Eyes On the Mitsubishi HC4900U, Cheapest 1080p Projector in the World

How much 1080p projector can you get for $1995? We took a close look at the Mitsubishi HC4900U, selling for $2495 with a $500 rebate until the end of this month (but company reps whisper that might go on indefinitely), and are happy to report that you get your money's worth with the lowest-priced 1080p projector in the world. Let's tote up the good and the bad.

Eyes On the Mitsubishi HC4900U, Cheapest 1080p Projector in the World

Eyes On the Mitsubishi HC4900U, Cheapest 1080p Projector in the World

Eyes On the Mitsubishi HC4900U, Cheapest 1080p Projector in the World

Eyes On the Mitsubishi HC4900U, Cheapest 1080p Projector in the World

The Good: That crispy-sharp 1080p resolution is hard to resist, and the LCD's output is colorful enough for all but the eyes of the most persnickety Hollywood colorists. No screen door effect was visible, sometimes a problem with old LCD projectors.

The Bad: That $500 rebate thing. Just go ahead and lower the price already, you numbskulls. You're not fooling anybody.

The Ugly: This projector's blacks can't really be called black—more like washed-out gray. But if you project its images in a nice, dark room, the theater illusion remains.

The Secret: A techie tipster tells us if you're a careful tweaker, you can almost match this projector's color and contrast with its more-expensive ($3995) brother with that fancy "Hollywood Quality" Silicon Optix HQV chip on board. [Mitsubishi]