Projectors

Runco LS-10i 3-Chip DLP Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

On The Bench

Equipment used: EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer, CalMAN Professional 3.7 analysis software, Accupel HDG-3000 signal generator, Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray disc.

All measurements were taken off the screen (Carada Brilliant White, gain 1.4) from the seating position (10 feet back). Video processing tests were performed using an Oppo BDP-83 connected directly to the projector and set to Source Direct mode.

The lamp was set to Economy mode for all measurements. Before calibration this resulted in a peak white level of 49.5 foot-Lamberts. All dynamic picture controls were turned off and the color gamut was fixed to the Rec 709 preset. Out-of-the-box color is pretty close to perfect with the exception of magenta. Average Delta E was around 3, which is right at the threshold of visibility. Luminance is also nearly perfect which makes a greater difference in perceived color accuracy than the CIE values.

Pre-calibration grayscale and gamma are also quite good though not as good as Runco’s LS-5 which I reviewed last year. At the 6500K preset, white balance runs a little blue. Gamma is spot-on with an average value of 2.19. With an average error of 4.7 Delta E, the blue tint will be visible in whites from 50 percent on up.

The color management system did help somewhat though I couldn’t quite get it perfect. This is a nit-pick though; you can see the measurements are excellent. I was able to get all errors under 3 Delta E.

After some small adjustments, grayscale tracking was perfect from bottom to top. There are only presets for gamma but you can see from the chart that further tweaks are not needed. It doesn’t really get better than this.

After calibration the peak white measurement was 33.3 foot-Lamberts. This was the lowest number I could achieve. Since the LS-10i has no manual iris control, my only option was to lower the Contrast to 0. If I wanted to go further, I would have had to use neutral density filters. I do wish Runco would include a manual iris since this is an easy way to increase native contrast without the artifacts caused by an automatic iris. If you plan to use the Normal lamp mode, which increases output about 15 percent, you can rest assured it will not affect color, grayscale or gamma. With the Contrast at its default setting of 100 I measured over 56 foot-Lamberts – brighter than most televisions!

The only way to increase contrast further is to use the ConstantContrast feature which is either on or off. While the measured contrast is noticeably better, the effect on color and gamma is a problem for me. You can see from the below grayscale and gamma chart what happens.

Video processing was excellent as I’ve come to expect from all Runco projectors. As usual, I ran the tests by directly connecting an Oppo BDP-83 to the projector and setting it to Source Direct mode. All the important cadence tests passed with flying colors. Even the tough 2:2 test showed only the barest hint of moiré before locking on. Only the rarely-used cadences like 5:5 and 6:4 showed failure. Bad edits were handled without any artifacts whatsoever. Jaggies performance was quite good except for near-horizontal edges which showed a bit of line twitter. As you can see in the below table, the LS-10i earned a perfect 100 percent score on our standard battery of video processing tests.

Contrast performance exceeded my expectations for so bright a projector. With a calibrated output of 33.294 foot-Lamberts, you would think black levels would be mediocre at best but they were actually quite good. I measured a minimum level of .003 fL which means the calibrated contrast ratio was 11,098:1. This is amazing performance – nearly the best I’ve ever measured from a front-projector. With Constant Contrast turned on, the ratio is even higher but I found the color shift and crushed blacks to be a problem. There really is no need for any kind of dynamic light control on the LS-10i. With a gray screen, I suspect it would measure and look even better.