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Join Date: Dec 2006
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I have seen tons of sub $2000 projectors and none are perfect. The Mits lighting uniformity issue is actually almost average for its price. There is some variance noted from past hc3800 models of this issue so that if you exchange them enough, you may get a better one.
I am not discounting anyone's opinion on this at all, but we have seen this issue pop-up before at varying levels, it is not the same on every unit from what we know (I think DaGamePimp can attest to this). I think he went through several hc3800 units until he was satisfied (depends how picky you are). Perhaps some of you are getting ones with excessive brightness uniformity issues, but I cannot say. I have seen some screenshots in the hc3800 thread of at least two units showing a problem much worse than any unit I ever owned (and I had 3 of them in total - 2 hc3800's and 1 mits hc4000), and I've seen 6 of them total in person helping setup a couple for friends.
My feeling is that you should be careful judging the problem on a new lamp, as it takes a while for the lamp to wear in, especially if you are watching too bright of an image.
I have seen LCD's with much worse uniformity. I'm not saying all sub $2000 projectors have this issue, but I am saying you will find something wrong with almost any sub-$2000 projector (convergence, uniformity, color balance, sharpness, calibration issue, best mode brightness, focus drift, firmware issues, IRIS issues, short lamp life, contrast, etc...).
Pick your poison, they all have issues guys, sorry it is that way with projectors, but it's just the nature of the beast.
The Mits is a very good deal at its current pricing, but if you want something with perfect uniformity, look to more expensive projectors like expensive JVC's. Even some $5000+ Sony's have occasionally come off the assembly line with uniformity issues just as bad or worse than this Mits.
Getting the HP screen and mounting it correctly to offset the difference may in fact lessen this issue, but I cannot guarantee it.
Otherwise, I am not sure but the Optoma HD33 might not have the issue, and AVS has some good deals on them if you call them. I really like the HD33 now too because it produces a somewhat similar image for movies but you do lose a little contrast and sharpness (not a huge amount), and in exchange you do get 3D and a brighter image for larger screens and a faster color wheel for less RBE for just a little more.
There is also the Benq w6000, w1100, and w1200.
Relatively speaking, the Mits has the best contrast and picture at this price range other than maybe the Benq w6000 for a few hundred more if you don't mind the IRIS and noise, and with each of these projectors having advantages and disadvantages. The next step up is subjectively the Epson 8700ub, but it can have its own issues as well and isn't nearly as sharp. Maybe this year the QC will be better, but that is yet to be known.