XD300U ColorView DLP™ Home Theater Projector
Today's home theater projectors are smaller and more powerful than ever. The new DLP designs have added to the mix of already popular LCD projectors for general purpose presentation use. As performance of these new projectors improves, many of them are finding their way into home theater applications. The new Mitsubishi XD300U is one such product that incorporates some attractive features including the highly regarded Faroudja Directional Correlational Deinterlacing (DCDi) video processing circuitry for removing interlacing artifacts and jagged edges from NTSC sources. While viewgraph engineers could care less about the inclusion of such processing, home theater enthusiasts will demand it. Since so much legacy video is often derived from analog sources that are interlaced, this processing greatly improves the picture quality by removing artifacts associated with the de-interlacing process. All incoming video, including the deinterlaced video, must be scaled to the native resolution of the display.
The XD300U is based on the double data rate (DDR) 0.7" single DLP (4:3 aspect ratio) chip with a native resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. The 2x speed, four-segment (RGBW) color wheel time-slices the images into primary colors creating useable video from a single DLP chip. The result is a projector claimed to produce 2100 ANSI lumens with a 2000:1 contrast ratio, all in a package that weighs only 6.6 pounds. In addition, the XD300U includes a user-replaceable 200 watt long-life lamp (up to 4000 hours), which has twice the life of most other models. All these features allow this projector to be used for both home theater and professional presentation purposes.
The XD300U offers several different types of inputs. The multiple video inputs offered on the XD300U made video switching simple without the need for an extra switcher. The two composite and two s-video inputs are fully compatible with NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL-60 and SECAM. These interlaced inputs benefit from the Faroudja DCDi processing. Dual VGA inputs are also provided, one of which can be used with component video signals. A VGA output is also provided for loop-thru capability. There is no DVI interface on this projector which we consider to be somewhat of a limitation in today's market. Audio input/output jacks are also available making it convenient for presentations connected to a desktop or laptop computer. A built-in speaker with a 2 watt amplifier works seamlessly with any laptop audio connection. An RS232C port allows for full remote control of the unit. VESA video scan rates up to UXGA (1600x1200) are also supported. Of course, the best video quality is the native rate of 1024x768 for presentations. This eliminates the common aliasing that can occur during the scaling process. The PS/2-style computer interface allows the unit to be mapped to a unique IP address for control over a network.
While the horizontal and vertical digital keystone adjustments worked surprisingly well, we recommend not using them whenever possible. The reason is the image resolution is compromised to some degree depending on the amount of keystone adjustment needed. We preferred positioning the projector for the best image geometry.
The IR remote included with the XD300U is well designed with good sized buttons, spaced far enough apart to avoid problems. Mitsubishi has a comprehensive set of user menus for adjusting the image. Standard image controls of contrast, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness are available including an sRGB option and extensive color calibration controls. Three preprogrammed gamma settings are available (dynamic, standard, and theater). The color temperature can also be adjusted with contrast and brightness controls on red and blue. User programmable memory with independent controls of red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, saturation, and RGB-tint are possible with sRGB turned off. A built-in laser pointer is part of the remote control and is bound to be handy during presentations. Also included is a nice carrying case along with a shoulder strap.
The light output on this projector is higher than most projectors in this class coming in around 2000 ANSI lumens. This appeared to affect the black level to some degree and while not perfectly black, we were quite happy with the black level when using the Stewart FireHawk filmscreen. Today's DLPs are high performance in many respects, but often lack the ability to produce deep blacks. Stewart's FireHawk screens compliment current DLP technology with the ability to improve overall picture quality on any of these projectors and in my opinion is well worth the investment.
The XD300U has an MSRP of $6995
and includes an impressive three-year warranty on parts and labor along
with a 90-day warranty on the lamp. The ERA (Express Replacement Assistance)
program keeps you up and running in the event the projector fails during
the 3 year warranty period. They ensure a replacement unit will be shipped
to you within a 24 hour period for overnight delivery during business
days. The advantages of these new DLP projectors are making them more
popular than ever. The ability to project a large image onto a screen
without the high maintenance associated with CRT-based projectors makes
them particularly attractive to today's home theater enthusiasts. The
Mitsubishi XD300U has both the price and performance any serious home
theater designer should consider.
Stewart Filmscreen 100" diagonol FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe
|Review at a glance|
|Mitsubishi - XD300U
DLP Home Theater Projector
Replacement Lamp: 499B031-10 (VLT-XD300LP)
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