|Mitsubishi HC3000 DLP Video Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors DLP Projectors|
|Written by Kevin Miller|
|Saturday, 01 April 2006|
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I was disappointed to find only one HDMI digital input on the projector. This is an industry-wide issue in front projectors, as few of them, especially in the $3,000 to $5,000 price range, offer more than one HDMI input. It can be a problem when it comes to optimizing the picture quality if you are switching two HDMI video sources into one input on the projector. For example, if one HDMI source is a standard-definition scalable DVD player, and the second is real HD, then often the correct level of the picture parameters will be different for these two sources, but since you only have one input on the projector, you only have one set of picture controls. Some of the new A/V receivers now have picture controls in them to help solve this problem. The black-level performance on the HC3000, while adequate, is certainly not as good as similar projectors with Dark Chip 3 DMD chips in them, but projectors with the better chip are slightly more expensive.
Finally, the lack of any vertical and/or horizontal lens shift is a disappointment. I would expect at least vertical lens shift to help make installing the projector a little easier. The 15:9 aspect ratio that gives you a little electronic vertical shift doesn’t offer anywhere near as much range as the physical adjustment on other similarly-priced DLP projectors.
The bottom line here is the HC3000 is capable of delivering very good performance when you compare it to other similarly-priced LCD and DLP projectors. In terms of color accuracy, it is one of the tops in its class. My reference has been for sometime and remains a Runco eight-inch CRT on a six-foot-wide screen. The Mitsubishi HC3000 doesn’t match it in terms of color saturation (the actual amount of color in the picture) or in black-level performance. However, it does outperform the CRT in light output and in accuracy of the gamma and grayscale tracking.
Other DLP projectors in the Mitsubishi’s class at the moment are the Optoma H77 and the Infocus 7205. The Mitsubishi is certainly comparable to both, a bit less expensive than the Infocus and about the same price as the Optoma. It is superior in overall color accuracy to both when you look at the entire picture: that is, the red, green and blue colors, accuracy of gamma and grayscale and color decoding. The HC3000 will smoke virtually any similarly-priced transmissive LCD projector in every performance parameter. It specifically will blow away most LCD projectors in black-level performance, as well as color saturation and accuracy. If you are on a tight budget and want to put together a front-projection home theater, the HC3000 should definitely be on your short audition list.