Having been very impressed by Mitsubishi's strikingly affordable HC5500 LCD projector a few weeks ago, I have to admit to expecting great things as I started to unpack that projector's bigger brother, the £1,900 HC6500. After all, this model boasts a (slightly) higher contrast ratio of 15000:1, which definitely has the potential to shift its performance up that crucial extra gear to get the HC6500 into ‘TrustedReviews Recommends' territory.
According to its specifications, the HC6500 also runs more quietly than the HC5500, at just 17dB. This might seem a rather trivial point to raise so early on in a review, but I make no apologies for it. For as I write this I'm sat right next to the thing, with my speakers turned off and I can barely hear a whisper from it. Seriously, I think it's the quietest projector I've ever heard - or rather, not heard. And since we know that the issue of running noise is a really key point for many of our readers, it's only right and proper to flag up this terrific HC6500 talent right from the off.
Getting back to a more ‘normal' reviewing order of things, the HC6500 is not, it has to be said, a particularly pretty projector. Its bold mix of voluptuous curves, slightly ‘eggshell' black finish and glinting lens surround sounds pretty tasty on paper. But a few curves can't ultimately stop the projector from looking a touch clumsy and ill-proportioned. And once you get up close and personal, both the black and pseudo-metallic finishes look decidedly plasticky.
Connectivity is pretty decent. Two HDMIs will prove the options of choice for most of our readers, but there's also a component video port, a D-SUB PC port, a 12V trigger out for driving a motorised screen arrangement, and an RS-232 Serial Bus for integration into a wider control system. Oh, plus there are the usual S-Video and composite video options for anyone daft enough to use them.
The true ‘power' of the HC6500 starts to become apparent once you head into its oddly small but still nicely presented onscreen menus, and find rather more features than you'd probably bargained for.
For starters, the HC6500 proves exceptionally easy to set up thanks to fully motorised (and superbly flexible) zoom, focus and vertical image shifting tools, together with plenty of keystone correction - all accessible from the remote control. You even get a grid test pattern to help you get things just right.