JVC DLA-RS10 – Review Summary

Fancy features: Not a strength of the RS10. This JVC, like the RS20 is more about image quality than razzle dazzle. As such, it doesn’t offer a dynamic iris. In fairness, it doesn’t need one, nor would I call for one, but I wonder, how black could the black levels get on dark scenes if it had one? Would it be better than the RS20 without one? It also isn’t capable of 120fps output from 60fps sources, but does output 96 from 24fps sources. It doesn’t do creative frame interpolation. Of course frame interpolation is a brand new feature in the home theater projector market. (I do like creative frame interpolation when viewing sports, for example.) I suspect the next generation may offer some of these, but, I wouldn’t trade the RS10′s overall picture quality for any of these features. If I would, I’d be looking at Panasonic PT-AE3000 and Epson UB series projectors. Given a choice, I’ll take the JVC’s picture quality over another projector, not quite as good in that regard, but loaded with the fancy features. Most of us will.

The very bottom line: The JVC DLA-RS10 and HD350 are a couple of the more expensive popular 1080p home theater projectors. With a price tag (MSRP) currently at $4995, they are over twice the price of the least expensive “ultra high contrast” home cinema projectors, such as the Sanyo and Panasonic entries. There are a number of additional very good projectors selling from over $2500 up to the JVC’s price, but I’ll give the overall advantage to the JVC over any of them. Including some I think are really great values (Epson UB projectors, Panasonic) or exceptional in some areas. InFocus’ combination of best skin tone handling and overall color, plus an extremely sharp image with their IN83 comes to mind as well, although that is similarly priced.

More simply stated: The JVC DLA-RS10 can be considered pricey compared to the much of the competition, but it provides the extra performance to justify its price. It may not be the very best value for your dollar spent, but it is worth every cent you spend on it.

JVC DLA-RS10 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

JVC DLA-RS10 Projector: Pros

  • The best black levels of any projector we have worked with, at any price. (Just slightly better than the RS2 it replaces, which was the former black level champ)
  • Out of the box performance is very good, but can be improved further, with minor adjustments previously mentioned. Still a calibration is recommended to get the most out of the RS10 or HD350 projector
  • Very good color accuracy post calibration in best mode
  • Significantly brighter than average in “best” modes – not the brightest out there, but plenty of lumens for larger screens
  • Manual iris allows you to dial down brightness for smaller screen, which in turn increases contrast and black level performance slightly
  • Very good shadow detail performance
  • The combination of extremely good color accuracy, and black levels makes for the best overall picture quality of any projector we have reviewed except for the more expensive RS20
  • Two HDMI 1.3b inputs, full support for 24 fps, Deep Color, etc.
  • 24fps sources (typically movies on Blu-ray disc, are output at 96fps
  • Three User definable image modes (User 1,2,3) in addition to being able to modify all the predefined modes. Plus, three Custom modes each, for Gamma and Color Temp
  • Good layout on the remote control, and a good backlight with easily readable buttons
  • Excellent placement flexibility due to 2:1 zoom and a lot of lens shift
  • Focus, Zoom and Lens shift all motorized (see special features, first page for fringe benefits)
  • Very good menus
  • The overall performance is definitely worth the price!

JVC DLA-RS10 Projector: Cons

  • Slightly below average brightness in “brightest” modes
  • A third HDMI input would be nice
  • Key action on remote control is a bit iffy, range somewhat limited, you need to find the right angle when pointing for a bounce off of your screen
  • Documentation is typically weak in terms of explaining a number of settings features and modes. Examples include no chart for lens shift offsets, no details about interaction of the CMS settings, no explanations of the different look and feel of the four preset gammas…

JVC DLA-RS10 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Selection of inputs (except for the lack of an analog computer input)
  • Just average lamp life – 2000 hours in High lamp power “Normal lamp mode can increase lamp life”
  • Average sharpness for a 1080p projector – this can be improved however, with the sharpness and detail enhancement controls, without creating noticeable sharpening artifacts
  • Documentation (I’m still waiting to see a projector that really does provide good explanations of all the menu functions).

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