Last December, we gave the HC4900 our Editor's Choice Award for outstanding value in 1080p projection. Now, just seven months later, the HC5500 represents a substantial improvement in image quality over its predecessor. It is not selling below $2,000 like the HC4900 was, but it is still aggressively priced at an estimated street of $2,495. Higher contrast, deeper blacks, upgraded video processing, 1080p/24 compatibility, and a much faster auto iris combine to make the HC5500 a significant step forward in 1080p projection at this price level. We will wait to see how the market develops in 1080p projection before designating this year's Editor's Choice Awards, but the HC5500 must be considered as a strong contender no matter what happens.
Beyond the improved image quality, the flexible scaling to accommodate a permanently deployed anamorphic lens makes the HC5500 a very attractive option for those looking for a cost-effective 2.35 Cinemascope installation. Thus far, this feature has been seen only on 1080p models that are much higher in price. For more information about 2.35 widescreen installation and whether it is right for you, read this article.
Mitsubishi continues to make competitive inroads into the hot 1080p home theater market with its evolving line of 1080p models that are all outstanding value propositions. As with the HC4900 and HC5000 before it, the HC5500 is highly recommended.
|Review Contents:||Overview||HC5500 vs HC4900||Performance Notes||Conclusion|