Planar PD8150 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

As you start this section, please remember that there are definite limits about how well we can capture images of what we see on the screeen, even with a very good dSLR, and also remember that your screen display is very limited in contrast, as well. Please use the images as support for commentary. Comparative images designed to show shadow detail, or black levels are very useful, but attempting to compare exact color between two projectors by the images can be misleading as the reproduction is inherently inferior to the original on the screen. Hopefully you can sink your teeth into this section of the PD8150 review. So, here’s your first taste, an image from the Digital Video Essentials – HD, calibration disc. Let the games begin:

Planar PD8150 Home Theater Projector: Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click to enlarge. SO close

The PD8150 is one of the best home theater projectors we’ve seen in the last couple of years when it comes to out of the box performance. Color accuracy is very good, but a touch on the warm (red) side, still it’s very close to ideal, and very watchable. That doesn’t, however, mean that it can’t be improved with a calibration. Almost all (if not all) Planar dealers should be able to offer calibration services.

Click Image to Enlarge

Skin Tone Handling

After calibration, the image was even better, removing almost all of the slight shift towards red. The end result was excellent handling of skin tones, as the images below show.

We’ll start with the usual image from standard DVD, of Ganalf, in Lord of the Rings. Skin tones are extremely natural looking in “best” mode.

Also from the same movie, this image of Arwen:

All the rest of the images are from hi-def on Blu-ray disc. First are three images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale. They show Bond under three different lighting situations – direct sunlight, fluorescent lighting, and filtered sunlight. All look realistic for the type of lighting. Other lighting situations might include night, and incandescent lighting.

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