Runco Lightstyle LS-5 Projector Review

This Runco LS5 is pretty large as home theater projectors go.

Runco LS5 Physical Appearance

The Runco LS5 projector is slightly oval in appearance, finished in a flat, non-reflective black, and is particularly tall, at around 8 inches. The Lightstyle LS-5 does slope downward toward the back. It’s got a sculpted look, and it looks pretty nice, though not the flashy flying saucer look that InFocus offered with their old series of home theater projectors. Basically the largish LS-5 is expected to blend into the dark ceiling in your theater.

The LS-5′s lenses offer manual focus and zoom. The offerings are a standard 1.3:1 zoom, with a fairly long throw of 1.85 to 2.4 (distance/width). The optional lens is a shorter throw zoom, a 1.2:1 zoom with a range of 1.56 – 1.86.

Both the focus and zoom adjustments are accomplished by rotating two different rings on the lens.

Like the other LightStyle projectors from Runco, the infra-red sensors are found on the front, and on the top (which will be the bottom – where you want it – when ceiling mounted). Venting is on the side. Hot air exits mostly to the left (when looking from the back), with the Runco projector on a table.

To replace the lamp, the lamp door is located next to the input panel on the rear. There is a nice big cable cover, allowing for a nice neat installation.

Control Panel

The LS5′s control panel is located on the top. It is a small, roundish, and basic affair, located about 8 inches behind the front of the projector. The projector’s power switch is a couple of inches closer to the front. The lighting goes off when the projector is “working”.

At the top is the Source button, and opposite it at the bottom, is the Menu button. Inside of them, are the four arrow buttons and a centered Enter key. Pretty standard stuff, and no extras.

That Power switch doubles as your full status system. Solid green indicates ready to power up (that’s an unusual use of green, but, ok…) Blinking green is powering up, and when projecting (on), the light goes out. It also can blink red for overheating, red/green flashing for lamp issues.Finally there’s solid red, which translates to: Call the doctor, the LS5 is demanding service.

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Input/Output

Runco’s LS-5 projector is faily typically equipped when we’re talking about inputs and other connections.

There are 2 HDMI inputs, and an HD15 connector for your standard computer analog input. There’s one set of component video inputs using three color coded RCA connectors. If you need a second component video, the HD15 can do component as well as analog computer. Of course there’s a Composite video and an S-video port.

Below, the connection panel of the Runco LightStyle LS-5:

There’s an RS-232 serial port for command and control using your favorite room control system, plus a 12 volt “screen” trigger. There is also an input to hard wire the remote control. In the menus the screen trigger can be configured for screen up/down, masking functions, and should be usable to control a sled for an anamorphic lens should you have a motorized sled to move the lens out of the way.

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Runco LS5 Menus

Clean and effective. Type is a touch small, might be problem if you like to sit rather far back, but really should be fine. You can position the menus around the screen, and control opacity. With the small type, I recommend keeping it pretty opaque.

Let’s look at the key Runco LS5 projector’s menus:

Runco LS5 Remote Control

The Runco remote is medium sized, about the size of a DirecTV remote (for the 30 million or so people who have DirecTV, including me). The backlight is red and comes on when any button is touched. It’s fairly bright, easy to read, and not blinding at all. Nicely done.

The remote is about source selection, menu navigation, User settings, and buttons with direct links to image controls.

From the top down, it plays out this way. Power and Standby (off) are on the top. Below that, five discreet buttons for the different sources. (Reconfigurable, in the menus). They are simply labeled 1 though 5, since you can change the sources.

Below that are the navigation controls in a round formation with an centered Enter button. Menu is below ot the left, and Aspect ratio to the right.

Below the LS-5′s navigation, are three buttons across for the three User memories. The Runco confirms with you, before loading them (Load User Memory1 – OK or Cancel).

That brings us to the last nine buttons – three rows of three, all are image controls or features:

Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Gamma, On Screen, Noise Reduction, Picture In Picture, Picture in Picture Swap), and in the lower right, also a backlight button for the remote, even though pressing any button turns it on. (Nice!)

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LS-5 Lens Throw (double check)

The LightStyle LS5 projector offers two different lenses as mentioned above. The standard zoom allows this Runco to fill a 100″ 16:9 screen from as close as 12 feet 11 inches, or as far back as 16 feet nine inches (numbers are approximate). The optional shorter throw lens, by comparison allows placement of the projector (measured, of course, from the front of the lens), as far as 13 feet, and as close as 10 feet 9 inches.

LS5 Lens Shift

There’s a healthy amount of lens shift. With a 100″ 16:9 screen (1.78:1 aspect ratio), there’s plenty of vertical shift, allowing you to place the projector as high as about 8 inches above the top of the screen surface, or as low as about 8 inches below the bottom, and anywhere in between. There’s a fair amount of horizontal lens shift as well, but remember, that the more you use of one, the less you can use the other. That number, I believe will change dramatically as you go to longer throw lenses.

Runco LS-5 Anamorphic Lens Options

Runco offers an outboard anamorphic lens, and offers the aspect ratios to make it work. If you are thinking anamorphic lens, the throw distances for the setup are listed in the manual. Of couse you really don’t have to do the math, I’m sure the local installing Runco dealer will do it for you.

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