Mitsubishi HC7000 LCD Projector HT Labs Measures
Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 14,043:1
Note: The white and black levels shown here, and the resulting contrast ratios, were obtained on a 78-inch-wide Stewart Studiotek 130 a, with each projector’s dynamic iris engaged. KD used a larger 104.4-inch-wide Stewart Studiotek 130 for most of the other tests and viewing. The 78-inch screen was used for the contrast measurements in order to be consistent with other recent Home Theater projector reviews.—TJN
All the measurements here were taken in the Custom Selection (picture setting mode), through an HDMI input, with the display adjusted for the most accurate picture in a darkened room.
Iris Two is the recommended mode for standard viewing, and it achieved the highest contrast-ratio performance. This resulted in an impressive black floor. However, the high contrast didn’t manifest in typical viewing, as white compression was evident throughout. Dynamic iris implementation is a tricky business, and manufacturers need to take great care to achieve the best balance of contrast without visual drawbacks. Typically, a dynamic iris needs to stay within a 3x to 5x multiplier to work optimally without visible image pumping or white compression.
Gray-scale performance out of the box was very good, but color tracking was off across the spectrum, with an obvious shift toward blue. I used the projector’s user menus to dial in the color balance and obtained great tracking across the board with a maximum Delta E of 1.2.
The Mitsubishi’s color gamut is well outside the ATSC standard and has a significant hue shift in the green primary toward yellow. This took its toll on the overall image quality, with large green areas that looked slightly jaundiced. Red was also quite saturated. Still, overall luminance levels for all of the colors were very close to the spec, so no color looked overly bright. But it would have been nice to have access to a color-management system for this projector.
The Mitsubishi is an extremely sharp projector by any standards, which is impressive since it’s an LCD design. Softness is typically associated with three-panel designs, but that was simply not the case here. The HC7000 resolved our chroma and luma test patterns with excellent definition, and single-burst patterns were never an issue. I hope we continue to see three-chip projectors that can deliver this type of razor-sharp imagery.—KD