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Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL Projector Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Contrast:330,000:1
Lumens:1300
Weight: 12.6 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:DLP
Color Wheel:6x speed
Color Wheel:6 segments
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:Vertical
Lamp Life:3,000 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$349.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  Component, RGB, HDMI 1.4 (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL
3D Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, October 2, 2012

Comparison with HC7900DW

Mitsubishi is also releasing the HC7900DW this year, which is similar to the HC8000D-BL in enough ways that a comparison is merited.

Just on the surface, it's clear that the two projectors share a common ancestor. Both use the same case design, though the HC7900DW is white while the HC8000D-BL is black. Both have the same lens with the same zoom and lens shift range. Both projectors have the same connection panel. They use the same DLP chip, and indeed most of the internals are the same, as well. The HC8000D-BL is sold through Mitsubishi's network of custom installers and resellers, while the HC7900DW is sold over the internet. So what's different about these two projectors?

Irises. This is kind of complicated. Both the HC7900DW and the HC8000D have an auto iris as well as another iris further back in the light path that is fixed (non-adjustable). But the HC8000D-BL has two additional irises, for a total of four. One is fixed, while the other can be switched from High Brightness mode to High Contrast mode, thereby emphasizing black levels or light output, depending on what the situation warrants. As a result, the specifications for brightness and contrast on these two projectors differ significantly.

Lumens. While both projectors use the same lamp, the additional irises in the HC8000D-BL bring light output down slightly. The specification lists 1500 lumens for the HC7900DW and 1300 lumens for the HC8000D-BL, but our own measurements indicate a more nuanced relationship. For example, the HC7900DW measured 659 lumens in Cinema mode with the lamp at full power. On the HC8000D-BL, that same mode measures 626 lumens with the iris set to High Brightness and 496 lumens with the iris set to High Contrast. So while output is functionally equivalent with the additional iris open, using the High Contrast mode results in a modest reduction of about 25%. The spec does not fully reflect this relationship.

Black level. Likewise, using the High Contrast iris setting deepens the projector's black levels significantly. The actual spec for the HC7900DW is 150,000:1, while the HC8000D-BL's own specifications indicate 330,000:1. Indeed, using the High Contrast iris setting does create appreciably deeper black levels on the HC8000D-BL. This is especially useful in a dark room, where deeper blacks make a real difference in image quality. More casual users in rooms with less stringent light control may not be able to appreciate the difference.

3D glasses and IR emitter. The HC7900DW uses "generic" 3D glasses, whereas most projectors are tied to their specific manufacturer's 3D eyewear. That said, the HC7900DW-compatible glasses we tested, made by XpanD, are heavier than most other 3D glasses. And, at least for me, I found that the glasses pinched the sides of my head enough that, over the course of a two-hour 3D movie, I developed a headache. That might be because I have a large head (according to my wife, at least, and also the one time I went to a hat shop), but it's still something to be aware of. The good news is that compatibility with generic glasses gives you some options.

The HC8000D-BL can use either those same universal glasses or Mitsubishi's special high-performance glasses, which deepen 3D contrast compared to the universal equipment. The high-performance glasses are slimmer, lighter, and more comfortable than the XpanD universal models, as well. If 3D is important to you, that might be something worth considering.

Neither the HC7900DW nor the HC8000D-BL includes either an emitter or glasses in the purchase price. If you want to watch 3D content, that's more equipment you'll need to buy. The emitter costs $99 direct from Mitsubishi.

Case color. The HC7900DW is one of the few home theater projectors to have a white case (the "W" stands for White) while the HC8000D-BL only comes in black. If you have a white ceiling, a white case can make the projector much less visible when ceiling mounted. Conversely, those placing the projector on a low shelf might find that the HC8000D-BL is less visible.

Marketing differences. The HC8000D-BL is sold through authorized resellers rather than over the internet. It also costs a bit more, at $2999 minimum advertised price compared to the HC7900DW's $2499. That price increase also includes a few substantive changes in support: the HC8000D-BL includes an extra lamp ($349 value), an extra year of warranty (three years versus two), and three years of express replacement service should something happen to the projector. The extra lamp alone justifies most of the cost difference -- the rest is just gravy.

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Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  HC8000D vs HC7900DW Conclusion

Reader Comments(14 comments)

Posted Jan 26, 2014 5:32:28 AM

By Image Processor

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Any time you see "DLP", think what's the lifetime, can the DLP be replaced, and how much does it cost. The DLP I had only lasted about four years. Sure, it's possible that in four years the image display systems will inject it straight into our visual cortex, but maybe not....

Posted Nov 7, 2012 9:33:45 AM

By DarkCinema

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Do you need an IR emitter or can you also use DLPLink glasses?

Posted Oct 17, 2012 10:17:30 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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iwolf - correct; only the HC8000D-BL can use the high-performance glasses.

Posted Oct 17, 2012 12:16:19 AM

By Nick

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Hello and thanks for the review.

Could you tell how the HC8000 compares to Panasonic PT-AE8000U and JVC DLA-RS55U contrast, black levels and ghosting?

Posted Oct 12, 2012 8:52:02 AM

By iwolf

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"The HC7900DW uses "generic" 3D glasses"

Are you saying 7900 can NOT use mitsubishi black-liquid-high-performance glasses? Only "generic"?

Posted Oct 9, 2012 10:30:22 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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Hi guys, thanks for writing.

Singing Italian, JoeBoy, Joe - That depends on a couple of things. Let's say you're using Cinema mode at full power. If you have a 1.3-gain screen, you can go to 120" at 16:9 and still get 18 fL. If you want to use Eco mode, you should stay closer to 100"-110" diagonal.

You can do a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen with the HC8000D in 3D and still get a picture that is bright enough. So the ideal, at least for me, is a 100" diagonal 1.3-gain screen. With 2D, you can do Cinema Eco, and with 3D you can do 3D at full power. You get a pleasantly bright picture in each instance.

2.4:1 is tricky. I am assuming you are not using an anamorphic lens and are just zooming the picture to fit, in which case the same numbers apply - 120" diagonal for full power and 100" diagonal for eco. You get slightly lower average illumination but not enough to throw the projector out of the acceptable range.

Wondering - No, I don't think so. The HC7900 and HC8000 accept the HDMI 1.4 3D formats, but they show you 60 frames per second per eye. That doesn't mean they can accept direct 120Hz.

chris - it's not 6x per color per second, it's 6x per color per frame. I can also guarantee that your HW300T does not have a 6x speed refresh rate.

Posted Oct 9, 2012 8:32:23 AM

By iwolf

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How is the dynamic iris working on 8000? Is it noticeable, annoying? There was a complains about auto iris on HC7800D. Is 8000 better?

Posted Oct 6, 2012 11:32:49 PM

By ilya

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How are they compared to HC7800D ? Are blacks better ?

Posted Oct 6, 2012 1:05:20 PM

By chris

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You wrote "you can switch the projector into 6x speed mode, thereby reducing the chances you'd ever see a rainbow artifact to just about zero". I have a HW300T LED projector. I can see rainbow artifacts quite easily depending on the material. So are you implying that the refresh rate on my projector is less than 6 refreshed images per colour per second? More importantly, are you saying that a 6 refresh rate is the magic number I need to not see rainbow artifacts?

Posted Oct 4, 2012 8:45:23 PM

By Joe

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Hello Bill...I'm curious as well. What is the largest 2.35 screen this PJ can handle IMHO?

Posted Oct 4, 2012 5:18:47 PM

By Wondering

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Also, is that a true 120hz PC-Ready 3d implementation? Been waiting for a 1080p 60 3d capable projector of merit that isn't hugely expensive =)....

Posted Oct 4, 2012 4:13:42 PM

By JoeBoy

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I would like to know the same...How large of a 2.35 screen can this PJ handle in a completely light controlled batcave, in my case. Thanks!

Posted Oct 4, 2012 12:59:16 PM

By Nikonf5

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Any chance of getting the model numbers of the Mitsu emitter you tested with AND the proprietary Mitsu glasses as the 7800 prop glasses were badly reviewed and these sound different.

Also, the emitter has a different model number from the 7800 and am wondering whether the IR is different as well to accomodate universal glasses.

Posted Oct 3, 2012 10:41:45 AM

By Singing Italian

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Hey Bill can you let us know what size screen the HC8000D-BL can handle in a darken room. Im assuming its what the HC7800 can do since no information was posted,and what about screen size for 3D.

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