Projector Reviews

Planar PD8150 Home Theater Projector Review: General Performance-7

As you can see from the numbers, the Planar, out of the box, is almost dead on, for white, but shifts slightly towards warm (red) as the gray levels get darker. Overall, this is pretty good for out of the box numbers, but a good calibration can result in even better color accuracy.

After calibration we measured these results:
White (100 IRE) 6393K
Light gray (80 IRE) 6514K
Medium gray (50 IRE) 6568K
Low gray (30 IRE) 6355K

Not perfect but pretty close, with our measured range coming up a maximum of +68/-145K – just over 200K, which is very tight.

I should note that below 30 IRE, where are measurements start getting a little iffy, we note that there is a definite shift in the very dark grays to black, towards red. (20 IRE measured only 5995K, virtually identical to the pre-calibration measurement of 5994K).

Also worthy of mention, switching the lamp to Economy resulted in virtually no shift in colors, unlike most home theater projectors. The PD8150 measured white at 6401K before calibration in Economy mode, compared to 6422K in Standard mode.

For our brightest measurements (with Adaptive Contrast off), and using Native, instead of 6500K as the Color Temp setting, the picture was a little on the cool (blue) side, but not by much, with white measuring 6816K.

Gamma is a bit of an issue. Measured for the Film Gamma, and looking for an ideal 2.2 gamma, we came up with only 2.01, and other Gamma settings didn’t have much affect. The lower than expected gamma number means slightly brighter mid-ranges and and an image with a little less dynamic look, than a 2.2 gamma would affect. I should point out that controls like Brilliant Color and Planar’s Adaptive Contrast, tend to give you a more contrasty look to a picture, so if using one or both of them, the low gamma number becomes less relevant. Only the CRT gamma reached the 2.2 target, but it was too high. Stick with the Film setting.

PD8150 Calibration settings for RGB

Red 100
Green 99
Blue 103
Red 93
Green 100
Blue 98

These are the adjustments we made (in addition to the Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, etc., above), for “best mode”

That pretty much covers it. If you get a Planar PD8150, your dealer will probably encourage you to get a full calibration (which goes further than what we do), but in the event that you want to pass on that, you can try our numbers. They should provide you a slightly better image than the defaults.

PD8150 Image Noise

Planar uses Gennum’s image processing technology in the PD8150. Gennum has been well respected for years, and a number of higher, and high end projectors have chosen Gennum, including Marantz and JVC, to mention just two.

No issues with image noise. Jaggies are not an issue. I ran the HQV test disc for image noise, and found nothing of significance to report.