Mitsubishi's HC6000 replaces last year's model, the HC5000, as the company's entry-level 1080p home theater projector. The main improvement is higher contrast ratio due mainly to improved black level performance. It also delivers on its 1080p resolution promise for the most part, with video processing courtesy of Silicon Optix and a high-quality lens for such an inexpensive projector. The feature package is impressive too, with features usually found only on much more expensive projectors. My biggest complaint is the inaccuracy of the primary and secondary colors, but I guess you can't have everything. The Mitsubishi's direct competitor in this price range is the Sony VPL-VW60, and I give a slight nod to the Mitsubishi in terms of overall performance. The HC6000 is also a really good value, considering you can get it online for less than $3,000.
The external appearance of the Mitsubishi HC6000 is fairly basic, with the lens situated at the outer-right edge when mounted on the ceiling, or the outer-left edge when configured for a floor mount. The projector is finished all in black, which means it will blend in and disappear on dark ceilings. All the connections are located on the rear of the chassis. The lens is set in a squarish base that gives it a slightly retro look.
The remote control is an intelligently designed unit and all the keys backlit as soon as one was pressed, making using it in a darkened room much easier. Other than the Menu key, left, right, up, and down rocker keys, and the enter button, there are direct access keys for the Iris, Aspect Ratio, Contrast, Brightness, Color Temperature selections, all the inputs, and the lens functions. The internal menu system is identical to that of last year's 5000 and is simple and intuitive to navigate and use.
Electronic controls for horizontal and vertical lens shift, as well as zoom and focus, are the most important features that aid setup of the HC6000 and are unusual to find at this price range. Since these functions are available electronically from the remote, they're much easier to adjust than mechanical controls, which require you to be at the projector to manipulate.
Other picture controls include a few Gamma modes, which are really picture modes with different gamma curves. Cinema is the best preset, while two user modes allow you to adjust the gamma curve yourself, but I don't recommend that unless you know what you are doing.
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.