I have owned the Mitsubishi HC3800 DLP projector for about a year and a half at this point, and I believe that a review and rating is best done after some experience with the equipment. When I began looking for a projector for my home theater room, I found that there were a lot of different options to choose from. I quickly discovered that the best way to narrow down the choices is to find out the most important things you feel the projector should fulfill.
I was interested in clarity and brightness, as I wanted a large picture, but felt as though it might get washed out and grainy if I went too big. Luckily this DLP projector is able to shine very brightly even without switching to the highest possible settings. At 1300 lumens, it is more than enough to be seen in my home theater room with the lights on, although granted there is only one window, and even that is usually covered with a blind. It is also a High Definition model, and with my throw distance of about 15 feet, and a screen size of almost 10 feet horizontal corner to corner in a 16:9 aspect ratio, when watching from at least 10 feet away the picture looks flawless. The contrast ratio is 4,000:1, and the blacks are nice and dark, while the colors are vivid.
Durability & Bulb Life
My HC3800 projector has never had any sort of trouble with it. It worked perfectly right out of the box and delivered a great picture once I had set up the zoom and focus properly, which is all done by hand very easily with the slide switches. The bulb is well over 3000 hours of use, and is still going strong. I purchased a spare online just to be prepared for when it does need to be swapped, but will try to squeeze the last hours out of the current one if it isn't too much of a hassle, mainly because they cost a couple hundred dollars each.
At a cost of just under $2,000 at the time of purchase, I would say that this projector has done a great job. It has only ever produced a quality picture and is very versatile. Having a sleek, black shell body, it blends in very nicely where it is mounted from the roof, and rarely attracts attention.
There are times when it throws noticeable light patches on the upper walls of the room, but only if you are looking away from the screen intentionally are they noticed.
The buttons on the remote for this projector light up when using it, so if it is a dark room this comes in very handy. The noise level of the cooling fan is almost silent, it has never been a problem. Overall, the Mitsubishi HC3800 projector deserves a good rating, and I would probably rate it a 9.5 out of 10. I would definitely recommend it to anyone on a medium budget that wants a crisp, clear image and excellent versatility for a decent price. For more on home theater, visit diymancaveblog.com
**Projector Tip: When projecting onto a painted wall for your "screen" as I do, a black border (ideally fabric covered, ie. black velvet) and an off-white paint job will make the image pop off the screen.