Test Bench: Mitsubishi HC4900 1080p LCD Front Projector

Color temperature (User Mode, Medium Color Temperature before/User Mode, User Color Temperature after calibration): 20 IRE: 6,862 / 6,387 K 30 IRE: 6,725 / 6,514 K 40 IRE: 6,608 / 6,574 K 50 IRE: 6,704 / 6,592 K 60 IRE: 6,535 / 6,587 K 70 IRE: 6,602 / 6,549 K 80 IRE: 6,602 / 6,589 K 90 IRE: 6,574 / 6,554 K 100 IRE: 6,482 / 6,483 K Brightness (Low Lamp/Auto Gamma mode, 100-IRE window before/after calibration): 12.4 / 10.6 ftL

Primary-Color-Point Accuracy vs. SMPTE HD Standard
Color Target X Measured X Target Y Measured Y
Red 0.64 0.715 0.33 0.307
Green 0.30 0.323 0.60 0.660
Blue 0.15 0.125 0.06 0.018

With the Mitsubishi's User picture-adjustment mode and Medium color-temperature preset selected, its grayscale tracked within ±362 degrees kelvin of the 6,500-K standard from 20 to 100 IRE - very good performance. Adjustments to the red, green, and blue Brightness and Contrast settings in the Custom color-temperature menu improved performance even further, resulting in ±113-K grayscale tracking from 20 to 100 IRE. Color-decoder tests showed no error on either the HDMI or component-video input. Its red and blue primary-color points, meanwhile, all displayed a degree of oversaturation compared with the SMPTE HD specification - a common finding in our front-projector tests.

Overscan - the amount of picture area cut off at the edges of the display - measured 0% for 1080i/p signals with the projector set to its minimum Overscan option (a variable adjustment lets you increase that amount up to 10%) for both HDMI and component-video inputs. And the projector displayed 1080i/p test patterns cleanly and with full resolution via both connections. The projector was able to accept a 1080p/24-format signal from both a signal generator and a Sony Blu-ray Disc player. Screen uniformity was excellent, with no sign of tinting or uneven brightness visible on gray full-field test patterns. A high-def Silicon Optix HQV test disc showed the Mitsubishi to have effective noise-reduction processing, and it also passed that disc's video- and film-mode deinterlacing tests.

The HC4900's post-calibration brightness proved mostly adequate for dark-room viewing on an 87-inch-wide, 100-inch-diagonal screen. Turning on the projector's High lamp mode yielded much better brightness but entailed an audible boost in fan noise (it also reduces lamp life to 2,000 hours from a healthy 5,000-hour expectancy). The best-case full-on/off contrast ratio that I measured was 1,840:1 with the Standard lamp and Auto Iris 2 modes selected - a respectable showing compared with those of other 1080p LCD projectors tested recently.

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