JVC DLA-HD250Pro Projector Review

JVC DLA-HD250 Basic Settings

In addition to calibrating Red Green and Blue for a correct grayscale balance (6500K), there are a number of other settings that come into play. Typically Contrast and Brightness (white balance and black balance), need to be done first. Color saturation and gamma also need adjustment.

Our final settings (the default settings for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Tint are all 0, in all modes). Mike made adjustments to these, and the Color Temp settings for each of the seven modes:

Cinema 1  Cinema 2  Natural Stage Dynamic User
Contrast -1  -2  -2  -1  -2  -2
Brightness  1  2  2 1 1 2
Color Sat (-3) (-3) 0 0 -10 0
Tint (-3) (-3) 0 0 0 0
Color Temp -6500 -5800 -6500 -7500 (High Bright) -6500
Gamma (B) (A) (Normal) (C) (C) (Normal)

To get the very most out of the DLA-HD250, a calibration is recommended. You can try our settings, which should definitely improve on out of the box performance. It seems to us, that going with the default settings for Cinema, will not get you the kind of color quality/accuracy, needed to rationalize a $3000 projector spend, for this projector. Once color has been “corrected” this projector is definitely worth its price.

JVC HD250 Gamma settings

The gamma controls on the HD250 allow for detailed customization, including different gamma curves for each primary color! You can have about as much fun as you would like, customizing gamma for your screen, room conditions, personal tastes, etc.

Ultimately though, Normal is the default. Mike measured an average of 2.23, a tiny bit higher than the theoretically correct 2.2 gamma (some would use 2.4 for film to try to get a gamma like a CRT projector). (There’s a lot of variation out there, in terms of the actually gamma of the content, as well.)

In addition there are three Custom gamma modes (1,2,3) which you can adjust. Start with any one of the preset gammas (Normal, A-D), copy that into a Custom, and modify from there. You can even set different gamma settings for the different primary colors (red, green, blue), or all at once with white. This is one of the more comprehensive customizable gamma modes I’ve encountered. (and much fun to play with). of the Preset Gammas, I tend to favor Normal C, or D.

The A setting lifts the brightness in the very darkest areas, making dark shadow detail more visible, but, by doing so, removes a small amount of the punch on very dark scenes. B setting mostly lifts brightness in the 40 to 80 IRE range. It adds punch and also makes those sunny days seem sunnier. Gamma C is much like B, but a little less push in those brighter ranges, and a little push added at the low end to bring up the very darkest shadow detail. In other words, C, is very much like a cross between A and B, and personally preferable to either. Gamma D lifts the mid-tones only slightly. It is closest to Normal, but “brightens” the mid-range just slightly.

Basically I tend to favor D over Normal, but it’s not uncommon of me to change a gamma setting once I start watching. C is my choice when I want to make the image more dynamic looking. B will also do that but is often “over the top” and typically “distorts” the original too much for my taste. (when I’m being an image snob)

And of course, you can create your own, similar to any of these, with your own preferences, if you like to play.

JVC DLA-HD250 RGB Settings

These are the adjustments we made to Red, Green and Blue for the grayscale balance. Mike placed best mode settings into User 1.

Mike also did our Quick-Cal adjustments to Dynamic, and placed them in User 2. Our Quick-Cal isn’t as bright as the default, but offers more accurate color, without sacrificing very much brightness.

User 1, Custom Color Temp 1 User 2, Custom Color Temp 2
Gain R=-1

G=-29

B=-63

R=-0

G=-0

B=-30

Offset R=-2

G=0

B=1

R=0

G=0

B=0

Brightness Post Calibration (mid-point on the zoom lens):

          758 lumens                                            853 lumens

If you wish, you’ve got everything you need to copy our calibration efforts on your shiny new JVC DLA-HD250 projector.

Keep in mind, there will be slight variations due to the lamp (and lamp performance will change over time). We calibrated with the lamp virtually brand new, as opposed to waiting a couple hundred hours, which is generally considered more ideal. There will be a continuing very slight shift in color over the life of the lamp.

Bottom line: With these settings, this DLA-HD250 projector puts a very impressive image up on the screen, even if not quite as accurate as the top of the line JVC’s with their CMS to adjust.

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