JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Review

Price is the biggest single difference. The Mitsubishi most likely is being sold by local dealers for 1/3 of the JVC’s price, making it more a competitor of the RS15, than the RS35. Also in Mitsubishi’s favor, is longer overall lamp life. Actually both are rated 2000 hours at full power, but the Mitsubishi claims 5000 hours in low lamp. Better ask yourself, though, considering the lower brightness of the Mitsubishi, if you will have the room/screen setup that really allows you to run in economy mode, due to the low lumens. Not likely unless you are running a smaller than 100″ diagonal screen, or unless your screen has some serious gain.

Bottom Line: The Mitsubishi is a nice projector in its class. The JVC, awesome in its higher class. The Mitsubishi isn’t without advantages though, being exceptionally quiet, and far more affordable.

JVC DLA-RS35 vs. BenQ W6000

Hmm, another $2500 vs. $10000. Another odd-ball comparison. Still like with the Epson UB’s, I consider the W6000 one of the really good low cost alternatives for the kind of folks that would love to have an RS35.

I’ll keep this one shorter, save some for the RS15 review.

The BenQ’s strengths:

  • Likely slightly sharper image
  • Brighter than the JVC in “best” mode by a significant, but not huge amount, yet, still a significant amount (Best Mode: BenQ: mid 800 lumens with Brilliant Color off or over 1000 with it on. JVC is mid 700 lumens).
  • In “brightest” modes, the BenQ can deliver over twice the brightness (when it does, its color accuracy is not very good), but it can do 50% brighter, no problem, with pretty good color
  • Lower cost, of course
  • Would be my choice for sports viewing
  • Rich colors combine with lots of lumens for more “pop and wow”!

The JVC’s strengths:

  • Better color accuracy
  • Drastically better on darker scenes, thanks to the best black levels around
  • Better placement flexibility
  • Overall picture is superb
  • A smooth, refined look, the W6000′s image, is by comparison, a little rough around the edges. Filmlike
  • If it was a car, the RS35 might well be a new 600 series BMW. You know, dripping in performance, yet luxurious (picture), at the same time.

That pretty much covers it in broad strokes. The W6000 is an excellent lower priced projector that is lumen and color rich. The RS35 is simply a better, if less punchy picture.

And for those with some money still rattling around, buy the RS35, put it on a rear shelf, mount the W6000 on the bottom of the shelf, for when you need maximum lumens… (Believe me, I’ve considered running two projectors in my main theater for that reason, a great one for movies, and a good extremely bright one for sports. Alas!

JVC DLA-RS35 vs. LG CF181D

The JVC projector is better at most things, well, just about everything, but for 1/4 the price, the LG CF181D is formidable in its own right. It is another “poor man’s alternative” to the JVC DLA-RS35 projector.

The LG CF181D’s black level performance is strictly borderline “ultra high contrast” not quite there. It is no match at all for the RS35, or for that matter, its not even close to the RS15, which is far, far closer to its price.

Color and dynamics of the LG, though are impressive. There’s tons of lumens, which buys a ton of respect from me, and probably every other large screen person, or sports fan.

The JVC is a projector for the hard core enthusiast, the ones demanding a healthy chunk of perfection if they can find it. The LG is a great looking projector, that can work family rooms as well as dedicated theaters. I like it. It’s now one of my favorite under $3K projectors. It’s for the ones who aren’t as black level crazy as me.

A quick but important note: I do like to believe I’m right about black levels. As I see it, take a great projector like the RS35 and put it up against another really good projector like the LG, on say the usual daytime and bright images you see in each review, and mostly you’ll see slightly different colors between the projectors. And, in fact the difference in what you see, in terms of color, is probably less than the inherent color inaccuracies accumulated getting from projected image, to camera, to software, to internet to browser, to your uncalibrated, relatively low contrast computer monitor.

When night falls it’s a different world:

Look at the same night scenes on both projectors and, well it’s obviously not a “night and day” difference, but it really can be a “dusk” vs. night difference. All of a sudden the difference between the two projectors (actually between the RS35 and all but 2 or 3 other projectors), is dramatic, startling, or sometimes, merely noticeable or significant. My favorites – Casino Royale train scene, the space shots from 5th Element, Space Cowboys, or any good sci-fi really do look different. Or just any night street scene in a movie or your favorite cop show.

To me, that’s really it. Most good $2K (even less) 1080p projectors look really similar on normal bright or average scenes, especially if they have had a basic calibration. Brightness will likely be the biggest variant.

But when the the dark scenes appear, it’s a different world. One best described as “no contest”. I certainly wouldn’t pay thousands for for this JVC just for the color improvements over, say the LG or Panasonic – those differences are slight. But after 30 seconds of watching a night scene, the difference is so striking, that you’ll be lucky if the credit card doesn’t pop out of your wallet by itself, screaming for great blacks.

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