Mitsubishi is about to announce a new 1080p home theater projector that will be one of the hottest selling home theater models of the fall season.
The Mitsubishi HC3800, anticipated to retail for $1,495 upon release, has outstanding picture quality for the money. We set it up yesterday against the Optoma HD20, another high-profile 1080p model that is getting a lot of attention due to its aggressive price of $999. These are both DLP projectors with 4x speed, RGBRGB color wheels. So one might presume they'd have similar picture quality dynamics. They don't. When seen side by side the HC3800 has an evident advantage in image sharpness, color saturation, contrast, and three-dimensionality.
This is not to disparage the HD20 in any way. The HD20 delivers a very impressive picture for $999. As one of the first 1080p projectors to go under the magic $1000 price point, we expect it to be selling like hotcakes as well. If you are on a tight budget and want to get into 1080p for the first time, the Optoma HD20 will give you excellent value for the limited expenditure.
However, many folks interested in 1080p resolution want the best possible image they can afford. If you have the extra $500 to spend on higher performance, stepping up to the HC3800 will reward you with a superior image as well as a variety of other features--a Diamond series glass lens with 1.5x zoom range, a 5000-hour lamp life in eco mode, anamorphic lens modes, and a two-year warranty with a one-year or 500-hour warranty on the lamp to name a few.
At the moment there is only one HC3800 in the United States, so we were unable to keep the unit we saw yesterday for review. But we expect to get a review sample shortly, and will review it asap.
The Mitsubishi HC3800 will be unveiled at CEDIA on September 9 where dealers will see it for the first time. It will begin to ship in October. But this is one of those potentially super hot models that has "home run" written all over it. Assuming it clears all the road test hurdles in the review evaluation and it gets enthusiastic green lights, you can anticipate dealer backlogs with waiting lists. Be prepared to get your order in early.