Mitsubishi XD480U

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Mitsubishi XD480U
  • Mitsubishi XD480U
  • Mitsubishi XD480U
  • Mitsubishi XD480U

Pros

  • Bright lamp, Clear and defined image quality, long life bulb (up to 5000 hrs)

Cons

  • Rainbow effect detected, prominent screen door Lack of HDTV inputs

Bottom Line

An expensive under performer.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 53 stores)

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The Mitsubishi XD480U is a bright and high resolution projector, boasting a long life bulb rated up to 5000 hours. With specifications such as a 3000 ANSI lumen brightness rating, this is a projector that could be expected to perform well, even in bright lit environments. In our tests, the XD480U stood up to these claims and more. We did notice a significant amount of the rainbow effect in the projected image however, which might deter viewers with sensitive visual perception.

The unit itself, although not classified as a portable projector, is quite light. Weighing in at 2.9 Kg's and measuring 310 x 100 x 245 mm, this is a projector we could see being lugged around between the home and office. The inputs include DVI, 2 VGA, USB, serial, audio in, S-Video In, composite video in and two RCA audio inputs. There is also a monitor and audio line out and this projector is primarily designed for computer usage, given its limited video input options.

Testing the XD480U revealed some unpleasant visual qualities including a significant rainbow effect as well as the screen door effect. These are the two most deterring qualities found in DLP projectors. Manufacturers often engineer methods to avoid these effects, although in this case, these were so distracting we often could not concentrate on the projected image.

The rainbow effect is a visual artifact created by the colour wheel mechanism within single chip DLP projectors. If the relative frequency of the colour wheel is not high enough, users with sensitive eyes can often detect a flashing of different colours across the projected image. In the XD480U's case, predominantly white stationary images exhibited the rainbow effect. This was very distracting when using applications such as Microsoft Word, in which the majority of the screen is white and focusing on text became exhausting after long sessions.

The second artifact was the screen door effect, which looked as if there was net placed across the projected image. This effect is due to spacing between the digital micro-mirror devices (DMD) on the actual DLP chip. This may also be found on LCD projectors, but a bit of tweaking can often find a balance between a smooth image whilst retaining a focused projection.

Artifacts aside, the XD480U was capable of displaying bright and colour accurate images. The projector was tested in a variety of lighting conditions, and due to the 3000 ANSI lumen lamp, projected a clearly defined image in all conditions. Running in Eco mode, the rated brightness is dropped to 2400 ANSI lumens, although the projected image is still bright enough to be viewed in ambient lit environments. The advantages of running in Eco mode are lower noise levels, and a longer lamp life. In Eco mode, the lamp is rated for up to 5000 hours, a uniquely high figure, which helps in keeping running costs low. The internal 2 watt mono speaker could be deemed sufficient for presentations, although as with most projectors with internal speakers, we would recommend an external set of speakers for full blown multimedia.

In all, the Mitsubishi XD480U is capable of projecting high resolution (up to 1280 x 1024, native 1024 x 768) a long with a phenomenal rated lamp life of 5000 hours. With an RRP of $5299, the projector does not present great value for money, although long term savings will be found when running in the Eco preset.

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