Planar PD8150 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Planar PD8150 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Below average brightness in “brightest mode”
  • Lamp life in full power mode
  • 2 Year warranty is typical, although longer than some competitors, shorter than others

Planar PD8150 Projector: Competitive Aspects

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Here are brief comments on how the PD8150 projector compares to a few of the other higher priced projectors. I will not get into the much less expensive projectors, as most of those have new models, including the Panasonic PT-AE3000U, the Mitsubishi HC7000, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, and Pro Cinema 7500 UB, and the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, which are just starting to ship or will be year end. The first of those, the Panasonic we start reviewing next week. To compare the Planar against the older models that are now being phased out doesn’t make much sense. To see how the PD8150 compares with the new releases, check out those reviews when published.

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PD8150 vs. InFocus IN83

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These are two excellent projectors. Both are sold only through local dealers. The InFocus has a strong advantage in terms of brightness, so will be favored by those with larger screens. In terms of natural color, I have to give the InFocus the slightest advantage, but we are talking close.

On the other hand, the PD8150 seems to have a small advantage in black level performance. In addition to that, the Planar is definitely more flexible in terms of placement, with more lens zoom range, as well as offering an optional shorter throw zoom. Vertical and horizontal lens shift is another big factor in placement, and the Planar has them, the InFocus does not. Both have two year warranties.

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Planar PD8150 vs. JVC RS1x and RS2

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I own the RS1. I’ve watched the two, consecutively. The Planar is sharper, has a touch better shadow detail, while the RS1x has the black level advantage. It’s not huge, as the Planar is pretty good, in this regard, but the JVC is so good, that the difference is immediately noticeable. They are very similar in terms of brightness. The JVC also has a big advantage in terms of price, and even better placement flexibility, with its 2:1 zoom compared to the Planar’s 1.3:1. Both are film-like, but I’ll give the JVC the slight advantage, while, on the other hand, that difference in sharpness, adds more life to HDTV broadcasts of live events.

The RS2 has the best black levels around (so far), but it isn’t as bright as the RS1 or the Planar. The RS2 should have more appeal, despite the same modest image softness, with the hard core enthusiast, but the Planar is just a great projector for those that want something that just looks great.

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