Runco LS-3 vs. modern projectors - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 06-21-2014, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Runco LS-3 vs. modern projectors

I found a store demo Runco LS-3 selling for $1500 at a local retailer. I'm new to the projector world so I'm still learning about projectors. However, doing a little homework, it appears the LS-3 was introduced in 2009. Prior to seeing this deal on the Runco, I was looking at the various offerings from JVC, Sony, & Epson in the $3500-$5000 price range. Since I'm new to the projector world, I don't have a sense of how much projectors have changed since 2009. So here's my question:

Does any one know how the Runco LS-3 compares to today's $4500-$5000 projectors?

I appreciate any and all opinions.
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post #2 of 32 Old 06-21-2014, 03:33 PM
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Check these threads out:

Runco LS-3. Dated?

Runco LS-3 or JVC DLA-X35

I would say the LS-3 is the best DLP projector in your price range when it comes to pure picture quality. It offers an amazingly sharp, color accurate, contrast rich image with an excellent dynamic iris. Other contenders would be a JVC DLA-X500 or Sony VPL-HW55ES. All three have unique aspects to them and no projector is the clear cut winner. From personal experience I'd pass on the Sony and look at either the JVC or the Runco. The X500 is probably the better value as it gives you 3D capabilities, higher lumen output, higher on/off contrast, and some extra software features like e-shift, creative frame interpolation, and Clear Black. The Runco will offer a more natural looking image that's more optically sharp, offer higher ANSI contrast (a little more "pop" in brighter scenes), and offers better motion handling/motion resolution. Either is a great choice.
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post #3 of 32 Old 06-21-2014, 07:47 PM
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post #4 of 32 Old 06-21-2014, 09:23 PM
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from what I could tell, there hasn't been a ton of recent development in the single chip DLP market (under 3k anyway), other than some companies using LED/Laser light sources. so I'm not surprised a 2009 DLP is still relevant today.


but I'd double check on the bulb hours, and since it's a demo unit, demo it, haha. there are still some cons to DLP, and just because it's still a top quality DLP in that price range doesn't automatically mean it's a good projector for you.


I feel like for 1500bux, you'll be hard pressed to do better. but if you can afford the sony or jvc projectors, they offer a lot more for the money you're spending.


i just can't stop saying how happy i am with my jvc. honestly, there's only two things I'd like to change about it. even deeper blacks(cause it's never enough until i can't tell if it's on or not), and better motion resolution. seems like the runco would make blacks worse, but motion better. but even the things like sharpness, ansi contrast, that should be better with the runco, are so good already on the jvc, I'm not sure I'd even care about them getting better(ignorance is bliss?).
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post #5 of 32 Old 06-23-2014, 07:00 PM
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It sounds as if you don't mind buying used. If so, try finding a Sharp XV-Z30000 3D DLP. They come up from time to time for about $2K (or less). Then you will have a more modern PJ with DLP native sharpness and better blacks. As a bonus it delivers superb (state of the art) 3D.
Original MSRP was about $5K. There is a dedicated thread in the >$3K Forum.
BTW, you can not go wrong with any of the choices...
Good Luck.
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post #6 of 32 Old 06-24-2014, 11:52 PM
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While Sharp is a great machine, esp. for 3D, I wouldn't put Sharp in the same class as Runco. I've owned Sharp and now I own Planar PD8150 (Runco LS-5). Runco shows a much more refined picture - more accurate and well-saturated colors, more pixel definition (sharpness), less dithering noise, better motion handling. Also Sharp is uncomfortable for use with HTPC or gaming due to high input lag (>70 ms). Runco has close to zero.
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post #7 of 32 Old 06-25-2014, 01:02 AM
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I have to agree with Elix, the LS-3 is a much better projector IMO and if someone has the budget for it I wouldn't compromise and get the XV-Z30000. The Sharp is, by far, the best .65" DLP projector that I've seen though. The Runco is just in another class.
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post #8 of 32 Old 06-25-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elix View Post
While Sharp is a great machine, esp. for 3D, I wouldn't put Sharp in the same class as Runco. I've owned Sharp and now I own Planar PD8150 (Runco LS-5). Runco shows a much more refined picture - more accurate and well-saturated colors, more pixel definition (sharpness), less dithering noise, better motion handling. Also Sharp is uncomfortable for use with HTPC or gaming due to high input lag (>70 ms). Runco has close to zero.
If you're gaming, then the Sharp (lag) is probably not the best choice. However for 3D or HD sports video, the Sharp is Sharp.
As a matter of opinion, coming from a razor sharp Benq DLP, the Sharp Z30K picture initially disappointed me. However, the addition of the Darbee pushed it over the top.
The powered lens controls on the Sharp were a huge bonus as well.
Again, you can't go wrong with any of the choices for $2K. I remember whenit took at least $4K to play in this sandbox...
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post #9 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 06:28 AM
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I think the Sharp is a toy compared to the Runco. Replacement bulbs for the Runco are fairly cheap too if I remember correctly. The is thread is illustrative of many threads. The OP is asking a question, should I buy the Planar v some new model in a certain price range. he is not asking about whether he should buy some other used piece.


There is really no new DLP machine today in the say $4K class that is significantly better than the Planar. There are of course used DLPs that could be purchased used that would better but the OP didn't ask hat. Things such as the LS5 or the Samsung 900B. These 2 machines are very similar and do better than LS 3 in several ways. But they aren't available new and if they were, they would be well above $4K


The real deciding factor here is whether a current generation reflective liquid crystal machine using SXRD (Sony) or DILA (JVC) would be better.


First they are the inherent differences which means strengths ad weakness between DLP and liquid crystal technologies. Second the newer reflective liquid crystal machines. this technology has had more refinements in their implementation. Better this and better that. Easier to do this harder to do that. But these annual or biannual improvements are relatively minor.


If you favor DLP over reflective liquid crystal, the LS 3 for $1500 seems like a great deal and should do you well. It certainly is not an obsolete machine.

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post #10 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 09:55 AM
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Just trying to help...
There is no Best PJ. It all depends on the content you want to see as well as your particular set up.

Data point:
Forum member Zombie10K has "seen them all" (and has several of them) including the top of the line JVCs and the new Sony 4K machines.
What does he use as his "day to day" projector?

Sharp XV-Z30000

To each his own

Peace
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post #11 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 12:59 PM
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But he likes his PD8130 (LS-3) more. Hes said several times it's 2D picture is better and in my opinion, as I've owned both as well, it's in another class overall.

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post #12 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
But he likes his PD8130 (LS-3) more. Yes said several times it's 2D picture is better and in my opinion, as I've owned both as well, it's in another class overall.
+1
If I hadn't spent a lot of money on a Metal Detector and associate accessories in the past year, I would be bidding on the LS5 that is on ebay now, just to have it along with the Planar PD8150!

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post #13 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 02:07 PM
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the 1 post OP has likely left the building... if he's reading, go for it for $1500 as long as it has reasonable hours and the color wheel isn't making noises.

that LS5 looks boring compared to the Planars, they should have left it glossy. the flat finish makes it look a bit cheap imo. I'm curious to see what it sells for, my super low hour custom DC4 should be worth a good bit more.

ps. funny comment on the 30K as a 'toy' - an under 2K projector that can rival / exceed our 25K MSRP VW1100 in 3D is no toy.

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post #14 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 02:14 PM
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The reserve is much higher than people think. The seller won't let this go for anything less than $3500. I know because I put in an offer before he switched the listing over to an auction.
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post #15 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 02:32 PM
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wow, good luck with that... there is no mention of a warranty and we all know those brand new OEM lamps are dirt cheap.

I could see maybe $2500 tops..

Custom DC4 Planar w/ snazzy gloss finish, $5000 BIN...
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post #16 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 02:34 PM
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He may lower the reserve in a future listing once he realizes people aren't going to pay that much for a used projector.
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post #17 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbland View Post
Just trying to help...
There is no Best PJ. It all depends on the content you want to see as well as your particular set up.

Data point:
Forum member Zombie10K has "seen them all" (and has several of them) including the top of the line JVCs and the new Sony 4K machines.
What does he use as his "day to day" projector?

Sharp XV-Z30000

To each his own

Peace
The question is not what he uses for day to day. That is more what he considers his junk viewing. The question is what does he use for his critical viewing for 2D, 3D, sports and gaming?

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post #18 of 32 Old 06-26-2014, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post
The question is not what he uses for day to day. That is more what he considers his junk viewing. The question is what does he use for his critical viewing for 2D, 3D, sports and gaming?
All of us can't have multiple PJs for different-2D, 3D or "junk" viewing.

As the man himself said "funny comment on the 30K as a 'toy' - an under 2K projector that can rival / exceed our 25K MSRP VW1100 in 3D is no toy. "

For under $2K with DLP sharpness, good blacks, great 3D, a 3 year warranty, nearly "instant" on, powered lens controls, low operating costs...hard to beat.
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This isn't an "under $2000" projector. It's only under $2000 on the used market. This was a $5000 MSRP projector that didn't do very well and then was sold off dirt cheap to get rid of inventory. For that MSRP you should expect good performance. It's just that for a little more money the Runco puts out a picture in another class.
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the 30k was a great fire sale bargain, $1799 brand new. great 3D, very good 2D, color gamut needs some help but it's fine for most viewing. i use it most of the time because of the fast boot / shut down time. it also jumps quickly between refresh rates. inexpensive lamps and runs cool. They had the MSRP too high for the time it was released and it only had a handful of reviews.

I love the 3D on this model and the glasses are my favorites so far after countless models. it's not perfect but glad to have one the better .65 DLP's out there that has a decent iris + HP friendly lens shift.

there's no doubt the Planar has a more refined 2D image. Color performance is excellent out of the box. Overall PQ is just great. I even got a click or 2 benefit on the black floor with the DC4 swap.

this is my current rig, the JVC's are sleeping for a bit at least until the newly released Peter Gabriel BD concert arrives.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post
the 30k was a great fire sale bargain, $1799 brand new. great 3D, very good 2D, color gamut needs some help but it's fine for most viewing. i use it most of the time because of the fast boot / shut down time. it also jumps quickly between refresh rates. inexpensive lamps and runs cool. They had the MSRP too high for the time it was released and it only had a handful of reviews.

I love the 3D on this model and the glasses are my favorites so far after countless models. it's not perfect but glad to have one the better .65 DLP's out there that has a decent iris + HP friendly lens shift.

there's no doubt the Planar has a more refined 2D image. Color performance is excellent out of the box. Overall PQ is just great. I even got a click or 2 benefit on the black floor with the DC4 swap.

this is my current rig, the JVC's are sleeping for a bit at least until the newly released Peter Gabriel BD concert arrives.


PJ envy!!!
With our cathedral ceiling mount, multiple PJs are a pipe (long pipe) dream
Anybody following this might be asking what's the big deal on the Sharp? FWIW, I think it "needs" a HP screen and a Darbee to look great. Some people (like me) are not really image "purists", or we would not use high gain screens and image processing. With the aforementioned combination the Z30K looks like our Panasonic P65VT50 plasma (a good thing).
With a unity gain screen and no processing, I'm sure the 2D picture of the Runco is in another class.
I'm a DLP fan, I wish that TI would get it together and go 4K!
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post #22 of 32 Old 06-27-2014, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbland View Post
PJ envy!!!
With our cathedral ceiling mount, multiple PJs are a pipe (long pipe) dream
Anybody following this might be asking what's the big deal on the Sharp? FWIW, I think it "needs" a HP screen and a Darbee to look great. Some people (like me) are not really image "purists", or we would not use high gain screens and image processing. With the aforementioned combination the Z30K looks like our Panasonic P65VT50 plasma (a good thing).
With a unity gain screen and no processing, I'm sure the 2D picture of the Runco is in another class.
I'm a DLP fan, I wish that TI would get it together and go 4K!
Your wish is coming, but it is going to be at a real premium.

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Originally Posted by livenupe View Post
I found a store demo Runco LS-3 selling for $1500 at a local retailer. I'm new to the projector world so I'm still learning about projectors. However, doing a little homework, it appears the LS-3 was introduced in 2009. Prior to seeing this deal on the Runco, I was looking at the various offerings from JVC, Sony, & Epson in the $3500-$5000 price range. Since I'm new to the projector world, I don't have a sense of how much projectors have changed since 2009. So here's my question:

Does any one know how the Runco LS-3 compares to today's $4500-$5000 projectors?

I appreciate any and all opinions.
I own a Runco LS-1 projecting on a 100" Stewart Firehawk G3 screen. This is my first projector and I have been surprised at just how good the picture is. Coming from the 60" Pioneer Kuro all I can say that I am missing is the black levels at which the Runco/DLP's are weak at. I do a lot of gaming, movie and sports watching and it works great for all (seems to be minimal to no lag). The only downfall I can attribute to the Runco LS series is that they run a little loud.

If you can pick up an LS-3 for $1500 I would tell you to jump all over that. For that price point you will be hard pressed to find anything better in my opinion.
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Your wish is coming, but it is going to be at a real premium.
Mike,
What have you heard?
Is TI going to join the 4K market? If so, will Benq (and others) make 4K projectors?
With Sony's current pricing, it's hard to believe that more competition won't help drive down consumer costs...eventually.
Inquiring minds want to know
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There will be consumer class 3 chip 4k DLP projectors introduced shortly. The chip costs to the manufacturers alone will exceed the total parts costs in 97 percent of the machines discussed in this forum. These machines should be discussed in the $20K and above forum. And their street prices will be way above $20K. Who will introduce them? My guess DP, Sim2, Runco and a few of the more boutique manufacturers. Street prices will exceed $60K.

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Mark, they don't care. They want the three chip premium laser, 1000000:1 native contrast, 3000 lumen, 8K projector and it needs to cost $1500. Oh and throw in perfect build quality with day 1 perfect software and a 5 year transferable warranty. They also expect a 4K JVC to be released in the same price bracket the 1080p ones are selling at now. But you and I both know that isn't going to happen.

Oh and to stay a little more on topic, just like 4K blu-ray, TI needs to give us more than just resolution if they want their products to sell. They need to get more contrast from their technology if it wants to stay as a viable and competitive home theater micro-display projection device.
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post #27 of 32 Old 06-28-2014, 09:16 PM
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TI makes the chips. They don't make projectors. They pretty much design the diver boards though. The chips will work regardless of the color space, color gamut, subsampling rate, bit length etc. This has nothing, of course, to do with the chips. Bit length has everything to do with the drivers. Color gamut depends on the light sources. But the trick is the coding of the sources and TI is really not a player here.

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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
Mark, they don't care. They want the three chip premium laser, 1000000:1 native contrast, 3000 lumen, 8K projector and it needs to cost $1500. Oh and throw in perfect build quality with day 1 perfect software and a 5 year transferable warranty.
I'm just happy there's movement on the DLP front, even if it will be a couple years before it migrates into the realm of being affordable for "mere mortals". Then again most of my friends would probably think I'm crazy for putting what I have into my HT.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #29 of 32 Old 06-29-2014, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbland View Post
Mike,
What have you heard?
Is TI going to join the 4K market? If so, will Benq (and others) make 4K projectors?
With Sony's current pricing, it's hard to believe that more competition won't help drive down consumer costs...eventually.
Inquiring minds want to know
See posts right above.

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post #30 of 32 Old 06-29-2014, 12:27 PM
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I'm just happy there's movement on the DLP front, even if it will be a couple years before it migrates into the realm of being affordable for "mere mortals". Then again most of my friends would probably think I'm crazy for putting what I have into my HT.
+1
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