Runco Lightstyle LS-10d Projector Review
This Runco Lightstyle LS-10 projector is the second Runco projector we've reviewed to date. We received the LS-10d projector - which is essentially the same as the standard LS-10i, but comes with the impressive DHD4 outboard Processor for an equally impressive $26,995. The DHD4 is also sold with their high end projectors.
This LS10 is a 3 chip DLP home theater projector, with 1080p resolution. Reviewing the LS-10 should be most helpful in providing insight and perspective to people shopping a price range or two lower. Reviewing the LS-10d certainly helps me with the big picture.
In reviewing the Runco LS-10d, we've now left the world of projectors for the masses, and entered (the low end) of projectors primarily for the wealthy, the obsessed, and those somewhere in between (actually probably the wealthy obsessed).
UPDATE: The Runco LS10d earned the prestigious Outstanding Product of the Year 2011 award! Check out the praise for this phenomenal projector!
March 2011 - Art Feierman
Runco LS-10d Projector Overview
In this review we will attempt to address both projectors, the LS-10d which is the model Runco delivered to me, or the lower cost LS-10i. I can describe the other differences, but whether the outboard processor, and its advantages are worth the extra $5000 is for you to decide, probably with the help of your friendly neighborhood Runco dealer. Please note that while I will make comments about the LS-10i throughout the review, there's also a special page on the review menu, specific to the LS-10i's differences.
Our previous look at a Runco was this past summer when we received the 720p LS-7 to review. The Runco LS10d is the 1080p projector in the same series (and recently starting to ship- as of this writing). Like its $15,495 little brother, the LS-10d offers a truly dazzling image compared to almost any other projectors we get to review.
Let's get to it.
The Runco LS-10d is the flagship of the LightStyle series. Strange as it may seem, that lofty $27K price tag already mentioned only makes it the flagship of Runco's entry level series projectors. You can likely buy apartment buildings in Las Vegas these days for the price of some of the higher priced models in the Runco lineup, but that's a tale for another time.
The picture is stunning, and in most ways, superior to everything else that's come through here, but there is lots to discuss. It's not flawless - or Runco wouldn't make more expensive projectors.
The projector itself is fairly large. It's ovalesque in shape looking from the top, and it's tall from the front. The finish is a flat black. It's got some style, but it is one of the larger home theater projectors to pass through here, and definitely the tallest.
The Runco LS-10d has the full collection of connectors on its back panel, that the LS-10i has but you won't be using them. All you need is a single HDMI cable from the DHD processor. Everything hooks up to the projector through the outboard processor, which is dripping in inputs and outputs. This provides the convenience of your connection panel for the projector being there with the rest of your gear - cable or satellite box, blu-ray player, games, internet connection. Of course, the other key benefit of the outboard processor is that it offers a step up in image processing quality. (I was plenty impressed with the LS-7, so I expect that the basic LS-10i does just fine).
One thing that separates the LS-10d projector from the other home theater projectors we have reviewed recently, is the brightness of the projector. The LS10d projector measured almost 1500 lumens in its "best" mode. That's two to four times as bright as most of the other home theater projectors.
In the following pages, we'll discuss in more detail, the projector's physical features, image quality, measurements and our calibration settings. Enjoy the ride.
Much of the commentary in this review will try and position this projector in terms of how it compares to less expensive projectors.
LS10 Projector Highlights
- Gorgeous color
- 3 chip DLP design (yes, just like the movie theaters)
- Extremely bright
- Excellent black level performance (despite the low contrast numbers)
- 1080p resolution
- Extensive selection of inputs
- Relatively quiet projector
- Cable cover
- Outboard processor
Projector Specs for Runco LS10
Technology: 3 chip DLP
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 2100 lumens - claimed 14 @ D65, measured: 1451 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1 ( zoom and focus motorized) many optional lenses
Lens shift: Vertical and Horizontal (motorized)
Lamp life: 2000 hours at full power, 3000 at low power (eco)
Weight: 40.8 lbs. (18.5 Kg)
Warranty: 2 Year Parts and Labor, advanced warranties available
Click for more complete projector specifications of the Runco LS10 projector.
Runco LS10 Special Features
3 Chip DLP Projector
By going to a 3 chip DLP configuration, compared to the single chip DLP projectors, means no more spinning color wheel. That also translates into a lot more brightness hitting the screen, since color wheels are terribly inefficient. You can also expect a more dynamic image, but black levels (I don't believe) get better simply because of a 3 chip design. (Nonetheless, this projector is an ultra high contrast projector in performance). Often these "3 chippers" use larger DLP chips than the single chip projectors, and therefore you end up with a much larger projector, as a result of the larger chip size, and the light engine being split into three beams. (That's why single chip DLP's as a group are smaller than the 3 chip LCoS or LCD projectors.) Bottom line: One pays a lot and expects a lot from a 3 chip DLP projector.
Not a whole lot to report here. The LS10 does take 24 fps and up it to 48 fps, but as Runco states, the LS10d says it simply repeats the frame if you use that setting. Since this is a 3 chip DLP device, with no color wheel, or breaks, 48 fps is essentially the same as 24.
Constant Contrast - Dynamic Iris
Constant Contrast is Runco's name for Runco's dynamic iris function. The dynamic iris action is very nicely smooth compared to most lower priced projectors, but there are several at least as good. This is, however, a "good" dynamic iris, in terms of being rarely very noticeable. I never found it annoying, even on the dark conversational scenes with the camera cutting back and forth between two people speaking in a fairly dark room without a lot of very bright areas. It responds rather smoothly when there are radical brightness changes between scenes. Detectable, if you are looking for it, and only on occasion, but rarely will it show up on your radar. Impressive blacks despite a rather unimpressive contrast comparison spec claimed of 10,000:1. It certainly gets those blacks on dark scenes down there with other projectors claiming 30,000:1, 50,000:1 or even higher.
As previous stated, the LS-10d projector is primarily about the DHD4 processor. The DHD adds $6000. Well, besides lots of inputs, screen triggers, and command and control devices. It would be interesting to see an LS-10i and a LS-10d side by side to see how it improves the picture. After all, you can buy a lot of switching for $6000!