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Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Mitsubishi HC6500U Projector Mitsubishi HC6500U
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15000:1 Contrast Ratio
1200 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Mitsubishi HC6500U
Home Theater
Projector Review

Bill Livolsi, October 27, 2008


High Lumen Output. The HC6500 is rated for 1,200 ANSI lumens maximum light output. Our test unit measured 752 lumens maximum, using the "High Brightness" color temperature setting. This setting is perfect for times when a little ambient light is desired; it gives color a greenish cast but does not significantly distract from the image. In our video optimized mode, which used the "medium" color temperature as a starting point, we measured 518 lumens on our test unit.

Low lamp mode causes a 22% decrease in lumen output, so video optimized mode drops to 408 lumens. The key benefit to low lamp mode is a substantial boost in lamp life, from 2000 hours up to 5000 hours. Depending on your screen size and type, room reflectivity, and ambient light conditions, low lamp mode may be the ideal choice for many users.

The HC6500 has a 1.6:1 zoom lens, and using the telephoto end of the lens results in a further 20% drop in lumen output. If you use both low lamp mode and the telephoto end of the zoom lens, video optimized mode drops to roughly 330 lumens. In this situation, smaller screen sizes and strict light control are preferred to ensure you still have a vibrant, bright picture.

Razor Sharp Picture. When the first Mitsubishi 1080p projector, the HC5000, was released, we commented on how sharp it looked when compared to the competition. Several generations later, we find ourselves saying the same thing about the HC6500. While not drastic, the projector has a clear and noticeable advantage in image sharpness and clarity that is visible when placed head to head with its LCD competition.

Good Shadow Detail, Open Midtones. While the HC6500 lacks the inky blacks of some of its competitors, it has very good shadow detail and rich, open mid-tones. This contributes to a sense of three-dimensionality that you would not anticipate from its relatively low contrast.

Whisper-Quiet Operation. The HC6500 comes as close to silent operation as we've ever seen. When standing any more than two feet away, it's hard to tell if the projector is even turned on. Coupled with very little heat exhaust, the quiet fan makes the HC6500 a good choice for small spaces and rooms with poor ventilation. There's little chance that this projector would distract you with noise or heat during use.

Powered Zoom, Focus, and Lens Shift. All functions of the HC6500's lens are motorized. The projector has a 1.6:1 zoom lens, which will display a 100" diagonal 16:9 image from 10' 2" to 16' 6". Lens shift has a vertical range of two and a half picture heights and a horizontal range of 5% in either direction. This allows for a wide range of mounting options; ceiling mounts are fairly simple and should not require the use of a drop tube, while rear shelf mounts are a possibility thanks to the 1.6:1 zoom. Powered focus is helpful in any mounting situation, since you can simply walk up to the screen, remote in hand, and make sure that focus is perfect. Oftentimes, adjusting a projector with manual focus is a two-man operation.

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Comments (10) Post a Comment
kevinp Posted Oct 30, 2008 11:57 AM PST
compared to the panasonic this seems to be overpriced by about $1,500.

Is there anyone who would prefer this to the panasonic ?
Scott Fink Posted Oct 31, 2008 1:09 PM PST
I just purchased the Mitsubishi HC6500U for $2499.00. I will update on the performance after i get this installed.
raggarichie Posted Nov 7, 2008 2:52 AM PST
I paid a little over 2000 for mine. I've not received it yet though. The bulb life is the main reason I'm buying this Mitsubishi. I think the total cost of ownership, if the bulb last 5000 hours is well worth it.
Dr. Robert, PHd EE Posted Nov 30, 2008 5:17 PM PST
Very nice Bill! I enjoyed the comparison. I am still using the ancient Toshiba MT-2 which cost me 10,999 back in the day when there was no HD Content. Do you believe that it does a fair job at rendering 720P ? I am about ready to upbrade as soon as the porjector manufacturers get the cobwebs off of the Lazer projetor prototypes. Would you believe a projector bulb that lasts one million hours? I have seen them.
Nossy Posted Jan 12, 2009 1:23 PM PST
There's no doubt that the Panasonic AE3000 offers alot more bang for the buck with it's features and performance and lower price. There's also no question that the HC6500 is a solid performer that will satisfy most mainstream folks. I'd recommend the AE3000, but if you can find a HC6500 for cheaper (I found mine at Best Buy as a close-out model for $2199) then go for it. I did originally had my heart set on the AE3000, but the price for the HC6500 was hard to resist - including a 3-year no interest they had going. In a nutshell, no regrets as I am really satisified with the performance and it is one of the quietest and lighter projector. However, I wouldn't pay $3,000 or more for this projector as there are better projectors at that price range.

Currently I am projecting a 120" screen at about 14 feet and it is a joy to watch. I am not missing the 120Hz features that are the new trend in LCD and projectors since I use this projector mainly for movie watching. If you watch alot of sporting events it's great, but for movies, it's a no-no.
Jim Posted Feb 7, 2009 5:52 PM PST
I own the older Mits HC5000 for over 2 years and I have loved it. The HC6500 should be an improvement over my older HC500. The picture is razor sharp and it has a beautiful picture. I'm projecting it onto a Da-lite 106" screen. The picture looked great right out of the box and it is ultra quiet. My collection of 350+ Blu-ray & HD-DVD's look wondeful as do my 1500 standard DVD's.
Alex Posted Feb 19, 2009 8:24 AM PST
I own a Mitsubishi HC-5000 I got the day ti was reviewed here at (paid euro 2900)

After aroud 3500 hours the lamp started to have difficult startup, but at the same time i got the flashing message stating "soon to replace the lamp". I am now at 4220 hours, picture still perfect, i have bought the new lamp(euro 260), but it is still boxed.

The picture of this projector is still making everyone say "wow" and if the HC-6500U is an improvement, it will be overwelming!
beastmode Posted Feb 23, 2009 10:10 AM PST
$1925 is what I paid FEB09. I've never owed a projector until now and I can say even without a screen and blue ray or HD it's amazing. I plan to paint my room dark gray and buy a Studiotek fixed screen soon along with a Playstation 3 for blu ray. Speakers have come down as well. From what I've read you don't need to spend a lot to get good sound. Can anyone recommend a good ceiling mount for this projector?
John in SA Posted Aug 1, 2009 2:52 PM PST
Just bought the HC6500 at Best Buy. They're discontinuing this model and there is plenty of room to deal. List price in our area is $2499, but they brought it down to $1900. They also knocked $500 of a 92" Screen Innovations Reference Series, so I bought it at $950.

Reading the foregoing reviews has me quite excited to see how this performs when it is installed in a couple of days.
Garyc Posted May 30, 2012 6:28 PM PST
I've had the mitsu 6500 for about 2 years - performs flawlessly. I was able to adjust everything myself. Many projectors have very limited adjustments to where they mey not work in your room which is why I chose the mitsu 6500. Even DVD images are crystal clear. It has been maintenace free. Mitsubishi knows what they are doing.

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