JVC DLA-RS35 - Performance
3/2/2010 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-RS35 Brightness
No surprises here. The new JVC DLA-RS35 projector is very similar to last year's RS20 in terms of brightness. In this case, the JVC DLA-RS35 - and, therefore also the JVC HD950 - measured just a little less bright than the older model, in some modes, and a little brighter in others. (Bolded modes are the ones we worked with. Ultimately a calibrated THX mode was saved in User 1, and a calibrated "Brightest" mode was saved in User 2.
JVC DLA-RS35 Projector - Uncalibrated:
Cinema 1= 624 @ 5979
Cinema 2= 680 @ 6870
Cinema 3= 726 @ 8030
Natural= 670 @ 6892
Stage= 724 @ 8033
Dynamic= 774 @ 10161, 781 @ 10143 with Color Sat. set to 0
THX= 677 @ 6877
User 1 or 2= 677 @ 6891
After doing our calibration of "best mode" we measured Cinema 2 (placed in User 1) at 656 lumens down only 24 lumens from uncalibrated. Mike felt that the color handling and picture quality of Dynamic mode was already good (though lacking in reds), and did not do our basic "quick-cal(ibrate)" of Dynamic because he felt that further improving it would eliminate any additional brightness. Dynamic is best if you need every last lumen, but Stage is my preferred, and at 724 lumens looks better at a cost of only 50 lumens.
The biggest curiosity is the brightness of the projector itself, This RS35 is basically mesuring 70 - 100 lumens less in the various modes, than the RS25, which, of course is the same projector. What might cause that is a question that I hope JVC has an answer for. If and when I do, I'll rewrite this paragraph.
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 (closest position - wide-angle): 734 lumens
Mid-zoom: 677 lumens
Zoom in: 569 lumens (furthest from the screen - tele)
The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:
Low lamp power ("Normal" lamp mode), for THX: 466 lumens
High lamp power ("High" lamp mode) for THX: 677 lumens
That works out to a drop of 31% in brightness when running the lamp in Normal (low) mode. That same percentage difference should be unchanged, regardless of preset mode. Even in low power, in a "best" mode, the JVC DLA-RS35 and HD990 should be slightly brighter than the average home theater projector running at full power. With the JVC lamp on normal (High) setting, the JVC is one of the brightest serious projectors available under $10,000, when comparing "best" modes.
This fits nicely with my experience with the 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.)
With the JVC RS35 (like the older RS20), you can also control brightness (and slightly affect contrast) by closing down the manual iris.
Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (THX Mode):
0 (maximum opening) = 677 lumens
-8 (50% open) = 516 lumens
-15 (minimum opening) = 357 lumens
Bingo. If all JVC RS35's look as good as this one, then that alone can justify the extra $2000. After all, if you can afford $8K, $10K can't be that far out of reach.
Thanks, I believe, to excellent pixel convergence, and perhaps helped by having the best of the optics, this DLA-RS35 projector puts a visibly sharper image on the screen, than my own RS20. I've been watching this projector, with judicious use of Sharpness and Detail Enhancement. Not too much, yet it all adds up to an image that is a step up from my JVC in terms of how sharp it appears.
For your consideration, our usual close up images
Top left: JVC DLA-RS35, Top Left Center - Planar PD8150, Top Right Center - JVC DLA-RS25, Top right - Mitsubishi HC7000
2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE3000, right center: Optoma HD8000, right: InFocus IN83
My DTS test disc died, for this sharpness demo, we will be using a closeup of the PS3 system screen, showing the Video icon, going forward.
Below: Close up of a computer monitor, from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray), left to right DLA-RS35, RS20, Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, and BenQ W20000. The DLA-RS35 holds its own against most, but not a few of the sharpest DLP projectors.
JVC DLA-RS35: Bottom Line Sharpness
As the owner of the older JVC, I've always considered its sharpness to be acceptable, but yearned for even more. The DLA-RS35 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 RS35, 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-RS35 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 RS35 easily passes all the other related related tests on the HQV test disc, as that widely used test disc is put out by Silicon Optix.
The RS35 does offer a contrast enhancement feature. As would be expected, it does slightly increase the image noise.
DLA-RS35 Audible Noise
More than quiet enough. While there are quieter projectors, the JVC RS35 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.