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Mitsubishi HC4000 wins Editor's Choice

The review of the Mitsubishi HC4000 has been posted, and we are happy to announce that it has been given our Editor's Choice Award...

The 1080p competition is fierce in this price category. The Epson 8350 and the Mitsubishi HC4000 are now both priced at $1,299. And they are both outstanding projectors. We have already given the Editor's Choice Award to the 8350, and for different reasons we happily give the same award to the HC4000 (see review).

The key advantage to the 8350 is its longer 2.1x zoom range and lens shift. These features make the 8350 particularly easy to install on a rear shelf, bookcase, or some other stand behind the seating area. Image quality is excellent for the money, and you get full lamp replacement coverage in case of a premature failure during the entire two year warranty period.

The Mitsubishi HC4000 lacks the key lens shift feature that makes the 8350 so easy to install. Its fixed upward throw angle means that it can only be installed on a low table between the seats, in front of the seating area, or in a ceiling mount. However, if one of these solutions is a desired option for you, then the lens shift issue becomes irrelevant.

Furthermore, the Epson 8350 has a brighter mode for operation in ambient light. So if you intend to use your projector in low to moderate ambient light, the 8350 has the edge over the HC4000. But if serious home theater is your objective, and you plan to use your projector in a fully darkened room, the 8350's brightness advantage is of little value to you.

For those who are setting up a dark home theater, and can or want to place the projector between the seats or in a ceiling mount, the HC4000 will render a picture that is superior in contrast and color saturation to that of the 8350. Under these circumstances, the HC4000 would be our preferred model of choice.

Bottom line, both of these models are excellent values in 1080p projection, but they are made for different uses. One is not better than the other in all respects, they are just different. If you are looking for a home theater projector in this price range, we encourage you to choose between them based on how you want to install and use it.

Evan Powell

Comments (11) Post a Comment
Glenn Posted Dec 17, 2010 10:55 AM PST
I already have a universal ceiling mounted projector (Panasonic AE700) that it due for replacement. I was leaning toward the Epson. My question about the Mitsubishi HC4000 is about the lack of lens shift. If my ceiling mount is already in place for my current projector, and the new one has no vertical lens shift, doesn't that mean I will likely need to either move the screen, or adjust the ceiling mount? Are there any DLP projectors that have lens shift?
Gerald Nielsen Posted Dec 18, 2010 6:33 AM PST
Why would a projector aimed at the home theater market have such an extreme offset? You need a very high ceiling or be willing to settle for a relatively small acreen, or quite a bit of keystone correction. It seems to me Mitsubishi has greatly limited the appeal for the HC4000.
Gabriel Posted Dec 19, 2010 7:21 AM PST
I have exactly the same circumstance as Glenn down to the current projector I own and it's present ceiling Location. Thanks
Jonathan Posted Dec 21, 2010 7:05 PM PST
A lot of HC4000 users are reporting that there are color uniformity issues with this projector. Did you witness this in your evaluation?
Kiran Wagle Posted Dec 22, 2010 10:09 AM PST
It's really not very useful to complain about or even discuss the throw angle, and then not include it in the product's description pages or even in the reviews.
Robert Posted Dec 28, 2010 2:14 PM PST
I completely concur with the comment above regarding the extreme offset on the HC4000 and related models. I find DLP gives richer colors than LCD (IMHO) and was wanting to upgrade to HD DLP and was knocked out by HC3900/4000 specifications UNTIL I saw the FIXED 33.5% screen offset with no ability for the user to offset! While I am sure the picture quality and color is great, this is a design flaw and should be highlighted - agreed, for low table mounting this would work nicely but for a cieling mount either it requires higher ceilings than 8FT (and a screen that is mounted much lower than the ceiling) OR your are simply limited to a small screen size for a usable offset. If you are going to give this thing an award you should definitely point this out as a con!
rlsnyder Posted Dec 30, 2010 5:35 PM PST
I think the offset is closer to 12% nt 35% At a 153" trow distance the offset is 17.5" which equals 11.4% offset.
Rick Johnson Posted Jan 8, 2011 1:03 PM PST
I was considering this as a good option for a larger screen (138" diagonal), but after running the calculator my screen needs to be 23" below the PJ which will be ceiling mounted, given the PJ will be at least 12" down from the ceiling even with a low profile mount, that means I've got to mount the screen around 3' down from the top of the ceiling...with standard 8' ceiling height that puts the screen nearly on the floor, which is unacceptable. Why would Mitsubishi build a PJ obviously geared towards larger format screens, and then hamstring it by not putting lens shift on it? It would seem to me that a majority of people who are considering this PJ will be very disappointed once they do the math on the screen size and offset. A shame really...such a nice PJ in most other respects.
jamie Posted Jan 8, 2011 1:43 PM PST
Guys all you do is til the projector up slightly to make the offset much less. I am doing it and you cant even notice anything. Hence why it comes with feet so you can do this, so its normal!

Picture looks exactly the same tilted and you wont notice !!!!! :-)
Timmy S Posted Jan 10, 2011 10:28 AM PST
On a 100" Diagonal screen the offset from the edge of the image is only 16.5" according to the Mitsu Screen Calculator. So this is perfectly acceptable and allows room to place a center channel speaker and/or equipment cabinet beneath the screen with a standard 8' ceiling.
Steve Posted Jul 15, 2011 6:00 PM PST
I agree with Jamie about using a slight tilt, that is if you're just outside of the range. I have the Mits HD1000U which has the same offset percentage as the HC4000 - 13'8" from a 102" diag screen should require a 16.8" drop yet I found an 11" drop works just fine. Maybe the grid is a couple mm difference in width between the top and the bottom but really I cannot tell. I wouldn't sacrifice black levels for that small of an issue.

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