Naturally there are also signs of Runco’s high-end quality on show during dark-room viewing with the LightStyle LS-HB projector. HD pictures look emphatically sharp and detailed. Colours contain extreme amounts of blend and tone subtlety. Pictures are extremely dynamic and punchy, and motion is handled very well, looking clean and smooth, but not processed or artificial.
Now we’re in a more positive frame of mind, the Runco LightStyle LS-HB really does deliver startlingly well on its main “bright viewing” raison d’etre. Even with our curtains open and some of our test room lights on, the LS-HB manages to produce a genuinely watchable and even punchy image on our neutral reference Image Screen iMasque screen.
We’re not just talking about the projector’s extreme brightness punching the image through the ambient light, either. For, crucially, the projector also appears to inject telling colour compensation into proceedings, so that colours still look vibrant and rich, as well as more consistently natural than they do during dark-room viewing. This is infinitely preferable to the wan and yellowed-over colours you usually get with daylight projector viewing.
Having to combat ambient light also traditionally leads to pictures – even HD ones – looking rather soft during daylight viewing. But a combination of the LS-HB’s brightness and its ultra-crisp optics means that HD images still look definitively HD in all but the most direct sunlight.
One last point to note, though, is that when running in its highest brightness mode to combat ambient light, the Runco LightStyle LS-HB can – unsurprisingly – be a touch noisy, given how hard its cooling fans are having to work.
The Runco LightStyle LS-HB unquestionably delivers on its bright room promise with a level of success that goes beyond that of any of the other similarly-targetted products we’ve tested to date. But is this enough in itself to justify an outlay of £7,500?
Unfortunately, for us, no, it isn’t. For that sort of money we can’t help but think that a projector should be able to adapt itself better than the Runco LS-HB does to dark room viewing as well as light-room viewing. So while we appreciate the thought behind it, the LS-HB is ultimately one Runco projector we’re not sure many people will want to save up for.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7