Runco LS-10d - Performance
3/07/2011 - Art Feierman
Runco LS-10d Measured Brightness
Light canon time. That's a phrase few home theater projetors get accused of being. And most of those - entry level "cross-over" projectors. Nonetheless, the LS10d, powered with a 260 watt lamp, is just that - a relative light canon, compared to the average $2000, $5000 or even $10,000 projector. For example, it measured (comparing "best" modes), almost 3 times as bright as the 1300 lumen claiming JVC RS60 that was here last month. (But the Runco, per spec, is only supposed to be about 60% brighter, not 300%.)
The LS10 measured almost identically in "best" mode, as the RS7 did last year. This time our "best" mode lumen count, with the lens at mid-point on the zoom, and post calibration, worked out to 1465 lumens (besting the LS7's 1451 - of course that slight an error is well within measuring accuracy, never mind lamp variation).
After Mike's calibration, that 1465 lumens represents 25 total lumens more than their claim of 1440 lumens at D65. Tis rare we see projectors that beat claims - ok, if not rare, uncommon. The 1465 also means we only lost 14 lumens in the process of calibrating!
Runco also claims 2100 lumens maximum. They didn't do quite as well there, but still managed to measure 1808 lumens with the lamp in its (native?) 9300K mode. Not exactly where you want to be, extremely thin on reds, but it's an extra 350 lumens if desperately needed. Here's how color temp affected brightness:
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE for Various Color Temp Settings:
5500 = 1299 @ 5485
6500 = 1479 @ 6423
7500 = 1619 @ 7385
9300 = 1808 @ 8929
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
LS-10d lumen Output (Eco Lamp, 6500 Color Temp):
1217 lumens measured, down from 1479 a drop of only about 18%.
That is interesting, as the projector says its two lamp modes are 230 and 260 watts about a 12% difference. Either way, an 18% drop is smaller than typical, with most projectors dropping 20-25% and often more.
The Effect of lens zoom on brightness:
Strange! Normally lenses are brightest at wide angle, not so here, this projector measured brightest with the zoom at mid-point. Even stranger, the projector is brighter in telephoto, than wide angle. Still the entire variation is less than 10%. On projectors with very long zoom ranges (like 2:1) the drop from wide to tele can be more than 45%, and that affects placement decisions. It should not be a factor with the LS10 projector.
Effect of zoom on lumen output (6500 Color Temp):
Zoom out: 1337
Mid zoom: 1479 lumens
Zoom in: 1430
The optics are very good, the image is nice and sharp, but, this is still a 3 chip projector and there's slight misconvergence. While it's true that the JVC RS60 (with its "hand picked" components), was here right before the LS10d, I'll give the RS60 the slightest advantage in sharpness. I was more "stunned" by the sharpness of the JVC than the Runco, but we're talking about two very nicely sharp projectors. I'm sure most higher end single chip DLP's like Runco's new 2700 lumen LS-HB, will appear a touch sharper, by virtual of no misconvergence of 3 different color panels.
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Top left: Runco LS10, Top Left Center - Runco LS7, Top Right Center - JVC DLA-RS25, Top right - JVC DLA-RS35
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, center: Panasonic PT-AE4000, right: InFocus IN83
Below: Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right Runco LS10d, Runco LS-7, Epson Home Cinema 8800UB, and BenQ W20000.
Runco LS-10d: Bottom Line Sharpness
Is sharper possible? Sure. Is this Runco sharp enough. Definitely, it looks great on pure digital HDTV content, but, quite honestly, the standard lens does not seem to "feel" as optically sharp as the JVC RS60, which seemed truly exceptional. The JVC's pixel convergence wasn't as good as this Runco's yet it seemed sharper. I suspect that the hand picked JVC lens, is better than the standard, standard lens for this Runco. Will some of the more expensive Runco lenses do better? Probably. By a lot? Not likely.
Runco LS-10 Light Leakage
There seems to be very minimal leakage out through the lens of the LS-10d.
The vents of the projector show almost no light, and what little you can see, is not going to be a problem. Next!
Runco LS-10d Image Noise
I've gotten up and walked closer to the screen a number of times observing the overall noise, and it's impressive. Not sure why, but DLP projectors seem to inherently have a bit more background noise (easiest to see in skys and clouds and light colored fabrics that aren't jumping around the screen). It's not much difference, just a general observation. Well, the point is, this LS-10d seems very clean for a DLP. In about 100 hours of viewing, I haven't noticed any terrible artifacts jumping out and ambushing me.
Of course, I expect nothing less than near flawless image processing, since it is being done by the same DHD4 that processes Runco's high end projectors. I'm sure, like any other high end processing, there are "flaws" somewhere, since there are always trade-offs, and unintended consequences.
As I'm writing this paragraph, I'm taking last looks at the LS-10d, with the Blu-ray Lord of the Rings (Fellowship). For about 5 minutes I've been looking for anything suspect in the processing, and see nothing (from my normal seating distance). Our goal here isn't to analyze the image noise for you, but rather, to say, that it should not be something that most of us should be concerned about.
Runco LS-10d Audible Noise
When I reviewed the LS-7, without a Runco spec to start with, I pegged it at about 26-27, and maybe lower. Different room now, different conditions. In full power, the Runco is probably 26-27-28 db, based on other projectors I have around here. The Epson 8700UB which also claims under 30 db, is definitely a little more noticeable. Part of that may be the lower pitch of the Runco's fan noise.
Let's say that the Runco does very well for such a bright projector. It's not silent, it might bother someone particularly noise adverse, especially if right overhead, but for the most part, in a good theater (not overly acoustically bright), the LS10d should be just fine, even in full power.
And of course you can get the LS10d a lot quieter by giving up just 18% of it's impressive brightness, if the sound actually gets to you.
Bottom line on audible noise: Good job, but, of course quieter would be even better.