Review Price £7,500.00
Runco LS-HB - Picture Quality
Die-hard movie fans who fancy using their Runco LightStyle LS-HB projector with a Cinemascope 2.35:1 ratio screen will also be pleased to note that the projector is designed for use with Runco’s CineGlide anamorphic lens add-on.
As we noted in our recent review of the sub-£600 Epson MG-850HD, it seems to us that it isn’t just enough for a daytime projector to be ultra-bright. It should also deliver enough flexibility with its picture and light settings to be at least an enjoyable watch in dark conditions, when you feel in the mood for a more refined cinematic experience. This seems an even more necessary requirement when you’re talking about a projector costing £7,500. Yet unfortunately it’s a requirement the LS-HB doesn’t entirely meet.
The thing is, while its images are indeed startlingly good in light conditions, as we’ll see presently, no amount of tweaking managed to get them looking wholly satisfying in dark conditions. For instance, viewing in the dark reveals that the LS-HB isn’t able to produce a particularly brilliant black level response, with very dark scenes looking as if they’re appearing through a slight grey mist.
We also found that dark areas of the picture looked distinctly short of shadow detail during dark-room viewing, with scenes like the opening shots of the final Harry Potter film looking crushed and hollow in places.
On top of these black level problems, we also struggled to get the Runco LightStyle LS-HB’s colours looking quite ‘right’ during dark viewing. It feels as if they’ve been calibrated so profoundly to compensate for light in your room that you just can’t quite get them back to the sort of more restrained tones and balances that really suit dark room viewing.
One final problem occasionally witnessed while watching the LS-HB projector in the dark was the so-called rainbow effect - an issue with single-chip DLP projectors that can cause ‘stripes’ of red, green and blue to flicker around in your peripheral vision or over very bright objects, especially when they appear against dark backgrounds. To be fair, the occurrences of this phenomenon were less common than we might have expected given the LS-HB’s extreme brightness. But it would still be wrong not to mention them.