Runco LS-5 - Performance
6/07/2011 - Art Feierman
Runco LS-5 Measured Brightness
The other two Runco's we've reviewed in the last year, were veritable light canons compared to most home theater projectors we review. The LS5 projector, however, is, as intended, rather average in brightness. Runco considers the LS-5 projector to be ideal for home theaters sporting screens of up to about 110" diagonal (unless you go with high gain screens).
Mike found the brightest of the color temp settings to be 7500K. The chart below shows the default lumen measurements for each of the color temps, along with the actual color temp measurements:
792 lumens @ 7500K setting, with SatCo turned on
Runco LS-5 Post-Calibration Brightness:
648 lumens Measured
Out of the Box: Lumen Output for Various Color Temp Settings:
5500 = 554 @ 5276
6500 = 613 @ 6082
7500 = 662 @ 6928
9300 = 597 @ 8278
Native = 650 @ 6432
This single chip DLP Runco is very typical in terms of brightness, when compared to other home theater projectors in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range. It offers better than average brightness when in its best mode.
In reality, Runco specs the LS-5 at 1000 lumens at D65. Mind you, we don't do a full Ansi lumen measurement (blending measurements from many points on the image), but we measure with the zoom at the midpoint of the range. Most projectors in "best" mode come in way below claim. Consider, a typical Epson home theater projector might claim 1600 lumens (not D65), produce about 1300 lumens the way we measure in brightest mode, but only about 500 lumens at D65 (6500K) after calibration.
OK, back to the Lighttyle LS-5. The projector lacks a bunch of preset modes like most lower cost projectors (and many in this price range) have. It does, however offer a number of color temperature settings from 5500K to 9300K, plus "native". Mike calibrated the LS-5. He did his calibrating using the Native setting, which started out closest to the ideal 6500K (very, very close), interestingly, the 6500K setting mostly yielded temperatures over the brightness range (IRE) in the 6000K-6100K. That's not too far off, but Native was simply a better choice. Mike also commented, that no matter what setting, the color temp remained extremely consistent from white (100 IRE) all the way down to the very dark greys. Better yet, let me just pass on Mike's words:
"While the preset color temps all were a bit low, they are incredibly consistent across the IRE range. It has the flattest color temp graph I've ever seen. Once a RGB gain and offset adjustments are made, grayscale response is excellent, with the lowest overall Delta E I've ever measured. The CIE chart shows that colors are nearly spot on as well. -Mike"
|Color Temp over IRE Range, 6500 and Native Color Temps:|
|30 IRE –||6038||6427|
|50 IRE –||6068||6429|
|80 IRE –||6054||6434|
|100 IRE –||6082||6432|
For those of you who must look:
OK, moving on:
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
LS-5 lumen Output (Eco Lamp, 6500 Color Temp):
443 lumens, down from an impressive 613 at full power. That represents a drop of between 27 and 28%, fairly typical, for an Eco mode on a home theater projector.
The Effect of lens zoom on brightness:
Once again, the Runco optics have interesting properties! Normally lenses are brightest at wide angle. Of course with a zoom that's only 1.3:1 the shift in brightness is normally not great, not the up to a 50% reduction going from wide angle to telephoto found in projectors with 2:1 zooms. In this case there's almost no change in brightness though much of the range, and only about 10% across the entire zoom range. As a result, where you place your LightStyle LS-5 when you mount it (within the zooms range), will have no really significant impact on picture brightness.
Zoom out: 615
Mid zoom: 613
Zoom in: 558
We said that the 3 chip Runco's were very sharp, but, by virtue of combining the RGB colors, there's always some misconvergence with any 3 chip projector, be it DLP, LCD or LCoS. Those more expensive Runcos were very good for 3 chippers, but the LS-5 is crisper still. This is a nice, sharp single chip DLP, and that's about as good as it gets. I note that no projector is razor sharp from center to corner. That said, this projector has good optics. You'll find center to corner sharpness to be better than most projectors we look at.
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Below: Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right Runco LS5, Runco LS-7, Epson Home Cinema 8800UB, and BenQ W20000.
Runco LS-5: Bottom Line Sharpness
No sharpness issues with the Runco LS-5 projector! Period.
Runco LS-5 Light Leakage
Absolutely minimal, as with the other Runco's we've reviewed. They all use the same case, so we expected no differences. Any stray light coming through the lens is very minimal compared to any typical DLP projector.
Runco LS-5 Image Noise
Not surprising, the LS-5 is very good when it comes to all types of image noise. It looked great running the assorted Silicon Optix tests from their test disc. Nothing at all to complain about. Even basic background noise, which tends to seem more visible on single chip DLP projectors than on their competition, looked a bit cleaner than the typical DLP.
Runco LS-5 Audible Noise
Single chip DLP projectors as a group, tend to be the noisiest of the technologies used in under $10,000 projectors. The good news, is that the LS-5 is better than almost all of the other single chip DLP's we work with.
This isn't in the least surprising. Consider that the physical size of the LS-5 (a large projector that shares the same physical size and case as their 3 chip models). I attribute the very reasonable audible noise to the larger case (and design), which allows for more baffling of fan noise and color wheel. In addition the noise is of a nice low pitch, no whine.
Still, there are any number of at least slightly quieter projectors (mostly LCD home theater models). If you are really noise adverse, of course, but want this great projector, two things. One: Though not the quietest around, the low pitch of the sound makes it definitely more tolerable than other projectors claiming the same decibel level. Two: You always have the option of dropping into low power mode, to quiet it down a good bit more.