Compare Projectors - JVC DLA-RS45 vs. Epson HC5010
A comparison of the JVC DLA-RS45 and Epson HC5010 projectors.
April 2012 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-RS45 vs. Epson HC5010
Of note: The JVC DLA-RS45 and the JVC DLA-X30 are the same basic projector.
Here we have two very different projectors. The physical and performance aspects - such as brightness make these two different enough that deciding between them, is almost formulaic - that is, "if you want this, buy that one..."
The JVC does have a slight black level advantage over the Epson. I'm huge on blacks, but as I like to say, once you get to a certain point, other factors start taking on more importance. I'd rather the JVC's blacks, but the trade-offs for that not too great a difference, isn't huge. (In the image below you can just make out that the background of the Epson (right) is a bit brighter (and slightly redish).
Above, in 3D, a good example of the huge difference in brightness (which carries true when using the 3D glasses.
A great image above from Casino Royale (in grayscale), please click on the larger version for closely comparing dark shadow detail, black levels, and sharpness, (and the overall "pop" of the image).
In the image below from Casino Royale, you can again note detail, color, sharpness, "film-like qualities". Please ignore any color aspects - as these were shot the evening the full production Epson arrived, and before it was calibrated.
Where are the big decision differences between the JVC DLA-RS45 and the Epson Home Cinema 5010? 2D vs. 3D, enough movie brightess, sufficient brightness for sports brightness, etc.
For example. Let's say movies are your thing! You barely care about using your projector for anything else. You'd like a really large screen with plenty of brightness in 2D. 3D is something for experimenting, but basically you are a "not really interested in 3D" type person. (Go see Hugo in IMAX 3D.) That sounds like a great match for the JVC RS45.
Above, from Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D, again, you can see a huge difference in brightness. The Epson also, through the glasses, offered a bit better color when comparing 3D.
On the other hand, if you really like your sports and other HDTV, and do some viewing in not fully darkened positions, and you don't need a huge screen for movies, the Epson is the ticket. It's got approaching twice the brightness for 3D, making 3D a no contest win for the Epson. It's mere 630 calibrated lumens in best mode, can't match the JVC's unusually bright 892 lumens, but is enough to fill a typical 120" diagonal screen, so not exactly underpowered, even calibrated.
For your upcoming Superbowl party, though, having roughly 1700 rather good looking (but not calibrated) lumens vs. the JVC's either slightly better 892 lumens, or significantly worse looking 1080 lumens, makes the Epson the hands down favorite for those of us who watch a lot of everything.
Shadow details are about a tie, with the Epson having the slightest lead (minor changes to custom gamma could easily reverse that, though, as can a change of 1 on brightness can improve black levels at the expense of better dark details.
I do like the lens memory feature of the JVC, which allows you to go with a 2.35:1 screen, again, that fits in with the JVC's strength being 2D movies, rather than the more flexible Epson Home Cinema 5010.
I'll give the JVC the slightly more film-like advantage (although Epsons have improved significantly at "film-like" over the last two years. The Epson, by comparision, generally tends to have a bit more "pop" to the image. The Epson calibrates better, thanks to a full CMS. The trade off - the slight edge in film-like for the JVC vs. the slightly more accurate skin tones, on the Epson.
Warranty - Epson's 2 years has a replacement program, JVC's 2 year warranty does not.
Lamp life: JVC RS45: 2000? (our guess) at full brightness) and 3000 hours in eco-mode (they call Normal), for the JVC, vs. Epson's 4000 hour (full power) 5000 hours in eco-mode, strongly favor the Epson in terms of cost of operation. A heavy user (like me - 40 hours a week), the Epson can save you about a couple hundred dollars a year.
Simply stated - both are excellent, the Epson, by far, the more versatile, lower cost, lower cost of operations. Can handle a much wider variety of rooms. The JVC is best at movies, and best in a well designed theater type room. 3D definitely a relative strength for the Epson.
In terms of the costs, you've got about an $800 difference to start with, with the JVC being about 30% more expensive out of the box, based on the Epson's MAP at $2699 and JVC price at $3499.