First shown at ISE last month, the 7000 series is available in three configurations: the XL7100U (1024 x 768 pixel XGA), the WL7200U (1280 x 800 pixel WXGA) and the UL7400U (1920×1200 pixel WUXGA. Our review model was the 6000 lumen XL7100U. Already being widely advertised at prices ranging from £2,200 to £2,500, this model represents really good value for customers looking to equip a large meeting room or a mid-size lecture theatre.
While these things are not suppose to be beautiful, Mitsubishi has produced another tidy, efficient looking design – this time in a mix of textured and shiny material. As a contribution to the environment, and no doubt shaving a couple of pounds off the production costs, the case is not painted and frankly it makes no difference – it looks fine.
The overall design leaves everything accessible. The projection technology in this model is based on an inorganic liquid-crystal panel and the filter is of the cartridge type. The unit can be set so that the filter rolls automatically every 500, 750 or 1,000 hours, or alternatively you can wind it on manually. For lamp replacement, access is from the side.
Inside the case, the 4,000 hour-rated lamp and optical combination light output produces its 6000 lumens with a 2000:1 contrast ratio. There is are various energy / lamp saving features. The ‘Blank’ mode shuts down both the video and audio – useful in presentations as well as eco friendly – and there is an auto timeout feature that puts the projector in standby if it is not used for a specific period of time. The default is 5 minutes so it’s best to disable it before you start am installation.
Installation and operation
Accepting that many machines in this class will be controlled through a network and a control system, we did it the old-fashioned way, just using the tools built into the projector and its remote. You could argue that a projector designed for ceiling mounting perhaps doesn’t electric this that and the other, but actually it’s a joy to have motorised lens shift, zoom, focus etc – particularly at this price. Lens shift on the XL7100U is ±60% vertically and +30% horizontally, and those users using this projector on a occasional basis or in rental situations, this is really useful.
Mitsubishi had introduced the 7000 Series with four lens options. The company says that it has increased the gamut of projection ratios available with each lens. The lens options are of the quick release bayonet type, with one-touch lens removal All you have to do, it is said, is unscrew and remove the anti-drop cover, press down on the release button and turn the old lens to remove it – then reverse the process to install the new one. We did not test this feature.
Positioning the projector was quite straightforward. We decided not to make it too easy by deliberately installing the projector off-centre and projecting onto a screen attached to a wall that was distorted in a different plane. Trapezoidal distortion was definitely the order of the day. On the XL7100U, pixel conversion is used to correct trapezoidal and diagonal distortion. Although we didn’t try it, the projector can also project onto a curved surface. Coordinates at the image’s four corners can be adjusted during both angled and stacked projection. Mitsubishi says that mages can be projected over a full 360° range along the vertical axis for projection, for example, on the ceiling.
Once installed, image setup was plain sailing. The standard colour modes are mostly useable. For spreadsheets and other detailed presentation materials we found that the best combination was the Clear Base mode with Super Resolution turned on. We also tried some PowerPoint with embedded video made for a seminar at ISE, our ISE 2012 highlights video from a laptop and Blue-ray video over HDMI and achieved good results with all sources. The contrast available was really apparent in the videos shot at ISE – a videographer’s nightmare with ultra bright displays in a darkish interior.
Mitsubishi says that much of the credit here belongs to the ultra-low dispersion, ED lens This is made up of 17 lenses in 13 clusters and is said to be both more efficient than a standard glass version and offers image resolution to peripheral boarders. Mitsubishi’s software team has also weighed in with something called Super Resolution. This is an image processing algorithm that “dynamically interpolates missing data from an input signal to create greatly improved clarity”. With our spreadsheets being delivered from a fairly ordinary laptop this would seem to make sense, and definitely improved the definition of the Excel cell grid and the legibility of the text. It also made a difference in the detail in some scenes from the Blu-ray.
There was an item on the onscreen menu called ‘NCM’ which left us baffled until we realised that for Natural Colour Matrix, another Mitsubishi algorithm which is said to produce an image “of superb sharpness and natural-looking colours”. What this feature actually does is give you access to the yellow (Y), magenta (M)and cyan (C) elements of the colour space, in addition to the standard red (R), green (G) and blue (B) colour. It does give you an additional magic buttons.
For customers considering the XL7000U for permanent installation it has RJ-45 LAN connectivity for remote operation and, used with Crestron RoomView, up to 250 projectors can be controlled centrally. The projector has AMX Device Discovery for and is compatible with PJLink.
All-in-all, the XL7000U is a well thought out package for a wide variety of applications. The only drawback that we identified is fan noise when used in ‘Standard’ mode. In ‘Low’ mode, Mitsubishi rates fan noise at 30dB and we wouldn’t argue with them, but when you crank it up the noise really increases – not a problem if its u on a ceiling but an issue if it’s on a table next to the presenter.
In every other respect, we found little to complain about. At this price it should appeal to both your education and business customers, and even extend into areas like digital signage, and, while it’s no steal encased, flight-cased monster exposure to the rental market should see it make a decent return.
Specifications: Mitsubishi Electric XL7000U
Display technology 0.8″ 3-LCD
Resolution 1024 × 768 (Total 786,432 pixels)
Brightness*1 (Iris off) 6000 lm
Contrast ratio*1 2000 : 1 (Iris on)
Projection lens f = 24.0-43.2mm, F = 1.8-2.6
Zoom / focus Powered focus / zoom (zoom ratio 1.8 : 1)
Picture size 40″-300″ (100″ = 3.0m)
Source lamp Standard mode: 350W (Shut off time 3000 hrs)
Low mode: 264W (Shut off time 4000 hrs)
Computer compatibility Resolution: 640 × 400 – 1920 × 1200
True: 1024 × 768, Sync-on-Green available
Video compatibility NTSC / NTSC 4.43 / PAL (including PAL-M, N) / SECAM / PAL-60
Component video: 480i/p (525i/p), 576i/p (625i/p), 720p (750p 50/60Hz), 1080i (1125i 50/60Hz), 1080p (1125p 50/60Hz)
SCART (RGB + 1V sync, only mini D-sub 15-pin Terminal)
Input terminals PC: 5 BNC × 1, mini D-sub 15-pin × 1, DVI-D (with HDCP) × 1, PC Audio: Stereo mini jack (φ3.5mm) × 3
Video: BNC × 1, S-Video (4-pin) × 1, HDMI (Ver 1.3, with Deep Color) × 1 (Only PCM audio is supported.), Audio: RCA (L/R) × 2
Output terminals RGB: mini D-sub 15-pin × 1 / Audio: Stereo mini jack (φ3.5mm) × 1 (Variable out)
Communication terminals LAN (RJ-45): × 1 (projector control),
SERIAL (in): D-sub 9-pin (male) × 1 (direct command is available.),
Wired remote (in): × 1 (φ3.5mm stereo mini jack),
Wired remote (out): × 1 (φ3.5mm stereo mini jack),
Dimensions(W×H×D) 481 × 179 × 418mm / 18.9 × 6.8 × 16.5 inch (excluding detachable terminal cover and protrusion)
Weight 10.5kg / 23.2lbs (excluding detachable terminal cover)