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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