Planar PD8150 DLP Projector Review - Planar PD8150 Review


There are loads more subtle tweaks and features within the PD8150’s solid onscreen menus, but you’d probably start to get bored if we covered them all. In any case, we reckon you’ve probably got the message by now that there aren’t many stones the PD8150 has left unturned in its quest to deliver supreme home cinema quality.

Before we find out how successful it’s ultimately been with this quest, though, I ought to pause briefly to talk about the PD8150’s looks. For while it’s a pretty large hunk of machinery, in this reviewer’s opinion it wears its size very well indeed, thanks to a distinctive rounded shape and high-gloss black finish.

I’m also going to note in passing how flexible the PD8150 is to set up. There’s both vertical and horizontal optical image shifting, removing the need for nasty digital keystone correction, and you can get the projector with either of two lens attachments: one standard fit, and one short-throw option if space is limited.

The only disappointment, perhaps, is that the level of built-in optical zoom is merely 1.3x – but then the presence of two lens options kind of excuses this.

Right: down to business. Or actually, on this occasion it might be more accurate to say ‘down to pleasure’. For the simple fact of the matter is that the PD8150 produces pictures that are nothing short of sublime.

In fact, they fire on so many cylinders that it’s quite hard to start to pick out the individual elements that combine to make the superlative whole. But I suppose I’d better give it a shot!

During quality time spent with Tim Burton’s ”Sweeney Todd” adaptation on Blu-ray and ”Call of Duty 4” on the Xbox 360, I was pretty much blown away by the PD8150’s black level response.

The night-time scenes in Todd’s grubby London streets suffer practically no greyness or flattening at all, allowing you to entirely immerse yourself in the full scale of the film’s immaculate Grand Guignol reimagining of our capital’s streets.

And I suffered none of the unfair ‘killed by something I couldn’t actually see’ moments during ”COD4’s” night-time sequences that I’ve experienced so often on lesser projectors.

As well as portraying deep, convincing blacks, the PD8150 further boosts its portrayal of dark scenes by stuffing those black areas with all manner of subtle shadow details, completely avoiding the ‘hollowed out’ look really dark areas can take on with lesser projectors.

The PD8150 is also extraordinarily, almost bewilderingly sharp with HD material. The textures and subtleties in Todd’s beautifully created outfits, for instance, look so clear and defined that you feel you could just reach out and grab them (even though this obviously wouldn’t actually be a very good idea given Todd’s anger management issues).

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