JVC DLA-RS10 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS10 Brightness

The RS10 is very bright in its best mode, brighter than most 1080p projectors out there. In it’s brightest mode, however, it is just slightly brighter still, hardly enough to notice. That makes it just on the low side of average brightness for “brightest” mode, when you have to deal with some ambient light. In fact, the provided THX mode is only a few dozen lumens dimmer than brightest mode (Dynamic). All these measurements assume lamp on full power (High setting), unless otherwise noted.

DLA-RS10 Projector - Uncalibrated:

inema 1 (“best” mode) : 710 lumens
Note, after our calibration, brightness actually increased slightly to 740 lumens.

Cinema 2: 629 lumens

Header Content
Natural 707 lumens
Stage 717 lumens
Dynamic 814 lumens

Interestingly, most of those numbers are a few lumens less than our RS20 measured. This could be lamp variation as the RS10 is officially supposed to be 1000 lumens, vs. the RS20‘s 900 lumens. More likely though, when calibrating one or both JVC’s were not quite at the zoom mid-point (there is no defined “stop” to indicate the center of the range). The wide/tele measurements below would tend to support that, as the RS10 shows brighter in wide angle than the RS20, but dimmer for the other two settings.

Note that Cinema 1 and 2 are reversed between the two projectors. Cinema 1 on the RS10 (“best” mode) is the equivalent to Cinema 2 on the RS20, and vice versa. I have no idea as to why they switched those two around, but they did.

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 1mode, for different lens positioning

Zoom out (closest position – wide-angle) 880 lumens
Mid-zoom 710 lumens
Zoom in 578 lumens

Thus at the maximum zoom distance, the lumens are 18% lower. At the closest distance (wide angle), they are 15% greater. (The same ratios should apply to any preset mode)

Low lamp power (“Normal” lamp mode), for Cinema 1: 481 lumens
High lamp power (“High” lamp mode) for Cinema 1: 710 lumens

That works out to a drop of 32% less brightness when running the lamp in Normal (low) mode. That same percentage difference should be unchanged, regardless of preset mode.

Sharpness

The JVC’s have never been among the very sharpest looking 1080p projectors around, none the less, it’s not an area of concern. I refer to the JVC projectors as having average sharpness, simply because they do look sharp. Any differences on movie viewing between the RS20, and the sharpest projectors out there is slight. You will likely notice more difference with a straight digital video signal (much of the HDTV content), as you don’t have the softening effects of the film, that comes with movies.

Perhaps this average “sharpness” is due to JVC’s use of LCoS panels which have the least visible pixel structure. That may inherently make them look a little softer, even as they reveal the same amount of detail. That wouldn’t surprise me, as the Sony’s are typically similar to the JVC’s and they too are LCoS. The other major projector that tends to fit in the group (in terms of sharpness) is the Panasonic PT-AE3000 which uses their SmoothScreen Technology on their LCD panels to end up with a pixel structure no more visible than LCoS.

I don’t notice any huge differences between the RS10 and the sharpest 1080p projector I have here the InFocus IN83. when watching movies, but I can definitely spot a little softening on my HDTV sports viewing. Side by side you, though, you can immediately see that the IN83 is sharper. The JVC does have a nice sharpness control and a detail enhancement one as well, on the advanced Picture menu. You can dial them up quite a bit, and get more sharpness, but if too far, you’ll start getting some sharpening artifacts. The RS10 sharpness images taken below were the default sharpness settings. Dialed up, the sharpness and detail enhancement bring the JVC closer still, to the IN83.

One thing noteworthy about the RS10′s sharpness, is that it seems more consistent than many other 1080p projectors from the center of the screen to the corners. Many projectors have very detectable softening of the image in the corners and outside area, if you focus from the dead center. We recommend that with any projector you should pick a spot for dead on focus, that is about 1/3 of the way from the center to the corner. That will give the best overall sharpness across the image.

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