Capable of displaying high-definition resolutions in a single bound, Mitsubishi's HC6000 is a widescreen home-theatre projector to behold. It reproduces colour tones beautifully, and is a quiet and cool operator. With these traits alone the HC6000 comes close to being perfect for a home installation, and for most people it will be, but there are still a couple of shortcomings in its image quality that prevent it from achieving a 5-star rating.
- Natural-looking colour reproduction, motorised lens movements, will happily display lower-than-high-definition resolutions from a PC without looking blotchy or pixelated
- Dark scenes in movies had some details lost in the shadows, slightly soft overall image quality, no picture-in-picture
This is almost the perfect projector for a home theatre setup; it'll produce sublime colours whether watching Blu-ray movies or DVDs, and it's also a very quiet and relatively cool operator. However, its ability to handle dark scenes could be better and its overall image quality is a little soft.
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While they aren't major shortcomings, we found the projector's image to be a little too soft, especially when viewing text from a PC; there was also some noticeable colour fringing when we scrutinised text from within 1.5m away and its black colour level wasn't as dark as we were hoping.
When viewed from a good distance away, say three metres, the softness and colour fringing problems aren't noticeable at all, and in fact the HC6000 produces a stunning picture. When viewing its output in a lit environment, the projector's luminance won't be enough to produce a vivid and detailed picture, but in a darkened room, shallow colour gradients and subtle shades of light grey will show up nicely. Still, the projector's absolute black was a little pale for our liking, and dark shadows tended to blend into each other, especially while viewing movies with plenty of dark scenes.
In our luminance tests, a grid with light grey blocks on a white background was reproduced with all grey blocks visible, but the projector did struggle a little to show dark grey blocks on a black background, reinforcing what we saw while watching dark movies.
But, when we stepped into the world of colour, this projector was sublime. Colours looked natural, not overly saturated, and the overall image was easy on the eyes. Watching Blu-ray movies, no detail was lost and the softness of the screen didn't diminish the viewing experience. In fact, DVDs looked surprisingly good, too.
For connectivity, the projector has a decent rack of ports on it; these range from HDMI (two of them) to composite. Indeed, it'll accept input from no less than six devices and you can flick through them using the remote.
Media centre users should note that the maximum supported resolution for a PC input is 1600x1200 -- and despite the slight softness that we noticed, it'll look great as the projector won't have to scale the resolution at all. However, if you plan to view high-definition content from a media centre, the 1920x1080 signal from a graphics card will be cut off at the edges. This means you won't see the Start button, nor the left-most icons (and right-most icons, if your desktop's as messy as ours). If you use a late model ATI Radeon-based graphics card, then you can just zoom the picture to make it all fit on the screen, but recent NVIDIA-based cards can't do this yet.
To get the picture to perfectly fit your screen, the projector has a motorised lens, so you can use the remote control to shift it horizontally and vertically, as well as focus and zoom. This is convenient if the projector is to be ceiling-mounted -- you won't have to adjust it while standing on a stepladder. When used on a tabletop, the projector can be physically height-adjusted through its front legs. We did notice a slightly trapezoidal display while setting up the projector, which we couldn't get rid of unless we adjusted the keystone. Luckily, this didn't noticeably affect the quality of the image.
At $5999, this projector is more expensive than many of today's high-definition LCD TVs, but it'll produce a larger image and will probably be much easier to install. If you're thinking about setting up a home theatre and want a top-notch projector to be the centrepiece, the HC6000 is a fine choice.
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