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Just had a demo of Mitsubishi HC900 and Sony HS50...

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Sigismund, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    and very interesting it was too!

    I'll write out some more indepth thoughts later if anyone's interested (having just tackled the M25 I'm a bit nackered now).

    A quick teaser for those eager to garner some info...

    The Mitsubishi projected a very nice, if ever so slightly smooth, image. Very bright, good black levels/contrast and solid, reasonably accurate colours. The fan was noisy though. I was quite impressed :)

    Sony HS50 - Hmmm. First up was the "classic" Stallone movie Driven. I immediately noticed some vertical banding, and colours didn't look quite as accurate as the Mitsu. There was good contrast though, lending the image real punch. As the Sony warmed up things seemed to improve, and VB dissapeared completely. It was extremely quiet.

    I liked both projectors, but would only buy one of them - and it will probably be my next purchase... :D

    Mark
     
  2. windfall

    windfall
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    Judging by the combo you possibly went to NexNix?

    SO is it DLP or LCD mate?

    Do spill the beans!

    Tone
     
  3. stuthemong

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    id love more info on the HS50 - as well, im getting one, and need help justifying it to myself :)
     
  4. dazca1

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    Sigismund,
    Surely you have had enough rest by now. Dont be shy, spill the beans :)
     
  5. bullyx

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    when ever you're ready :smoke:
     
  6. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Would also be interested as they are also a similar price range. Also what input was the dvd player hooked up to and what dvd player was it?
     
  7. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    OK OK - I wasn't deliberately tagging you along, I really am knackered.

    Anyway, what would all like to know? Ah, yes - the Mitsubishi HC900. Real "filmic" image quality, smooth with nice solid colours. It looked so real. It gave a really bright image... perhaps a bit too bright? I saw zero rainbows with these hazel eyes. However, this is the first DLP PJ i've experienced and after some twenty minutes or so I felt a little tired and my eyes seemed to be being tugged, almost, from their sockets. Almost as soon as the PJ was switched off I felt better! Oh, contrast levels I here you ask?! Very good. Blacks weren't as black as I was expecting having read a few DLP PJ reviews, but I suspect things would have been a whole lot better had the Mitsu been calibrated properly - unfortunately it wasn't, but I could certainly see the potential here and I was yold the Mitsu comes with a three year warranty as standard. That is quite important to me. Sadly, the tired eye syndrome - if it is to do with DLP - has really made me think thrice, and I would need to have another, longer demo if I were to consider going the DLP route. At the end of the day I found the fan a little too noisy - the PJ that I end up with will be placed between two seats at around ear height for some time to come, so this pretty much ruled out the Mitsu for me.

    And then the moment came to test the Sony... it was plugged in and - nothing seemed to happen for an age! Then a familiar blue screen slowly began to appear and the HS50 kicked into life. First impressions for me? The PJ is a lot larger than I expected from looking at photos of the unit. It's quite a bit larger than the Z3! It also has an air of quality about it.

    Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take my usual demo DVD fodder with me - 99% of the DVDs I own and watch are NTSC and this was a real mistake on my part. Oh well, I had to make do with Driven and The Day After Tomorrow on R2.

    I did immediately notice some VB on the Sony, but this seemed to dissapear after a while. The image certainly had more punch to it when compared to the Mitsu, but it looked less "real" and filmic than the HC900. Compred to the Z3, I would say the Sony is a clear step up - colours were handled better, gone was the slightly processed look replaced with nice, solid and realistic tones. Blacks were deep and solid, and again everything would have undoubtedly looked even better with proper calibration. As the Sony warmed up, I warmed to it. At first I was half expecting a slightly better Z3 image. The Sony is better than that in my book, given my short demo.

    Having said all that - the Sony is more expensive than the Z3, and taking this into consideration what I saw by way of "better" image is probably to be expected! I would describe the HC900 in similar terms if comparing to the Z3 - no VB at all, of course, and a much more filmic picture that looked a lot less processed.

    Given the way the PJs were set up I would be happy with either of these images - slightly soft, smooth, rich, warm and filmic for the HC900; and crisp, sharp, solid, contrasty, rich and detailed for the HS50. I could understand some people choosing either PJ - they're both excellent. Everything else aside the crunch for me is fan noise. The Sony is practically silent in low bulb mode. If they were both available to be taken home with me, I'd now be watching A Tale Of Two Sisters on my new Sony HS50 - it struck me as an excellent PJ, and one I may well own in the not too distant future. I was also surprised with the quaility of image from the HC900.

    Mark :cool:

    EDIT: both PJs were linked to a Pioneer 868 DVD player by HDMI - or DVi to HDMI in the case of the MITSU, I think :)
     
  8. stuthemong

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    cheers for calming me down. phew :)
     
  9. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Mark, very good overview the Mitsu sounds similar to when i demo'd the 4805, that was showing Driven, there must be something about that film, dont know what :D . The 4805, although less resolution than the Mitsu, was just very filmic and the first DLP that i had demo'd and not got any form of tired eyes or eyestrain etc.

    It did infact make me want a DLP for my next pj, but i am waiting for the 720 chip models to come down in price yet, but with the introduction of the HS50 i was again swaying towards LCD because of the contrast ratio, high resolution and of course price. After your review i will definitely now get a demo of the HS50, especially if there is signs of the dreaded VB.
     
  10. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    inzaman - Cheers. I was a little taken aback when pretty much the first thing I noticed on the Sony was VB! Having said that, it was immediately after viewing the HC900 which obviously suffers not with VB! It also completely cleared - I looked and looked after that and couldn't see it at all.

    I was struggling to come up with an analogy for linking the differences in image between the HS50 and HC900, but I've come up with one now... the HC900 reminded me of being at the cinema, whilst the HS50 made me think I was seated in an excellent home theatre set up... is that makes any kind of sense!
     
  11. dazca1

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    Thanks for your views,
    Can I just ask, I know this is probably hard to do but if you can try, If you had to give the Z3 and Sony a mark out of ten what would it be?
    Taking into account the picture quality, cost, warranty etc...
    Is the image on the Sony worth the extra money over the Z3
     
  12. Kopite4Ever

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    is the extra £500 worth it for the jump in PQ over AE700 and Z3 ? or isnt it significant enough for the money
     
  13. kasumi

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    I think you'll find the sony is in a different bracket to the ae700 & z3, as it's competeing & being compared with the latest DLP's with very high contrast. In this respect the dynamics to the picture and lack of other lcd past flaws easily justifies the extra expense.
     
  14. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Ooh, I like these kinds of questions :D

    I'll answer this way - the Z3 is an excellent and, relatively speaking, low priced PJ. It can be set up to give quite excellent image quality... within its boundaries. At the end of the day the Z3 is Sanyo's cheapest home thatre PJ, and as such it is excellent.

    As for scoring it out of ten, wellthat would depend ;) I think it is worth more as a package. What I mean by that is, when you consider it can be purchased for about £1250 and you get a three year warranty, front closing flap, HDMI, really quiet fan (in low bulb mode), 10 bit colour processing and decent image quality that can be tweaked using an excellent menu system, as well as a really useful lens shift feature it all adds up to a nice package. Of course, some features may be more important to some people, whilst pretty useless to other... but the Sanyo is a fine "budget" PJ. If you want to know how I would score image quality alone... I would say about a 7 out of 10 - it's reasonably sharp, can suffer from slight vertical banding, colours are OK (well I couldn't get them easily set as I like them, but that may just be me) and overall it is a good PJ - for a "budget" model! The best way I could sum up image quality would be to say that at times it was like watching a television image... but always with some quality that drew me back into realising it wasn't a top notch image, in the same way a Ford Mondeo, despite being good, can't really compete with a BMW 5 series - they're both good cars, but the BMW is designed with a different market in mind - but if you're on a budget that simply rules out the Beamer, but you'll probably always hanker after one despite the Ford's qualities. If you do end up with a BMW, then you may get a bit of a shock when it goes in for a service!! I get the same feeling with the Z3 and HS50.

    The HS50 simply looks immediately different to the Z3 - as though it's not really trying, if that makes sense! It just does what it does and looks good... I couldn't really fault the image (initial VB issue aside) - it was certainly bright enough for me and the conditions I have at home. It also had a lot more punch, or 3-D quality to the image without seeming to sacrifice the picture quality in other ways.

    As to whether it's worth an extra 500 notes, well that's down to each individual to assess for themselves, in the same way some people seem to be happy watching a poor quality pirated movie in stereo that they paid £5.00 for, whilst others would rather pay £16.99 and get the movie shipped from abroad. In other words, if you can afford it - yes, I think it is worthy of being more expensive. :D

    Man, the more I write about this PJ the more I want one :laugh:

    Mark
     
  15. Kopite4Ever

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    cheers mark. can i ask what was the dvd player and how was it connected ?
     
  16. inzaman

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    It is up above Pio 868 via hdmi/dvi.

    Good summing up Mark on the difference between the Z3 and HS50.

    I understand what you are saying about the cinema v excellent ht set up.
     
  17. Grubert

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    So maybe, if you prefer Panasonic Quintrix TVs, you'll like the HC900 best. OTOH if you love the 'Trinitron effect', you'll go for the Sony. Right?
     
  18. hebawom

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    How long were you aware of the VB? Panasonic owners say there 700's tend to calm
    down after an hour. This would be unacceptable for me, but if you're talking 5 minutes
    this could never be an issue.
     
  19. Ekko Star

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    The eyestrain your getting with the Mitsu is down to it being a DLP. I can't really see rainbows regularly whilst watching a DLP but I do get a headache coming on after about 20 mins. Some people do eventually get used to it. However I feel even though you get used to it, it doesnt mean your eyes are having to strain any less.

    Each technology has it's strengths and weaknesses, but Sony seem to have come up trumps with this LCD.

    They have an excellent pedigree in LCD PJ's and have always produced a class leading product in this category. I suppose you're right it's like BMW and Merc, if you're used to their cars, you know the next generation is never going to rubbish. Simply cos they generally don't make rubbish and it's always going to be a class product.

    Z3 and AE700 are still stunning PJ's in their own right but put side by side the Sony always has the presence and weight to carry it off.

    I just wish they had motorised the lens on the HS50 as they did the HS20. Icing on the cake for me.
     
  20. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Grubert - I don't know anything about those TVs! But I think I know what you mean ;)

    hebawom - I wasn't aware of the VBs on the Sony for even five minutes - maybe two mins and it was gone. After a while I went right up to the screen and I couldn't see VB at all.

    Ekko Star - Hi there :) I'd certainly agree with you - Sony has come up trumps here... possible cropping issues aside :rolleyes: I was suitably imnpressed with image quality on the HS50, and my previous judgement from reading reviews and thinking that it wouldn't be a significant improvement over the Z3 was simply wrong - I think it is a significantly better product.

    I wasn't aware that the iris wasn't motorized - I assumed it was... how does it adapt if not motorized?
     
  21. stuthemong

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    i think he meant motorised zoom on the lens sigismund.

    all sounds good - TBH id rather not have it, as ill be htpcing it, and will not need it, so it would make the proj more ££ :)
     
  22. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Ah thanks, my silly :zonked:

    And your not bothered about the cropping "issue"?
     
  23. stuthemong

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    well it appears that running 1280x720 @ 60 hz VIA VGA cable works fine with no cropping. I already have a 10m VGA cable, and am dammned if im going to buy a HDMI cable for the sake of it. I See no difference, none, between a well setup VGA, and a DVI image. This is with 3 calibrated monitors side by side (2 VGA, 1 DVI) - I am certain i will be more than happy with the VGA, and as i have the cable, its the cheaper option.

    sometimes you just have to sit back, and watch films, and stop fretting about silly things :)

    (
    I am not sure what is going on with running at 50 Hz , i have heard problems there - hopefully there will be a way around it - if it is necessary.

    I hear that you want your refresh rate to be a multiple of your source rate (60hz ntsc, 50 hz pal), but i run my monitors at 60 or 75 hz, and play Pal, and NTSC dvds, and notice no stuttering at all - its not something i have ever noticed.

    I shall find out when i get it running.)
     
  24. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    stuthemong - Hi there... I didn't recognise you without your portable DVD screen :D

    I trust my old Samsung monitor is aok?

    You're so right about sitting back and enjoying the movie, rather than fretting over little things... my wife tells me the same thing :eek:

    The thing is, for me personally, I'll be reviewing DVDs using the PJ so I'm always on the look out for inconsistencies/anomolies... but it looks like I may be quite happy with the HS50 ;)

    All the best,

    Mark
     
  25. Ekko Star

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    It's good to hear you may be honing in on possibly your next PJ purchase. :)

    Still think that the HS50 will drive down the prices of Z3 and AE700. So should be some mega bargains to be had there in the not too distant future :D

    Although a HCPC affair is very likely to deliver THE best possible image. I have always found a good dvd source and good analogue interconnects deliver an image right up there with the best of them. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference !
     
  26. stuthemong

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    Ekko, but of course. the benefits of HTPC though, is

    a) i have a PC with a spare VGA out
    b) it acts as a server. (divX/DVD/mp3/DTV (to come))

    why spend £300 on a decent DVD player, when my pc does the job as well as any dvd player could do - and i can play games/music/tv etc.. through the same box. If you have a PC, its a no brainer :)

    sigmusung, unfortunately the screen is going to samsung to get replaced - there is a loose wire in it that gives me intermittent picture through it :( not your fault though, these screens are always breaking on me (And all are different faults!)

    Stu

    bring on the damnned hs50 - Im hard :red:
     
  27. dazca1

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    Sigismund,
    Thanks for the views again on the HS50, I think you've made my mind up, cheers :thumbsup:
    I was going for a DLP but suffer from rainbow, LCD looks the way for me until I can afford a better DLP with faster colour wheel, surely the price of these things(DLPs with same spec as HS 50) will drop when high def comes out.
     
  28. rpjcheney

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    Sigismund, I have just been over to Nexnix in Horsham as well and saw the same two models. I couldn't agree more with your review.

    Non-picture:

    The HS50 looked a class act. Rather large, but expensive looking with good clean lines. The wife will be happy with the aesthetics which is important as we will likely be sitting it on a table in the short term. It is near as dammit silent.

    The Mitsubishi is much smaller, and is better looking than some of the other fan heaters with lenses. Having said that, it is no design classic in the making, and it is nowhere near as tidy as the Sony from the rear. Even in low light mode the fan is definitely audible. This is probably the HC900s real achilles heel. In high light mode it sounds as if it is about to take off. There is also light spill on the right hand side (from the rear). There is no lens shift which would impact placement flexibility. I think that keystone is vertical only, but don't quote me on that.

    I wish both had the longer throw / zoom options of the Panasonic AE700 as my room is 18.5'x14.5'.

    Picture:

    I am no videophile and this will be my first projector.

    Both were fantastic and I would be more than pleased to have either in my lounge.

    The HS50 had deeper blacks (same 868 at 720p via HDMI / component to HS50 in auto iris, low lamp, cinema mode), but the picture was dimmer. Contrast looked great. The picture is dimmer than the HC900, and for me that was the weakest point of the HS50. I though that the colours, detail and motion were very good. I am no videophile, and I have only read about traditional LCD weaknesses such as SDE, VB and poor contrast, and I agree that the Sony has changed the landscape in that respect.

    I wish it was brighter. I wish I could trial one in my lounge for a few days (like Edgeyboy) as it is decorated with light colours. I would like to watch sport on it as well, preferably with ambient light in the room. Changing to high lamp mode was a more subtle increase than I was expecting. I forgot to switch to iris off mode.

    However, stick on a film for more than a couple of minutes and you just get lost in the overall quality of the image.

    The HC900 had much more impact for me. I really liked the image. The blacks weren't quite as deep. I think that it is probably because it is so bright. Strong image even with ambient light. Contrast still managed to be good. Bright with strong contrast is a good trick that should garner the HC900 some positive reviews. Vibrant colours, good skin tones, solid fill, smooth picture. Very, very nice.

    Note that I get no rainbows whatsoever. I played the very start of X-Men to test myself. The saleman was wincing so I guess I am lucky...

    So, which one have I gone for? I haven't decided yet... Both are excellent machines with minor faults that the other model highlights. I think I'll sleep on it and decide in the morning.

    Apologies for the long post, but it has helped me to sort out my jumbled thoughts. :)
     
  29. windfall

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    Nice write up mate

    Has anyone heard as to when these chaps are gonna get them in?

    Tone
     
  30. rpjcheney

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    They don't know. The guy said that they speak to Sony on a weekly basis, and the date keeps shifting. He seemed pretty confident about getting them in before Christmas, but I think that his reasoning was that Sony wouldn't be rash enough to miss out on the seasonal business.

    The AVS rumours are probably just that, but Sony need to prove themselves by shipping units in greater numbers. It is very frustrating at the moment.
     

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