Mitsubishi HC5500


posted 9/10/2009 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
One Page Platforms: AV
Gameplay Tests

Probably the most important product testing for us at GamingNexus is how well it stands up to a virtual beat down from our next-gen gaming consoles. Last year, the Mitsubishi HC4900 testing revealed that the projector was able to render an exceptionally smooth gaming experience without any enhancements or major adjustments. Therefore, I was eager to see if the HC5500 could actually exceed my previous experiences.

First up was the trusty Xbox 360 Elite and a little Rock Band 2. I had a few friends over so I could get solid feel for how well the four individual scrolling sections were displayed by the projector. Like last year, I thought the HC5500 handled the graphics with ease and without any lag between the instruments and the on-screen response. To be sure, I asked the question to the group and all had the same opinion that the projector did a fabulous job of rendering the game. A couple of guys had to get used to the larger screen size, but after a song or two were right back in their normal rhythm. Let me state for the record, Rock Band on 92” of HD screen is an amazing experience that everyone should try.

Another “game” I spent some time with was Sony’s Home on my PlayStation 3. This is an interesting review choice, as it contains so many sub areas that really put pressure on a projector to perform. In one such test, I spent several hours running around trying to solve clues and puzzles in the sewers of Home. As I moved about, the ever changing areas never once caused the HC5500 to falter. In fact, while switching between the Developer, Sponsor and Core spaces, it gave me a greater appreciation of just how much effort Sony has put into developing the entire Home community. The graphics as rendered by the HC5500 particularly stood out, as you cannot always appreciate how robust Home is on a small screen. In fact, one area I was really impressed with while using the projector came during the time I was playing around in Xi.

Some other titles that I played with the HC5500 included Hasbro Family Game Night (Xbox 360), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360), Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (PS3), Call of Duty IV: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) and Motostorm (PS3).

Not unexpectedly, my testing has led me to the conclusion that the HC5500 is an excellent multi-purpose projector for any type of programming. Gaming especially stood out, as other projectors (and some TVs) have added enhancements in order to improve the gaming experience on their products. While these have definitely helped, it’s rare that a projector (especially and LCD) is able to pull it off with basic settings. The Mitsubishi HC5500 pulls this off and has provided me with one of the top gaming experiences I have ever had. Never underestimate how much a larger screen with high-end graphics can improve your gameplay ability.

Miscellaneous Items of Note

• Easy Lamp Replacement access
• Replacement Lamp is VLT-HC5000LP
• Extremely quiet
• Lens cap does not attach to projector chassis
• Menu is on small side, even for a projector

Pros Cons
Exceptional Picture Lens Cap design
Ease of setup Remote a bit plain
Quiet Operation Projector Discontinued
Elegant Look  

Testing Methodology

Items utilized in the testing of the Mitsubishi HC5500 included, but not limited to:

Xbox 360 Elite, DirecTV HD Satellite feed, Playstation 3, Blu Ray Movies, 25’ Rocketfish HDMI cable, 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 shelf mount location (approx six feet off the floor.) Seating was at a distance of nine feet from the screen.

The Conclusion

Every gamer should have access to utilize a projector and big screen at least once in their lifetime, and the Mitsubishi HC5500 is a great option for those that might be interested in taking the plunge. During our testing, it didn’t matter if the projector was displaying sports, Blu Ray movies, Rock Band sets, aliens getting their heads blown off or just your run-of-the-mill reality show. The HC5500 always displayed a great image with zero lag and brilliant colors. It was especially impressive during video game testing, as gaming on a projo is usually notorious for causing a minor disconnect between controller and screen.

In addition, many of the concerns from last year’s version (HC4900) we reviewed were addressed, with the lack of a second HDMI and the removal of the increasingly irrelevant DVI port at the top of the list. A few things remain that could be improved upon (lens cap design, more robust remote, etc), but overall the HC5500 is a better projector than its predecessor and comes in at a cheaper price. If you are interested in adding a fantastic projector to your home entertainment system at a great price, then tracking down one of the remaining Mitsubishi HC5500 units available at retail before they are gone would be advisable.

Not only has the Mitsubishi HC5500 proven to be an excellent Home Theater projector, but it is exceptional as a primary gaming display in any setting. With units likely priced to move due to Mitsubishi mothballing the model, purchasing one of the remaining new HC5500 models from a retailer would not be the worst thing you will do in your lifetime.

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