JVC DLA-RS20 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS20 images below are from either Blu-ray, or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). These images are not overly accurate compared to the image the DLA-RS20 projector projects on the screen. There are color shifts (too much yellow, in this case), saturation differences, etc.

The images are provided to support the commentary, so don’t read too much into them, such as expecting an exact reproduction of skin tones. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews. From a color standpoint, my dSLR camera still adds a very slight green shift I have not been able to completely remove.

DLA-RS20 Out of the Box Picture Quality

I was surprised by the performance, right out of the box. It definitely could be better. The Cinema 2 mode leaves much to be desired (Cinema 1 is optimized for black and white movies, and we didn’t pay much attention to it). Fortunately, the RS20′s THX mode does a really good job, right out of the box, although it can definitely be improved upon. THX mode, however allows for very little adjustments (Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness), but no grayscale adjustments or access to the CMS (color management system). Take one home, and, until you get it properly calibrated, THX will give you the best results. I found THX, however, to not deliver the best black level performance that the RS20 is capable of, and the image lacks pop.

Flesh Tones

After calibrating and tweaking the JVC DLA-RS20, skin tones improved and we ended up with skin tones that we liked even better than THX mode, although they are pretty similar. I was really loving the skin tone handling until I put the RS20 up, side by side with the InFocus IN83, which has the best looking skin tones of any projector I have worked with. Side by side, the IN83 still gets the slight advantage, but again, the RS20 only really comes up a little short by direct comparison.

While most projectors with good skin tones do differ from one another, they all tend to look very good during normal viewing. Put two such projectors side by side, and you really notice what would otherwise be subtle differences. If one has more red, and the other a touch more green, they tend to both look off, but either, by itself can look very natural.

 

Here, first are a pair of images from my favorite movie not available yet on Blu-ray: Lord of the Rings, played from standard DVD.

Next are our usual three images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale, under different lighting conditions. The point here, is that correct skin tones vary, depending on the lighting. You can expect significantly different looking skin tones, when switching from bright sunlight, to nighttime, fluorescent lighting, incandescent lighting, or even lighting in the shade, or a cloudy day. Consider these three images, the first in direct sunlight, the second is a scene with fluorescent lighting, and the third, a sunny day, but Bond is sitting in the shade – indirect lighting.

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