JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS25 Projector - Image Quality

JVC DLA-RS25 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-RS25 projector projects on the screen. There are color shifts (too much yellow, in this case), saturation differences, etc.

These images are provided to support the commentary. 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 to some photo shoots that I have not been able to completely remove. In other words, while we can demonstrate differences in black levels and shadow details of the RS25, the photos are only approximations of skin tone and color accuracy.

DLA-RS25 Out of the Box Picture Quality

The THX mode on the JVC DLA-RS25 may well be even better than last year’s, which was really, really good, for “right out of the box” performance. Last year, ultimately, we were able to calibrate Cinema 2 to look slightly better than THX. That said, if you select THX mode, I don’t think you’ll find any other projector at or below its price, that can match its out of the box combination of accuracy, look and feel.

The same is true this year. The JVC RS25 projector’s THX mode is excellent. It has its own CMS settings locked in, and that, essentially, seems how THX differs from Cinema 2, as indicated by the CIE charts shown elsewhere in the review.

Ultimately we calibrated Cinema 2 and the individual colors in the Color Management System, and ended up with results I find to be slightly better than THX. All of you that buy an RS25, can drop in our settings (found on the calibration page of this review), and see if you prefer them to the default THX. I think you will.

Skin tones in THX mode are really very good, definitely better than the default Cinema 2 mode. If you aren’t making adjustments, stick with THX, and life will be simple.

Flesh Tones

In THX mode skin tones are most impressive. That said, I think our settings, at least applied to this unit, in terms of a calibrated Cinema 2 mode, produce slightly better and more faithful skin tones still. Nonetheless, our settings and the THX mode are very similar.

Some additional good news. Not only are skin tones excellent in THX and calibrated Cinema 2, but also rather good in Dynamic mode when you need all the available lumens. Definitely quite as good, but still pretty good. That’s only to be expected though, since using Dynamic mode only delivers about an extra 100 or so lumens. Switch to Dynamic, change the gamma, and the JVC DLA-RS25, is all ready to go for some great sports viewing, within, of course the limitations of its brightness, which is just below average for a bright mode.

I still think the best skin tones ever to be seen in my theaters was on a calibrated InFocus IN83, which, sadly, I finally had to return. I do believe the JVC DLA-RS25 is very close to the InFocus, but if memory serves, the IN83 almost always looked dead on. The JVC, doesn’t seem to be quite as perfect, but, no problem. I’ve viewed the RS25 with the RS20. While I’ll concede that I haven’t recalibrated the RS20 since right after I bought it, that the colors have shifted slightly as I have since put about 600 hours on the lamp.

Still the first time I had both projectors on at the same time, although skin tones looked extremely similar, the RS25 was definitely doing the better job. Those of you who remember the RS20 review, will remember that last year JVC had a very funky CMS system, which gave us great difficulty in calibrating a good picture. Hey, even if that’s the primary reason the JVC RS25 looks a little better, the bottom line is that it does!

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.

Hey, all these staid images, so conservative. It’s time for ProjectorReviews.com to get a bit risque, with this image from Quantum of Solace. After all, it does have some great skin tones:

Lau, above, from The Dark Knight, looks just about perfect, up on the screen, when it comes to believable skin tones.

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