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Best Home Theater Projector
Performance
4.5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Mitsubishi HC5500 Projector Mitsubishi HC5500
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14000:1 Contrast Ratio
1200 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Mitsubishi HC5500

Evan Powell, July 23, 2008

HC5500 vs. HC4900

Though the HC5500 will replace the HC4900 as Mitsubishi's least expensive 1080p model, it offers a variety of features found on more expensive home theater projectors. Key improvements in the HC5500 over the HC4900 are the following:

Higher contrast. The HC4900 was rated at 7500:1, and the HC5500 is rated at 14,000:1. In viewing this two units side by side, the HC5500 has an obvious edge in contrast, and an even more obvious advantage in black levels.

Higher brightness. The HC4900 was rated at 1000 ANSI lumens maximum, and the HC5500 is rated at 1200.

Much faster auto iris. On the HC4900, with a shift in scenes from bright to dark it would take the auto iris a second or two to adjust to the maximum black level. On the HC5500, the iris adjustment happens so quickly that it is invisible.

HDMI inputs. The DVI port on the HC4900 has been converted to a second HDMI input. Thus, there are two HDMI 1.3 inputs on the HC5500, whereas there was just one HDMI 1.2 input on the HC4900.

Improved video processing. The Pixelworks processor on the HC4900 has been upgraded to the Silicon Optics HQV chip.

1080p/24. The 4900 did not have 1080p/24 capability, and the HC5500 does.

Anamorphic lens compatibility. The HC5500 has a versatile scaling package that allows the user to install an anamorphic lens and leave it permanently in place no matter what aspect ratio the subject matter is in. This saves the cost of a motorized track, which can be substantial, or it eliminates the need to manually move the lens when one switches from 2.35 to non-2.35 material. Either way, it provides a friendlier solution for those interested in super-widescreen 2.35 installations.

Digital keystone correction. A +/- 15 degrees vertical keystone correction capability has been added to the HC5500 that did not exist on the HC4900.

Fan noise. The HC5500 is purported to be a bit quieter than the HC4900. It might be--we can't tell because the HC4900 was already stone quiet, so we don't notice any difference. These are two of the quietest home theater projectors on the market.


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