Shootout: Three Budget HD Front Projectors Page 10

Photo Gallery

With dark movies, such as Pan's Labyrinth on DVD, the Planar's extended blacks lent the picture a solid sense of depth. But shadow detail proved limited compared to that produced by the LCD projectors, and its picture contrast ultimately didn't have as much punch, either. Also, the noise problem that I spotted on Happy Gilmore - an evenly lit movie - looked much worse in dark images. In some cases, such as a grainy 720p-format recording of an episode of ABC's series Lost, the image from the Planar appeared so mottled and blocky that it was barely recognizable as high-def.

BOTTOM LINE The Planar PD7060 DLP front projector has its good points, but its overall performance pales when compared to that of the two LCD models in this test. And with a list price of $3,000 - the same as for a few current 1080p models - it simply can't compete price-wise. Planar recently acquired the video projector manufacturer Runco, a company known for its dedication to video quality and cutting-edge technical development. Lets hope that some of that Runco magic dust rubs off on Planar.

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