Hardware Spotlight -- Runco
One performance characteristic that both C-tailer and installer should be aware of is that the response time of the PFP controller, when changing aspect ratios or source inputs, can seem slow in comparison to the immediacy of more traditional A/V components. There is a second or so of lag before the PFP can select the appropriate image or scale it. The reason for this is the amount of processing that's going on to manipulate the signals and fill up a display the size of the PL-50HDX. While this may seem like niggling, it's worth being aware of, to allay any consumer confusion.
I used the PL-50HDX with a wide variety of source components and software. There was no discernible difference that I could see whether sources were run directly into the PFP, or routed first from either a Classe SSP-60 preamp/processor or a Pioneer Elite VSX-40txi receiver. In the end, I routed the pre/pro to the PFP unit, and ran my sources that way.
First thing you notice with the PL-50HDX is the astonishing depth and nuance of color representation. Even the most subtle program material, such as those from landscapes and skyscapes, were rendered in ways your local cineplex hasn't been able to match since the day it bought its projectors. My usual torture tests for this resolving ability are Warners' remastered DVD of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, and Terrence Malik's incomparable visual feast, Days of Heaven.
Kubrick went so far as to develop special-aperture lenses to capture the royal hues of the baroque era, shooting many scenes by actual candlelight. Having seen the remastered theatrical print at New York's Ziegfield Theater, which is arguably the best movie house in the country, I had a pretty good idea of what this film is supposed to look like. The PL-50HDX never even broke a sweat — in fact, it probably showed me more chroma richness than I remembered from the theatrical re-release.