JVC DLA-RS45 Home Cinema Projector - Review Summary
The JVC DLA-RS45 earns our Hot Product award. This is a $3500 range home theater projector. It is at its best sitting in a dedicated theater (or cave, or as close as you can get), doing 2D movies.
The JVC DLA-RS45, and for that matter, the identical JVC DLA-X30 projector, are great projectors for someone primarily interested in watching movies on a "larger than most" screen in 2D. This JVC projector is, in my opinion, reasonably good for just about everything else!
1/21/2011 - Art Feierman
JVC DLA-RS45 Projector - The Bottom Line
I really like the RS45! I still prefer the even blacker blacks of my aging RS20, but this projector is a bit brighter, and has all kinds of newer things like CFI, and 3D...
The JVC DLA-RS45 is a better match for some things, than others. It's especially excellent as a projector for viewing movies. For most other content, the JVC would be better, if, in particular, it was a slightly to a great deal brighter. That's especially true when you want to watch some content with a fair amount of ambient light present, such as when friends are watching sports, well, friends watching most things.
The JVC does a great job on sports, but it's still at about 900 lumens, (or a bit over 1000 in its high bright lamp mode). High Bright sure isn't very pretty, especially considering the limited extra brightness (less than 20%). Recommendation: Save choosing High Bright color temp for emergencies!
The thing is these days: If you want, and will enjoy, having a lot more brightness, there are other fine projectors to choose from, offering up to about twice the brightness. Those include projectors from BenQ, Epson, and Panasonic, all fierce competitors of the RS45. Some other competitors though, are in the same brightness range as the RS45, including the Optoma HD83/HD8300, and the Sony VPL-HW30ES.
Of those mentioned, this JVC RS45, the Panasonic PT-AE7000, and the Sony HW30ES are probably the most film-like of the batch. The Optoma I'd also describe as particularly film-like but for some, rough edges that distract.
Enough brightness discussion. On the "bright side", the JVC does great with very natural skin tones, as seen in the next few images.
Above: Star Trek's Captain Pike. Below, Bruce Willis and Ernest Borgnine in RED.
Sidenote: Regarding slight blue spike in dark areas: Notice that the file cabinets (above) in the back left are very gray, but on the far right, where they are less brightly lit, they are picking up some of that extra dark blue - a good example - of both the issue, and the fact that you probably wouldn't otherwise notice on a scene like this, had I not pointed it out.
Below: From the Victoria Secret fashion show:
Convinced (about the skin tones)?
Above, Scarlett Johannson from Iron Man 2. Below, from Narnia: The Dawn Treader
There are many other things to like about this JVC, besides skin tones, and awesome black level performance. The projector is physically impressive, the menus are laid out better than most, and the remote control is one of my all time favorites, with good range, and a great, not too dim / not too bright, backlight.
The two year warranty, while not best in class, is still as least as good as most of the competition.
Creative Frame interpolation has many modes, some have issues, but I found mode 3, in particular to be a good mode, which helps out on sports, rather nicely, with smoother motion.
If you are not using a really large screen, and have a good room, the JVC RS45 can be run, virtually silently, in low lamp power (labeled "Normal" by JVC), while also saving on operational costs, by having the lamp rated for 3000 hours in that mode.
Above: From Quantum of Solace
And of course, for movie viewing, 892 calibrated lumens is second only to the BenQ W7000 in terms of being really bright after calibration.
The Very Bottom Line on the DLA-RS45 projector:
Find a good room for the RS45. It deserves well darkened surfaces to really bring out its primary strength, as a projector for movies. It does everything else pretty well, but movies is definitely what I like it best for, which is no surprise because I always felt that way about my old RS1, and my current RS20.
With almost 900 measured, calibrated lumens, you can satisfy a craving for a really large screen, even upwards of 130" diagonal. Or you can go with something far more moderate. The manual iris will allow you to reduce brightness by about 40%, and low lamp will take off almost 35% more. All the while, closing down the iris, is giving you even blacker blacks, and higher contrast!
Once again, there is a High Bright Color Temp, to try out when desparate for extra brightness. Mike probably should have done one of his "quick-cal" efforts using that mode. (The idea being to remove the most offensive color flaws of the brightest mode, while still retaining as much brightness as possible.)
Mike's point: With High Bright offering less than a 200 lumen advantage over the full D65 calibrated mode, if the projector lost even half of those extra lumens, (to get minor color improvement) that it wouldn't be worth it. Especially since the less bright result would likely still more closely resemble High Bright, than calibrated. I concur.
Above: From The Fifth Element, Below: Red
One last time:
I love the JVC DLA-RS45 for a movies primarily, or movies only, projector. If that's your thing, the RS45 is going to be hard to beat, without spending a lot more, say to JVC's own RS55 or RS65, the Sony VPL-VW95ES, etc.
As an all around projector though, the JVC is just one of a number of good projectors, one not as competitive when you want 3D, or, just a very bright image for sports, or best sharpness on all good digital content (which should always look sharper than film). I've always wrestled with these trade-offs as a JVC owner, since the issues are roughly the same now, as then. I, for example would have had a much more difficult time rationalizing buying either of my JVC projectors, if I didn't know that I'd always have other projectors "lying around" that were brighter, and offered other strengths.
An excellent projector, but a tough choice. Is it the best for your setup, and what you have in mind?
JVC DLA-RS45 Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities
Image above, from The Fifth Element, Blu-ray disc
JVC DLA-RS45 Projector: Pros
- Very good color, and excellent overall picture quality, post calibration
- Superb black level performance and dynamic range - no iris, none needed
- Good CFI - while some CFI modes have some issues, plenty to choose from
- Way above average brightness in "best" movie mode (892 lumens)
- Average brightness at its brightest (less than 1100)
- 2D-3D: try it with some of your 2D videos from your camcorder or...
- Lens Memory - allows movie fans to go widescreen - cinemascope 2.35:1
- Zoom, Focus, Lens shift, are all motorized
- Supports anamorphic lens
- Wide variety of color presets, gamma and other features
- Very good menu layout
- Excellent remote control
- Good documentation (still missing a few explanations)
- Excellent placement flexibility
- Reasonably quiet projector - decent at full power, essentially silent at low power
- Looks good physically, should be pretty impressive looking mounted in your home theatre
- Good warranty - 2 years parts and labor
JVC DLA-RS45 Projector: Cons
- Dark shadow detail - while very respectable, could be slightly better
- Strong blue spike in the very dark ranges (a re-calibration may help)
- More crosstalk (ghosting) in 3D than most competitors
- No 3D adjustments relating to glasses, to reduce the ghosting
- Could be a lot brighter for 3D - with standard screens less than 100" diagonal is best
- A 3rd HDMI input would be nice (always)
- Warranty at 2 years parts and labor is average, but at least one competitor offers 3, and another, two years with a replacement program. In other words, "only" an average warranty
- Lamp life - with 3000 hours claimed at low power, we estimate 2000 at full. While that was the "old standard", consider that several competitors are now offering up to 5000 hours, and 4000 at full power. So there can be a real, long term cost difference.
Above, from Ironman 2. Below, Nicki Minaj from Victoria Secret fashion show:
That's it folks - thought I'd finish (above) with Nicki Minaj performing on the Victoria Secret fashion show (taking a break from Lady Gaga performances)!
We hope you found this review useful and entertaining too!
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