JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Review

I’ve even got a couple of side by side images for you, but those are comparing the JVC DLA-RS25 (right) to the Epson Pro Cinema 9500UB, which has the best black levels of any projector under $4000, by my best reckoning.

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Here are two more dark scenes comparing the JVC (right) and Epson (left) from Space Cowboys.

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These two all digital images images are good ones for considering black levels and dark shadow detail. Look for the richness in the black part of some of the buildings and also, the sky, in the second image. Both of these first two, are digital hi-def images from the DVE-HD calibration disc.

There’s nothing like a real image of the night sky to show off black level performance. This one is from the Hubble telescope. This image is absolutely gorgeous when filling my 128″ screen, using the JVC RS25.

Shadow Detail Performance

The JVC RS25 really does a good job in terms of shadow detail, though not the best. Generally it seems just a touch better at dark shadow detail than the Epson UB, but just a touch less dark shadow detail than, say, the Panasonic PT-AE4000. Today’s better projectors don’t vary a whole lot in how much dark shadow detail they reveal. Yet, there still are differences. Also differences in how you set gamma can make a difference, but ultimately it’s more about getting a projector set up for its best performance. The JVC is definitely very good, but not exceptional. That said, if one switches gamma on the JVC from Normal, to the A setting, which only lifts the very dark areas slightly (20IRE or less), and bingo, now the black levels are every bit as detailed as the Panasonic. Working against the JVC are its inherently excellent black levels. That means that the same near blacks on the JVC should be darker than on a projector with inferior black level performance. That means that the detail may be there, but harder to see, simply because it’s darker. I’ve owned the older RS20 for over 6 months, and have no problem with JVC’s dark shadow detail performance. The RS25, in this regard seems virtually identical to the RS20.

Epson on the left, JVC on the right. Look to the trees and shrubs on the far right, beyond the train tracks.

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In this image above projected on the screen, the JVC looks rich and dynamic, and the InFocus definitely looks a bit flat by comparison. This is definitely one type of scene where the JVC really shines.

Below are groups of images, showing the JVC’s performance on shadow detail and black levels compared to many of the other 1080p projectors out there.

The first set of comparison images is from Space Cowboys. This is a very dark scene with Clint Eastwood on Blu-ray disc. The photos are intentionally way overexposed. Look for the blacks in the shades, and the details in those shades in the form of the white trim. (At this level of overexposure, don’t even worry about the skin tones, as in these types of overexposed photos they always look terrible).

First image is the DLA-RS25, followed by the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 and the Mitsubishi HC7000. Next is the the Sony VW60. The last two in the sequence are the Panasonic PT-AE3000 and the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB.

DLA-RS25
Sanyo PLV-Z3000
Mitsubishi HC7000
Sony VW60
Panasonic PT-AE3000
Epson Home Cinema 8500UB.

Again, from Space Cowboys, this is a cropped image. The right side is very bright (so dynamic irises will not be effective). The DLA-RS25 (top left) shows very good shadow detail in the dark areas of the satellite. Next to it on the first row, is the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB/Pro Cinema 9600UB, Those images are followed by the Optoma HD806 and the PT-AE3000 (second row). The third row is the Mitsubishi HC7000 (left), and the Sony VPL-HW15.

DLA-RS25
Epson Home Cinema 8500UB/Pro Cinema 9600UB
Optoma HD806
PT-AE3000
Mitsubishi HC7000
Sony VPL-HW15.

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