Mitsubishi HC4900


posted 6/9/2008 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
One Page Platforms: AV
Gameplay Tests
The Mitsubishi HC4900 is primarily designed to be a Home Theater projector, but gaming on today’s projectors is very common place with consoles integrated into the family Home Entertainment system. I pulled out three popular games (two Xbox 360 titles and a Playstation 3 title) and used them for benchmark testing.

One of the most vivid games I have seen on a console is Rachet and Clank Future Tools of Destruction on Blu-Ray for the Playstation 3. Because of its design and gameplay, it is also a great testing game, as the screen is constantly filled with many moving items at any given time in addition to the colors. As Rachet was moving along the areas, I was impressed with how well the HC4900 handled the many actions taking place at one time. Pretty much anything that blew up generated 10-20 small and compact pieces that flew around the screen. The projo was able to flawlessly display them even as they quickly bounced around the screen. Toss in all the bright and vivid colors, and it equals up to an impressive performance. No pixilation, screen tear or sluggishness, just a great image to watch Rachet and Clank bust some robot commando heads.

I spent a lot of time playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with the Xbox 360 on the HC4900, as this is still my favorite game to just sit down and work my way through. I have also found that Oblivion provides many of the testing scenarios that are necessary to gauge the quality of a projector or television. The scenes constantly change from light to dark, clear to rainy and peaceful to intense. Many times the action on the screen becomes so intense (multiple actions taking place at once) that projos end up being pushed to their maximum to reproduce the images appropriately. One spot in the game I like to view are the effects around the Oblivion gates. The fire dances and sways on the screen, and only a quality projector can reproduce it without issues. The HC4900 made it feel like you would reach up and burn your hand it was so realistic. There wasn’t any pixilation or choppiness and the image was just plain smooth. In fact, just about any cave, crevice or dungeon you can venture into was being displayed in vivid detail by the HC4900.

The last game I tested with was Rock Band on the Xbox 360. Much like the previous projector review, Rock Band provided a solid testing of the response rate of the projector from controller and how well the projector handles a lot of activity on the screen at a given time. As I expected, the HC4900 easily handled the scrolling instrument graphics for the game, even while the vocals, drum and both guitars were being displayed simultaneously. I was particularly impressed with the way it displayed the note details (and subsequent graphics) as they were being struck by the players. In addition, the response rate was fantastic without any in-game calibration required. Both the drums and guitar controls were immediately reflected on the screen when one of us hit a note. Having used a projector at the 92” screen before, we had no trouble picking up the speed and tempo of the on screen notes due to the enlarged screen. For those that have not experienced a rhythm game (GH, Rock Band) on a large screen, this is a must gaming experience if you ever get the opportunity.

While gaming is not the primary function of the Mitsubishi HC4900, it provides an exceptional gaming experience for the next-gen consoles. While it does not have any specific built-in enhancements for gaming, but it doesn’t really need any from my testing results. Overall, this unit will visually provide the best gaming experience most of us will ever have.

Miscellaneous Items of Note
• Easy Lamp Replacement access
• Whisper quiet
• Irregular ceiling mount pattern, but workable
• Lens cap does not attach to projector chassis
• Menu is on small side, even for a projector

Pros Cons
Great Value Only 1 HDMI
Fabulous Picture User Friendliness Issues
Easy to Set up & Quiet Unique Mounting Pattern
Good Look  

Testing Methodology
Items utilized in the testing of the Mitsubishi HC4900 included, but not limited to:

Xbox 360 Elite, Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive, Off-air antenna, DirecTV Satellite feed, Playstation 3, Blu Ray Movies, 16:9 92” Da-Lite fixed screen.

Testing was done at a throw distance of 12’ 4” from a 92” 16:9 screen with a ceiling mount location (approx eight feet off the floor.) Seating was at a distance of nine feet from the screen.

The Conclusion
The Mitsubishi HC4900 sports high-end features and a beautiful 1080p picture at a fantastic price. The chassis is compact with sleek lines and a great look that lets it blend in anywhere in a room no matter what type of placement is used. The gaming experience was exceptional as the detailed images from the next-gen consoles literally popped off the screen. The biggest disappointment was the lack of inputs and some user friendliness problems. For a projector touted for Home Theater applications it should not be limited by its inputs with today’s technology. Regardless, the bottom line is that the HC4900 provides a fantastic looking picture no matter what type of media is being fed into it and should be seriously considered when shopping for your next Home Theater projector.

The Mitsubishi HC4900 is an excellent Home Theater projector that does a great job rendering console games. The picture quality is some of the best I have seen for a projector priced under $2,500. The unit does have a few issues such as a lack of inputs and some user friendliness problems. However, consumers will be hard pressed to find a better 1080p projector for your dollar than the HC4900.

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