Mitsubishi Australia HC900
- Wide range of input connectors, high contrast ratio, no sign of rainbow effect, negligible screen door effect
- Fan is audible in high-brightness operation; price is high compared to similar home theatre projectors.
Although a bit pricey, the HC900 offers one of the best DLP produced images we have seen yet.
Price$ 3,499.00 (AUD)
Mitsubishi Electric pitches the HC900 as a home theatre projector that can be used in a brightly lit lounge room or a dedicated theatre environment. It has a very bright image display--1500 ANSI lumens--along with a contrast ratio of 4000:1. This enables the projector to overcome the bright ambient lighting or sunlight commonly found in a lounge room.
The machine runs at a native resolution of 1024 x 576 pixels (576p), with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Its relatively short throw distance means the unit can output a 60" display at a range of 2.1m. It can also scale 1080i HDTV content to fit the screen, providing a level of future proofing. When projecting an image, the auto-adjust feature selected the appropriate aspect ratio, although if users wish to adjust the aspect ratio themselves, they can chose between 4:3, 16:9, Expand (fills the screen) and Real (displays in the original image size).
A single 2W monaural speaker is included, but the output is inappropriate for watching home theatre and anyone willing to spend several thousand dollars on a projector would undoubtedly have a home entertainment speaker system to connect it to.
The machine measures 31 x 10 x 25cm, and weighs a touch under 3kg. Mitsubishi Electric claims it is a portable unit, but most truly portable projectors weigh less than 2kg. The HC900 features a silver and grey chassis, and a row of buttons on the top panel to control keystone, positioning, power and inputs. All connectors are found on the rear panel including serial, both DVI and VGA, audio, component, composite and S-Video. A matching remote control supplements the machine and features backlit buttons to aid navigation in a darkened environment.
In other tests, we found the image to appear quite faint in stock settings, although by increasing the brightness and contrast from the menu system, the image appeared more brilliant. We were able to project with some ambient light present, although the HC900 really shines in a crisp dark, isolated environment. There are several modes of image rendering, with the most outstanding being the Theatre1 and Theatre2 modes. We found Theatre2 helpful in clearly defining skin-tones as well as similar colour gradients.
Users with sensitive eyes may often detect flashes of different colours with single-chip DLP projectors, due to their internal colour wheel. We are glad to say that we detected the least amount of the 'rainbow' effect we have seen yet with the HC900. Although we couldn't locate the specifications for the dot pitch, we found there to be negligible screen door effect, an indicator of a minute dot pitch.
The Mitsubishi Electric unit does a great job of providing accurate colour output in a range of lighting conditions and is a good choice if you frequently watch television in a brightly lit room. Home theatres usually screen movies in darkness, but it's straightforward to dim the display to suit, and having a little extra brightness up your sleeve for Grand Final barbecues will ensure everyone has a good view of the action.
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