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DIY Home Theater
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

Performance

Light output. The HC8000D-BL is rated at 1300 ANSI lumens. The projector does not have a high brightness preset in the same way that other projectors have Dynamic or Presentation mode, but high lumen output can still be obtained by switching the projector to the 3D preset, then changing color temperature to the High Brightness setting. This combination, along with setting the lamp to full power, yields 1293 lumens.

A large portion of that brightness comes from using the high brightness color temperature setting. When you switch back to Medium, which is the default, light output drops to 913 lumens. This gives the picture the much more balanced appearance that is desired for 3D home theater viewing.

For home theater use with 2D content, the go-to setting is Cinema. Out of the box, Cinema mode provides the best contrast and color performance for high-definition film and video, and in this mode the projector produces 626 lumens with full lamp power and 454 lumens in eco mode. The 25% eco-mode reduction in light output increases lamp life from 3,000 to 5,000 hours.

The HC8000D-BL has a secondary iris system that can be set to either "high brightness" or "high contrast" and has a significant effect on black levels and overall contrast. The above readings were all taken with the iris in "High Brightness" mode. Our preferred mode for 2D high definition content is Cinema mode, High Contrast iris, Eco lamp mode. This reduces light output to 359 lumens (a 21% reduction), but the dramatic deepening of the projector's black level is more than worth the trade-off. If you need more light than that, putting the lamp to Normal power boosts output to 496 lumens even with the iris set to High Contrast.

Interestingly, despite the HC7800D being rated at 1500 lumens, the HC8000D-BL is just as bright as its predecessor in the modes that count. Whereas the HC7800D measured 609 lumens in Cinema mode high lamp, the HC8000D-BL measures 626 lumens. Specifications don't tell the whole story.

Contrast. The HC8000D-BL is rated at 330,000:1 on/off contrast, whereas the HC7800D was rated at 100,000:1. This translates into a better black level on the HC8000D-BL. If you switch the HC8000D-BL's secondary iris to High Brightness mode, the two projectors' black levels are about equal.

As for gamma, the HC8000D-BL's Cinema mode defaults to the appropriately-named Cinema gamma, which measured 2.2 on our test sample. The projector also has a preset gamma setting labeled "2.2," which measured identically. Either setting will produce the correct amount of shadow detail without crushing the low end of the image while also preventing blowout in the highlights. If you want a picture with more apparent punch, you can use the 2.4 gamma preset, which makes the picture look more three-dimensional and high in contrast at the expense of a small amount of deep shadow detail. Overall, we felt the viewing experience was more satisfying with gamma set to 2.4.


RGB levels before calibration

Color. While each projector is a little bit different, we had to do very little fine-tuning to get the HC8000D-BL looking its best. Ours came out of the box measuring around 6300K, but with slightly too much green in the image and a slight deficit of blue. After a few tweaks (we took Green Brightness and Contrast down about 4 points each and gave Blue Brightness a two-point boost), our test unit gave us a nice, smooth 6500K across the board.


RGB levels after calibration

Gamut in Cinema mode closely conforms to the Rec.709 standard color space, though there is some initial error as is found in almost all projectors. Color gamut calibration is something of an "advanced maneuver" for the average home user, and it's just about impossible to do it without a good meter, but luckily the HC8000D-BL does not differ from the specification enough to make a visible difference. For most folks, it's perfectly fine to leave the gamut right where it is.

Saturation by default is a touch subdued, so we gave that a slight boost. The resulting picture is bright and vibrant, with plenty of pop.

Sharpness and detail. The picture produced by the HC8000D-BL has plenty of detail, and HD content looks superb. However, at times it can appear slightly less detailed than its competitors due to a couple of factors. For one, the HC8000D-BL has no smart-sharpening or detail clarity system, a feature which some folks like and some don't. Secondly, while the HC8000D-BL is high in contrast, some competing units can achieve an incrementally higher contrast which can produce a slight improvement in detail definition. Using the 2.4 gamma preset narrows this gap by making the picture appear higher in contrast.

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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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