|Mitsubishi HC6000 3LCD Video Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors LCD Projectors|
|Written by Kevin Miller|
|Tuesday, 01 July 2008|
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Mitsubishi’s new HC6000, using advanced three-panel inorganic LCD panels (3LCD), replaces last year’s HC5000. It is the company’s latest 1080p 3LCD front projector. I was very pleased to discover that Mitsubishi made significant improvements in the critical area of black-level performance over the HC5000. Like the previous model, the HC6000 has a comprehensive feature package. Most of the features in the projector are intended to help you with the set-up and installation of the projector and to allow fine-tuning of the picture. This new model also utilizes an improved lens compared to its predecessor and, as a result, the HC6000 delivers sharp and highly detailed pictures. Let’s see how it compares with other 1080p-resolution projectors at or near its price range to determine its value quotient.
The HC6000 is a compact, lightweight projector with a relatively small overall footprint. It measures just 13.14 inches by 4.92 inches by 13.85 inches (HWD), and comes in at a welterweight 12.35 lbs. It will easily tuck away into most ceilings, and its all-black finish will help camouflage it from view nicely. Its design is quite basic, with the lens situated at the outer right edge when ceiling-mounted, or the outer left edge when configured for a floor mount. All the video connectivity is located on the rear of the chassis. The lens is surrounded by a square encasement, which gives the whole projector a rather blocky look, which lacks design flare and is not all that attractive.
I really like the simplicity of the remote control’s design. It is ergonomically well-designed, fitting in the hand nicely, and it is fully backlit, so making adjustments to the projector in a darkened theater environment are that much easier. End users, as well as custom installers wanting to program the remote’s functions into a touch panel, will be pleased to find that nearly all the functionality as well as inputs, iris control and aspect ratio control are all directly accessible from the unit. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) or internal menu system hasn’t changed from last year’s HC5000 remote, remaining quite simple and intuitive to navigate and use.
A total of six gamma modes, which are really picture modes with different gamma curves, are on tap, with Cinema being the best selectable mode. Two User modes allow you to adjust the gamma curve, but I don’t recommend this unless you are an experienced technician with the proper test equipment. There are also six selectable color temperatures available, and the User color temperature is adjustable for those wishing to have the unit professionally calibrated. Of course, I did avail myself of the grayscale controls in the User color temperature to calibrate the grayscale, which yielded excellent results. The Auto Iris feature seems to be the rage with front-projection manufacturers, especially LCD and LCoS-based machines. The Auto Iris opens and closes the Iris, depending on the brightness of the content of the picture. I have probably said this a million times in my projector reviews, but I will say it again: I highly recommend that you shut the Auto Iris off. The reason is that the Auto Iris causes both white level and black level to shift up and down depending on picture content, and both white and black need to be set correctly and remain constant for the best picture and performance. You can actually see this happening when watching a movie if you pay close attention; it is extremely distracting. Lastly, there are three memories per input, which should be more than enough to store different settings for different sources.
Connectivity is fairly comprehensive for a front projector. Two HDMI (Version 1.3) inputs head up the list. This is another improvement over last year’s HC5000, which had one HDMI and one DVI input. A single component video input and a 15-pin VGA input that can be configured for component video are also on board. A single S-Video and a single composite video input for older legacy sources like VHS decks, etc., are also present. Last but not least, an RS-232 control port for programming touch panel remote systems like Crestron and AMX and a 12-volt trigger that automatically controls electric drop-down screens are available as well.