For DLP the LS-3 and LS-5 are about as good as it gets in the under $10000 market. They have excellent optics for the price. They also use the older, larger, DLP DMDs (.95"), versus the smaller (.65") DLP DMD which almost every other under $10000 DLP machine uses these days. The older chip allows for better native contrast and because of it's size you typically get a sharper looking image compared to the smaller DMD. The smaller chip necessitates a better lens to get the same level of sharpness. Unfortunately those lenses cost a lot of money and in the under $10000 range of projectors there usually isn't enough money in the targeted production cost for such a lens. Therefore the lens quality typically suffers. These two Runco models also offer one of the BEST dynamic iris implementations on the market at any price point. They work essentially in an undetectable fashion. Many DLP units suffer from poor DI implementations and their irises are essentially unusable with real content such as movies because they are obvious and very noticeably when working (brightness pumping and many are late in to kick which only adds to their noticeability). Basically these bad DI's are a distraction, but with the DI on Runco it goes undetected and becomes a virtual transparency to aid the image with better contrast and black levels. The image processing is also excellent. It uses a tweaked version of the infamous Gennum GF9450. Overall it is an awesome package and that's why this projector is still on the market and selling the way it does.
So excellent, in fact, that many of the current LED projectors use the same internal design and processing (with the exception of the lamp and color wheel of course). Such projectors include the Runco Q750i and the Vivitek H9080FD. These are essentially the same unit with each manufacturer tweaking the software.
Edited by Seegs108 - 2/2/13 at 5:42pm