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Mitsubishi HC2000 front DLP projector Comments & Calibration

Comments

I performed several measurements on the Mitsubishi HC2000 while using an 80-inch-wide Stewart FireHawk screen. The full on/off peak contrast ratio (different from the ANSI peak contrast ratio measurement that PP performs), with the Contrast control set as high as possible without white clipping, measured 2050 (to the nearest 50 at 22.5 footlamberts peak white, 0.011fL video black)—a little low for an HD2+ projector, but quite respectable. How-ever, I found the peak white level of 22.5fL to be uncomfortably bright on films; lowering the level to 14.8fL on the same screen dropped the contrast ratio to 1350.

The main concern I have with the Mitsubishi is its signal-detection circuitry. PP reports that he had difficulty locking on to HD signals with either DVI or RGB inputs. For me, the HC2000 would not lock on to a 720p DVI signal from V, Inc.'s Bravo D2 DVD player. This is a problem, because to switch this player (and many others) to 480p DVI, you have to see the onscreen menus! And using the component inputs for HD sources is no solution, as PP reports that the bandwidth is limited through this route. For the above contrast-ratio tests I ended up using the Ayre DX-7 DVD player, which is strictly 480p from its DVI output.

PP reports no problem with the way HD sources looked through the projector once they'd locked on to the source in either DVI or RGB, but the lock on quirks make an unconditional recommendation difficult. There's a good projector here waiting to get out, but there are some roadblocks in the way. If Mitsubishi can fix these quirks, we'll do a "Take 2" in a future issue.—Thomas J. Norton

Calibration

The Mitsubishi HC2000 comes from the factory with three preset color-temperature modes and two user-adjustable modes. Of the three preset modes, the factory "D6500" setting is closest to ideal, although that's not saying a lot—it resulted in white-balance readings that ranged from 7400 kelvins at 20 IRE to 6900K at 100 IRE. And the Standard gamma resulted in a crushed, nonlinear gray scale.

Once I'd set up the HC2000 for best gray-scale image (no crushing of deep blacks or bright whites), I was able to pull the gray-scale tracking lower in color temperature, with less variation between high and low readings. After calibration, a 20 IRE window measured 6776K; at the other end of the scale, a 100 IRE window measured 6530K.

After setting the projector's zoom lens to its midway point, the HC2000's brightness measured 354 ANSI lumens in Theater 1 mode, 446 lumens in Standard mode. The ANSI (aver-age) contrast was 493:1 on a 16-square checkerboard pattern, and 770:1 peak with a 50% white/black pattern. These are better-than-average numbers for a DLP projector.

The HC2000's optical system has a brightness-uniformity measurement of 88% (average of four readings of corner full-white brightness). That's outstanding for any microdisplay projector; very few of the models I have tested ever got close to 90%, and almost none exceeded that number.

All of this adds up to excellent gray-scale reproduction and nice color quality for a DLP projector. Good image quality isn't about blazingly bright images or fairy-tale contrast numbers—it's about making the best gray-scale images possible, then pouring in accurate colors. Along with the Projection Design Action One (see review elsewhere in this issue), the HC2000 is the second DLP model in a row I've reviewed about which I can make that claim; DLP projector manufacturers are finally getting it right.—PP

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