motorized sled (very expensive) to moving the lens back and forth, unnecessary, saving a lot of money.  

That brings us to brightness.  The Mitsubishi HC7000 projector, as is typical of their 1080p projectors, is not very bright.  It’s just below average (I consider average to be 400 to 550 lumens), in “best” mode, and it is definitely below average in brightness at full power.

This Mitsubishi projector will work best with 106″, 100″ and smaller diagonal screens.  In the right room, conditions, and content preferences, etc., it can do a 110″ screen.  Of course, with very high gain screens you can go significantly brighter, but there are trade-offs.

The HC7000 should prove to be a formidable competitor, for a little less money, than the JVC RS-10 which gets reviewed next month.  Since it is sold only by local dealers, as you would expect, it sells for a good deal more than the Panasonic PT-AE3000, and the anticipated pricing of the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB.  On the other hand, it will likely prove to be the same price as the Epson Pro Cinema 7500 UB, when that projector ships. (The 7500 UB, like the HC7000 supports an anamorphic lens, the 6500 UB does not.

While that brightness in best mode is still pretty good, those that want to watch a lot of sports or TV with some lights on, is where the HC7000 projector’s brightness, can be a concern.

OK, you have a taste.  Full details tomorrow in the review. -art

News and Comments

  • RJ

    Thanks for the quick preview. Sounds like a great projector. However its hard to imagine why someone may choose this over the AE3000. I say this because I think these projectors are all in a price/performance class (great values). Those looking for a step up will look at the JVC RS20 perhaps or the new Sonys – projectors that sell for a few thousand more than these.

    So my main point here is that the AE3000 sounds like it crushes the HC7000 in the price / performance category which seem to be what matters to those looking for projectors in this range.

    *************

    For some the difference in price, between, say an AE3000 and an HC7000 is not a primary concern (consider the person doing a full room, with a $15 – $25K budget for projector, audio, screen, furniture, etc.) The RS20, yes, that should be another step up, but, the RS20 is likely to be $3000 more, which for those who are “economically challenged”, the HC7000 might work out better. Lumens and price notwithstanding, I think I’d rather own the HC7000, over the Panasonic. Although these are all good projectors that most of us can live with, and not regret. -a

  • greg little

    thx Art, will wait in anticipation of the balance of your review. As mentioned in an earlier comment I have been waiting for your review the make a final decision between the hc7000 and the infocus 83.I just purchased by chance a screen innovation ref 100″ screen 1.1 gain so I have heard and my main concern with the mits is it is not too bright.I would be interested to hear your thoughts between these 2 proj now that you have seen them both..cheers Greg

  • Fred

    Interesting. Totally jonesing for the Epson 6500 UB review, then Sanyo, then Sony, (and PAnny and Mitsui of course, already finished) to see how these 5 new projectors add up. As this will be my last projector purchase for the foreseeable future, I gotta get the right one.

    Thanks as always Art, for all the hard work!

  • Brentis

    Hello Art,

    can I pay you for your opinion. I reviewed every projector review out there and find yours most credible and appreciate your willingness to tell your preference outside of the numbers.

    With that said, I initially was going to blindly get the AE3000 coming from a 2003 720p projector Panasonic PTL-500u. Then when I saw your pictures it became clear that the AE had some issues. Next was the sony VW-10, but it also seems to have some slight crispness issues with regard to the next tier.

    I was pretty sold on the InFocus IN83 as the sharpness and depth seems unmatched, but the throw doesn’t seem to work. I have a 106″ screen and my projector is 12.5 feet away and I understand it will not work.

    Next up is the HC7000. It seems like the perfect projector for my needs. Sharp, great blacks, quiet, but it has some brightness concerns. I’m coming from a light controlled room and I also have a old budget projector which has issues with lights on and doors open. Given the distance from screen and desire to have a somewhat brighter screen than the ptl-500u (rated 850 lumens 1600:1 contrast) do you think I would be happy with the Mitsu?

    My walls are all a dark purple flat finish. Thanks for your opinion. Love to paypal you some $$ for your time.

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    Hi Brent,

    No, save your money. Just refer folks to our site. We live on advertising here, and that income comes from both the numbers of pages viewed, and banner clicks.

    Now, to your questions, etc.

    I don’t think any of the DLP projectors will work with your throw distance, so that leaves you with the 3LCD and LCoS projectors to choose from.

    The Mitsubishi HC7000 as you point out, may be short on lumens, most 3LCD projectors are average or less, in brightness in best mode. LCoS projectors are typically brighter in best mode, but not much brighter in other modes, than in “best” so you end up, typically with less than 1000 lumens even in brightest mode.

    The two projectors coming up for review that would also be of interest to you are the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, and the JVC RS10 (also the essentially identical JVC HD350).

    The Epson is likely to have about 100 lumens more than the Mitsubishi, in best mode, and about twice the lumens in brightest. When you need a compromise, their LivingRoom mode can be calibrated to serve with more brightness than Theater Black1, and less than Dynamic (but a much more accurate image than Dynamic). The JVC is likely to output 700 lumens or more in best mode, and probably still, no more than 1000 if that, in brightest.

    The Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB just arrived. Mike calibrated it last night, but I haven’t seen his numbers yet. I’ll be blogging about it, probably Monday night, with the review to post later in the week.

    The JVC supposedly was shipped to me yesterday, so should arrive Monday or Tuesday.
    I still can’t say if the RS10 will immediately follow the 6500 UB in review order, or if I’ll do the Epson Home Cinema 6100 after the 6500 UB. (The 6100 has also arrived).

    Now, neither the previous Epsons or JVC’s have been overly sharp – described as average by my standards. It’s a very subtle difference on movies between the sharpest, and the average ones. On digital source material, the difference in sharpness is a bit more noticeable.

    Still, I seem to end up owning “average” 1080p projectors when it comes to sharpness, and they are still plenty sharp. You are coming from an older 720p, with very visible pixel structure (and screendoor, depending on seating distance/screen size). Any of the units you are talking about will reveal far more fine detail than your 500U. The difference the worst of these 1080p projectors, and your projector, is drastically greater than the difference between the worst of the 1080p’s and the best.

    I don’t know how bright your PT-AE500U is, but in best mode, (and a new lamp), it probably still is below 400 lumens. Back when I reviewed the similar AE700U (the first Panasonic I reviewed), I didn’t report lumen measurements, but 350 or so would be my best guess in its “best” mode. -art