JVC DLA-RS45 Projector - Performance
1/21/2012 - Art Feierman
On this page we take a look at the DLA-RS45 projector's brightness, sharpness, and image noise. We'll discuss brightness in both 2D and 3D, as well. Also considered here are other issues including image noise, light leakage, and audible noise.
JVC DLA-RS45 Brightness
JVC rates the DLA-RS45 projector as a 1300 lumen projector. As it turns out, they are right. Mike's highest measurement was 1031 lumens. The next few screens will deal with pre-calibration information, including photos of how each of the modes look. Further down, you'll find the post calibration information including the measured brightness for D65 and for an improved "brightest mode". This is how it plays out:
First are the lumen measurements for each of the preset and user modes. Also included was the measured color temp for white, for each mode.
JVC DLA-RS45 Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Cinema= 918 @ 6871
Film= 867 @ 6134
Natural= 911 @ 6857
Stage= 824 @ 8072
Animation= 797 @ 8561
3D= 856 @ 7908
User 1-5= 921 @ 6902
For this review's performance comparison, instead of showing different modes, since they are to a large degree similar, especially in brightness, we chose to look at the JVC DLA-RS45's Detail Enhancement control, and Sharpness control.
As with most (dynamic, I assume) such controls, the more you use, the more the trade-offs elsewhere. For your information, and entertainment, below you will see the same scene, with the Detail Enhancement set for 0, 15, 25, 40, and 50.
Then we'll show you Sharpness set for 0, detail enhancement at 0, vs. Sharpness and Detail Enhancement both set for 25. Enjoy. The point is, one has the option of "creating" a sharper image, but there are trade-offs. In general, the more you sharpen, the less film-like.
You can compare the images below, look at hair detail and contrast, freckles, eyes, teeth, blouse, even the range of color (and flatness) in the sail's details to the left of Lucy's head.
Detail Enhancement: 15:
Detail Enhancement: 25:
Detail Enhancement: 40:
Detail Enhancement: 50:
Sharpness 0, Detail Enhancement 0:
Sharpness 25, Detail Enhancement 25
There are a lot of subtleties you can spot in the above images. Notice how higher settings increase contrast in her hair, sharpen her eyes, etc. You'll also notice, in the last image (25/25), that there is some loss of layers of color, and detail, and that color contrast seems to be higher (dark purples are darker, etc.)
JVC RS45 - Effect of zoom on lumen output (User 1 mode):
Zoom out: 1001
Zoom in: 784
As you can quickly see above, positioning the projector closer than the mid-point on the zoom - to the closest point allowed, buys you about an extra 11% brightness. If you are shelf mounting at the full telephoto range of the DLA-RS45, brightness drops about 16% from mid-point, and about 22% from closest.
Dropping the JVC DLA-RS45 lamp into Normal mode (from High)
Lumen Output Low (Normal) Lamp, User 1: 591 lumens
At full power, User 1 measures 921 lumens, so the RS45 has a larger drop going to its "eco" or in JVC's case "Normal" mode, than most other projectors. We figure most projectors drop between 20 and 30%. This JVC, however loses just over 35% of its brightness in "Normal" lamp power.
Below: sample color temperature snapshot, pre-calibration.
Color Temp over IRE Range, Best mode (Pre calibration):
Cinema (or User or Natural)
30 IRE 6463
50 IRE 6708
80 IRE 6914
100 IRE 6871
Interestingly, the JVC is cooler (higher number, more blue) in the brighter "registers". I mention that because of the heavy blue we've seen just above black.
DLA-RS45 Projector - Effect of Iris settings on lumen output (User 1 mode):
0 (maximum opening) = 921 lumens
-7 (half open) = 766 lumens
-15 (minimum opening) = lumens 550
If you don't need all the brightness, please note that the more you close down the iris of this JVC, the higher the contrast. Blacks will get blacker, both by virtue of the smaller iris opening, and also because of the reduced overall brightness. Of course, the idea is not to starve yourself of brightness, for a very minor improvement in blacks.
Art's note: When doing side by sides with the Epson 5010, I was able to notice, that if I relied on using the "normal" (low) lamp setting of the JVC, to get it's "best" mode brightness similar to the Epson's, that blacks were virtually identical on dark scenes (with the Epson perhaps able to just slightly best the JVC on some). When, instead, I left the lamp on full, and stopped down the iris (in the -9 to -11 range), then the JVC's blacks, even on those darkest scenes, is just a tad blacker than the Epson. (We're really quibbling here, but the JVC's black advantage by using the iris, is definitely greater than the virtual tie, when the iris is wide open).
JVC DLA-RS45 Projector - Post Calibration
DLA-RS45 Best mode- User 1: 892 lumens @ 6463
Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration) User 1:
20 IRE 6805
30 IRE 6452
40 IRE 6421
50 IRE 6480
60 IRE 6556
70 IRE 6556
80 IRE 6558
90 IRE 6537
100 IRE 6463
Average gamma= 2.17
JVC Gamma Control:
The gamma, in the normal setting, is very close to being right on. The JVC offers extensive gamma custom controls, as well. Normal is recommended by Mike. Of note, Gamma setting A, lifts the very dark regions of an image. When engaged, it seems that the very dark shadow detail is improved, but in reality, it's really just lifting that which was already there, making it far more obvious (and too much).
Art's NOTE: Mike only measures down to 20 IRE (running out of equipment sensitivity). You can see the blue rising at 20 IRE. Somewhere between there, and 0 IRE, blue seems to spike, as we've discussed on the Image Quality page.
Mike's NOTES: Grayscale calibrated quite well, with an average Delta E of only 1.1 (same as the HD250). There’s no “brighter” mode than User or Cinema, so no reason for a quick cal of a “bright” mode. Finally, as I’d asked for on the RS1, JVC has a choice of color gamuts (a must when you don’t have a CMS). The Standard color gamut is very good (see the CIE chart) and the Wide 1 gamut is about the same as the usual JVC color gamut, with oversaturated greens and reds. Wide 2 is very similar to Wide 1 with a slightly more yellowy green. No reason to use either of them.
The Calibration page provides the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.
JVC DLA-RS45 Sharpness
The JVC DLA-RS45 is, how do I say this: "typically sharp" for a 3 chip or 3 panel projector. All else being equal, single chip DLP projectors have a sharpness advantage as they don't have to align and converge separate Red, Green, and Blue light.
Now, when you consider sharpness compared to other projectors, figure that the JVC, is about average among the LCD and LCoS projectors (all 3 panel). There are definitely sharper projectors of the type, but not by too much. For example, you can spend well over three times the price for a JVC RS65, with its hand picked optics, and it will appear sharper.
Of other projectors here right now, the only 3 chip one that is visibly sharper, is the Epson Home Cinema 5010. It's not greatly so, but when viewing side by side images, with the various sharpening tools "under control", the Epson has the advantage.
Is this enough to be a critical buying decision? Not by my standards. I prefer the extra sharpness, say, of a number of single chip DLP's (Optoma HD8300, Runco LS5, etc., or even that Epson (which falls somewhere in the middle)), especially on all digital content, like HDTV sports, but, I consider many factors, and the difference in sharpness is a relatively minor one.
An additonal caveat: I see the RS45, as a great movie projector first. When watching film based content, film grain, and other artifacts inherently "soften" the image regardless, negating some of the visual difference in sharpness, relative to comparing all digital content. Short version: the small sharpness differences are even less noticeable on film.
For your consideration, our usual close up images:
Top left: JVC DLA-RS45, Top Left Center: Runco LS-5, Top Right Center: Sony VPL-VW95ES, Top right: Epson Home Cinema 5010
Below: Panasonic PT-AE7000, left, Optoma HD8300 on the right
JVC DLA-RS45: Bottom Line Sharpness
Over all, very good sharpness (better than some in the corners), for a 3 chip device. A number of competitors are slightly sharper, or "sharper still", as I like to say, and that includes several DLP's as well as a few 3 panel based projectors.
RS45 Light Leakage
The JVC is about as clean as you can get, in terms of light leaking from vents, etc. When it comes to light leaking out of the lens, again, any leakage is barely perceptable when viewing a black frame. With a nice long (like 30 second time exposure @ f9), one can finally make out some light leakage, on a black scene. You will never notice this during normal viewing. Well done!
You will note, that the JVC tends to be a bit brighter in the corners. Although a bit uneven, this was also true of my RS1 and RS20, and nothing to really be concerned about. You can see some color shifting, and it's real, but the amount of intensity appears greater than in reality, as is typically the case, I find, with really long time exposures.
DLA-RS45 Image Noise
Some panning issues spotted on one or two scenes, where the panning timing annoys the projector or vice versa. This was only spotted once or twice in dozens of hours of viewing in 2D. A magnified issue, though seems to occur, with some panning, when in CFI mode 1, and also in CFI mode 2. Can get nasty, so try a different CFI mode, when using same. I'm more concerned with the once in a while panning issue, as I was last year with the more expensive Sony VPL-VW90ES. (Note, the newer VW95ES did not exhibit the same panning problem on the same scene, same conditions, so they must have addressed it.)
This is the first time I've noticed this issue with a JVC. It is the nature of image processing that there can be an unusual set of circumstances in the content and processing, that can create an undesirable artifact. That I watched tons of hours of movies, with CFI off, and only noticed an issue a couple of times, says, "don't worry about it too much". Remember, like all other projectors, this JVC has image noise controls. We do not mess with those controls during normal viewing, so boosting an image noise setting, may well help a lot with this one anomoly. Other than that, the JVC looks pretty darn good in 2D.
3D noise: Discussed elsewhere, as well. The JVC has crosstalk - ghosting, and it's worse than most other projectors through here. Definitely a lot worse than DLP projectors, which natively seem to lack crosstalk, due to their different operation, but also worse than the other 3D capable projectors to recently pass though here.
From a crosstalk standpoint, just about every other projector is at least a bit cleaner. It's another reason why the 3D is not a strength of this projector. For the casual/occasional 3D viewer, the extra crosstalk probably isn't an issue at all, but for the type of enthusiasts, and "purists" that tend to be drawn to JVC projectors, it's going to annoy, compared to alternatives.
JVC DLA-RS45 Audible Noise
One advantage to having a very large projector, is lots of room inside to baffle noise. While the JVC RS45 is not particularly quiet at full power, it is quieter than a number of competitors, including most single chip DLP models (probably all of them), and some of the rest. For example, the Epson 5010 is definitely a good step noisier at full power.
In low power, JVC claims an impressive 20 db. While their are quieter projectors, 20 db, is really quiet, and should please everyone - even the most noise adverse.
Bottom line on audible noise: The JVC DLA-RS45's handling of fan noise is excellent. It's fairly quiet at full power, and downright quiet at low. No issues here, and a distinct advantage for this JVC compared to much of the competition.