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Official Planar PD8150 Owners Thread

post #1 of 200
Thread Starter 
My understanding is there used to be a thread for this projector, but it was apparently lost. I recently purchased this projector, my first - so I am pretty much a novice with regard to front projectors. I am interested in hearing your impressions and comments.

For specifications, user manual, etc., here's a link to the manufacturer's web site:
http://www.planarhometheater.com/pd8150/
post #2 of 200
I recently saw this projector at a local ht store in my area. I found the picture incredibly detailed and sharp. The colors were also very pleasing to my eyes. The projector was demoing a concert when I got there, so I asked one of the sales people if they had anything else to show, mainly high def. The guy put in the Transformers on Blu ray. The opening sequence of space and the cube shots were amazing. I would say more 3D than I have seen on most other projectors I have seen. The blacks looked very deep, though maybe not quite as deep as the JVC RS2 that I have seen demoed, but very close. The picture was very clean, noise free, and the colors, again, they were very accurate. Of course I am sure they had the projector calibrated, but nonetheless I have heard that the colors are very good out of the box. There was also plenty of detail. I was very impressed by how well the Planar performed. I can't say how well it performs with standard def, but I believe most people are going to watch mostly high def on their projector anyway.

Hey mortisemaker can you post any pics of your setup and maybe some screen shots. I would love to see some more of this projector.
post #3 of 200
THIS thread would not linger that long. Who could owned this Planar when its priced to the stratosphere? Apart from that hindrance, this is on a restricted distribution. The same marketing & pricing scheme might have been imposed too over the $5,000+ Planar 7130 & 7150 when it was released. But look where it got them? Bargained at $600 on a warehouse-clearing online vendor. I wished with some spite that this Planar 8150 would get bargained too 18 to 24 months from now on Woot - for something around $1,995 or $2,500.
post #4 of 200
I have a Planar 8150 and demoed against a Pioneer Kuro PRO-FPJ1 (RS2 clone) during 2 weeks, and for me the picture of Planar is better.

Noise free, natural colors, sharper and brighter, very good contrast (not in the same level of the Pioneer, but the Planar have better black detail)

I only tweak a little the brightness and contrast controls of the Planar with DVE Essentials:

Brightness - 102
Contrast - 96
Sharpness - 40 (simple)
Brilliant Color - on (with some movies I turn off)
Dynamic Black - on
Adaptive Contrast - off

Please share your settings.

Thank you
post #5 of 200
Planar have issued the firmware upgrades for the PD 8130/8150 that Greg Rogers was talking about in his original review for correction of black level crush and white clip.
They have also an upgrade on the processing for 24p plus other improvements listed in their service notes on their website.

http://apps.planar.com/downloads/hometheater/

I'll install these updates but honestly I haven't seen anything wrong with any of the dvd or bluray disks I've viewed.

Maybe my AVIA and DVE setup disks test patterns and test clips will look better!
post #6 of 200
I installed the update and only see differences in test patterns (Blacker than Black strip is visible now).

But on the movies I dont see differences.
post #7 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts View Post

Hey mortisemaker can you post any pics of your setup and maybe some screen shots. I would love to see some more of this projector.

Screen shots from Planar 8150
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1041284
post #8 of 200
[quote=DiV_GAMER;15103014]I installed the update and only see differences in test patterns (Blacker than Black strip is visible now).

But on the movies I dont see differences.[/QUOTE

Here is a list of the improvements:

*Corrected the ability to adjust for crushing black and clipping whites for digital component
video signals.

*Corrected cadence reconstruction for 60Hz sources when the projector is set to 48Hz.

*Fixed aspect ratio issues during PIP functions.

*Corrected some RS232 command functions

*Improved ability to automatically detect appropriate color space.

*Numerous cosmetic improvements to the OSD.

*Numerous compatibility improvements for analog sources.

I'm glad to see that you were happy before the update also.
post #9 of 200
Hello Brian,

True, the Planar is a fantastic projector and I use 80% with BluRay 1080p/24 and with this source I dont see real differences with the update.

But with the update I can better set the brightness and contrast with DVE essentials because now I can see the BTB pluge. But the default settings of the Planar are spot on and I only have tu push a little the brightness (102) and down the contrast (96)...and I like better with BrilliantColor on...I know this can change a little the accuracy of colors, but I like the pop in picture with BC on.
post #10 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oggythemoggy View Post

Planar have issued the firmware upgrades for the PD 8130/8150 that Greg Rogers was talking about in his original review for correction of black level crush and white clip.
They have also an upgrade on the processing for 24p plus other improvements listed in their service notes on their website.

http://apps.planar.com/downloads/hometheater/

I'll install these updates but honestly I haven't seen anything wrong with any of the dvd or bluray disks I've viewed.

Maybe my AVIA and DVE setup disks test patterns and test clips will look better!


I'm not able to install the new firmware. Everytime I run the "Firmware Upgrade Tool.exe" I hear the windows ping but don't see the error message because it disappears too fast. What cable did you use? Have all pins to be connected or are pin2,3,5 enough? Would the upgrade tool normally start without the cable connected?

I've already tried to run in save mode. Other applications using mscomm32.ocx run fine.
post #11 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysee View Post

I'm not able to install the new firmware. Everytime I run the "Firmware Upgrade Tool.exe" I hear the windows ping but don't see the error message because it disappears too fast. What cable did you use? Have all pins to be connected or are pin2,3,5 enough? Would the upgrade tool normally start without the cable connected?

I've already tried to run in save mode. Other applications using mscomm32.ocx run fine.

I ran into this exact same issue and pulled my hair out for a while because, I was also using a usb-to-serial converter and was not sure if this was the reason. It turned out after an hour or more of trying everything from two different adapters and three different computers that the serial cable was too long(30ft)! I used it fine to update other components but it was definately the culprit here. So buying and switching to a shorter(10ft)serial cable still using adapter worked fine.

I can definately see the improvement in shadow detail with less black crush in the darker areas of most movies but it takes a while to realize the slight improvements with an already superb machine prior to update. As odd as it try a shorter serial cable if you are using a longer one as I was always getting the mscomm32.ocx file missing and it was not. By the way used Vista to do update if that matters.
post #12 of 200
Last night I played with different settings of my Planar and in the end I turned BrilliantColor off and enable the Normal Lamp mode.

This little change makes a much better picture than my previous settings.

Current settings (my screen is a 110" matt white 1.0 gain from Screen Research):

Brightness - 101
Contrast - 97
Sharpness (simple) - 40
Normal Lamp
post #13 of 200
I have matched PD-8150 with Panamorph lens + AKPro Kit and sled. Projecting on a 130" 2.40:1 Da-Lite tensioned cosmopolitan electoral from around 17ft back with a 1.3 gain. Equipment consists of Pioneer BDP-51fd, Onkyo Pro 885, MK S-150 speakers front and Polk LC80FX sides and rear. Picture, color, sound are fantastic.

Anamorphic works like a charm. Letterbox mode works great and can trigger the sled though I trigger it with MX-3000 remote. Blown away a lot of family and friends with the picture. It certainly got the holy sh!t factor going on... Apologies if I offend anyone.

I followed a review for setting up a sports view when the room has a bit more ambient light. We were able to have a fire in the fire place without noticing any washout on the screen. Had a smaller fire during a viewing of transformers and only a slight amount of light from the fire showed on the screen and that was in low lamp mode.

I've heard mentioned in other threads it won't support large screens, but it's entirely not true. Awesome projector and couldn't be happier. I finally have a real home theater and couldn't be happier. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't change anything.... Well that's not entire true. I would have ordered the in-ceiling screen instead of the kit. However I wasn't originally going to sink the screen in the ceiling. Slick.... though.

Will finally have our Grafikeye connected this week to the remote for automatic lights when stop, pausing and playing movies.
post #14 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

I have matched PD-8150 with Panamorph lens + AKPro Kit and sled. Projecting on a 130" 2.40:1 Da-Lite tensioned cosmopolitan electoral from around 17ft back with a 1.3 gain. Equipment consists of Pioneer BDP-51fd, Onkyo Pro 885, MK S-150 speakers front and Polk LC80FX sides and rear. Picture, color, sound are fantastic.

Anamorphic works like a charm. Letterbox mode works great and can trigger the sled though I trigger it with MX-3000 remote. Blown away a lot of family and friends with the picture. It certainly got the holy sh!t factor going on... Apologies if I offend anyone.

I followed a review for setting up a sports view when the room has a bit more ambient light. We were able to have a fire in the fire place without noticing any washout on the screen. Had a smaller fire during a viewing of transformers and only a slight amount of light from the fire showed on the screen and that was in low lamp mode.

I've heard mentioned in other threads it won't support large screens, but it's entirely not true. Awesome projector and couldn't be happier. I finally have a real home theater and couldn't be happier. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't change anything.... Well that's not entire true. I would have ordered the in-ceiling screen instead of the kit. However I wasn't originally going to sink the screen in the ceiling. Slick.... though.

Will finally have our Grafikeye connected this week to the remote for automatic lights when stop, pausing and playing movies.


Glad you like it. I have a kit available now for the PD8130/8150 and Viper that includes the Panamorph lens, sled and a Chief ceiling mount. You can trigger the sled via one of the programable 12V triggers on the back of the projector.
post #15 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carskadon View Post

Glad you like it. I have a kit available now for the PD8130/8150 and Viper that includes the Panamorph lens, sled and a Chief ceiling mount. You can trigger the sled via one of the programable 12V triggers on the back of the projector.

Yes, I realize it has the 12v trigger. Just preferred the serial ir hookup.
post #16 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carskadon View Post

Glad you like it. I have a kit available now for the PD8130/8150 and Viper that includes the Panamorph lens, sled and a Chief ceiling mount. You can trigger the sled via one of the programable 12V triggers on the back of the projector.

Where can this kit be purchased? Price? Does the Paramorph sled assembly attach to the Chief mount, or does it need to be attached separately to the ceiling?
post #17 of 200
Does anyone know if any stores in Northern Cali have the Planar on display? I prefer the te DLP image and this might a good pj for me!

thanks
post #18 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

Where can this kit be purchased? Price? Does the Paramorph sled assembly attach to the Chief mount, or does it need to be attached separately to the ceiling?

The planar only works with the AK6Pro plate which attaches to the projector and the ceiling mount on top of the plate. Depending on the strength and durability of the mount you may or may not need to use some chains as added support for the panamorph kit. The lens is very heavy.

as a side note: I went away for a vacation and my sister used our system while I was gone with 25 of her friends. Apparently they set it up in letterbox mode to watch the rose bowl. Everyone love it. I think it's kinda funny that they used letterbox mode. They wanted to fill the 2.40:1 screen.
post #19 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRich View Post

Does anyone know if any stores in Northern Cali have the Planar on display? I prefer the te DLP image and this might a good pj for me!

thanks

Mike,

I live in the bay area and couldn't find anyone with the projector. I purchased form AVScience. If I had to do it again, I'd buy the same projector through avscience. I couldn't be happier with the projector. It comes in the box almost perfectly calibrated. The picture is fantastic and bright. I have it mated with a Pioneer 51fd blue ray player and Onkyo 885.

If anyone is interested, I do have some discrete codes for the projector.
post #20 of 200
I am installing an 8150 in our living room (ceiling) and my wife does not want a large black orb hovering at the ceiling. Has anyone painted the projector case and mounting bracket white to blend with the ceiling? Would this affect the warranty?

Brian,
How much is the anamorphic package and who makes the lens?

Ray
post #21 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Collins View Post

I am installing an 8150 in our living room (ceiling) and my wife does not want a large black orb hovering at the ceiling. Has anyone painted the projector case and mounting bracket white to blend with the ceiling? Would this affect the warranty?

Brian,
How much is the anamorphic package and who makes the lens?

Ray

Ouch!!!

It has a beautiful case so it would be a shame to paint it. If there is space above, install a hydraulic lift and put in a white ceiling plate. You could do the same with the screen and it would be pretty slick.
post #22 of 200
I know, I know. The problem is the ceiling/second floor is on trusses...and you guessed it--they run in the wrong direction. The trusses are 90* in the wrong direction to be able to have a retractable screen and projector.
post #23 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Collins View Post

I know, I know. The problem is the ceiling/second floor is on trusses...and you guessed it--they run in the wrong direction. The trusses are 90* in the wrong direction to be able to have a retractable screen and projector.

I got lucky on that end and sunk the screen in the ceiling, but the projector couldn't go in. But our room is all mahogany wood with dark ascents, so the projector doesn't standout at all. It is a beauty.

Just convince the wife on how beautiful it is and that it's a talking piece like a fine vase.
post #24 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Collins View Post

How much is the anamorphic package and who makes the lens?

If it's the Panamorph, the package is going to run a whopping $6,685+shipping. http://www.panamorph.com/ModelUH480.html

I think I'll pass for now, unless somebody can offer me a crazy deal on the package
post #25 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

If it's the Panamorph, the package is going to run a whopping $6,685+shipping. http://www.panamorph.com/ModelUH480.html

I think I'll pass for now

You can pay less if you buy from a dealer. I bought it... Love it. Plus, once you have it, you can use it with future projectors, so think of it as a long term investment.

You could also just buy the lens with a fixed mount. The Planar has a letterbox mode and a 3:4 narrow mode. The scaler in the Planar is top notch.
post #26 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

You can pay less if you buy from a dealer. I bought it... Love it. Plus, once you have it, you can use it with future projectors, so think of it as a long term investment..

That makes sense! However, I probably should invest in a Cinemascope screen before paying that much for a lense assembly. (I currently have a 16:9 120" Stewart).

I've also followed the development of the Panamorph from its original version.. was that 8 years ago? A *lot* has happened since the first incarnations. I'm assuming development is still ongoing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

The Planar has a letterbox mode and a 3:4 narrow mode. The scaler in the Planar is top notch.


Yes, I know. I'm the guy who purchased Jason Turk's review unit last summer Still haven't got around to ceiling mount it. (I just finished cleaning up the remains of my JVC G15 hushbox installation).
post #27 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Collins View Post

I am installing an 8150 in our living room (ceiling) and my wife does not want a large black orb hovering at the ceiling. Has anyone painted the projector case and mounting bracket white to blend with the ceiling?

You could also build a wooden box to house the projector with some vent slots. Paint it white and if you have crown molding in the room you could match it.
post #28 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

Yes, I know. I'm the guy who purchased Jason Turk's review unit last summer Still haven't got around to ceiling mount it. (I just finished cleaning up the remains of my JVC G15 hushbox installation).

Ha! That's quite a bit of time to wait my friend. I too purchased from Jason. He was very helpful with helping me pick a screen. Stewart makes nice screens, but they require an arm and a leg at purchase time.
post #29 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

You could also build a wooden box to house the projector with some vent slots. Paint it white and if you have crown molding in the room you could match it.

Or buy a custom made white (or mirrored!) plexiglass box with edmund optical glass from Dave at http://www.whisperflow.com
post #30 of 200
Thanks Peter; the whisperflow hush box might work. There is a problem--their number has been disconnected...

Ray
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