Runco Lightstyle LS-5 Projector Review

Frame Interpolation

Not a whole lot to report here. The LS5 does take 24 fps and up it to 48 fps, but as Runco states, the LS5 says it simply repeats the frame if you use that setting. This is the same configuration as used in Runco’s more expensive 3 chip DLP projectors. The difference being that there is no significant advantages between 24 and 48 fps on a 3 chip projector, but on this single chip projector, the frame interpolation increase is likely to provide a smoother looking image to some folks susceptible to one type of motion blurring.

This Runco projector does not offer any form of creative frame interpolation (motion smoothing, smooth video, or other phrases are used to describe). That means it DOES NOT create a new frame with different content between two existing frames. Those projectors that do, tend to provide smoother fast motion, especially appreciated on sports. The downside is that when engaged when watching traditional movies, the result is often described as looking artificial (soap opera look). Since the Runco Lightstyle LS-5 lacks CFI, obviously no such issues to report.

Picture in Picture

You can view two different sources. You can determine which is the larger, and how to position the smaller one. They must be using two different input types. You can’t use HDMI 1 and 2, because as with most projectors it’s only one circuit. Thus, most likely HDMI and Component. (That’s standard PIP stuff!)

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Runco LightStyle LS-5 Dynamic Features

Constant Contrast – Dynamic Iris

Constant Contrast is Runco’s name for Runco’s dynamic iris function. The Lightstyle LS-5′s dynamic iris action is very nicely smooth compared to most lower priced projectors, but there are several (at various prices) at least as good. This is, however, a “very good” dynamic iris, in terms of being rarely very noticeable. With almost 100 hours logged on this LS-5, performance was very good, even on those 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.

The LS-5′s lack of CFI is probably only an issue for some sports fanatics, and most of us, can get by just fine without creative frame interpolation – even when viewing sports.

Runco Adaptive Contrast

This is a pretty standard Runco feature found on their 3 chip DLP projectors as well as single chip projectors like the LS5. This is a dynamic contrast control. Engaging it increases the “pop and wow factor” of this projector. At the same time, the adaptive contrast does take a slight toll on image quality. Skin tones are likely to be a touch more contrasty…

This is a feature I mostly leave engaged. If I choose a very artsy film without impressive, dynamic scenes, I would probably run it turned off (the black and white original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” certainly doesn’t need Adaptive Contrast, and nor do most movies that are primarily non-action interactions between people – like the new Woody Allen film which I haven’t seen). On the other hand, Iron Man II and the newer Narnia – Dawn Trader, are more fun with the upped dynamics of engaging Adaptive Contrast.

Runco SatCo

Many projectors have dynamic controls these days, and for that matter, Brilliant Color, found on most DLP projectors, seems to be at least in part dynamically adjusting the picture in terms of contrast and saturation. Runco calls TI’s Brilliant Color: SatCo.

Runco manages to not have SatCo be “over the top” yes, it’s not as smooth on skin tones as without, but the Runco handles it better than a couple of lower priced DLP projectors we recently looked at.

LS-5 Long Lamp Life

The Runco Lightsyle LS-5 claims 4000 hours for its lamp. Runco does not specify if this is for both modes, or just eco mode. Without more info assume 4000 hours is when in low power operation. While it might also be 4000 hours at full power, few projectors claim the same brightness for both modes (Epson’s Cinema UB projectors do, as a couple of others, but they are the exceptions). So, figure probably 2500-3000 hours, at full power, but, maybe longer… No way to guess any better than that.

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