Runco LS-7 - Performance
6/22/2010 - Art Feierman
Runco LS-7 Measured Brightness
These three chip DLP's are bright. Powered with a 260 watt lamp, (using the default settings with 6500K color temp, the LS-7 projector measured a brilliant 1451 lumens!
Yes, folks, that's 1451 lumens in "best" mode!
Runco claims 1708 calibrated lumens, so we're close, but not super close. Remember that I measure with the lens at mid-point on the zoom, not full wide angle, which would likely at least 5% or so more lumens, as manufacturers would measure at full wide angle on the zoom. Also I took measurements with just over 100 hours on the lamp, so it's already lost 2.5 to 4 percent of brightness, from normal lamp aging. The end result, is that at full wide angle with a fresh lamp, those two changes combined should add at least an extra 100 lumens, so approaching 1600 lumens.
Runco also claims 2000 lumens maximum.
In an attempt to create a "bright mode", the brightest setup I came come up with, was with color temp set to 9300K (or the Native Lamp setting), with Contrast set to 103, and Adaptive contrast on, the LS-7 measured 1680 lumens. That's not much of an increase, considering the 9300K color temp means everything's going to be really thin on red. Still, it is almost an extra 20%, and might come in handy if you have a lot of lights on. Again it measured close to Runco's claims but don't quite get there, when you adjust for factors. Again, adjusting for the differences in how we measure, in brightest mode, if I did it Runco's way, the projector would be outputting probably just north of 1800 lumens - within 10% of claims.
I'm certainly not moaning and growning. Few projectors beat their claims. Hey, a great picture, plus all that brightness behind it - I'm far from complaining, I'm jealous.
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
Low lamp power: 1217 lumens, which is approximately a 16% drop vs.
High lamp power: 1451 lumens
I'm slightly surprised that the drop measured even 16%, even though most projector's low power modes are 20 to 25% less, and others dropping even more. Still the spec sheet indicates a 230 watt and 260 watt modes (a 12% drop from 260 to 230). Interesting!
I don't know if this projector looks as sharp as it does, simply because it's "the high priced spread", and therefore naturally comes with superior optics, or if other things are in play, but this is as sharp as I've seen in a 720p projector. My JVC is resolving a bit more detail thanks to being 1080p, but the image on the screen doesn't seem to be that different.
I'm primarily talking about watching movies. As expected, the difference becomes more noticeable when I switch to a good 1080i digital broadcast, or all digital 1080p content off of a blu-ray disc. With the digital content, the JVC does look crisper. On 720p broadcasts, though, there's little difference. When I break out a saved footblall game in 1080i, I definitely notice that the LS-7 doesn't seem as sharp as my RS20, and there are plenty of (mostly DLP projectors) out there that make my JVC seem a little soft to begin with.
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Top left: JVC DLA-RS35, Top Left Center - Planar PD8150, Top Right Center - JVC DLA-RS25, Top right - JVC DLA-RS35
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE3000, right center: Optoma HD8000, right: InFocus IN83
My DTS test disc died, for this sharpness demo, we will be using a closeup of the PS3 system screen, showing the Video icon, going forward.
Below: Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right DLA-RS35, RS20, Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, and BenQ W20000. The DLA-RS35 holds its own against most, but not a few of the sharpest DLP projectors.
Runco LS-7: Bottom Line Sharpness
Oh, trust me, I don't want to go back to 720p, I've got a pretty large screen, like to sit fairly close, and have had 1080p projectors for a while. On the other hand, the Runco looks so good in my room on that large screen, that I could easily swap my 1080p JVC RS20 for one of these! I guess resolution isn't the end all... Enough said, for now.
There seems to be very minimal leakage out through the lens, and virtually none from around the projector vents. You won't find many projectors cleaner than this one, when it comes to light leakage!
Runco LS-7 Image Noise
I normally expect DLP projectors to have a bit more image noise than other technologies, so I was pleasantly surprised that the LS-7 was exceptionally free of typical image noises. The biggest noise problems I ever saw with the LS-7 has been the compression "noise" from satellite. Clean!
Runco LS-7 Audible Noise
The nice thing about a really big box, is that you can baffle the sound to create a pretty quiet projector. Runco's done that. We don't measure audible noise, and Runco doesn't provide a spec in their data sheet or manual.
That forces me to make a best guess. I figure that the projector, at the very most, is doing 26 or 27 db with lamp on high, but it might be as low as 22 db. The projector's noise level does not change when changing lamp brightness. The bottom line is that the LS-7 is pretty quiet, though not exceptionally so. You really won't hear this projector unless your room is really quiet, and you are only 4 or 5 feet away.