Selectable color temperatures are also available, and the User color temperature is adjustable for those wishing to have the unit professionally calibrated. An Auto Iris feature allows the Iris to open and close automatically depending on how bright the scene is. I recommend you shut this off as it causes both white level and black level to shift up and down depending on picture content, and both white and black need to be set correctly and remain constant for the best picture performance.
Connectivity is reasonably generous for a front projector. Two HDMI inputs head up the list--an upgrade from last year's HC5000, which had one HDMI and one DVI input. A single component video input and a 15-pin VGA input, which can also be configured for component-video, are also on tap. A single S-Video and a single composite video input for older legacy sources like VHS decks are also present. Finally, an RS-232 control port and a 12-volt trigger are available as well.
There is no question that the HC6000 is a significant improvement over last year's 5000. The biggest area of improvement is greater contrast ratio, due mainly to improved black-level performance. While the Mitsubishi's blacks are much deeper than those of last year's model, the best 1-chip 1080p resolution DLP projectors today with Dark Chip technology are slightly better in this regard. The LCoS-based JVC DLA-HD100 for example, is also slightly better in this all-important performance parameter than the Mitsubishi, although nearly twice the price.
Excellent color decoding, good gamma, and accurate grayscale tracking are all a part of the package. It is a shame that the Mitsubishi's primary and secondary color accuracy is so far off the mark, taking away from overall color accuracy in the end. Video processing comes courtesy of Silicon Optix, and its HQV processing scheme, of which there are several levels of quality. De-interlacing was good, and as evidenced by the Silicon Optix HQV test disc in Blu-ray, the HC6000 does a fine job with both video-based and film-based HD material.
For real-world testing of black level performance, I spun up the recent release on Blu-ray of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Most of the film is quite dark and the opening sequence is particularly good for checking blacks. L.A.'s futuristic buildings against the night background were reasonably well rendered, although the blacks weren't quite as inky as the best digital projectors today. The opening scene of The Departed, also on Blu-ray, is somewhat dark (maybe the director is trying to keep you from seeing Jack Nicholson and how old he is, since the film is about to jump 20 or more years into the future). That particular scene also looked good, with plenty of shadow detail.
This scene also provides a tough test for motion, with a sharp left-to-right pan in the diner when the young girl comes down to serve Jack. Unfortunately, the 6000 doesn't display a multiple of 24 frames per second from Blu-ray, so there is some jutter in film-based material. This scene looked good otherwise, with razor-sharp clarity. Given its price, the HC6000 has a reasonably high-quality lens so images are rendered with commendable clarity when the source is sharp.
|Before color temp (20/80)||7,400/7,390||Poor|
|After color temp||6,500/6,600||Good|
|Before grayscale variation||+/- 939K||Poor|
|After grayscale variation||+/- 98K||Good|
|Color of red (x/y)||0.656/0.334||Average|
|Color of green||0.319/0.659||Poor|
|Color of blue||0.147/0.051||Good|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||Yes||Good|
|480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps||Yes||Good|
|1080i video resolution||Pass||Good|
|1080i film resolution||Pass||Good|