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OFFICIAL HTF REVIEW: MITSUBISHI HD1000 PROJECTOR

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ben_Williams, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    Mitsubishi HD1000 720p Front Projector



    Introduction:

    For many home theater aficionados, front projection is the final frontier of the home cinema experience. When one measures screen size in feet rather than inches, it is safe to say that the true cinema experience has found its way into the home. Until recently, front projection has been too prohibitively expensive for many enthusiasts to consider. Panasonic, Mitsubishi and several other companies have just released front projectors that are entering the market at very low price points. The Mitsubishi HD1000 has a MSRP of $995 and is available at street prices that are quite a bit below that number. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at this new breed of projectors - - both 720p and 1080p - - and how they perform in the home theater environment.

    Equipment & Methodology:

    For this series of projector reviews, the folks over at Carada have been kind enough to provide us with a 93” Criterion series Brilliant White 16x9 screen. I personally feel that Carada offers an exceptional value to those budding front projection enthusiasts who are looking for an extremely high quality fixed screen at a third the price of some of the name brands. The Projection Screens - Home Theater Projector Screens by Carada screen is beautifully made, extremely easy to assemble and install and produces an extremely accurate image with no discernable hot spots. Customer service at Carada is also second to none. From the time my screen was custom ordered, Carada was in constant communication with me and I had the screen installed on-wall within seven days of the order being placed. If front projection is in your future, I highly recommend visiting Projection Screens - Home Theater Projector Screens by Carada for more information.

    In addition to the Carada screen, the following hardware has been used in this review:

    Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-Ray Player
    Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD player
    Dish Network Vip 622 HD satellite receiver
    Denon DVD-2910
    Hdtvsupply.com HDMI Cables

    ISF Calibrator Steve Martin has joined me for the technical portions of this series of reviews. Steve is a member of the Lion Audio / Visual Consultants network. He received his ISF training in May of 2000 and has been calibrating professionally since 2001. Steve is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Having done all of my calibrations since 2003, Steve has always impressed me with his ability to not only get outstanding results from my Video equipment, but to walk me through the calibration process by showing me exactly what the calibration is doing to make my display achieve its best possible picture. For more information on services offered by the Lion Audio / Visual Consultants team, please visit Lion Audio/Video Consultants Welcomes You! Home theater Calibration Video Audio Display ISF Imaging science foundation Training Education Consultation Setup Video Essentials Digital video essentials Avia Extron Ideal lume Cinemaquest Cable Sencore C3.

    [​IMG]

    Steve's calibration equipment consists of:
    Colorfacts CF-6000 (Gretag Macbeth Eye-One) spectrophotometer
    Accupel HDG-3000 test pattern generator
    Colorfacts Professional 6.0 software

    Specifications:
    Contrast:2500:1
    Technology:Single Darkchip DLP – 720p Native
    Video Formats:1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p PAL, NTSC and SECAM
    Inputs: HDMI, VGA, Component, Composite, S-Video, USB, Serial, Trigger

    First Impressions:

    The Mitsubishi HD1000 is a small projector, weighing in at a mere 7 lbs. It has a generic black and grey exterior shell that is a bit plain, but by no means offensive. The Mitsubishi offers manual zoom and focus and no vertical or horizontal lens shift, so installation is a bit awkward. I spent a good deal of time trying to position this projector and it did prove to be a bit of a challenge to get the image well centered. As with any projector, using keystone and overscan settings should be avoided at all costs. They do not help the picture quality and ruin the true 1:1 pixel mapping capabilities of these projectors. The HD1000 is intended to be ceiling mounted as the image is projected significantly above the centerline of the lens. You had better be sure that your mount is dead center to your screen and that you have a bit of vertical room to raise and lower the projector, otherwise you are probably going to be pretty frustrated when trying to install the HD1000. The HD1000 also makes use of a true 720p single DLP chip. While the initial image was fairly pleasing, it seemed to be overly enhanced and pretty badly calibrated out of the box. I also was keenly aware of the dreaded DLP rainbow effect with this projector. Some users won’t have this problem, but for those that do, it is initially very distracting. Fortunately, as one spends more time with this projector, the rainbow effect lessens as your eyes adjust to this phenomenon. Temporal dithering is also apparent from close distances. If viewed from normal distances, (eight feet or more) dithering noise and other anomalies inherent to DLP technology are not visible or distracting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The remote is small and jam-packed with buttons. It is, however, pretty intuitive and I adjusted quickly to its layout. Another nice aspect of the HD1000 is that once activated, the menus don’t disappear after a pre-set length of time. You have to manually cancel the menu in order to get it off of the screen.

    [​IMG]

    Objective Measurements:

    Steve was pretty unimpressed with the out of the box image that the HD1000 was producing. A quick check of the various user modes showed that greyscale was way off on all modes, sharpness was way too high and that colorspace was somewhat accurate, with the green severely shifted towards yellow. When diving into the calibration, Steve was also disappointed with the lack of colorspace control within the HD1000. While he was able to make greyscale adjustments that brought the projector within the acceptable range, colorspace was locked into place. The strange yellowish-green color phenomenon was apparently a permanent feature with the HD1000. While this might not seem like a big deal to many of you, the incorrect green level actually causes the projector to produce green tones that look a bit like pea soup. So, when watching a football game, one will never get that nicely saturated green of the field out of the projector. It will always seem a bit pale and will never have a nice green pop. On a brighter note, gamma was pretty accurate out of the box and the projector itself does feature user-selectable gamma controls.

    CIE Chart:
    [​IMG]

    RGB Levels Before Calibration:
    [​IMG]

    RGB Levels After Calibration:
    [​IMG]

    Gamma After Calibration:
    [​IMG]

    Subjective Measurements:

    The Mitsubishi HD1000 produces a very rich image after calibration. The aforementioned yellowish-green problem is noticeable on a variety of different programming types and this is a problem that will haunt this projector until someone figures out the service menu codes that will hopefully unlock greater color controls. Despite this problem, the projector is capable of producing a very nice image with excellent skin tones and a nice level of detail. Black levels are also good with an excellent amount of shadow detail. I viewed several titles from my Blu-Ray and HD DVD catalog on this projector and was usually pretty impressed with the results. HD satellite material was also nicely presented. Standard Definition content was well scaled without many troublesome scaling issues. It’s important to again mention this projector’s price. For a projector in the sub thousand dollar range, these are pretty minor issues that can very easily be looked over considering the price. All told, there are plenty of projectors out there at three times the price that pale in comparison to the Mitsubishi HD1000.

    The Final Analysis:

    The Mitsubishi HD1000 is available in stores now with a MSRP of $995. That’s a tremendous value for a full 720p DLP projector that can output well over 1000 lumens. Although Steve felt that the lack of colorspace controls was a dealbreaker, I found that despite some limitations, this is still a nice projector that throws an impressive image. You’d be hard pressed to find anything else in this price-range that can produce this crisp and detailed of an image. If front projection is a must and you have a severely limited budget, the Mitsubishi is an outstanding option. If you are looking for a pure reference projector with perfectly accurate colors, then you might consider looking elsewhere.

    [​IMG]

    [pge]Mitsubishi HD1000[/pge]
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. I'm very interested in this projector, and have read other reviews on it. What exactly does "colorspace control" mean? Will you also be reviewing the Optoma HD70? I sure hope so.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Ben:

    Great review. I have heard nothing but good things about this projector so I am not surprised that you recommend it.

    Parker
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review, Ben. I'm looking forward to your reviews of other projectors.
     
  5. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin Member

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    Look at the CIE chart posted in the review. There are specific colors of green, red, blue, etc. that are part of the HDTV video standard. Color space controls allow you to fine tune the primary/secondary colors so that the display produces the correct color space. As you can see above the green on this projector is shifted to the yellow, actually preventing the projector from reproducing the cyan->green corner of the desired color space.

    Some manufacturers these days are actually promoting expanded color spaces which are equally undesirable as again, you would not be reproducing the intended colors accurately. As long as the primary/secondard colors are adjustable that isn't a problem if the display will be calibrated.
     
  6. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    I'll see if we can get a demo unit from Optoma... if so, we'll definitely do a review!
     
  7. Bob_L

    Bob_L Well-Known Member

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    In the Image section of the Setup menu, couldn't you go to User and adjust the RGB controls for brightness and contrast to address some of the color space issue?
     
  8. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    Those, unfortunately, have no effect on the colorspace.
     
  9. Chris S

    Chris S Well-Known Member

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    Stellar review! I've been contemplating the HD1000U for the last three weeks but am hesitant to pull the trigger before CES. This projector is definitely one of the BEST deals to be had in a long time but I'm worried CES will unveil another killer unit. Its a good time to be looking for a new projector. [​IMG]
     
  10. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I'll be buying this in the next month or so. I've been following this one and the Optoma HD70 very closely. I just wish it had a 2 year warranty like the HD70. The HD1000 can be bought for $899 shipped at Projectorpeople.com. UNBELIEVABLE deal on a 720p projector.
     
  11. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Well-Known Member

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    I have two questions for everyone.

    1) How important is the constrast ratio (ie how good or bad is 2500:1)?

    2) Technology: Single Darkchip DLP – 720p Native
    Video Formats: 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p PAL, NTSC and SECAM

    What do these two lines mean in the spec? Can I choose any of the video formats as outputs, or does this means that the projector can accept all of those video formats and then they will be converted to the 720p native signal?


    Andy
     
  12. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    The contrast ratio is relative. There are plenty of projectors with a ratio better than 2500:1 that will appear similar to this Mitsubishi. No digital projector can yet produce true black levels, so they all cheat by using brighter whites to make their version of black seem darker. So, while this Mitsubishi isn't going to rival a CRT for black levels, it does do a good job of cheating its way to decent contrast. As far as the resolutions that the HD1000 supports, this is a native 720p projector, so it will accept all of the above resolutions and then scale the resolution to 720p.
     
  13. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Ben for your informative review and answers.

    One more newbie question.

    What does it mean that you have a 16x9 screen?

    I always assumed that if the screen was big enough (no matter what the form factor was) that the projector would simply display the item in the correct aspect ratio. Does the image look different on a non 16x9 screen?

    Andy
     
  14. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    Andy,

    Screens are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. You can get Academy Standard (4:3) - - this is the same ratio as a traditional TV -- 2.35:1, 1.85:1 or 1.78:1 - - which is better known as 16:9. All HD broadcasts are set over the air, satellite or cable as 16:9 images. IF you are just getting into front projection, I would recommend that you purchase a 16:9 screen as it will be the most flexible for you. Of course, all HD projectors are setup to throw a 16:9 image as well. If the content is of a different ratio, the projector will still throw a 16:9 image with black letterbox or pillarbox bars in the appropriate places.


    In other words, just get a 16:9 screen and you'll be in great shape. [​IMG]
     
  15. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ben, ok this makes sense.

    I have owned a RPTV 16x9 aspect ratio TV since the late 90's so I am aware of the aspect ratio and horizontal/vertical bars. I guess I simply didn't relate that to a big screen with a front projector.

    Andy
     
  16. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Well-Known Member

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    Will the pj stretch a 720p/1080i HDMI input vertically (usually called "Letterbox" mode) for use with an anamorphic lens??
     
  17. Ben_Williams

    Ben_Williams Well-Known Member

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    Jack, I believe it will... however, I no longer am in possession of the projector to verify this. Let me check with Mitsubishi and get back to you...
     
  18. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks. It seems the 3000 can't, but I'd love confirmation on this one. I wish more companies were 2.35:1-friendly. [​IMG]
     
  19. todd s

    todd s Well-Known Member

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    I have an Infocus 4805 projector. I use it in a completely dark room. But, I have been comptinplating going to a hd projector. Just wondering the difference between the two? Without too much of the technical jargon.

    Thanks!
     
  20. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Well-Known Member

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    I don't own the HD1000 yet, but I will in a couple weeks. The main advantages with the HD1000: it will be brighter, and the higher resolution.
     

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