JVC DLA-RS20 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS20 Brightness

While there are a number of improvements in the JVC DLA-RS20, compared with the RS2, perhaps the most important to many, is a substantial increase in brightness. Certainly it is important to me, in considering buying an RS20, as the older RS2 simply did not have the horsepower (lumens) to fill my 128″ Firehawk G3 screen. I’m pleased to report that the JVC RS20, by comparison, has no trouble filling my full screen for movie watching. As with all the other JVC home theater projectors I have reviewed, the RS20 is only slightly brighter in its brightest mode, than in its “best” viewing mode. That may still cause some consternation for folks who like to watch sports and TV with some ambient light present. Let’s start with our measurements, “right out of the box”:

DLA-RS20 Projector - Uncalibrated

Cinema 1 672 lumens
(low color temp, optimized for viewing black and white films)

Cinema 2: 722 lumens

(“best” mode that allows calibration)
Natural 732 lumens
Stage 768 lumens
Dynamic 844 lumens
THX 837 lumens
(“best” mode, in terms of overall performance, out of the box)

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) 775 lumens
Mid-zoom 672 lumens
Zoom in 550 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 1 448 lumens
High lamp power (“High” lamp mode) for Cinema 1 672 lumens

That works out to a drop of almost a perfect 1/3 less brightness when running the lamp in Normal (low) mode. That same percentage difference should be unchanged, regardless of preset mode.

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