JVC DLA-HD250Pro Projector Review

LCoS Projector - D-iLA

JVC manufactures their own LCoS panels (Liquid Crystal on Silicon). Think of LCoS as an LCD panel that reflects the light instead of letting it pass through the panel. Different design, different light engine design. JVC calls their LCoS panels D-iLA (Sony calls theirs SXRD, Canon, calls theirs Realisys, and so on).

A key strength of LCoS is less visible pixel structure. Traditionally though LCoS, like LCD have been rather weak when it comes to contrast and black level performance.

Not so the JVC solution. JVC’s panels and light engine develop contrast ratios far better than any LCD or DLP, or other brand’s LCoS panels, and that yields far blacker blacks. Oh, the competition does compete, espeically with the HD250, with the use of a dynamic iris, which the JVC’s don’t need to do the job. Even so, the best of the other LCoS, LCD and DLP projectors, even with Dynamic irises, typically can only match (or beat insignificantly on the darkest scenes), this JVC projector. On average brightness scenes where dynamic iris in projectors using them, becomes ineffective, black objects will look blacker on this JVC DLA-HD250, than on those other projectors. Still, on average scenes, those others typically still do really well. The real “action” is how well projectors handle the darkest scenes.

Individual SXRD panel adjustment

A very nice, touch, this JVC allows individual adjustment of each panel for more precise alignment. This feature carried forward from previous years. And, it works nicely! Like the Sony projectors solution as well, the JVC adjust digitally, so adjustments are in 1 pixel increments.

For example, if a red panel is off by, say 1/3 a pixel diameter to the right, there’s nothing that can improve that, since shifting red a pixel to the left, would then have it off by 2/3s of a pixel. On the other hand, if that red pixel was off by 3/4 of a diameter, then the adjustment could reduce that to 1/4: 3/4 shift to right – 1.0 shift to left = 1/4 shift to left. In other words, it can improve sharpness if your projetor is off more than 1/2 pixel, but still doesn’t get you to a perfectly converged set of panels.

Of note, the HD250 I reviewed, was off slightly with the reds in both horizontal and vertical planes, however all mis-alignment was under 1/2 pixel so there was no way to further improve it. This JVC was pretty typical of JVCs in previous reviews, the one exception being our review of the DLA-RS35 last year, which had truly excellent alignment of the panels. Of course that projector was $9995. It’s replacement, the RS60 – the unit we had briefly was aligned more like this HD250, that is, it was off, but not enough to be able to adjust.

DLA-HD250 - First JVC in a while to lack CFI

I mention this because many JVC owners are serious enthusiast who upgrade their projectors every couple/few years. Best to warn them that, for example, coming from the RS15, you lose this feature.

Creative Frame Interpolation: JVC calls theirs Clear Motion Drive. The thing is, the DLA-HD250 and DLA-HD250Pro, do not have creative frame interpolation.

Perhaps the CFI feature, by its elimination, helped JVC get to a $3000 price point.

Many sports fans may well miss it – including myself.

I had found the CFI on other JVCs to be very good, but not so good to be desireable for movie watching. Like most projectors – too much “soap opera effect” on 24fps movies on the older JVCs. Hey, I get by just fine with my RS20, which pre-dates JVC’s first CFI models (the RS25).

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