JVC DLA-RS10 Projector Review
JVC provides a two year parts and labor warranty on their DLA-RS10 projector, and also on it’s virtually identical twin, the HD350 (sold by their consumer division). That’s the most common warranty among 1080p home theater projectors. A few others out there offer three years, and a few only one year. JVC seems to have very good build quality, and the previous JVC models have had a good reputation for reliability. (My own RS1 has performed flawlessly, it is now 20 months old and has about 1500 hours on it, with no issues.)
JVC DLA-RS10 Projector - The Bottom Line
Your first look at the RS10, out of the box will be impressive, but definitely a bit oversaturated. Color balance is slightly shifted towards red.
Overall, the picture quality is excellent! Black levels are, in particular, excellent, even though the more expensive RS20 does better still. Nothing else I’ve seen can match the RS10 (except of course, the RS2, the RS20’s predecessor).
Of particular note, on most dark scenes that have some significant bright areas (that draw your eye), the difference in black level performance between this RS10 and the RS20, are likely not even to be noticed. When, however, you have really dark scene with no significant bright areas, that’s where the RS20 steps up and provides a visible improvement.
Shadow detail is also very good, almost identical to the RS20. In reality, because of the slightly higher black levels, the darkest shadow details may be more evident on the RS10.
The JVC DLA-RS10, and therefore also the HD350, is a truly excellent projector, not only in terms of black levels and shadow detail, but in its natural looking colors, and overall film-like qualities. The RS10 offers an extremely dynamic looking image on dark scenes, that is hard to beat. Sharpness, while not the best out there is good, and for those concerned, or who want a little more, bumping up the Sharpness and detail enhancement settings will get you an image that appears even closer to the sharpest competition.
Placement flexibility is pretty close to the best you can find, so no issues there. The two year warranty isn’t the best, but it is the “industry standard” for projectors in this class.
In other words, it’s hard to find fault with the JVC RS10 home theater projector. Is it worth the extra money over some excellent projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB andPro Cinema 7500UB, the Panasonic PT-AE3000, and the BenQ W20000? I have to say yes. Of course the two major questions that each person considering the RS10, must answer for themselves, is “how much am I willing to spend for incrementally better performance, and also, if I don’t spend the extra, knowing myself, will I always second guess my decision, and potentially be sorry I didn’t buy the JVC? Those same two questions also apply to deciding between the RS10 and the RS20!
OK, we’ve just established that the RS10 has the whole picture quality issue covered, what about the rest of the pieces in the puzzle.
Brightness, is a key consideration to many home theater projector owners. If you have a “cave-like” home theater, for full lighting control, and you only plan on a 100 inch diagonal screen (87 inches wide), just about any home theater projector has the brightness for movie enjoyment and brighter HDTV and sports viewing. If, however, you are in the 110 inch to 135″ screen size range (as I am), and especially if you watch movies, but also content like sports with some lights on, then the majority of projectors simply won’t work for you. For example, the old RS2, didn’t have the lumens to fill my 128″ screen, whether for movie viewing or sports/HDTV with some light. Others (typically LCD based projectors such as the Panasonic and Sanyo projectors, have enough brightness to work with larger screens in their brightest modes, but not in their best modes. Still others have the lumens for the large screen when watching movies in the dark, but don’t have the lumens for sports/HDTV type viewing with some light on (LCoS projectors often fit in this category, along with some DLPs.
I mention all this because the JVC DLA-RS10 is solid. For the first category, the RS10 has lots of lumens for movie watching on a large screen in a fully darkened room. For sports and HDTV viewing with some light, it is more marginal. I’ve definitely decided that in my large room, now that I’ve darkened it further during the daytime, the RS10 and RS20 definitely work for my room and tastes. I do, know, from my similarly bright RS1, that with my old setup – light walls, and more light leaking in around shades than now, that the RS10 would be just marginal for my football viewing, just as my RS1 was until the recent room changes. My point is that the RS10 can handle larger screen sizes such as mine, in many cases, for both types of viewing. Matching it with the right type of screen for your room setup, will be very important to making it work. Audible noise: While many find even the noisiest home theater projectors pose no problem for them, I do get a lot of comments from those who really insist upon a very quiet projector. Most of them simply don’t want to hear any fan noise when there’s a very quiet scene on the screen. This is compounded, particularly, if your projector is ceiling mounted, and almost directly above your head. Those shelf mounting up high, in back of their room, have the advantage of normally sitting closer to the screen, and that the shelf itself can absorb or deflect some of the sound, away from the viewer.
The JVC RS10, is extremely quiet in its low lamp mode (labeled Normal), that virtually no one should have an issue with it. With the lamp on full power (High mode), the RS10 is about average. And that means some folks will take issue with the fan noise. Not many, I suspect, but some. To a large degree this is a personal thing, as some folks just don’t notice it. Many hardcore enthusiasts, though, in their search for perfection, find any flaw distracting, be it fan noise, the slightest color imbalance, so-so black level performance, etc.
I mention all of this because the RS10 will appeal strongly to the enthusiast. The good news is that, I do believe the RS10, a little quieter than the older RS1 and RS2, will be found by most buyers, critical or not, to be satisfactory even in its High lamp mode. For those that aren’t, the choices are pretty slim. Mitsubishi and Panasonic projectors for example are extremely quiet, and affordable, but they aren’t in the same class, in terms of picture quality.
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