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Mitsubishi XL5U ColorView User Reviews

Mitsubishi XL5U ColorView Projector

Mitsubishi XL5U ColorView

XGA (1024x768), 1700 ANSI Lumens,
5.4 lbs, $3,495 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.8 out of 5
3 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.7
Features 5.0
Construction 4.7
Ease of Use 4.3
Reliability 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

User Reviews

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Review by Glen

Terrific projector for the money.Comparing it to the Hitachi PJX10(I bought 18months ago for the same price as XL5U) was like chalk and cheese. Brightness, color saturation and especially resolution is far superior over the Hitachi. Pixelistaion with the focus set slightly off is almost invisible even with a 140inch image sitting 5 meters back. This really shows the difference between wsvga(lcd) and xga(lcd). Why did I buy this projector over others? High output(lumens), cheap regardless of performance, 5000hours in eco mode, very good xga 3panel display engine(makes a big difference) I wanted an upgrade over the Hitachi. The Hatachi was good at first but after about 6months I found myself being dissatisfied with the pixelisation and poor brightness. Second, the most important part of a projector from my experience is the lumen output. Most pro reviewers claim that projectors only need about 400lumens of actual output(example the popular Panasonic 700e is rated 1000lumens but has a tested output of 350-400lumens) this is fairly typical of Home theatre projectors. The xl5u is rated at 1700lumens and actually has a tested output close to this. This is also fairly typical of data projectors. Their rated output tends to be closer to their actual output. Especially so with Mitsubishi models. This makes the xl5u 3-4 times brighter than the Pan700e. Does this make a difference in the viewing experience? Absolutely. It gives punchiness to the image and enables you to project a large size(140inch)without significant loss of color saturation and brightness. You can't get this with a low lumen projector and both punchiness and a large size screen make the viewing experience alot better. I viewed the Infocus 5700 and was dissapointed with it for this very reason. To put it bluntly the 5700 just was a boring viewing experience(nice clean image though). The other benefit of high lumens is the ability to use a grey screen. This greatly improves black levels and therefore picture quality. White screens are brighter but they cause hazziness in the image and loss of picture depth and definition. The xl5u is a high output projector while maintaining very good color saturation and constrast. Best used on a medium grey screen. The xga resolution is very good and with the right lens setting can produce an almost pixel free image(much better than wsvga). The image is certainly not perfect and compared to the infocus 5700 it's rougher looking but I feel it out performs some of these expensive machines because of its high output and color saturation enabling for a larger and more engrossing image without resulting in picture dullness. Conclusion, xl5u is a very good buy but I highly recommend looking at any projector that has a high lumen output around 2000lumens if not more and atleast xga. This helps to give an engrossing image. Constrast ratio spec is unimportant because it doesn't translate in reality. A high lumen projector with a grey screen will have a perceived constrast that is better than any ratio spec indicates. Especially projectors with the new lcd display engines(3 panel polysilicone). The hitachi PJX10 has a single panel wsvga and boy does it show.

Any Problems: Vertical banding is noticeable. From what I can tell lcd projectors tend to do this and it's a bit more noticeable with the xl5u because of it high output. Personally its a flaw that doesn't bother me.It's there but I'm not distracted by it. Unlike rainbows with dlp projectors. Considering the projectors cost this flaw is a minor one.

Review by Joe

After experiencing 3 color wheel failures on my DLP projector, I decided my next purchase would definitely be an LCD machine! I stumbled upon the Mitsubishi XL5U at a local computer store while looking for some computer memory. I was impressed by the special $1449 price and the free lamp offer. Even though the store did not have a viewing room, I took a chance and purchased the XL5U understanding I would have to pay the stores 15% restocking fee if I returned the unit. I was not disappointed, at 1700 lumens, the unit has brightness to burn. In my darkened home theatre, I have the projector set on "low power" and the brightness level near the low end of the adjustment. As expected with an LCD machine, neither the contrast level nor the shadow detail was as good as my old DLP projector, but still very acceptable. It projects a native 4:3 picture (I have a 4:3 screen) but also in 16:9, and with the anamorphic control, you can display the 16:9 format at the top, center or bottom of the 4:3 screen - a nice feature! The shorter throw distance of the XL5U forced me to move my projector mount from approximately 15 1/2 feet to 12 1/2 feet to fill the 60 x 80 screen, this put the projector right above my seating position....no problem, the XL5U is quieter than my old projector and can't even be heard with normal listening volume. The XL5U is on a par with the highly acclaimed Panasonic PT-AE700 I had auditioned at a local home theatre store and is a little more than half the price locally! Even though the XL5U was designed primarily as business presentation projector, it will satisfy all but the most critical home theatre viewer and will hold its own with machines 3 times the price. PS: Hurry if you are considering an XL-5U, today (March 31, 2005)is the last day for the special pricing and free bulb offer!

Any Problems: As mentioned by the other reviewer, the credit card size remote is a minor inconvenience. The infrared receiver on the XL5U is on the back of the projector so you can't bounce the remotes signal off the screen.

Review by GS1

I was looking for a 4:3 projector that we can use to watch 4:3 and wide screen movies and that the kids can use to play games. I researched several projectors and decided to go with this one for the value and guarantee. I purchased the XL5U from one of the vendors that was advertising on this site. The price was $1295 with a free replacement lamp from Mitsubishi and free shipping; this gives 10,000 hours of usage as the projector is running in econo-mode. Compared to other projectors, that were not offering a free replacement lamp, the second lamp brings the price down to almost $900. Also, Mitsubishi’s guarantee for this projector was 3-year with next day replacement. Granted that the XL5u is not rated as a "Home Theater projector", I am very happy with the purchase as I do not intend to create a dedicated home theater environment. For my first test I setup the projector in the kitchen, oriented towards a white-textured wall on the family room and about 15 feet from the wall. I hooked up the XL5U to my laptop, the image projected on the wall was about 115" wide; just imagine, it's like having a big 143" TV. Then I tried it with a cheap $40 DVD player connected through an s-video cable (as I the cable for component video I purchased is still back-ordered). The picture in both cases was great and the color was very natural. I looked at the options available and decided to let the projector in auto mode and this is probably the mode that I will use the project, unless in the future I have the time to learn about calibration using a tool such as AVIA DVD. I am now using the cheap DVD player with the XL5U and the s-cable until I get the component cable in a couple of weeks. We have watched a several movies such as Nemo and Shrek in 4:3 screen. I can't imagine that the picture can get any better than this but I going to get a projection screen and a DVD player that will upscale DVD video to 1080i. We have watched a few wide-screen movies such a Joe-Kidd. Due to the fact that the source is no as good as Nemo or Shrek and that it is connected through S-video, I could see at times some flickering but this is not the projector's fault. I mentioned this problem to my wife and she said it's OK for her. This problem, however, should be solved when I get the component cable I ordered (a special VGA-to-component-output cable is needed, which does not come with the projector). Even though I have not used the projector for a long time, I gave it the highest reliability rating due to the provided 3-year guarantee with next day replacement. The "free lamp" promotion runs through March 31, 2005. So at this moment, if you are looking for a good first time 4:3 projector for a lot of home use including movies and games, the XL5U should be high on your list.

Any Problems: The projector is not as quiet as others but to put things in perspective, my two-year old IBM ThinkPad is noisier. The remote is very small and dificult to use but this is minor as I don't see much use of it once it is setup. Wish Mitsubishi had provided the VGA to component cable as this cable is dificult to find. If they had provided the cable and better remote I would have given this projector the highest "easy of use" mark.