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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a entry level projector and have read up a little on the different pj's to pick from. It seems like I always come back to the HC3800 for being the best bang for buck pj available. Would you tend to agree or is their another pj I should consider?


Right now I can get a HC3800 for less than $1300 shipped new (hope there is not a pricing policy on this forum; left off the location for that price if thats any consolation...) plus I think I get a 2nd bulb free or something (someone please clarify to me that deal - where do I go for more info?). That's seems like an excellent deal to me for what the HC3800 is...


I'm looking to ceiling mount whatever I get so I guess that wouldn't be a problem with the HC3800 (no lens shift so I have to have it centered; but does the lens angle down towards the screen?); right?


I was originally looking at more expensive units (really would like the LG CF181D but its a little to expensive for me) but have since come down to looking to spend less than $1500 on the pj.


I've looked at the different pj technologies and would like to avoid all the dust blob issues that the LCD pj's seem to develope (was looking at the panny AE4000). It seems like DLP has the "least" issues to worry about later down the road; would you agree?




Few questions about the HC3800 (they may have been asked above already)


-What's the story with the HC3800 and random shutdowns? Is it just a hit or miss issue per unit or should I run away?


-Where do I go for info on the free 2nd bulb deal?


-Only 1 HDMI input on unit. Do people use a switcher or something to connect to the other sources or are you unplugging the single cable everytime you use a different source?


-Whats the best price on the HC3800 right now?


-I will ceiling mount whatever I get. No lens shift with HC3800 so I have to have it centered with screen, right? Does it angle the picture down towards screen or do I have to have it hanging down straight across with height I want the screen (surely not right?)?




Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, I forgot the obvious info...


Use: home theater - bluray, directv


Ambient Light: yes. a couple of windows that have thick curtains; so dark but not completely dark during the day.
 

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Price talk is not permitted, see http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/annou...php?f=68&a=119 .


IMHO, the HC3800 seems to be the best, low cost, PJ available.


It has about a fixed 33.7% offset (above the screen edge for ceiling mount) -- measured relative to the screen height. For a 100" screen (87" x 49"), the center of the lens would be 49 x 0.337 = 16.5" above the top of the viewable screen height. You should not tilt the PJ for the best image quality. For the left-to-right positioning, the center of the PJ lens has to be lined up with the center of the screen.


For projection distance and offset calculations, see http://www.projectorcentral.com/Mits...ulator-pro.htm . For a review of the HC3800, see http://www.projectorreviews.com/mits...3800/index.php .


The ideal screen height puts the center of your "relaxed" eye-line about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the screen. This is not a "hard and fast" rule -- your room constraints will dictate what you do.


All screen factors refer to the viewable image area of the screen, not the overall screen size (in other words, don't include the black screen borders).


Most people use a HDMI switcher, either one of the better ones from monoprice, or one in your AVR. Plugging and unplugging a HDMI cable is an absolute "no-no" -- it will cause your HDMI connector (either end) to fail, since they are depending a fragile solder connection to hold them to the unit's PC board (either PJ or source electronics), and good HDMI cables are not light weight.


Remember, projectors do not contain any audio capability (except for "all-in-one" models), so you will also need an external audio system (speakers and receiver -- stereo or surround sound system).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidinGA /forum/post/18273210


Few questions about the HC3800 (they may have been asked above already)


-What's the story with the HC3800 and random shutdowns? Is it just a hit or miss issue per unit or should I run away?


-Where do I go for info on the free 2nd bulb deal?


-Only 1 HDMI input on unit. Do people use a switcher or something to connect to the other sources or are you unplugging the single cable everytime you use a different source?


-Whats the best price on the HC3800 right now?


-I will ceiling mount whatever I get. No lens shift with HC3800 so I have to have it centered with screen, right? Does it angle the picture down towards screen or do I have to have it hanging down straight across with height I want the screen (surely not right?)?

Thanks!

First, read the last 5 pages of the Unofficial HC3800 thread for insight into the shutdown problem--most have said this is fixed in the latest versions. However, signal sync issues can still cause shutdown.


Yes, people do use switchers. I have one with a 20 foot run to the projector. I use both 3 and 6ft cords into the switcher. You have to test different cords though as some work okay, some don't. Blu-ray players have the most syncing problems.


You must buy the unit from an authorized US dealer to get the bulb deal. It should be in their AD, or at least confirm with seller.


There is an offset of the image from the top of the projector. You can tilt the projector up or down to deal with it somewhat, but would need to keystone the image. I have this problem and have to keystone the image, but it's not noticeable to anyone watching. Yes it should be straight on to the center of the image, but it will handle some offcenter projection.
 

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DavidinGA,

i was in the same boat as you, i was leaning toward the Optoma HD20 but all the reviews kept steering me to the HC3800. so yesterday i ordered one i hope to have it next week.


thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm trying to determine if the HC3800 will be bright enough for me in my living room. I have two windows and a glass door on the side of where the screen would be. I have dark curtains but its still not super dark in their during the day. According to the online calculator I would have 19fl with a 100" 16:9 1.0gain screen with a 12ft throw. How bright or well does 19fl work with ambient light?


Maybe someone could give me a point of reference for image brightness. I have a 50" plasma that says it has a brightness of 1,300 cd/m². What is that in fl? I know the plasma will be waaaay brighter than the pj but still...




Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is Amazon (from Amazon; not a seller selling through amazon) an authorized dealer and will work to get a free 2nd bulb?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidinGA /forum/post/18277598


Is Amazon (from Amazon; not a seller selling through amazon) an authorized dealer and will work to get a free 2nd bulb?

Others have said that Amazon direct is authorized.


As for brightness. Yes, it will be bright enough for your screen size. If not in low lamp mode, certainly in normal mode. I have a 145" screen with a slight gain, and works well in low lamp mode even with some ambient light.


You can see the effect of ambient light here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post18082095


Some Olympic shots.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post18137180
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by threed123 /forum/post/18277826


Others have said that Amazon direct is authorized.


As for brightness. Yes, it will be bright enough for your screen size. If not in low lamp mode, certainly in normal mode. I have a 145" screen with a slight gain, and works well in low lamp mode even with some ambient light.


You can see the effect of ambient light here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post18082095


Some Olympic shots.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post18137180


I guess I found the HC3800 for the same price at B&H and surely they are a authorized dealer so that'd probably be the "safer" route to make sure I can get the free 2nd bulb...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidinGA /forum/post/18277912


I guess I found the HC3800 for the same price at B&H and surely they are a authorized dealer so that'd probably be the "safer" route to make sure I can get the free 2nd bulb...

Wow, that's an excellent price and they are very reliable in my experience.


Once you put it into your cart, click on the more info link and you will see they offer the bulb rebate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by threed123 /forum/post/18277951


Wow, that's an excellent price and they are very reliable in my experience.


Once you put it into your cart, click on the more info link and you will see they offer the bulb rebate.

They have a HC3800 plus ceiling mount deal for not much more too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What's a good ceiling mount for the HC3800 anyway?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidinGA /forum/post/18277965


They have a HC3800 plus ceiling mount deal for not much more too...

The bundle gives you a cheap HDMI cable and a mount for $73. If would be an okay deal if the cable meets your needs, but if not, then overpriced.


Mounts for the HC3800 need to have 3 spider arms for the 3 mount points on the projector, plus left-right turn radius and up/down tilt (most have these days). Biggest concern is length of mount (ceiling drop height). Make sure you have that calculated. You probably need a flush or short drop (e.g. 3 inches). Check out monoprice.com (their site is temporarily down for maintenance, though). Read through the Unofficial thread for other ideas.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by threed123 /forum/post/18277323


There is an offset of the image from the top of the projector. You can tilt the projector up or down to deal with it somewhat, but would need to keystone the image. I have this problem and have to keystone the image, but it's not noticeable to anyone watching. Yes it should be straight on to the center of the image, but it will handle some offcenter projection.

Can you tell me where your projector is mounted? I would have to mount it even with the top of my screen, I think that the tilt needed would be pretty severe in that situation, but am curious to see what other people have for mount options. Since this isn't much more than the HD20, I would prefer to get it, however, the offset on the HD20 is much less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by threed123 /forum/post/18277826


Others have said that Amazon direct is authorized.


As for brightness. Yes, it will be bright enough for your screen size. If not in low lamp mode, certainly in normal mode. I have a 145" screen with a slight gain, and works well in low lamp mode even with some ambient light.


You can see the effect of ambient light here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post18082095


Some Olympic shots.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post18137180


Wow that's pretty impressive for the HC3800 being "entry level" especially how bright it is with ambient light.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innova /forum/post/18278180


Can you tell me where your projector is mounted? I would have to mount it even with the top of my screen, I think that the tilt needed would be pretty severe in that situation, but am curious to see what other people have for mount options. Since this isn't much more than the HD20, I would prefer to get it, however, the offset on the HD20 is much less.

You can get an idea from this picture. The projector is on the far right of the screen mounted about 3 inches from the ceiling, 16 feet back, and tilts up slightly. The screen, which is 6 feet high, is mounted about 7 inches from the ceiling. I adjusted for the tilt using 3 clicks of keystoning. I do not see any image degradation from this. I think too many enthusiasts worry way too much about the large offset and keystoning having a big effect on the image. If properly mounted for the offset, I think it should be about 18" from the ceiling--not going to happen with a large screen like that in 99% of homes. Yes, the HD20 offset would be ideal and I had one for several days, but other factors about the HD20 drove me toward the HC3800--sharper image, better handling of cable TV (e.g. 1080i, 720p, and 480p images), more of a 3D looking image.

 

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Thanks...I also realized last night that I would have to move my mount from my current location, not sure if I want to do that, as I have a drywall ceiling, and it would cause cableing issues.


I need to shoot a 119" image from 18' if I want to use my current mount location.
 

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I've been pretty vocal about the shutdowns and other issues some people have had with this projector. With that said I'm still ordering one very soon. Why? because even with the problems, Mitsubishi has taken care of everyone I've read about with a problem, and has exchanged their bad unit for a new one. Granted some are on their second or 3rd return, but Mitsubishi is standing behind their product.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innova /forum/post/18284363


Thanks...I also realized last night that I would have to move my mount from my current location, not sure if I want to do that, as I have a drywall ceiling, and it would cause cableing issues.


I need to shoot a 119" image from 18' if I want to use my current mount location.

At 18' it would be about limit of the zoom for that image size, which is 216" for a 120" screen. The offset would be 19.8".
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legairre /forum/post/18285416


I've been pretty vocal about the shutdowns and other issues some people have had with this projector. With that said I'm still ordering one very soon. Why? because even with the problems, Mitsubishi has taken care of everyone I've read about with a problem, and has exchanged their bad unit for a new one. Granted some are on their second or 3rd return, but Mitsubishi is standing behind their product.

So are all the problems supposibly fixed in the newer firmwares?
 
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