Compare Projectors - JVC DLA-RS45 vs. Sony VPL-HW30ES
A comparison of the JVC DLA-RS45 and Sony VPL-HW30ES projectors.
April 2012 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-RS45 vs. Sony VPL-HW30ES
First things first: To clarify, the JVC DLA-RS45 is essentially identical to the DLA-X30. They are just sold by two different JVC divisions, though they are sold for the same price and have the same warranty.
Although neither of these two projectors won one of our Best In Class, or Best In Class Runner-up awards in this report, both happen to be rather excellent projectors. It's just that, this year, a tremendous amount of talent is compressed into the $2000 - $3500 price Class. For those of you not really worrying about 3D (a mistake for many) performance, either of these two make an excellent choice as a 2D only projector. In both cases, it's the limited brightness, that puts them at a real, 3D disadvantage against some other competitors.
Thanks to both using LCoS technology, pixel structures are invisible at normal seating distances, which often has people referring to LCoS projectors as looking smoother than the other technologies.
But, this is really about the differences between these two, not a general conversation. Here goes:
This one is relatively easy. First, both are LCoS projectors, and both have fairly similar feature sets, with 3D capable, and offering CFI for smooth motion.
The Sony VPL-HW30ES gives you more control. There's a full color management system for calibrating it, a sophisticated pixel alignment solution and other such details.
When it comes to the picture, in 2D, the JVC's deeper blacks give it a distinct advantage on dark movie scenes in 2D. On the other hand, for 3D, the advantage definitely goes to the Sony with cleaner looking 3D, and slightly brighter to boot. The brightness is very important, since neither is especially bright compared to several other new 3D capable projectors which are as much as twice as bright. As an existing JVC owner, I tend to still have a bias for the JVC, but understand why many folks prefer the Sony. Tough call. Those who's real love is watching 2D movies will likely also favor the JVC. Those watching a wider variety of 2D and 3D, though may well find the Sony to be the better fit.
Below, images from the JVC DLA-RS45 projector (always first) and then the Sony VPL-HW30ES projector (always second):
The JVC has more placement flexibility, thanks to their 2:1 zoom, vs. the Sony's 1.6:1. That lets the JVC have enough range, for example, to rear shelf mount. Fully zoomed out though, means you are giving up additional brightness, which will tend to make 3D, or even large screen 2D doing sports with lights on, even more of a challenge.
Both are relatively elegant projectors - both physically, and also in terms of performance. As such, regardless of the details and differences, both are the type of projector that once you get one home, you're probably going to be very happy, and not worry about what you didn't buy!