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Another reason to savour the PD7010 is the quality of its motion handling, as the rapid action of Casino Royale’s early ‘Parkour’ sequence is produced with surprisingly little smearing and only the rarest trace of the sort of fizzing noise over skin tones that many DLP projectors suffer with.
A further common DLP problem that the PD7010 suppresses well is the so-called rainbow effect, where bands of pure colour flit about in your peripheral vision. The PD7010’s DLP colour wheel is clearly a cut above that of most similarly priced DLP offerings.
So does the PD7010’s performance betray any signs of its budget nature? Inevitably, yes it does. First, while black levels are remarkably deep for a £1,100 projector, they’re also a touch hollow, meaning that the darkest corners of the Nostromo during a run-through of Alien look just a little empty and flat. Also, while colours generally look the part, there are occasions where the odd unnatural tone sneaks in – particularly when watching standard definition.
Finally, while the rainbow effect and fizzing noise over skin tones are impressively well contained by budget DLP standards, you wouldn’t see either of them at all on an LCD model. But then an LCD model is unlikely to deliver the PD7010’s black level and colour response, and may also suffer with the so-called ‘chicken wire’ effect, where the picture shows artefacts derived from the structure of the LCD pixel array.
It’s a brave company these days which dares to dip its virgin toes in the harsh waters of the seriously tough UK AV market – especially at the budget end. Yet Planar’s debut doesn’t so much successfully join the budget projection market as redefine it.