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

Summary: Which one is for you: RS1 or XV-Z20000

Here are two really excellent home theater projectors, capable of producing a phenomenal image in your home. The picture quality that these two home theater projectors can produce is one that will make you wonder why you would ever want to frequent the local theater ever again. (OK, there are some movies we have to see NOW, and not wait for them to go to DVD).

On one hand we have the Sharp XV-Z20000, which appears to be as good a single chip DLP projector as has ever hit the market with a selling price around $10,000.

And, on the other hand, there’s the JVC’s RS1, also sold as the JVC HD1 by some dealers. With performance every bit the equal (but slightly different, naturally) to the Sharp, it sells for significantly less (that can always change of course).

Editor’s note: I’ve scattered a number of images from the individual reviews, around this page, to add color, rather than commentary. I will only identify which projector its from. Also remember, there are so many steps from what the eye/camera sees on my screens, to what it looks like on your low contrast monitor, that you shouldn’t try to choose one of these over the other based on the slight differences in the pictures. What may look like a slightly too redish look on one photo while I’m reading this review on my laptop, might look much better on your screen. There is no good way to faithfully and accurately capture exact color balance or contrast.]

Above: JVC RS1, image from Phantom of the Opera, HD-DVD

The JVC is something a bit new. It has 3 newly designed LCOS chips that may be about to revolutionize the balance between LCD, DLP and LCOS projectors. Up until now there haven’t been many popular LCOS models (Sony’s LCOS projectors, like the Pearl, are called SXRD, while JVC calls their LCOS – D-iLA.) It may well be that LCOS starts to dominate the middle/high end of the home projector market. That is certainly possible now that we have seen what JVC is capable of. Time will tell!

The key points are as follows: The JVC and Sharp projectors both produce excellent picture quality, with better black levels and shadow detail than the competition.

The JVC projectors, though, offer more perfect color balance right out of the box. Though the Sharp is very good, it can use some adjusting, although the less critical might never notice. Still, once properly calibrated, the Sharp and JVC are definitely in the same class of color accuracy and overall performance.

The success of the two company’s distribution models, dealer networks, and marketing campaigns notwithstanding, the JVC should easily be the better selling projector.

This is not to say it is hands down the better projector, nor, the best projector for everyone comparing these two. With overall picture performance being so close to each other, the JVC should simply win the sales battle by virtue of a much lower price and more placement flexibility.

Where to start?

Look first to your room. The JVC RS1 is so much more flexible in terms of where it can be placed. It can be placed closer to the screen, further away, higher up, lower down, etc., and not by small margins. You may just find that the JVC, works so well in your room in terms of placment, and then, if the Sharp is far more problematic, you can then quickly decide on the JVC.

Next, (or maybe this should be first), it seems like the JVC street pricing is $2000 to $3000 less than the Sharp. All else considered, that is going to quickly eliminate the Sharp for many. Just think what an extra $2500 can buy you in terms of a better screen, improved audio, etc.

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