Planar PD8150 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Planar PD8150: Black Level and Shadow Detail

Black Level Performance

Most impressive! While the PD8150 isn’t the best we’ve seen, it’s definitely among the better ones in terms of black level performance. Planar won’t say which DLP chip that the PD8150 uses, but my guess is that it’s a Darkchip3, not the top of the line Darkchip4, but, that’s not a problem.

Planar has a very good dynamic iris, which definitely improves the black levels on dark scenes. Very few DLP projectors use dynamic irises, so this gives the Planar projector an advantage. We found, for example that the PD8150 can do better black levels than the InFocus IN83, a direct competitor that uses the Darkchip4, but lacks a dynamic iris.

PD8150 5thElement starship large
IN83 5thelement starship large
PD8150 5thElement starship large
+IN83 5thelement starship large

For your consideration, first, my old favorite, the Starship scene from The Fifth Element:

For comparison, here’s the same image from the InFocus IN83. One can never get the exposures identical, and in this case the PD8150 is a definitely brighter overall, yet the blacks appear (despite all those extra stars) roughly comparable.

This image below, another space scene, is from Space Cowboys, and it too demonstrates very good black levels:

Lastly a more traditional image – just a good old fashioned night scene with significant black areas, from Aeon Flux:

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