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DIY Home Theater
Mitsubishi HC4000 Projector Mitsubishi HC4000
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:4,000:1
Lumens:1300
Weight: 7.9 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:DLP
Color Wheel:4x speed
Color Wheel:6 segments
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:4,000 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$299.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.3, RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Mitsubishi HC4000
1080p DLP Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, December 15, 2010
Shootout:       Mitsubishi HC4000
versus
Epson Home Cinema 8700 UB

Last year, we compared the HC3800 to Epson's Home Cinema 8100, a 1080p LCD projector with a similar price. This year, Epson has released the Home Cinema 8350, an incremental upgrade to the 8100 that sells for $1,299. If we had an 8350 here to do a side by side, we'd do it. But we don't. Instead, we have the higher priced 8700 UB. So we decided to set the HC4000 up against this $2200 1080p LCD projector.

With a $900 price difference between the two, it is clear that the Home Cinema 8700 UB must have something the HC4000 does not. Indeed, the Home Cinema 8700 UB is comparatively feature-laden. It has a 2.1:1 zoom lens, horizontal and vertical lens shift, a frame interpolation system to reduce motion judder, super resolution to improve detail definition, two HDMI ports instead of one, and a free lamp and ceiling mount included in the purchase price. When it comes to features, there is no question which projector has the edge.

But things get really interesting when we look at picture quality. In a comparable theater mode, the 8700 UB is a little brighter - perhaps 20% - and has deeper black levels in dark scenes, such as a night sky. But in most scenes containing more typical average light levels, the HC4000 has better dynamic range. Whites are brighter, blacks are deeper, and the picture as a whole just "pops" better than that of the 8700 UB. Strange to say, but this unassuming HC4000 rated at a mere 4000:1 contrast often looks higher in contrast, with more three-dimensional picture depth, than the 8700 UB with its 200,000:1 rating. From an aesthetic perspective, the HC4000 has a slightly more natural-looking film-like image. With the 8700 UB's frame interpolation turned off, the HC4000 has less judder, which is of interest to those who do not enjoy the appearance of frame interpolation and want the best video image they can get without it.

This is not to say that the 8700 UB does not have advantages--it most certainly does. It has a higher maximum lumen output (1830 lumens versus 1212), a modestly brighter cinema mode (660 versus 560 lumens), and an auto-iris system that really does make dark scenes look incredible. With the 2.1x zoom and lens shift it is easier to install on those rear shelves and bookcases. Fan noise is slightly quieter, though neither is objectionable.

So the bottom line is this: which style of projector fits your needs the best? If you have the cash and you need or want all the extra features, the 8700 UB is a solid option for the money. If you are on a tighter budget, or simply don't want to spend money for features you won't use, the HC4000 is an outstanding value in image quality.

Conclusion

The Mitsubishi HC4000 is an impressive home theater projector. For a modest $1,299, you get a high quality cinema image that rivals that of much more expensive models. What you give up is a lot of the extra features you find on pricier units. It is a great projector for the budget videophile, the one who wants pure image performance but doesn't want to empty his or her wallet to get it. The Mitsubishi HC4000 is a remarkably vibrant projector that will give you a double "wow" factor: one for the sparkling, three-dimensional image you see when you light it up, and another when you tell your friends how little you paid for it.


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Advantages and Limitations
Review Contents: Applications Advantages Advantages and Limitations Shootout
 
Comments (6) Post a Comment
PatB Posted Dec 16, 2010 12:24 PM PST
Your comment about "single frame contrast" seems to refer to ANSI contrast. You used to measure and publish this figure. Why did you quit?

My old InFocus X-1 was a business projector with two modifications. It had a Faroujda anti-aliasing chip and it could skip the clear segment on the color wheel for movie viewing. I never hear about anti-aliasing anymore. Am I to understand that all electronics now are so good that it's irrelevant?

Secondly how do modern DLP projectors acheive their high lumen modes if they don't use a clear color wheel segment?
TREY Posted Dec 22, 2010 2:58 PM PST
DOSE ANYBODY KNOW WHAT CTI IS ON MITZ 4000 IN THE FEATURE MENU, WHAT DOSE IT DO.
Trent Posted Jan 13, 2011 6:25 PM PST
What is the best "bang for the buck" projector to use with my home golf simulator. Keep in mind I need to ceiling mount (10 ft ceilings) the unit and have some lighting around the hitting area. Thanks, Trent
KcF Posted Apr 26, 2011 7:48 AM PST
PatB

Your old X-1 needed a good anti-aliasing chip because of the low resolution of the x1 (800x600). This HC4000 projector as you probably know runs at 1920x1080p and can display most videos in their native resolution. The anti-aliasing is used to display high resolution on a low resolution screen so it is not needed much anymore.

Modern dlp chips have improved and are able to reflect more light. The chips themselves have also shrunk. I believe this allows the same light to be focused more concentrated.
Dain Posted Jul 26, 2011 10:15 PM PST
Hi, it would be a right choice to update my Infocus SP7205 (720p but impressive image quality) to this Mitsubishi HC4000?? I use it for watching bluray movies in a light controlled room. I'm looking for a low price 1080p projector and the Mitsubishi hc4000 it seems to be a right choice.
gnanamani Posted Oct 11, 2011 9:59 AM PST
pl kindly inform me the compatible htib with hc4000 pl

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