JVC DLA-RS15 Projector Review

The JVC DLA RS15 projector, and it’s virtually identical sibling the HD550 (from the JVC consumer group), produce a truly splendid picture. Sure, we know right off, you can do even better if you have another couple thousand for the RS25, or the $10,000 for the RS35. The key thing about the JVC RS15, though is it gets you very close to the RS25 (successor to last year’s Best In Class winner, the RS20), while saving $2500. You still get awesome black level performance, it’s just the RS25 and RS35 are even more awesome at blacks.

JVC DLA-RS15 Projector: Pros

  • Very Color with extremely good skin tones
  • Well above average brightness in “best” movie mode
  • Almost the best black level performance around, bested only by 3 or 4 projectors most of which are other JVCs
  • A nice, vibrant feel to the image Sunny days really give you the feeling of warm sunlight on skin tones
  • Very good shadow detail performance, not the best, though close
  • There is a manual iris, for getting your brightness right. It has 3 steps
  • Good CFI – creative frame interpolation, best for sports, and digital source material. Not as smooth as the best, very minor artifacts at times. Could be improved, but just dandy for 40 hours of Olympics viewing these past two weeks.
  • Outputs 24 frame per second sources at 96 fps
  • Excellent remote control with excellent range, excellent backlight, good organization one of my all time favorite remotes (a great thing, since my RS20′s remote sucks due to limited range – though fine for people with smaller rooms and screens.)
  • Very good color management system, improved over the last generation
  • Almost excellent placement flexibility (2:1 zoom, lens shift), just a little less lens shift than those projectors with the most. If you can’t make the RS15 fit in your room, few projectors will.
  • Focus, Zoom and Lens shift all motorized
  • Very good menus
  • Clean good looking projector – not a work of art, but wont’ offend the wife?
  • Moderately Expensive but it delivers excellent value for those who can appreciate this projector a step up product from any of the best under $3500 projectors, and overall worth every penny

JVC DLA-RS15 Projector: Cons

  • A relatively dim “brightest” mode, of 750 lumens (calibrated, midpoint on zoom lens) the RS15 can’t deal with a whole lot of ambient light, at all, unless you have a small screen.
  • CFI not as smooth as the best. Definitely changes enough to “damage” the director’s intent when watching movies. (as do they all, to varying degrees0
  • Slightly less than average lamp life? JVC quotes 2000 hours at full power (the “industry average), but only “slightly better, in low lamp” while most 2000 hour full power projectors quote 3000 in low power.
  • Although most reasonable – audible noise wise, the RS15 could be a little quieter with lamp at full power. Few would consider this an issue though
  • The documentation is pretty good, but still leaves some details about how features work unexplained, as do most projector manuals

JVC DLA-RS15 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Selection of inputs
  • Lamp life is likely typical or a tad below average in life
  • Documentation (I’m still waiting to see a projector that really does provide good explanations of all the menu functions).
  • Size (for an LCoS projector)

As we finish here with an image from the movie Star Trek, it occurs to me, that perhaps the image that best reflects the feel of the RS15′s abilities, is the one of Captain Pike, found back on the first page.

Other than that, a nap, a meal, another review. Stay tuned!

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