Elsewhere, my eye was caught by a very impressive 5,000 hours of quoted lamp life if you stick with the projector’s low lamp output setting – the largest such figure I can remember seeing, in fact.
Another intriguing figure on the HC7000’s specification sheet is its quoted minimum running noise of just 17db. This is remarkably quiet – and I might as well tell you now that if anything the figure actually seems pessimistic. During my tests I honestly didn’t hear it running at all with the lamp set to low, even though I often had no sound running from my sources and was only sat around two metres from the projector. Outstanding.
Also impressive is how easy the HC7000 is to set up. It sports both horizontal and vertical image shift, and fully motorised zoom and focus adjustments complete with a handy little grid pattern to help you position everything right. There’s even keystone adjustment, though I doubt many people will need to call on this given the flexibility offered by the shifting system.
The only little bone of contention I found during setup were a mere 1.6x zoom range where numerous rivals now offer 2x, something that could – though probably won’t – cause people headaches in getting the image size they want from their home cinema rooms.
There’s a decent selection of picture adjustments within the HC7000’s onscreen menus, too. The single most important of these is a colour management system allowing you to adjust the contrast and brightness of the red, green and blue picture elements, but there’s also plenty of overscan adjustment (including the option to turn overscanning off for HD sources); the option to adjust the iris (including an auto option that adapts to changing source material); various sorts of noise reduction; optional colour transient improvement; and a selection of thematic and automatic gamma modes.
In many ways, the HC7000 is yet another very accomplished LCD performer. But a couple of irritating flaws ultimately prevent it from mustering a TrustedReviews Recommended award.
The good stuff kicks off emphatically with the HC7000’s black level response. Dark scenes are portrayed with a naturalism and freedom from low-contrast greyness that’s a revelation compared with the other two Mitsubishi projectors we’ve seen in recent times. In fact, black levels are so deep that they outgun those of Panasonic’s PT-AE3000, and keep up with the high black level standards set recently by the likes of Epson’s TW5800 and, to a lesser extent, the Optoma HD82. JVC’s D-ILA models still outgun it on black level, I guess, but those projectors are at least a thousand pounds more expensive.
It’s a relief to find, too, that the HC7000’s excellent black levels contain enough shadow detail to ensure that dark scenes don’t look flat and hollow.