Mitsubishi HC2 Colorview
October 6, 2003,
Ever since the launch of ProjectorCentral in 1999 and until very recently, we did not recommend SVGA resolution LCD projectors for video applications for two reasons: Contrast performance was lacking, and the visible pixel grid was too intrusive. While DLP projectors had their own problems and image defects, their ability to produce a higher contrast image with less visible pixelation made them a preferred selection for video usage in the SVGA resolution category.
Time and technology marches on. You don't need to spend much time watching the Mitsubishi HC2 before you realize the truth has changed. SVGA resolution LCD projectors are not what they used to be. This unit combines great color performance and improved contrast with much reduced pixelation. The result is a projector that delivers a beautiful, engaging video image in an economy class package.
The HC2 is a crossover product that is, oddly enough, designed to cross over in the opposite direction. It is promoted as a "home cinema" projector. Indeed it is among the most feature-rich projectors for home entertainment use in its class. But at just 6.5 lbs, it is quite portable. So if you want to sneak it out of your home and into the office or classroom, it has all the features you'd need to use is as a part time business or classroom presentation machine as well.
The HC2 features three 0.7" SVGA (800x600) LCD panels. It delivers 1100 ANSI lumens of brightness with a 600:1 contrast ratio. It has a 1.2x manual zoom and focus lens with moderate throw distance. A 100" diagonal 4:3 image is achieved from a distance of 12.4 to 14.8 feet.
The connection panel offers composite, S-video, and a single 15-pin VGA port for component video, HDTV, and computer input. There is a 15-pin VGA out for monitor loop-through and audio input to drive the single on-board speaker. Both of these features increase the HC2's functionality as a business or classroom projector.
Its signal compatibility includes computer resolutions from 640x480 VGA up to 1280x1024 SXGA compressed; it will also take component 480i, 480p, 1080i, and 720p. Color system compatibility includes NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL-60, SECAM.
The HC2 has a Picture-in-Picture option that lets you view two of the three sources (composite, S-video, or computer/component) at once.
The HC2 has extensive color calibration and color temperature control. You can make individual adjustments on red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta, as well as a separate saturation control. There are three pre-programmed color temperatures--standard, high, and low. However you can also program your own with contrast and brightness controls on red and blue.
The projector has two operating modes: sport and theater. Sport is the brighter of the two. Fan noise is moderate but not too bothersome in this mode, and lamp life is 2000 hours. Theater mode reduces lumen output by about 20%, increases lamp life to 2500 hours, and quite noticeably reduces fan noise.