JVC DLA-RS15 - Performance
3/8/2010 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-RS15 Brightness
No surprises here. The new JVC DLA-RS15 projector is very similar to last year's RS10 in terms of brightness. In this case, the JVC DLA-RS15 - and, therefore also the JVC HD550 - measured less bright than the older model.
JVC DLA-RS15 Projector - Uncalibrated:
Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Cinema 1= 711 @ 7142
Cinema 2= 722 @ 7165
Cinema 3= 751 @ 8504
Natural= 721 @ 7183
Stage= 751 @ 8297
Dynamic= 763 @ 9125
User 1 or 2= 721 @ 7180
JVC DLA-RS15 Projector - Calibrated:
User 1 (Cinema 2): 657 lumens
User 2 (Dynamic): 746 lumens
The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness: Our standard measurements reported are done with the zoom at its mid-point. Here are relative numbers from the Cinema 1 mode, for different lens positioning From a percentage standpoint, the differences will be the same for any mode, as you change the lens angle:
Zoom out: 801 lumens (closest to the screen - wide-angle)
Mid-zoom: 721 lumens
Zoom in: 592 lumens (furthest from the screen - tele)
The 11% increase in brightness going to wide-angle, in brightest mode, has the RS15 outputting a maximum of about 840 lumens. Figure a bit less lumens if you improve the color a bit for the Dynamic mode.
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
Low lamp power ("Normal" lamp mode), Lumen Output (Cinema 2, User 1, 2 or Natural): 482
That's compared to 720 lumens at High lamp power, so the drop off is about 33%, which will be consistent, regardless of preset modes.
This fits nicely with my own experience with my RS20. The lack of extra brightness in "brightest" mode, is my only real complaint about the RS20 after owning it for a year. (OK, it could be a touch sharper too.)
As noted the JVC RS15 (like the older RS10), you can also control brightness (and slightly effect contrast) by closing down the manual iris. The RS15 has only 3 steps, though, while the more expensive JVCs offer 16 steps.
Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (User 1 mode):
3 (maximum opening) = 721
2 = (middle) 578
1 (minimum opening) = 400
The JVC DLA-RS15, and for that matter, all the JVC LCoS projectors I've reviewed in the last three years (except for the RS35) are very typical of 1080p projectors when it comes to sharpness. I consider all of them (but the RS35) to be average in sharpness. This holds for almost all 3 chip projectors (LCoS like the JVC, 3LCD, or even 3 chip DLP projectors). Typically your single chip DLP projector is slightly sharper, be it $1399 or $5999, thanks to not having to converge three different beams of light.
On movies the JVC looks nice and sharp. You can further enhance the appearance of sharpness with the Detail Enhancement control.
When it comes to pure digital content, like the great stuff on Discovery HD, Travel HD, or other high quality content channels, the JVC looks nice and sharp, but the sharpest DLP projectors tend to look "razor sharp" by comparison
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Top left: JVC DLA-RS15, Top Left Center - JVC RS35, Top Right Center - JVC DLA-RS25, Top right - Mitsubishi HC7000
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE4000, right center: Optoma HD8600, right: InFocus IN83
My original DTS test disc died, for this sharpness demo, we are transitioning to a closeup of the PS3 system screen, showing the Video icon, for the future.
Below: Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right DLA-RS15, Sony VPL-VW85, Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, and BenQ W20000. The DLA-RS15 performs well its own against most, but not the sharpest DLP projectors.
JVC DLA-RS15: Bottom Line Sharpness
As the owner of the older JVC, I've always considered it's sharpness to be acceptable, but yearned for even more. The DLA-RS15 delivers what I have been hoping for. I'm not saying that it's sharper than the average DLP projector, but, it's certainly up there competitive with a lot of DLP's in terms of sharpness. It sure works for me!
While before I certainly considered it a fair trade-off, (the other JVCs sharpness) in exchange for superior color accuracy, and the best black level performance available, with the RS15, you can have it all!
No change here, from last year's models. This JVC projector leaks lots of light, out of the lens. This is especially true if you are using a lot of vertical lens shift. That's the bad news.
The good news is that while it covers a wide area, it's so dark as to be a non-issue. That leakage (which is outside of the projected image area) is no brighter - less bright, than the black levels themselves, and they are darker than with any other projector. I was able to spot the faint light on my off-white front wall of my theater, but, then I had the walls painted a dark rust color, and no trace of that light remains detectable.
JVC DLA-RS15 Image Noise
Nothing new here. For the 3rd generation, JVC has continued with higher end Silicon Optix for their image processing. They are still using the Silicon Optix Reon-VX (the lastest version no doubt). The Reon-VX is found in a number of excellent projectors. I'm not aware of any notable flaws in image processing. Mosquito noise is just visible, in normal amounts, without the Noise Reduction engaged. I don't see a need to implement it, but that is personal taste. Performance on motion artifacts is very good. As you can imagine, the RS15 like the other JVCs easily passes all the other related related tests that we use from the HQV test disc, as that widely used test disc is put out by Silicon Optix.
The RS15 does offer a contrast enhancement feature. As would be expected, it does slightly increase the image noise when engaged.
DLA-RS15 Audible Noise
More than quiet enough. While there are quieter projectors the JVC RS15 is quieter than average, and claims a very impressive 19db noise level in low power mode. It's probably still 25 db or less with fan and lamp running at full power. The pitch of the noise is fairly average, and lower than many. Overall, having owned the equally quiet JVC RS20, audible noise has been a non-issue. In fairness, my RS20 sits on a high shelf (just over 10 feet) and about 8 feet behind me, so it's a lot further away than it would be in some smaller rooms or if ceiling mounting almost overhead. Still, while there are quieter projectors, this should satisfy all but the most noise adverse, and even those folks would have to have it placed close by before they might complain.