Contrast. While shadow detail is very good, black level on the HC6500 is not quite as deep as the competition. This is evident when it is viewed side by side with a unit that has a deeper black, but when viewed alone, there is no sense that the HC6500 is lacking.
ANSI contrast on the HC6500 measured out to 304:1, which is better than a number of 1080p LCD projectors released last year which we measured at around 250:1. However, several of the new high contrast projectors coming to market this fall are generating higher ANSI contrast, including the Mitsubishi HC7000, which we measured at 409:1.
Color Requires Calibration. The HC6500 has easy-to-use color controls and is simple to calibrate. It does require calibration out of the box to reach its best possible performance. Our test unit required some fine-tuning to remove a green bias that was present with the factory default settings.
No Frame Interpolation. Several 1080p models coming to market this fall have frame interpolation capability on board. The HC6500 does not. We expect this to become a significant competitive issue in the months ahead.
Available from Select Dealers Only. The Mitsubishi is in restricted distribution, and is available through local authorized dealers and some retailers such as Best Buy. Restricted distribution means restricted discounting, so you probably won't be finding this model available for much less than the sticker price anytime soon.
The good news is that the HC6500's retail price of $3,395 is significantly less expensive than most other limited distribution products. If you're looking for the personalized service of a local dealer, installation assistance, easy return for service, etc., but don't want to break the bank, the HC6500 may be the perfect option.
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