Test Bench: Shootout — Three Budget Projectors Page 3

Planar PD7060

Color temperature (User Mode, 7500K Color Temperature before/User Mode, Custom Color Temperature after calibration): 20 IRE: 6,659 / 6,796 K 30 IRE: 6,478 / 6,446 K 40 IRE: 6,380 / 6,625 K 50 IRE: 6,093 / 6,515 K 60 IRE: 6,111 / 6,683 K 70 IRE: 5,941 / 6,435 K 80 IRE: 6,022 / 6,460 K 90 IRE: 6,143 / 6,589 K 100 IRE: 6,094 / 6,602 K

Brightness (Eco Lamp mode, 100-IRE window before/after calibration): 14.7 / 16.0 ftL

Primary Color Point Accuracy vs. SMPTE HD Standard

Color Target X Measured X Target Y Measured Y
Red 0.64 0.70 0.33 0.33
Green 0.30 0.34 0.60 0.58
Blue 0.15 0.14 0.06 0.04

With the Planar's 7500K Color Temperature preset (the most accurate preset choice) selected, its grayscale tracked within ±559 degrees kelvin of the 6,500-K standard from 20 to 100 IRE - a below-average performance level. Adjustments to the red, green, and blue Gain and Offset settings in the projector's User color-temperature menu removed the reddish grayscale tint, resulting in an improved ±296-K grayscale tracking from 20 to 100 IRE. Color decoder tests showed +5% blue error via the HDMI input and -5% green error via component-video. The projector's red and green primary color points, meanwhile, both displayed a degree of oversaturation relative to the SMPTE HD specification.

Overscan - the amount of picture area cut off at the edges of the display area - measured 0% for 720p signals with the Overscan option set to Off and 8% with the Zoom option switched on. The PD7060 displayed 720p test patterns with full resolution via its HDMI and component-video inputs. Screen uniformity was excellent. The Planar failed the video- and film-mode deinterlacing tests on a high-def Silicon Optix HQV test disc, indicating problems with downconversion of 1080i-format signals to the projector's native 720p resolution. I also experienced frequent incidences of lost HDMI handshake - an HDMI-related issue where the picture drops out and electronic "snow" fills the screen.

The projector's post-calibration brightness was very good for dark-room viewing on an 87-inch wide, 100-inch diagonal screen. Turning on the projector's Normal and Boost lamp modes yielded even better brightness but also increased fan noise considerably. The Planar's full-on/full-off contrast ratio measured 800:1 - underwhelming performance given the projector's comparatively high price.

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