Official Mitsubishi HC5 Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 693 Old 04-09-2013, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I am getting my new projector in a few weeks and there wasn't an owners' thread for it so I decided to create one.

I believe this projector currently represents outstanding value for the money selling for around 2200$ street price. Currently there are no reviews of the HC5. Rumor is (it's still a rumor) that it is the same projector as HC9000D which is selling for a lot more. Looking at their respective brochures it is very easy to believe. The only thing that is different there is contrast ratio - 150000:1 for HC9000D and 140000:1 for HC5. But I think it's pure marketing. So, if this is true and HC5 is the same projector then for 2200$ you get a very high quality lens (rivaling Sony VW95es' one), 20000-30000:1 native contrast ratio, outstanding frame interpolation, 900 lumens calibrated image and 3D.

The original HC9000D is said to have two major flaws: bright corners when projecting black image and non-functional CMS. The good thing is, there are reports that HC5's CMS has been fixed. I tend to believe that but will reserve from telling it's the truth until I will be able to calibrate it.

So, what's your story with choosing this projector? How is it? What are your frames of reference? Are you completely satisfied?
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post #2 of 693 Old 04-10-2013, 05:50 PM
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I just picked an HC5 up yesterday and have had about an hour or so with it. In that time, I've watched some hockey on HDTV, a few scenes from the dark knight rises blu-ray, and tried out a few minutes of gaming with an xbox. I have not yet tried out the 3d, which requires an external emitter. All viewing was done with the right out of the box settings from the cinema 1 mode and I left the iris wide open. I am running this unit shelf mounted at a 17.5' throw on a 115" 1.0 gain screen in a dedicated theater that is covered in black velvet 8' or so out from the screen. The previous pjs I've owned and watched in my room are the ptae7000, the benq w7000, the epson 8350, and most recently the optoma hd8600. I also recently had the opportunity to check out a mits hc9000, but in someone else's room.

First Impressions:
At this point in time, I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. The picture is loaded with contrast, blacks are nice and dark, shadow detail is phenomenal, colors pop, and the picture has a smooth natural look to it, while still not leaving me missing the sharpness of my past 2 single chip dlps. I can safely say that it is the best projected image I have had the opportunity to see. I was very surprised to see just how much I was missing from the picture in dark scenes with the hd8600, or any of my past pjs. I will try to do some a/b'ing with my optoma for comparative purposes. Motion looked great during hockey and I have yet to notice any blur, or banding during horizontal camera pans. Gaming seemed fine too, although I haven't tried any fps with it yet. The unit is also totally whisper quiet in high or low lamp mode. My biggest concern is how I'm going to find the excuse to upgrade again in 6 months as I have been, because this unit seems to offer everything I'm looking for.

Other pjs I considered:
As far as my decision to go with the mits, I was looking for a pj which offered a phenomenal 2d image with low lag times for gaming and good motion handling for sports, that wasn't going to cost me a fortune. I don't currently have an interest in 3d. My last 2 pjs have been dlps and the black levels and on/off contrast have had me cringing during dark scenes. The other pjs I was considering were the hw50 or a 2 pj solution with a jvc and a good quality gaming machine. The sony sounds like a fantastic unit, but ultimately the relatively high purchase price and my being unimpressed with dynamic irises in general (even though the sony's is apparently great) and with the sony only being about 2700:1 without the iris, led to me picking the Mits. I ruled out the 2 pj solution because of the slightly higher cost, and because I want a great, high contrast image during gaming as well.

Minor Issues:
Only minor issues I have noticed on the mits to this point are:
-slight bright corners during all black images. These bright corners are undetectable during content and are very subtle.
-motorized lens is great, but no lens memory
-not an issue for my setup, but this unit is huge at over 20" deep. This won't work for everyone. It's also heavy (around 33 lbs I think).
-input jacks are on the left side of the unit which is great for easily accessing the connections, but can look kind of sloppy in my otherwise wire free room!

Comparison to HC9000:
As for my comparison to the mits hc9000 I saw, which ultimately led to me taking the chance on the HC5 because I was so impressed by it, even though I compared them in two very different rooms, the image on my HC5 was instantly recognizable from what I saw on the HC9000. Now I'm not saying they are the same unit my any stretch, that I don't know of course, I'm simply saying that the images on both had that pop, and smooth natural look that I'm really impressed with and that I found to be a unique look to my past pjs. The HC9000 was in a non-dedicated theater with some ambient lighting, so it was impossible to make any conclusions regarding black levels or even contrast for that matter.

______

So all in all, after a whole 1 hour of viewing, I am extremely satisfied with this purchase. It is an all around fantastic unit that I'd highly recommend to anyone looking for that beautiful 2d picture that is getting in the ballpark of jvc native contrast (almost), but also offers great motion and low input lag.

I'm looking forward to hearing what other owner's think of their HC5s. I'm also interested to know what this is all about in the user manual:
When the projector is mounted on the ceiling, images
may appear darker than those projected in the case of
tabletop mounting. This isn’t a product malfunction.
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post #3 of 693 Old 04-10-2013, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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This is very encouraging! Thanks for the review!
Quote:
When the projector is mounted on the ceiling, images
may appear darker than those projected in the case of
tabletop mounting. This isn’t a product malfunction.
I'll have it ceiling mounted. We'll see.
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post #4 of 693 Old 04-11-2013, 06:01 PM
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Just a note to HC5 owners... it seems this unit has a quirk with its 'variable' iris setting. The issue is discussed in some detail here in posts 65 to 68.

Basically, it seems like if you turn this unit off with the iris in its 'variable' setting, when you turn the pj back on, you may not get a picture and the unit will show an error code (power light solid red and status light flashing orange). Very strange. All it takes to correct this issue is to power cycle the unit, it will eventually fire up again, and then just leave the iris setting to anything other than variable. This is not a big deal given that the variable iris is useless anyway thanks to its slow response time, and also with the native contrast and dark blacks on this unit, there is definitely no need to even try the variable iris.

I have to say that Mits and my pj dealer were fantastic in their willingness to assist with this quirk. Mits was totally prepared to facilitate a hassle free unit swap for a new unit with my dealer, and my dealer was both willing and able to accommodate this and assist me in troubleshooting the issue since I really wanted to keep my unit given its very subtle bright corners and its good convergence.

If any wants an HC5, or any pj for that matter I highly recommend the dealer I went through. Send me or Joesyah (who set me up with him) a pm and we will pass his contact information along.
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post #5 of 693 Old 04-11-2013, 06:11 PM
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One more thing. My unit's ship date from Mits to my dealer was January 31, 2013, so I assume I have the most up to date f/w and h/w. Just thought I'd post the information so others could compare and we could determine what the most up to date actually is:

F/W: 2011.10.24.1
MCU: 2011.3.31.1
DPM: 2011.07.01.01
FPGA: 2011.3.7.1
MEMC: 20110421
LOC: US

To check your f/w, you need to access the service menu. To do so, when the pj is on (and not inside the regular menu system!), just push the following sequence of buttons on your remote:
Enter, Down, Down, Up, Down, Enter
On the Mits HC9000 thread where I got this code from, they only have the Down, Down, Up, Down, Enter... but I seem to need to press enter first to get it to work.
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post #6 of 693 Old 04-11-2013, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy12 View Post

This is not a big deal given that the variable iris is useless anyway thanks to its slow response time, and also with the native contrast and dark blacks on this unit, there is definitely no need to even try the variable iris.

Can you see the iris pumping during scene transitions?
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post #7 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the service menu. Wherever I read about HC5's (and HC9000's) DI everyone says it's unusable. So I'm not counting on it. This projector would be a killer if it had Sony's DI though.
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post #8 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 12:17 AM
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Natively the HC-5 has more contrast than the Sharp XV-Z30000 does with it's DI enabled. So if you were to use the manual iris and bring it down a little you'd have substantially better contrast performance over the Sharp you had. This really is a fantastic machine. One of the best bargains out there at the moment. Unfortunately there were only a rumored 3000 units made so those who get one should feel pretty lucky.

I suspected the DI performance to be bad. From reports on the HC9000D it sounded like it worked just the HC7800D did. The HC7800D I had, had an awful DI and was unusable and needed to be disabled. Unfortunately you couldn't use it in a manual fashion like you can with the HC-5. For a DLP machine in this price bracket to compete these days, it needs to have a usable and semi-aggressive DI. That "sweet-spot' should be around 3-4x native contrast performance. It seems Sharp is the only one who realizes this. It almost seems like some of these companies prey on the ignorant and hope, because they've never seen a decent DI implementation or even ever seen a DI work at all, that they can get away with crappy DI algorithms and for people to accept that as normal. If one wants to see it done correctly, view any recent Sony (HW30/50/90/95) or Runco (LS-1/3/5) projector and you'll see what you're missing out on.
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post #9 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

Natively the HC-5 has more contrast than the Sharp XV-Z30000 does with it's DI enabled. So if you were to use the manual iris and bring it down a little you'd have substantially better contrast performance over the Sharp you had. This really is a fantastic machine. One of the best bargains out there at the moment. Unfortunately there were only a rumored 3000 units made so those who get one should feel pretty lucky.
You like to encourage people to obtain projectors you've never owned. ) You encouraged me to get Sharp XV-Z30000. Not that I blame you for not liking it. On the contrary it was a valuable experience and it let me realize what's important to me in a projected picture. I hope HC5 is everything I've thought it to be. And if not I'll be very disappointed in digital projectors.
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post #10 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 01:10 AM
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I haven't seen either, but I do have a lot more first hand experience than a lot of people giving recommendations. You had two major complaints about the Sharp. Both were known issues. Colors were known not to be great. As far as your complaints with the DI, that is how every DI functions. It boosts whites on darker scenes when it kicks in. Some companies don't need to boost them as much for a few reasons (better native contrast and/or not pushing the DI as much so they don't need to be boosted as much either). The Sharp is one of the nicest, if the not the best, .65" DLP projector around the $2000 price point. If you were expecting something amazing in the projector world at this price point you're kidding yourself. There's no such thing as a perfect projector and the ones at this price point and lower have huge compromises unfortunately. Don't judge digital projector performance solely on two projectors, especially ones that pale in comparison to much higher performance machines. I say this because HDTV performance at $2000 is actually very good on plasma screens. Unfortunately performance between projectors and HDTVs don't share a similar pricing scheme. You're going to need to spend a lot more for similar performance. If you want a huge screen most are more than happy to give up some performance to get a much more immersive visual experience and are quite happy with what $2000 can give you in the projector world.
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post #11 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 02:53 AM
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Zombie - in the little bit of time I tried the variable iris, I did not see any pumping... but this is not in the good "the iris operation was so smooth that I did not see any pumping" kind of way, this is in the "the iris is so conservative that it waits too long to react and barely changes anything when it finally does, so that is why I do not see pumping" kind of way. It did not have any appreciable benefit in dark scenes for me.

The manual iris can be used in place of the variable, but it seems to drop the whites more than the blacks, so I just decided to leave it open for the touch of added brightness. The black levels and contrast on this thing are excellent without the iris.

I would be really interested to hear others' thoughts on the iris to see if they are inline with mine.
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post #12 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 03:20 AM
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"So, what's your story with choosing this projector? How is it? What are your frames of reference? Are you completely satisfied?"

Hi, all smile.gif My thoughts are more or less already told in other thread but to answer your good questions:

-I chose this PJ because my JVC got that "pink stripe" issue which is also discussed elsewhere here. The budget was thight and I first found a special price for HD9000 (2790 euros in Finland) and then I started to search info about it around the web. And this was the way I found HC5 and thought to give it a try. And it was one of the best decisions I've ever done when it comes to home electronics.

-How is it? Simply fantastic, absolutely better than JVC 350 in every way. Sharper, yes, but still has that "film-like", peaceful, easy-for-the-eyes, but still live, rich, and colorful picture. Black levels and shadow details are stunning now when the lamp have cracked in and bright corners have tamed quite a lot. And this is out-of-the-box, there's no point to do any calibration before the lamp has it's first 100 hours full. It's very possible that there's not much calibration needed.
What comes to 3D this PJ is bright enough to make the watching experience enjoyable. There is some crosstalk from time to time in fast movements but so is in the movie theater, too.

-Frames of reference... not much, unfortunately. I checked the JVC X35 in one dealer's HT demo room and it was, of course, great. But no change to do any A to B comparison. But after JVC 350 (or any JVC) I wouldn't easily go back to any LCD (and those I've had many...) or DLP model any more.

-Completely satisfied? Yes, now that bright corners are almost completely gone and solution for the Iris issue is found there's nothing to complain. I didn't want to change this to another unit, there's no quarantee that the new one would work any better. And, as Jimmy12 also wrote, auto-iris is unusable so the heck with it biggrin.gif

And BIG THANKS to jimmy12 for the service menu info!!
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post #13 of 693 Old 04-12-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy12 View Post

One more thing. My unit's ship date from Mits to my dealer was January 31, 2013, so I assume I have the most up to date f/w and h/w. Just thought I'd post the information so others could compare and we could determine what the most up to date actually is:

F/W: 2011.10.24.1
MCU: 2011.3.31.1
DPM: 2011.07.01.01
FPGA: 2011.3.7.1
MEMC: 20110421
LOC: US

To check your f/w, you need to access the service menu. To do so, when the pj is on (and not inside the regular menu system!), just push the following sequence of buttons on your remote:
Enter, Down, Down, Up, Down, Enter
On the Mits HC9000 thread where I got this code from, they only have the Down, Down, Up, Down, Enter... but I seem to need to press enter first to get it to work.

I have the same exact firmware on my unit.
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post #14 of 693 Old 04-13-2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jslaw81 View Post

I have the same exact firmware on my unit.

+1

Edit: except location which is EU

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post #15 of 693 Old 04-25-2013, 12:41 AM
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I just picked up an HC-5 for a great price. The only other projector I've seen with the new Sony panels is the HW50ES (and the new panels seemed great with motion and native contrast). I just hope my unit has good convergence. I can't wait to compare this to the plethora of other units I've seen recently!
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post #16 of 693 Old 04-25-2013, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

I just picked up an HC-5 for a great price.
Seeeeeegs! You sonofa6#$&!!! Was it you who bought HC5 for 1799$?!?! biggrin.gif It's about time you should carry the title "DEAL BUSTER"! biggrin.gif Well, to be honest, I'm glad it was you who got that deal. Because it will have so many great projectors for face-off.
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post #17 of 693 Old 04-25-2013, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
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You're legendary already biggrin.gif Can't wait to hear your findings!
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post #18 of 693 Old 04-29-2013, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Seegs, how long till your HC5 arrives? I bet you'll get it sooner than I will.
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post #19 of 693 Old 04-29-2013, 12:23 AM
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UPS says Thursday. I also picked up the 3D emitter from the same seller. That should arrive Friday. I didn't think to order both at the same time. I picked up a couple pair of xpand 3d glasses that should work nicely with the emitter.
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post #20 of 693 Old 04-29-2013, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
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So you've chosen to use the standard IR emitter? I figured I'd try Monstervision 3D Max RF bundle since the glasses're a little brighter and there's less crosstalk. That is judging by zombie's report on Sony HW30.
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post #21 of 693 Old 04-29-2013, 01:09 AM
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Yeah I haven't done my research on which emitter would work with the HC5. I looked around and saw most of the "after market" 3D emitters used 3 pin connectors and couldn't find one that had the 5 pin connector like the port on the HC5 (though I didn't look hard). I just played it safe and got the stock emitter.
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post #22 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 10:52 AM
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My HC5 arrived this morning! It came in good packaging and arrived in one piece. Some initial impressions:

Pros:
  • Really good out of the box color performance.
  • Plenty of contrast without the need to engage the dynamic iris. The DI is virtually invisible, but like the reviews say, it doesn't close down very far very fast. So while it may close 10% quickly, it takes a while to close down the rest of the way on particularly dark scenes. So unless the scene is long you aren't going to benefit much. I closed down the manual iris 2/3 of the way, it gave plenty of brightness still and brought the black level down considerably.
  • Great motion for a non-DLP unit. I have always complained about JVC units in this regard. Sony's SXRD panels that are in this Mitsubishi are very snappy and deal with motion on a native level great.
  • Really good ANSI contrast. The "better-than-average" lens in this seems to help keep reflections down and boosts ANSI contrast to an almost DLP like state. This gives brighter scenes more pop and looks less flat like most LCOS and LCD projectors that I've dealt with in the past.
  • Great backlit remote and great menu design. The menu's are simple and easy to navigate. The remote has a dedicated button for just about every useful thing you'd want.
  • The CFI is fantastic. I'm not a huge advocate for it but for those who want one that works well, this Mitsubishi knows what it's doing.
  • Motorized optics! This is such a nice feature to have. Dealing with so many DLP units, who seem to never add this feature, makes me appreciate it more and more every time I get to play with a projector that has them.
  • To add to the "Is this really a HC9000D?" debate. Something interesting happened when I connected it to my PC. In the nvidia control center it listed the device as "HC9000", not HC5. I guess that adds more proof that this really is the same projector?

Cons:
  • Like most reviews for the HC9000D say, these units (like almost all LCOS projectors) have bright corners. It isn't something you see with real world content but it's there and can be seen on an all black background. Not really too much of a big deal though, it's one of those negatives of LCOS chips.
  • It's physically large. This may hinder people from shelf mounting. It doesn't weigh as much as some of the projectors I've had in here. I don't know if that's a negative or positive thing to say. I'd guess though there is more plastic than metal inside because of the weight.
  • This isn't a knack towards this projector, but it isn't as sharp as the DLP projectors I'm used to. It's definitely sharper than a lot of LCD and cheaper DLPs units, though. I'd say it looks as sharp as JVC DLA-X3 I had a few months back. Not bad, but not something a nicer high end DLP can give you.

Overall, for the price, this is ONE HELL of a deal. Great picture quality out of the box and I'm sure with a few tweaks here and there and you can get it to look even more amazing. I'm getting the 3D emitter tomorrow and I'll check out how that looks. My car needs some repair work and it looks like it's going to cost me an arm and a leg. I may end up having to sell this for some quick cash, unfortunately. I hope the estimate comes back lower than what I'm expecting....
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post #23 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

Cons:
  • Like most reviews for the HC9000D say, these units (like almost all LCOS projectors) have bright corners. It isn't something you see with real world content but it's there and can be seen on an all black background. Not really too much of a big deal though, it's one of those negatives of LCOS chips.

Seegs, when you say bright corners, do you mean like a halo surrounding the screen ? I see this halo on my friend's HC5 but not on the HW50 he had before.
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post #24 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 11:45 AM
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Seegs, when you say bright corners, do you mean like a halo surrounding the screen ? I see this halo on my friend's HC5 but not on the HW50 he had before.

What you're talking about is light leakage. This is what bright corners looks like versus one that doesn't have it. This is an over-exposed picture and doesn't look anywhere near this extreme:



When I close down the iris, it becomes almost invisible. Considering most people would close down the iris, I find it mostly a non-problem, especially because you can't see it when video is playing (even when the iris is all the way open). From what I've read it's because they can't manufacture the chips to be perfectly flat. They bow out at the corners a little and it causes them to appear a little brighter than the center. This is an issue with all LCOS chips, Mitsubishi, JVC, and Sony all have this issue to some extent. The LCOS chips will individually vary on how bad it is, though.
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post #25 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

My HC5 arrived this morning! It came in good packaging and arrived in one piece. Some initial impressions:

Pros:
  • Really good out of the box color performance.
  • Plenty of contrast without the need to engage the dynamic iris. The DI is virtually invisible, but like the reviews say, it doesn't close down very far very fast. So while it may close 10% quickly, it takes a while to close down the rest of the way on particularly dark scenes. So unless the scene is long you aren't going to benefit much. I closed down the manual iris 2/3 of the way, it gave plenty of brightness still and brought the black level down considerably.
  • Great motion for a non-DLP unit. I have always complained about JVC units in this regard. Sony's SXRD panels that are in this Mitsubishi are very snappy and deal with motion on a native level great.
  • Really good ANSI contrast. The "better-than-average" lens in this seems to help keep reflections down and boosts ANSI contrast to an almost DLP like state. This gives brighter scenes more pop and looks less flat like most LCOS and LCD projectors that I've dealt with in the past.
  • Great backlit remote and great menu design. The menu's are simple and easy to navigate. The remote has a dedicated button for just about every useful thing you'd want.
  • The CFI is fantastic. I'm not a huge advocate for it but for those who want one that works well, this Mitsubishi knows what it's doing.
  • Motorized optics! This is such a nice feature to have. Dealing with so many DLP units, who seem to never add this feature, makes me appreciate it more and more every time I get to play with a projector that has them.
  • To add to the "Is this really a HC9000D?" debate. Something interesting happened when I connected it to my PC. In the nvidia control center it listed the device as "HC9000", not HC5. I guess that adds more proof that this really is the same projector?

Cons:
  • Like most reviews for the HC9000D say, these units (like almost all LCOS projectors) have bright corners. It isn't something you see with real world content but it's there and can be seen on an all black background. Not really too much of a big deal though, it's one of those negatives of LCOS chips.
  • It's physically large. This may hinder people from shelf mounting. It doesn't weigh as much as some of the projectors I've had in here. I don't know if that's a negative or positive thing to say. I'd guess though there is more plastic than metal inside because of the weight.
  • This isn't a knack towards this projector, but it isn't as sharp as the DLP projectors I'm used to. It's definitely sharper than a lot of LCD and cheaper DLPs units, though. I'd say it looks as sharp as JVC DLA-X3 I had a few months back. Not bad, but not something a nicer high end DLP can give you.

Overall, for the price, this is ONE HELL of a deal. Great picture quality out of the box and I'm sure with a few tweaks here and there and you can get it to look even more amazing. I'm getting the 3D emitter tomorrow and I'll check out how that looks. My car needs some repair work and it looks like it's going to cost me an arm and a leg. I may end up having to sell this for some quick cash, unfortunately. I hope the estimate comes back lower than what I'm expecting....

Congrats! I know you just got it, but can you expound on a comparison to the JVC X3? I have a RS10 to upgrade sometime and curious how this compares to the x3 which should be similar-ish in 2d to RS45/46.

Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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post #26 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 01:00 PM
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The only area where I think the x3 is better would be native contrast. 20000:1 vs 30000:1. Other than that it would be unit to unit variance on convergence that would affect sharpness. This unit arrived with good convergence. Blue was the only one needed to be adjusted by one pixel. Both have the potential to look as sharp as the other (as long as convergence on the JVC is good too). Both have similar brightness capabilities. The Mitsubishi has the advantage in motion and frame interpolation. 3D should be a a little cleaner due to Sony's SXRD panels being used here. The Mitsubishi offers an overall better value proposition to the JVC.
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post #27 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 01:11 PM
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your addiction for new gear is possibly worse than mine... cool.gif
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post #28 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 01:25 PM
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I have so many shipping boxes in my theater room it's beginning to get ridiculous...
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post #29 of 693 Old 05-02-2013, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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If this isn't a glowing review then what is? I'm rubbing my hands in anticipation of the arrival of my unit!
One thing remains unclear though. Did Mitsubishi fix CMS with HC5?
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post #30 of 693 Old 05-05-2013, 03:48 AM
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CMS on H5...would like to know if this has indeed been set straight.
Very interested in this projector.
If I had a chance to pick up either a barely used RS46 demo (42 hours, full warranty still being offered) or the HC5 brand new for 2000, what might I be weighing in my mind?
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Mitsubishi , Mitsubishi Brand , Mitsubishi Electronics America , Mitsubishi Hc9000d 3d 1080p Lcd Projector , Mitsubishi Hc5 , Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8350 , Benq W7000 Home Projection System
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