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The Mits X80U and the delightsof NEC-ophilia

378 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  watchdoc
Coolness (about the LT150)! I can't wait for my Da-Lite High Power to show up, hopefully next week.


Tom L.

[This message has been edited by tlastrange (edited 07-15-2001).]
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Thanks, Randy, for showing off your system! My motive is simply this - this projector knocked me over backwards about five months ago and I realized that there was an alternative to expensive HT products. I called this thing "Jack the Giant Killer" of projectors. Set up with the Hipower screen, with a good source, and tweaked, this thing is amazingly good - if the CRT guys ever saw this projector set up properly it would scare the hell out of them!

It has seemed to take forever for others to confirm my "sighting", but the wait has been worth it!

Thanks for the post Mike and thanks again to Steve for his LT85 post (and others for getting the word out, which is what this forum is all about).

Remember, nobody is claiming this little thing is perfect, but it is definitely worth checking out!



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A few days ago I got the new Mitsubishi X80U, the fifth front projector I have had a chance to try out in my home. (Its predecessors were the Sony 400Q (LCD), the Sony D50 (CRT), the Infocus LP 350 (DLP), and the NEC VT540 (LCD). A few comments on the Mits:

The PLUS side:

1. 1500 lumens bright (rating seems pretty close--MUCH brighter than the LP 350, optimistically rated at 1300). I can watch a movie with a table lamp on. Makes the D50 CRT, in total darkness, look like it's being powered by three birthday candles.

2. This XGA projector takes 480p and is very sharp and filmlike, no edgy video look. The NEC VT540--using S-video input--was a real loser in this regard (NEC told me that the PS picture on the VT540 was not much different).

3. Wonderful color. The Mits sRGB setting creates a varied palette of colors like I've never seen on a digital projector; this was Mitsubishi's claim, and it looks like they've lived up to it. But you have to get used to REALISTIC color; colors don't POP out, they're just true. Pastels look dead-on.

4. For me, a pleasantly subtle screen door effect, and I have 20/15 vision and am sensitive to screen door (another deal breaker on the VT540). I was able to watch a 9-foot wide picture from 14 feet and the pixels were still very tight, with no harsh grid effect. I stopped noticing them unless I was consciously trying to see them.

5. Reasonable bulb cost. $350 bulbs last for 2,000 hours.

6. Super Mits 3-year warranty.

The MINUS side:

1. 1500 lumens! Combine this with a contrast ratio of only 300:1, and really bright scenes tend to get washed out and lose detail. It took me forever to tweak Three Kings (bright desert setting) so that details were not lost in an ocean of glare.

2. An occasional tendency, in pans, for the lower part of the image to drag behind the upper part for a split second. This happens only occasionally, but everyone would notice it. This may be a problem Mits will address with feedback, or it may have to do with my progressive scan hookup (although the problem never occurs on my progressive RPTV with the same player).

But the Mits is going back, due to the sudden NEC-ophilia which seized me last night when forum member Randy Morton kindly invited me over to his home to see his NEC LT 150 and Da-Lite HiPower screen. Pardon me for a minute while I turn N/NE and bow down in homage to Grant Smyth, whose praise of this combination contains no hyperbole. If the Mits X80U were the only consumer front projector available, and still at its reasonable $3800 street price, everyone on the forum would want one. It is VERY satisfying to watch in the majority of films. But the LT 150 is simply amazing. It took maybe ten seconds of the first DVD to confirm this. I didn't see rainbows or sparklies (I never saw them on the LP 350 either), but what I did see was the finest picture I have ever seen in my home or in a showroom, on any kind of television larger than a 19" computer monitor. What about the $17,000 Runco, the $10,000 Marantz? Hahahahahaha. (There are no D-ILA's in Memphis.) Not only does the 800:1 contrast ratio provide a snap that low-contrast projectors just can't rival, but the colors were rich and deep. The color on the Mits may be more subtle, but the NEC is truly fine. We watched a few minutes of Three Kings--superb detail, snappy contrast, no washed out whites. We then looked at segments of North by Northwest (a reference-quality transfer) and Shakespeare in Love, and the images were flat-out splendid. The black level does not quite equal my Toshiba RPTV, but it is quite similar to what one sees in a theater.

It is hard to believe that this TINY projector, whose butt, pound for pound, any fair-sized ashtray could kick, can emit such visual splendor. As Grant and others have said, bulb cost might SEEM to kill the deal, at 50 cents an hour. But when you have SEEN this projector, you start throwing quarters in a jar.

Back goes the Mits, here comes the NEC, and the Da-Lite soon to follow.

Thanks Randy, Grant, and other forum members for introducing me to this pocket-sized phenomenon.

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How does the NEC compare with the D50 CRT in producing the illusion of 3D?



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I didn't have the D50 for long, since its light output (compared to the Sony 400Q) did not satisfy me. I must admit, however, that it did create a greater sense of dimension than the LT150. I remember in particular a scene from "Last of the Mohicans" when the forest looked so deep that you could walk through the screen and get scalped. I don't argue at all with the CRT camp, as far as state-of-the-art image quality goes, but for me a big part of the package is brightness--that, and the fact that the chassis of the projector, sitting on a coffee table in my suddenly not-so-great-room, looked as big as a Volkswagen.

To all who are interested:

While waiting for my LT 150, I have continued to fiddle with the X80U. I was able to do some unconventional adjustments which reduced the glare in "Three Kings" (see top of thread). In defense of the Mits, it produces in most movies a detailed and rich progressive scan picture (where black level is not crucial). LCD devotees may want to look at this projector, if their budget does not reach to the $6K level. I have watched all or part of probably 20 movies since the projector arrived, and I find it very pleasant just to kick back and bask in the image. If I could have only one TV and had to choose between the Mits and my Toshiba TW56X81 RPTV, I would give up the Tosh, super blacks and all. Watching "Shane" on the resplendently colorful Mits delivered a level of immersion and panorama no RPTV could possibly rival.

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What adjustments were you doing to get a better image on the X80U you are playing with? I just got a Mitsubishi X70UX about 3 weeks ago. I am very happy with the image it produces when hooked up to my Iscan pro/Pioneer DVD player, but I am always looking for any way to improve the image even more. The colors on the Mitsubishi line of projectors are some of the best colors I have ever seen from a DVD/projector combo. Just put in Austin Powers: the spy who shagged me and go to the scene , Austin's pad : 1969 . The colors pop off the screen.



I believe that AJ Abrams from Projector People uses an X70 in his own home. He is a nice guy and could probably tell you a lot more about that specific projector than I. Interestingly, though, he pointed out to me that the X80 uses the same bulb as the X70, while extracting an extra 400 lumens from it. The new chip (I guess)in the X80 (sRGB system) and all the different adjustments for cyan, magenta, etc., are cool (though color is excellent at default).

The best tweak I discovered was to set contrast and brightness pretty much opposite from what I had experienced, for example, on the Sony 400Q. On that machine I set brightness at 25-40%, contrast at 90%, and got good results in most movies. What I did on the X80--and it really helped "Three Kings" and even "Dark City" (it brought out ALL the shadow detail--I was amazed) was to LOWER contrast (to about 75% or +15) and INCREASE brightness to the midway point, even slightly higher (roughly +5). (The X80 has adjustments of -30 to +30 on brightness and contrast.) Because of innovations in the X80, I can't say that this would help with your projector, but I found that about the same setting worked for other movies as well.

SAD DAY today, sending the Mits back.

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"I must admit, however, that it did create a greater sense of dimension than the LT150"

Is this a geenral impression, or is it particular to darker scenes, i.e., do you think it's atributable to black levels that are still not as deep as CRT's?

I believe brightness also is important. Would you be willing to do an experiment?: move the NEC closer to the screen to increase its brightness and see if that improves the 3D effect.

Thanks again



[This message has been edited by noah katz (edited 07-17-2001).]
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The glare of Three Kings where present in every projector I owned; The acer, panasonic, sanyo nec and two Mistubishi the X390 and now the X400 and my experience is no ather projector compers to X400 when comes to color and uniformity, with the sanyo I couldn't never calibrate the colors it was ether to green or too red. Rick

My Mits X80U went back yesterday, and I miss it already. I have a wonderful "back-up" TV, an HDTV-ready Toshiba TW56X81, which will help me save the bulb on my NEC LT150. But the colors on the Toshiba, which I THOUGHT were top-notch, just can't match the X80U (at least without an ISF calibration). Mitsubishi's engineers do seem to be real masters of color. When Mits enters the 720x1280, high-contrast arena where the Sharp 9000 is the new gladiator, they should be a real force. I just don't think color can get much more accurate than it is on X80U. I spent half of my movie time with the Mits appraising colors and ignoring the plot. A little more contrast (say, 500:1) and I would have kept that Mits for sure.


[This message has been edited by catullus (edited 07-18-2001).]
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Wow, i finally meet some members that one Mitsubishi X70's! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

I am very satisfied with my mits; but to get top performance a grey screen such as the Greyhawk from Stewart or a HC Damat grey screen from Da-lite greatly improves the black level, moderatly improves colour rendition and depth as well. Blacks are now indeed black, the Da-lite in my situation makes an enormous difference in PQ.

My only caveat with my X70 is the noise level and my latest project will be a hushbox for it. Any suggestions as to the hushbox contruction, venting, etc?



Parasound AVC 1800

B&K AV 5000 II

Monitor Audio Silver 5's, silver center and silver 3's(rears)

HSU VTF 2 subwoofer

Toshiba DVD/cd

Mitsubishi LVP X70 FPTV

Dalite High Contrast Da-mat 16:9 grey screen


HTPC consisting of Duron 750, AOpen motherboard, Radeon LE video and Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound

[This message has been edited by power (edited 07-19-2001).]

[This message has been edited by power (edited 07-19-2001).]
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Hey guys Mitsubishi rules! even thouth the contrast ratio of Mitsubishi is 400.1, at least in the X400 it looks pretty good on my da-mat HC. Now wait until the black star from VUTEC comes on the market, mitsubishi is going to blow every projector awy, including DLP's.
I've had my X250 (1300 lumems, 1024x768) for the better part of a year now and I couldn't be more happy. Colors are indeed some of the best I've seen. I was willing to give up some detail and contrast for the luxury feel of the Mitsubishi. 3 year warranty (and check with you credit card, mine automatically doubles factory warranties up to a year!!!), power zoom and focus, HD ready, laser pointer, mouse and rs232 control. It really does it all. I bought this unit for about half what a 10HT was going for last year and it even came with a free dvd player. I highly recommend AV marketplace.


David.. "It must be weird to be normal"
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