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Florent Alzieu Published on February 23, 2010
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  • Technology
  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Brightness 1500 lumens
  • Contrast 30000
  • Lamp life 1.1111111111111 hrs
  • Sound level 20 dB
The new HC6500 is here!  Mitsubishi's HC6800 has the same look as its predecessor, but the manufacturer claims to have added "advanced technologies deliver contrasts now more distinctive than ever before."  The design itself hasn't budged, so what about this excellent contrast? 

Handling: quiet, but not much lens-shift to either side

There haven't been many changes between the way you use the HC6500 and the HC8600.  The same strengths as before are there: motorised lens-shift, zoom and focus, quiet running (just 24.5 dB), a full-sized backlit remote and a wide range of connectivity.  It does require just a little bit more energy than its predecessor, climbing to 186 W while in use.

Lens-shift on the HC6800: the dotted line represents the default projection zone, and the coloured squares show the furthest it can go in each direction.
On the negative side, the projector uses a lot of energy while on standby: a lot of its competitors drop to under 1 W, but the HC6800 needs 6.7 W.  Lens-shift is limited to either side and you can just about hear the projector whirring away if you sit to one side.

Image Quality: a few punishing mistakes

As ever, we're going to be strict here.  Our criticisms of the image quality produced by video projectors are deliberately harsh to give you enough detail to tell the different products apart.  That means that you shouldn't think the HC6800 produces a dreadful image because of its three-star rating in this section.

In fact, that's far from being the case: it's just that other projectors manage to do better, so this one comes off badly from a comparison.  We tested it alongside the Panasonic PTAE-4000E, which produces a much more neutral image.  Mitsubishi's projections, by contrast, have a wider dynamic range, are brighter and have a slight tendency to be dominated by purple.

Compare the Mitsubishi HC6800 with other projectors in our Product Face-Off

We measured black levels of 1.49 cd/m² with whites at 453 cd/m², which gives a contrast ratio of 304:1.  We've seen much better, from both LCD and DLP projectors.  Although it's a slight improvement on the HC6500, it still doesn't represent excellent progress.

The amount of electronic noise in video was kept in check when we watched DVDs (576p).  To ensure you get the same result, you need to play with the TRNR option in the advanced menu, and set it to around 7.  This option isn't available for 720p or 1080p HD video, or files played from a computer.

Bright areas are difficult for this projector, just like they were on the HC6500.  Once the iris is activated, the lightest areas are overexposed and detail is burned out.  The only way around this is to turn the iris off, but that's not an ideal solution as it reduces the depth of blacks.

The projector is pretty good at upscaling sources to 1080p by itself.  It's still not as good as the job done by the PS3 that we use to test video sources.  If you can, make sure you use a good quality player to upscale your DVDs, which will produce a better quality, more accurate 1080p image.   The problem is the misaligned LCD matrices that we discuss below.

Misaligned LCD matrices: a great illustration of this problem is available in our Product Face-Off, where you can see what a 1080p source looks like.  What's going on here?  You get green and purple lines about a pixel wide above and below white areas.  They're more or less  invisible from 1.5 metres away, but trained viewers will still be able to spot them.

100 Hz and 3D modes: neither of these is available.  With 3D just around the corner, you might be left wondering whether it's really worth investing in a projector that doesn't open the way to what could be this year's technological revolution.  It's a reasonable question, even if some people still complain that 3D produces undesirable effects.  As for 100 Hz mode, it's a real shame to not see it here, and once again doesn't help the HC6800 stand up to comparisons with the PT-AE48000E, where the improved fluidity really improves its performance.
Our Settings
Things aren't quite right when you get the HC6800 out of the box. First of all, you need to get the gamma right. With the default settings, projections are too dark. To correct that, switch to user mode and use the following settings: High: 4; Mid: 4 and Low: -1.

The next step is to work on the colour temperature. We didn't manage to get it at the perfect 6500 K. Here's how we got close though: switch to user mode, and then set contrast to R: 0; G: 0 and B: -6, with brightness at R:0; G: 2 and B: 2.


  • Motorised lens-shift, zoom and focus
  • Quiet (24.5 dB)
  • Backlit remote control
  • Noise well-handled in 576p video


  • White areas overexposed
  • High energy consumption on standby
  • Only minimal lens-shift to each side
  • Blacks not very deep
  • No 100 Hz or 3D


The solid hardware of this projector, which is somewhat spoilt by an energy consumption of 6.7 W on standby, struggles to compensate for the problems with image quality, including over-exposure, misaligned LCD matrices and a lack of 100 Hz and 3D modes.
3 Mitsubishi HC6800 DigitalVersus 2010-02-23 00:00:00
Compare: Mitsubishi HC6800 to its competitors
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