Originally Posted by Bob Sorel
You have a defective unit. Either exchange it if it is new or send it in if it is older but still under warranty. When the DI is working as it should it is undetectable except when switching between certain test patterns (like going from a BTB to WTW pattern).
Bob I purchased the Planar while I was remodeling the theater. The remodel was completely done just a few days before our usual guests were to arrive to spend the weekend with us. I fired up the projector and started watching a movie with my wife, I would notice that in some scenes the image would get dimmer then brighten again, sometimes even having a slight flicker to it, the flicker I attributed to the bulb breaking in. When I would turn off the DI this anamoly would stop. My previous projector was a Marantz 11S2 with the standard lens however since I moved the projector further back and was projecting from the other side of the wall in the theater the standard lens would no longer be sufficient to fill my 10' 2:35 screen while projecting through the Isco III so I decided to give the Planar 8150 a try and I did receive the new version which I confirmed with Planar. As well as noticing the distracting the DI I also noticed that the picture was not as sharp as the Marantz.
Back to my story....... sometimes we don't want to face the awful truth that we might be experiencing is buyers remorse so I tried to put it out of my mind and thought that maybe the projector was still breaking in, after all this was the Planar 8150, NO WAY could this be happening especially after hearing so many great reviews. Well my guests arrived on a Friday and we did our usual thing eating our dinner over good conversation. They did not know that we had remodeled the theater, I said nothing to them about any of it including the fact that I had changed the projector, as far as the husband who is also a home theater enthusiast is concerned I was still using the Marantz.
After seeing the projector they complimented us on a job well done and he especially liked the idea that the projector was now projecting from the other side of the room thus removing the heat from the room, he still could not tell the Marantz had been replaced by the Planar. We sat down and watched a movie, during the movie I could visually see the DI making certain scenes lighter and darker and I was pretty sure it was so apparent that there was no way he wasn't seeing the same thing.
The next morning at breakfast the husband asked what was wrong with the Marantz, I told him because of the new design change and the added cost of a new 11S2 with long throw lens I decided to go with the cheaper option which was the Planar. He said he noticed the DI iris working and that the 11s2 was much sharper and had better ansi contrast.
I called Planar and told them told them my experience and that I must have a bad unit, they said that they doubted I had a bad unit I insisted on talking to another tech and after convincing them that I am no novice a replacment unit was sent out. Well unfortunately I had the same experience and was quite dissapointed, the only way I could get the 8150 to be watchable was to turn off the DI which defeats the whole purpose of having a DI. After talking to others in the industry and other AVS members it seems that one needs to accept the fact that to one degree or another this is the nature of the beast with DI projectors.
The 8150 with the exception of sharpness and DI was a great machine, colors were exceptional, tracking close to D65 right out of the box and the brightness was very nice, easily lighting up my 10' Carada Brilliant white screen, also nice longer throw lens which worked great for me.
In the end I sold Planar 8150 and was fortunate enough to buy a demo Marantz VP15S1 with 140 hrs for $4200 shipped from an authorized dealer, WOW!!! I forgot how sharp the Marantz lenses are and with the long throw lens helping to give the Marantz close to 1000:1 ansi life is good again, the on/off might not be as good as the 8150 with DI but it was too distracting using the DI so I didn't use it anyway.
Sorry for the taking the long way around but I gave two 8150 units a chance and came away pretty dissapointed, I even took my anthem D2 and Lumagen xe out of the chain with no better results.