1080p Home Theater
October 8, 2008
Placement flexibility. The HC7000, in addition to a powered zoom/focus lens, has powered vertical and horizontal lens shift. The zoom range is 1.6:1, which gives it an advantage over most 1080p DLP projectors, which typically use 1.2:1 zoom lenses. Vertical lens shift range is 2.5 picture heights, while horizontal range is 10% of the picture's width. To put this in perspective, this makes the HC7000 easier to install than the popular 1080p DLP models that don't have lens shift, but slightly more restricted in installation options than some popular 1080p LCD projectors.
Dual Mode Anamorphic Stretch. First introduced on the HC5500, Mitsubishi's Dual Mode Anamorphic Stretch allows the viewer to install an anamorphic lens permanently in front of the projector, rather than on a moving track. When showing 16:9 films and video, the projector compresses the signal horizontally such that it passes through the lens and is stretched back to the proper 16:9. Since motorized tracks for anamorphic lenses typically cost quite a bit, this is a helpful feature that can save you money.
Long lamp life. The HC7000 has a lamp rated for 2,000 hours in Normal mode and 5,000 hours in Eco mode. Replacement lamps appear to be selling for roughly $330, which means that the HC7000 costs a paltry $0.07 per hour to operate.
Whisper-silent operation. Since the release of the HC5000, Mitsubishi's first 1080p projector, their 1080p line has been known for quiet operation. Somehow, they have managed to get the HC7000 even quieter than their previous models, so sometimes it is hard to tell if the HC7000 is even turned on.
Low heat output. Fan noise and heat exhaust tend to go hand in hand. A projector with a high-wattage lamp gets much hotter than one with a low-wattage lamp, requiring a more powerful air circulation system and resulting in louder, hotter exhaust. The HC7000 has a 160W lamp, which allows it to use a whisper quiet fan as mentioned above and keeping heat exhaust to a bare minimum. In my theater, perfect light control requires shutting the door, and after a two-hour movie it is not uncommon for the air temperature to rise five to ten degrees. Using the HC7000, the room is kept relatively cool and comfortable.