JVC DLA-RS1 and Sharp XV-Z20000 Home Theater Projectors: A Comparison Review – Overview

JVC DLA-RS1 and HD1: Advantages

  • A significant step up in brightness in “best” movie modes, in fact the brightest “best mode – Cinema – of all 1080p projectors tested so far
  • Near perfect out of the box color performance
  • Slightly more shadow detail in dark areas
  • Definitely quieter. Although it has verage audible noise levels, it is definitely quieter than the Sharp
  • Far superior zoom lens range (2:1 vs. 1.35) for placement flexibility
  • Greater vertical lens shift range, plus horizontal lens shift, the Sharp lacks
  • Multiple built in test patterns

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  • Significantly less expensive than the Sharp
  • Overall setup and ease of use (especially due to the superb out of the box performance)
  • Remote has more direct controls, for quicker changes of common settings (color presets – cinema, natural…), gamma, and more.
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VC and Sharp: Similar Capabilities

  • Remote controls – both are very good, and well backlit, though each has slight advantages
  • Overall color handling once the Sharp is adjusted
  • Lamp Life
  • Lamp replacement without unmounting projector
  • Documentation
  • Good manual overall, but thin on descriptions of key adjustments
  • Brightness in brightest modes are almost identical
  • HDMI 1.2, not 1.3 (only a couple of projectors with 1.3 are currently shipping as of this writing), however having 1.3 is a good thing
  • Wow factor – everything looks pretty great on both projectors
  • Warranties – you make the call – the XV-Z20000 has only one year, but with in-home service (in-home service is a rare feature), compared to the JVC RS1 and HD1′s 2 years parts and labor, no in-home service.
  • Physical size and shape
  • User memory options – they are markedly different, but, when considered overall, no clear winner
  • Overall black levels (the JVC seems to have a very slight edge, but both are excellent)

The Bottom Line: JVC RS1 vs Sharp XV-Z20000

Each projector has loads of strengths, and a few weaknesses. Overall, the JVC RS1 has to be the winner, but not because it produces a significantly better picture – I consider the image quality to be definitely comparable between these two. The JVC wins by virtue of a lower price point, brighter picture, better performance out of the box (without adjusting), and that it will be quieter, and easier to place in your room. The JVC should fit well into about any room, in that regard, but more to the point, it can sit or mount anywhere the Sharp can, while the Sharp is far more limited, overall.

The Sharp, on the other hand, has more inputs, far more controls for fine tuning the image, and a touch more styling. Perhaps the biggest reason, though, for some to choose the XV-Z20000 over the RS1, will be its slightly sharper image. The other “biggie” is if you are planning to go full anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) for Cinemascope with no letterboxing at the top and bottom. The Sharp supports anamorphic lenses while the JVC does not, out of the box. Even if that is your plan (2.35:1), that doesn’t eliminate the JVC, though, since you can use it with an anamorphic lens, too, but you need to spend a couple thousand for an outboard processor. If you do that, though, the price advantage of the JVC will be lost.

In our spring projector comparison, (before we received the Sharp for review), the JVC RS1, took the Best In Class Award for over $5000 1080p projectors. I have been tempted to share that Best In Class Award with the Sharp, since it rivals the RS1 in picture quality, the JVC just has too many other advantages, so hangs on to exclusive ownership of the award (for now).

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In a more perfect world, there would be one projector, combining the strengths of these two excellent projectors. Of course, that may only take another year or so. Hopefully these (and all) manufacturers learn well, as they go, and add the little extras missing on these two.

The really great news – whichever you choose – JVC RS1 (or HD1) or the Sharp XV-Z20000 the picture will blow you, your friends, your distant relatives, your neighbors, your pet iguana, and total strangers… AWAY!

Above: JVC RS1, Tonight Show, HDTV, Cox Cable/DVR, 1080i

Two great choices. I’ve done my part – now – it’s up to decide which one is right for you.

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