Projectors

Runco LS-5 Single-Chip 1080p DLP Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

On The Bench

Equipment used: EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer, CalMAN Professional 3.6 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). Lamp power was set to Normal (the brighter setting); and SatCo, ConstantContrast and Adaptive Contrast were turned off. There are no picture mode presets on the LS-5. I simply saved my settings to one of the three available memories.

Out-of-the-box measurements for color were excellent. The primary and secondary points were almost an exact overlay of the Rec 709 triangle. Luminances were within 1 foot-Lambert across the board. This is excellent performance.

The pre-calibration grayscale and gamma measurements were very close with no visible errors. Anything below 3 Delta E is below the threshold of perception.

Since I only calibrated the grayscale on the LS-5, the color data remained nearly unchanged. You could easily set up the LS-5 without a calibration as long as your screen is color neutral.

Post calibration grayscale and gamma performance was also excellent with very flat tracking and excellent gamma performance. Only minor adjustments to the white balance controls were required. Again you could set up the LS-5 without a calibration and still have an extremely accurate display.

When I measure a display, I usually check out the various image enhancements to see their effect on overall accuracy. The ConstantContrast control produced some interesting data which I’ve included below. Since it involves a dynamic iris, the gamma is altered in a way I’ve seen with other projectors. What surprised me however, was the change in grayscale performance. Above 60 percent, the tracking goes quite green which I could plainly see in actual content. While ConstantContrast does have a positive effect on perceived contrast with an iris that doesn’t draw attention to itself, the color shift is a problem for me. I would have liked to see a dynamic iris control that only controls the iris and not the DMD as Runco does here.

Video processing was some of the best I’ve seen from any display, flat panel or projector. Not only did it pass all the significant cadence tests, it did a better job than my reference Oppo BDP-83. Normally, the Oppo takes a split second to lock on to the 2:2 and 3:2 clips. You can see the moiré in the Super Speedway clip grandstands for just a blink. Not so with the Runco. I ran the tests repeatedly and at no time did I see the moiré, not even for a moment. The jaggies tests were equally impressive. The ship ropes were pretty much perfect and there was only a hint of line twitter in the horizontal lines on the ship’s hull. The 480i clips looked better than I had ever seen them. Once again, the scaling bested my Oppo. You could connect any flag-reading disc player and get excellent results with the LS-5.

Contrast performance was on par with other high-end DLP projectors I have tested. Minimum black level measured .003fL and peak white was 17.63fL for an on/off contrast ratio of 5874:1. This was with the SatCo turned on. This control raised the peak white by 3fL and increased the intra-image contrast perceptibly. 17fL is on the edge of too bright for my room but the image was never fatiguing to watch. The on/off contrast was a bit higher without SatCo at 7250:1 but the image had less punch. Turning on Adaptive Contrast raised the peak white level to over 25fL. For most content this wasn’t a problem but the brightest scenes were too intense for me. Adaptive Contrast produced the best on/off contrast at over 25,000:1 but with a loss of shadow detail due to crushed blacks and slightly darker mid-tones due to the altered gamma response.