OK I”m back a week now from the NAB show in Las Vegas, where I did get some face time with JVC. I’d love to say that I got all the answers, but at least I learned some things. though nothing shocking or surprising. At least you get to hear some of JVC’s “side” of the story.
First, let’s start with the brightness ratings of the projectors… compared to last year’s and older.
JVC did reiterate what we all pretty much knew. This year they decided to rate their projectors the way the bulk of the industry does, which is to measure how bright the projector is capable of, instead of how bright it is at an ideal D65. Of course, very few projectors under $10,000 were doing it JVC’s way – of D65 measurements.
JVC believes that, despite record sales and backorders on their home theater projectors, that the low claimed numbers were hurting them business wise. That is certainly understandable, as we all would likely agree. I was a dealer long enough to know that one would have to explain to all but the enthusiasts, why a more expensive projector might claim half the brightness, but still be brighter for movie viewing. (ie. My JVC RS20, measured only about 60% of that of an Epson 8500UB back then, but my JVC was at D65, vs. the Epson in a mode that was a bit ugly but OK for sports, wth a color temp around 9000K, and too strong on greens as well. But the Epson only put out about 500 lumens at D65 compared to my JVC’s over 700 lumens. That, BTW is why I always said, that the Epson couldn’t handle my 128″ Firehawk screen, because it couldn’t fill it with movie quality color, even if it could do a brighter football game.
So, ultimately the change in ratings, I would call a marketing decision. If I had to second guess them, for the first year – the transition year, I might have boldly touted both – an 8500K (or brightest mode), and a 6500K measurement.
The place where JVC gets into trouble, of course, lies with us enthusiasts, and with owners of older JVC projectors, looking to move up. I initially missed the 8500K reference, and apparently so did many others. That is, we all assumed that JVC would still be rating at D65. I certainly praised JVC for a big anticipated jump in brightness in my blogs right after CEDIA. It wasn’t until later, that I noticed the non D65 rating for the first time (probably thanks to a comment by one of you guys).
We older JVC owners and serious enthusiasts who have been big JVC fans (even those who have not yet afforded one), have been disappointed, but, we, or at least I, share some of the hit. Had I noticed 8500K at first… My early blogs would no doubt have been more like: ”well most projectors are a lot brighter up there close to where most projectors native lamp temp is, so we can only hope that some of that filters down to D65.” Had I noticed, I might have still expected a 20-30% brightness increase though, not a drop.
So, that brings us to the color profile issue, and tell you the truth – I’ve got nothing to add there. I never got to the question of why the RS40 is brighter… That’s my bad…
JVC did tell me something though I want to share, because it explains something many of us have been conjecturing about: Is the reason why there are no other reviews (except my partial) in the US. OK we pretty much realize now, that I was the first person to get a projector for review (in the US) from JVC. I learned that the unit I had, was not only the only one they had for reviewers, but it was also an early one, and was needed at all the trade shows JVC attends, as well as being toured around to dealers and to commercial clients (remember it’s the Pro series – they market them to production facilities, etc. Apparently they have 3 total (my guess) RS50 and RS60s for all that visibility.
I was told that mine was the oldest of those, and when they had them setup, as usual at a recent show, that mine did measure in about 50 lumens less than the newer ones. That is no surprise. I knew that mine was an early RS60 even though it didn’t land until early Feb. They point out that they are always improving the process, and that tends to be particularly true with manufacturers with a (new) first generation engine, like this years RS40, 50, and 60. By comparison, the HD250Pro looks to be similar to last year’s RS15.
There is some hope. JVC did say they would try to get me another projector so I can at least finish what I started. That would probably be at least a few weeks, and they could not promise. I said I’d take an RS50 or RS60. I am hopeful, but not giving odds. When I get one, I plan to fully investigate the color profile Off options, and measure them, and see how good or bad they look on 3D (and 2D).
I’m still not willing to get into the whole color profile issue from a performance standpoint with the RS50 and RS60, simply because while we know there are a few hundred extra lumens available there, I can’t talk quality of picture, etc. because I still have not seen the projector run with the color profiles off.
JVC does say that with the color profiles off, these projectors do get very close to the 1300 lumens. I know we’ve been hearing a bit lower, but the forums have listed measurements over 1000 lumens, with the lens set in various positions. JVC seems confident that the projectors – by normal Industry standards (ANSI lumens – no particular color temp) definitely approaches 1300 lumens. Well, in general, we find most projectors don’t reach their claimed brightness, but get within 5-25% of claim. If the JVC’s get, say 1100 lumens that would be down about 15% from claim, and very typical. That doesn’t really cheer up those of us who had anticipated 1300 lumens (give or take) at D65, but, if the color profile off options aren’t too ugly, or can be improved a bit, then the end result could even be that this projector can find more lumens for 3D and look as good or close, to the Sony VPL-VW90ES which mustered up about 750 lumens, with reasonably good color for 3D.
BTW, I am more and more coming to the belief that a dual screen solution is what we all need to deal with the brightness of these 3D projectors. It’s definitely helping here, with the 3D but I also want the best possible screen for most of my viewing – 2D, and that’s not going to be a 3D screen, nor a really high gain screen.
Any feedback from you RS50 and RS60 owners, about how the color profile Off looks when tackling 3D, is appreciated. How good or bad is it. Are skin tones reasonable? If I can’t lay my hands on another one soon, I can at least have you guys with projectors comment, so others can read it. If you have owned a projector previously, how does the profiles off, compare with your last projector’s. I would have liked to have a chance to play with the settings at NAB, but there were always people coming through their mini-theater area. Too bad.
Also, anyone in So Cal, with an HD250Pro they are willing to part with for a week, I can loan my RS20… But seriously, I expect I’ll find a dealer I can work with.
There isn’t a whole lot more to report for now. The RS50 and RS60′s seem to be what you and I have seen. In 2D with the usual color profiles it’s still not as bright as last year’s projectors. The promise of 1300 D65 lumens is something JVC never made, but many of us assumed. We will all have to judge these JVC projectors, for what they are, I don’t expect any real changes at this time, just the usual minor refinements. Sorry I have nothing more concrete than that.