Review Contents
Advantages
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Mitsubishi HC6800 Projector Mitsubishi HC6800
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:30,000:1
Lumens:1500
Weight: 16.5 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:3 LCD
Lens:1.6x powered
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:2,000 Hrs
4,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$459.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, RGB, HDMI 1.3 (x2), Headphone Jack, RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Mitsubishi HC6800
1080p Home Theater Projector Review

Evan Powell, September 21, 2009

The Mitsubishi HC6800 (MSRP, $3,495, official street price $2,495) is one of the two new 1080p models being released this month by Mitsubishi, the other being the entry level HC3800 ($1,495). The HC6800 delivers a beautiful, sharp, natural video image with very little digital noise. It is not leading edge in terms of contrast, and it lacks frame interpolation, which several 1080p models in its price range now have. But it has a 1.6x powered zoom and focus lens that several competing units don't have. That feature can help eliminate the need for an anamorphic lens for those who want to set up a 2.40 widescreen system. The HC6800 also has almost zero fan noise, extensive calibration controls, and a better than average warranty.

Advantages

Natural, filmlike picture. The single most striking attribute of the HC6800 is its natural looking image. For the videophile, the most desirable digital projectors are those that don't look digital. The HC6800 accomplishes this with flying colors. There is very little digital noise, virtually no pixelation, no overdriven sharpness, no overly brilliant or blown out highlights. The image is simply natural and filmlike, and a genuine pleasure to watch.

Excellent Cinema Brightness. For dark room home theater, the maximum lumen rating on a projector is generally irrelevant. The real question is how bright the picture is after calibration for ideal cinema viewing. This measurement almost never appears on a spec sheet. In its factory default Cinema mode, our test sample measured 703 lumens, which is brighter than most other home theater projectors in Cinema mode (measured with lens at wide angle setting, and lamp on full power).

However, the factory defaults in Cinema mode rendered an excessive green in the image. After boosting red and blue, and substantially reducing green, we were able to obtain a beautifully color-balanced picture. Those calibration adjustments reduced overall lumen output to 649 lumens.

And there is more good news--the position you choose to set the HC6800's 1.6x zoom lens has surprisingly little effect on lumen output. Remarkably, moving the lens to its maximum long throw position reduced brightness by just 13% from its reading at maximum wide angle. For a lens of 1.6x zoom range, we normally expect a 25% to 30% loss of light.


The Mitsubishi HC6800

Thus, you can plan your throw distance without much concern for light loss. For this projector, we'd recommend placing it such that the zoom lens is in the middle of its range. If you want a 120" diagonal 16:9 image, the zoom range will allow you to place the projector at a minimum of 12.3 feet, and a maximum of almost 20 feet from the screen. The ideal throw distance of about 16 feet would let you use the optical sweetspot of the lens, with only a very minor loss of light compared to wide angle. Furthermore, if you want to sit at a viewing distance of 1.2x to 1.5x the screen width (which is a comfortable range for many), you'd be sitting 10.5 to 13 feet from the screen. Thus, the projector can be placed comfortably behind the seating area on a rear shelf or free-standing rack, and the cost and effort to ceiling mount it is avoided.

Low lamp mode. Dropping the HC6800 into low lamp mode reduces lumen output by 28%. The advantage is that it is expected to double lamp life from 2000 to 4000 hours. On some projectors, low lamp mode also reduces fan noise, but the fan noise on this model is so low already, that it is not likely to be a factor in your choice of lamp setting.

The bottom line is that after video calibration, if you place the unit at mid-zoom range and put it into low lamp mode, you still get about 435 lumens. This is just about ideal for a 120" image on a low gain screen in a dark viewing room. If you want to go with a larger screen, there is plenty of headroom available by putting the lamp into full power.

Contrast. The rating on this unit is 30,000:1. That doesn't sound like much compared to the Sony VW85 at 120,000:1, or the Epson 8500 at up to 200,000:1. But on the other hand, the new Samsung A900, priced at a whopping $13,000, is only rated at 12,000:1, and that projector produces a picture some videophiles salivate over. The HC6800 has plenty of contrast to produce a brilliant, sparking image with solid blacks, good shadow detail, and excellent color saturation, even when taken to a 120" image size or larger.

Powered zoom, focus, and lens shift. This is an important feature if you want to use the zoom capability to accommodate a 2.40 format widescreen installation. Simply zoom to a wider angle setting to fill the 2.40 screen when you are viewing a movie in that format, and zoom forward to view standard 16:9 material in the center of that screen. The advantage is that you avoid the cost and bother of an anamorphic lens, and you retain the native resolution one-to-one pixel match between the 1080p display and 1080p source material when viewing 2.40 material. Several of the competing 1080p projectors in this price range lack a powered lens, so this may be a key factor in your decision.

The lens shift range is a total of 2.6 picture heights vertical, and a mere 5% of the picture width in either direction side to side. So there is not much leeway to place the projector off of dead center horizontally.

Two anamorphic modes. If you wish to set up a 2.40 rig using an A-lens (I am weary of typing out the phrase "anamorphic lens" so henceforth it shall be A-lens, or simply lens if the context is clear), the HC6800 has the capability of switching back and forth between 2.40 format movies or 16:9 material without moving the A-lens. Thus it can be installed permanently without the extra cost and hassle of the motorized track.

Fan noise. Nothing to worry about here. Mitsubishi has led the way in audible noise reduction, and this one is as quiet as they come. It is almost silent in low power mode, and not much louder in full lamp mode.

Extended lamp warranty. The projector itself has a two-year warranty, which is good but not exceptional in the industry. But the lamp has a one-year or 500 hour (which ever comes first) warranty that is quite unusual. Most vendors offer only 90-day warranties on lamps.

Review Contents: Advantages Limitations Competition Conclusion
 

Reader Comments(24 comments)

Posted Jun 4, 2012 1:00:09 PM

By Jose meza

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Can you please send me,or post on line,your calibration setting. for the HC6800?I will appreciated thanks,jose

Posted Apr 2, 2012 4:30:10 PM

By Dale Beck

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I too would like to aquire the calibration settings you used. If i can i would rather do it myself and know how to fine tweak it in the future. Please e-mail. Also just before i buy this month at a better price than others commented maybe cause its a three year old model, is there a newer model coming other than the 7000,3D version ?

Posted Feb 6, 2012 6:17:25 AM

By Kent

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It appears that you can not post you calibration settings. So I'm asking that you email them to me. Thank you!

Posted Nov 8, 2011 3:05:36 PM

By Christian

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English Below:

bonjour,

Après un HC 4900, je viens d'avoir ce HC 6800.

Appareil de très bonne qualité , mais je pense qu'il y a quelques ajustements d'image à faire .

Pourriez vous avoir l'obligeance de me communiquer les chiffres de calibrage que vous avez effectués pour faire vos essais très interessant ?

Merci vivement par avance

Google Translation to English:

hello,

After HC 4900, I just had this HC 6800. High quality device, but I think there are some image adjustments to make. Could you be so kind to give me the numbers of calibration you made to your very interesting test? Thank you very much in advance

Posted Nov 2, 2011 10:41:30 PM

By Anthony Steens

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Has bought a HC6800, this is a fine device. Can you please email me calibration settings of this projector for more correct use. Thanks in advance.

Posted Sep 23, 2011 12:22:54 AM

By Michael

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Can you please send me, or post online, your calibration settings like you have in the past for the HC6800? I have used them as a starting point.

Posted Apr 9, 2011 8:05:35 PM

By Frank Fanucci

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Can someone who has the Mitsubishi HC6800 e-mail me their calibration settings for blu-ray HDMI input. I just purchased this projector and although the picture is great out of the box I want to have the full potential of what the projector offers. I am also looking into A Recommended DA-LITE JKP cinema contour screen. Any guidence is appreciated.

Posted Nov 17, 2010 1:05:38 PM

By Anthony

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I bought this projector about 8 months ago and in my opinion it is the best projector you can buy at this price point. I have it projecting onto a Stewart 110" screen and the picture is simply amazing. I would definitely recommend this projector and would purchase it again.

Posted Aug 27, 2010 5:29:08 AM

By John

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I am thinking of buying a 6800. Question: If everyone had a choice, would you buy this one again?

Posted May 27, 2010 8:30:29 AM

By Jimbo Jim

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Hello. I'm very close to purchasing my first PJ. I think its down to the Panasonic AE4000 and the Mit HC6800. Am I right in understanding that with this PJ I can by a 2.35:1 screen and I'll be able to see my film full size on screen? The panny unit zooms to fill the 2.35:1 I think, so therefore the black bars top and bottom are still there but are of the screen and projected onto the wall. PS Are the users of this PJ happy with black level and shadow detail?

Posted May 20, 2010 1:43:48 AM

By Andy

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I just bought this PJ 3 Weeks ago, after setup all those conection, finanly i get a great picture from the PJ.But i get into problem with the HDMI cable (Atlona 15 meter)no picture from my Harman Kardon AVR 355 after switching the AV input from my amp, need to change another brand, Golden Sound silver series ( 12 meter ) then only fix the problem. It take me 1 week of try n erros to confirm that the 15 meter Atlone HDMI cable was not compatible with my Amp (AVR 355) and the projector !! Pls avoid the HDMI cable from this BRAND......IF MORE THEN 15 METER !!

Posted Apr 28, 2010 1:56:59 AM

By Neil

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I wish the reviewers of these Mitsubishi models (HC5500, HC6500, HC6800, HC7000) would include one of the most useful features unique to the Mitsubishi line that I personally think sets it apart from other projectors. The ability to do CIH without a lens and without changing the zoom or focus constantly! That's right, this model, as well as other Mitsubishi models, have a setting that allows you to switch between 2.35:1 and 16:9 on the fly, no zooming or focusing required. This is a great feature for those of us wanting to do a cheap CIH setup without losing significant quality. It has been discussed at length on some of the forums and has been tested by several users with great results. Here's how it works:

In the ADVANCED MENU of the IMAGE menu, there is a setting for SCREEN SIZE. If you are using a 2.35 screen, select 2.35:1 (CinemaScope) for the SCREEN SIZE. Then, when watching 2.35 content, simply leave the ASPECT setting to AUTO. When you change to 16:9 content, change the ASPECT to 16:9 and magically, the image is scaled to a 16:9 image with the same height as your 2.35 screen. Theoretically, since this is scaling the image there should be some loss of quality. But honestly, to my knowledge, none of the users of this method can detect any loss whatsoever. I have this same setup with my HC5500 and both 2.35 and 16:9 images look great.

I wish the reviews would reflect this amazing feature. It is somewhat hidden but it brings this model and other Mitsubishi models in direct competition with the Panasonic's with zoom and focus memory for CIH capability without a lens. I actually think this method is better than the Panasonic stored zoom/focus method, simply because it's an instantaneous change and there doesn't seem to be any loss of quality. Check it out for yourself.

Posted Apr 12, 2010 11:16:34 AM

By Vladimir

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Has bought in HC6800, the fine device. You can send me options of calibration of a projector for more correct use. In advance thanks.

Posted Apr 2, 2010 7:32:44 PM

By Kevin P

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I appreciate a lot if you can send me your calibration setting for HC6800 as well. Thanks!

Posted Jan 15, 2010 6:03:43 AM

By Bruce

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just wondering if you can post your calibration settings for this projector (hc6800) great informative site!! Thanks!

Posted Dec 16, 2009 6:13:56 AM

By FlavioS

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Can you please send me your calibration settings like you have in the past for the HC6800?

Thanks,

Posted Oct 14, 2009 1:35:06 PM

By AMD

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The listed price of HC6800 at mitsubishi's official site is $2,399.00

Posted Oct 4, 2009 5:24:41 AM

By marcus

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Can you please send me, or post online, your calibration settings like you have in the past for the HC6800 and the HC5500? What projector would you recommend for this year budget is around 1500 to 3000

Posted Sep 27, 2009 6:09:01 AM

By walter santos filho

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LCD Mitsubishi projectors are definetely prone to dust blobs. I had The hC 5000 and HC 7000. The last had a wonderful image. But, in a short period of time both pjs showed dust blobs, and I try to keep my projecting room as claen as possible, so, definitely, it's not a dusty one.

Posted Sep 24, 2009 8:35:28 PM

By Brian

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At what rate does it display 1080p24 content?

Posted Sep 22, 2009 6:19:21 AM

By Andrew P

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I just had a local dealer set up a HC6800 for $2500. The picture is absolutely brilliant. Graet projector for a good price.

Posted Sep 21, 2009 8:20:56 PM

By Jacob

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Why do you keep claiming the A900 is $12,999? It's $9,999.99. That's a $3,000 difference and a huge one.

Note from Projector Central Editor 9/22/09: Samsung product management has confirmed that the MSRP on the SP-A900B is $12,999. [ED]

Posted Sep 21, 2009 12:46:02 PM

By Kevin K

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Can you please send me, or post online, your calibration settings like you have in the past for the HC6800? I have used them as a starting point.

Thanks,

Posted Sep 21, 2009 12:09:01 PM

By donlino

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Since I don't need to purchase an A lens for this projector would it it still work ok if I used a curved 2.35 screen or would the curved screen distort the image?

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