JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Review

To get the very most out of the DLA-RS25, a calibration is necessary, but will only yield a slight improvement over THX mode. Dynamic mode seems improved in terms of color, compared to last year’s RS20.

The CMS is much improved, as noted. This allows for a pretty straightforward calibration, without the hassles encountered by early buyers of the RS20 last year.

JVC DLA-RS25 Post Calibration Grayscale

So, how good does the final calibration look? Let’s say the on screen image looks even better than the measured grayscale would anticipate.

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration):

20 IRE 6510K
30 IRE 6306K
40 IRE 6578K
50 IRE 6563K
60 IRE 6508K
70 IRE 6422K
80 IRE 6406K
90 IRE 6462K
100 IRE 6460K

While the numbers do not look that spectacular, with a dip at 30 IRE that Mike couldn’t eliminate, these are still very good numbers, with a 272K range, all but 30 IRE are within 100K of the ideal D65.

Mike reports that low lamp mode actually doesn’t have the same dip, and overall, caibrates to a smoother D65. We, however, always calibrate the bright mode, as few users get to live with low power. Even those that have a bright enough projector for low power when they first get it, tend to shift to full power by the time their lamp has half of its life gone, as by then, it’s dimmer in full power, than it was originally in low power. In other words, the projector gets dimmer over time due to the lamp, and people who start out in low power, end up using high power to maintain as much brightness as possible. I should note, though, that without recalibrating for low lamp, the JVC still looks extremely good when you do switch to low lamp power.

Gamma settings:

The gamma controls on the RS25 allow for detailed customization, including different gamma curves for each primary color! You can have about as much fun as you would like, customizing gamma for your screen, room conditions, personal tastes, etc.

Ultimately though, Normal is the default and averages 2.18 (ideal is 2.2) over the range. Each of the four other preset gammas – A-D, have different curves, and do noticeably different things to different ranges of the image (bright, mid, dark, etc.).

In addition there are three Custom gamma modes (1,2,3) which you can tinker with. You can start with any one of the preset gammas (Normal, A-D), copy that into a Custom, and modify from there. You can even set different gamma settings for the different primary colors (red, green, blue), or all at once with white. This is one of the more comprehensive customizable gamma modes I’ve encountered. (and much fun to play with). of the Preset Gammas, I tend to favor Normal C, or D.

The A setting lifts the brightness in the very darkest areas, making dark shadow detail more visible, but, by doing so, removes some of the punch on dark scenes. B setting mostly lifts brightness in the 40 to 80 IRE range. It adds punch and also makes those sunny days seem sunnier. Gamma C is much like B, but a little less push in those brighter ranges, and a little push added at the low end to bring up the very darkest shadow detail. In other words, C, is very much like a cross between A and B, and personally preferable to either. Gamma D lifts the mid-tones only slightly. It is closest to Normal, but “brightens” the mid-range just slightly.

Basically I tend to favor D over Normal, depending on the movie. C is my choice when I want to make the image more dynamic looking. B will also do that but is more “over the top” and typically “distorts” the original too much for my taste.

And of course, you can create your own, similar to any of these, with your own preferences, if you like to play.

JVC DLA-RS25 RGB Settings

These are the adjustments we made to Red, Green and Blue for the grayscale balance of THX mode. This is accomplished by placing these adjustments into one of the three Custom settings (1, 2, or 3). We placed all of these into User 1 (which starts out as a copy of THX).

Calibration settings for User 1:
Gamma on Normal, Color on -2

Custom Color Temp 1, 6500K ref.
Gain R = 0
G = -8
B = -14
Offset R = -3
G = 0
B = 0

CMS Settings: H=Hue, S=Saturation, B=Brightness

Red H= 12, S= -18, B= 0
Yellow H= 9, S= -46, B= 35
Green H= -44, S= -46, B= 36
Cyan H= 5, S= -59, B=55
Blue H= 50, S= -20, B= 8
Magenta H= -13, S= -20, B= 11

OK, you’ve got everything you need to copy our calibration efforts on your shiny new JVC DLA-RS25 projector. Of course, there will be slight variations due to the lamp (and lamp performance will change over time). We calibrated with the lamp virtually brand new, as opposed to waiting a couple hundred hours, which is generally considered more ideal. Still, any shifts are fairly slight. If I end up purchasing an RS25, or the souped up RS35 (with hand picked components and tighter quality control), I’ll be calibrating it when new, and then likely redoing the calibration after about 300 hours. If that all happens, I’ll post those numbers as well.

Bottom line: Skin tones, no, everything, tends to really look great, and natural, on our review RS25 using these settings. Gorgeous! I’ve run my RS20 against the RS25 with these settings, and no question, I’ve got a slightly better picture with the RS25, in terms of faithful color accuracy, including even better skin tones. I’ve always marveled at the colors of the InFocus IN83 I had here. It’s a shame it’s gone now, because this RS25 may well be the closest I’ve seen to that projector, in terms of skin tone handling.

A last thought. For those with their own calibration gear (that includes you professionals), it appears that the JVC CMS supports timed measurements and adjustments, in the same basic fashion as professional calibration software. If you’re up to speed with your gear, this should save a fair amount of time calibrating the projector.

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