The production sample of the Mitsubishi HC7800D has arrived and we've had a chance to look at it...
Here is what I can say so far. We were concerned about two things on the pre-production sample we initially acquired for the review. First, the overall picture quality was not meeting the standard that we had seen on an earlier engineering sample. Second, the auto-iris was interacting with fan speed and creating a distracting and unstable audible noise that was unacceptable. When we reported these two observations to Mitsubishi, they informed us that the audible noise problem was resolved in the production units, and they had no idea what might be causing any compromise in image quality in the unit we had. So we decided to table the review until we could see a production unit.
I am happy to report that the production unit looks substantially better than the pre-production sample (Bill's reaction: "way better."). And the audible noise issue is gone. In particular, the 2D picture quality is pristine, and may be the best we've seen in 1080p projectors at this price level. We are still not quite sure about the 3D, but that is no surprise.
What needs to be done at this point is shoot-outs between the HC7800D we just received, the Panny AE7000, and the Epson 5010. These need to be tested side by side in high definition 2D, in HD 3D, in 2D to 3D conversion, and in 2D standard definition. Bill is doing his best to get all of this done by Thursday, but this is a lot of side-by-siding, so the review posting may slip to Friday. Nevertheless, our goal at this time is Thursday afternoon.
Thanks very much for your patience on this. From what I've seen this morning, I'm glad we waited for the final production unit on this one.