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Planar PR5020 Projector Planar PR5020
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2200:1 Contrast Ratio
3000 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Planar PR5020
Multimedia Presentation Projector

Bill Livolsi, August 8, 2007


Planar PR5020 Remote
Rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens maximum, the Planar PR5020 is capable of impressive real-world numbers. The projector has three lamp modes: Eco, Normal, and Boost. Boost is the brightest mode, Normal drops lumen output by 15%, and Eco drops output another 10%.

Our test sample produced a maximum of 2693 ANSI lumens in Boost mode, with white peaking at its maximum setting and using the "PC" gamma mode. Bringing white peaking down to 50% netted a reading of 1713 ANSI lumens, or a drop of 36%. For small rooms, this can be useful to avoid giving your audience headaches. The minimum lumen output from our test sample was obtained in Eco lamp mode, with white peaking at zero - with these settings, the PR5020 produced 622 ANSI lumens, which is reasonable for small screen sizes with no ambient light in the room.

Brightness uniformity measured roughly 70%. It was clear that the top left corner of the projected image was significantly dimmer than the center. This uneven illumination should not negatively impact performance in most situations, though it could occasionally prove distracting.

The projector displays native-resolution XGA content with no loss in detail or sharpness due to scaling or processing. Our test unit showed some imperfections in edge-to-edge sharpness - specifically, the top of the image was slightly soft when the bottom was in perfect focus, and vice-versa - but was otherwise impeccable.

The PR5020 is capable of good, solid blacks. Shadow detail in photographs and video is displayed accurately. Of course, ambient light can cripple a projector's contrast, so if the PR5020 is to be used for photographic display, it is best done in a darkened room and on a low lamp setting.

The PR5020 has excellent color. Combined with the projector's solid black level and contrast, it is suitable for photography use. Thanks in part to the seven-point color adjustment system, any imperfections can be tuned back to standard. The result is a beautiful picture, with richly saturated color.

SVGA computer signals looked a touch soft on the PR5020, due to the difficulty of stretching out an 800x600 signal to fit a 1024x768 frame. The projector performed much better when scaling larger data signals to fit, such as SXGA+. When using the PR5020 with any documents containing small text or intricate graphics, the best results will be obtained by using XGA or higher resolutions.

When using 1280x720p high-definition material via DVI-D or component video, the projector did a fine job of maintaining sharpness and detail in the source material. For content such as video games or Sunday football, the PR5020 could serve a secondary role as an occasional video projector.


The Planar PR5020 is an excellent option for many. Its Kensington lock and monitor passthrough make it a great choice for large classrooms. Its high brightness and low cost of operation make it suitable for mobile presentation use in large conference rooms. And its easy lamp replacement and lack of an air filter make it a great choice for ceiling mounting in a lecture hall. Placement flexibility is limited, but if you can work the projector into your installation, the PR5020 is a great value for the money.

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Review Contents: Specifications Overview Performance and Conclusion