JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS35 Brightness

No surprises here. The new JVC DLA-RS35 projector is very similar to last year’s RS20 in terms of brightness. In this case, the JVC DLA-RS35 – and, therefore also the JVC HD950 – measured just a little less bright than the older model, in some modes, and a little brighter in others. (Bolded modes are the ones we worked with. Ultimately a calibrated THX mode was saved in User 1, and a calibrated “Brightest” mode was saved in User 2.

JVC DLA-RS35 Projector - Uncalibrated:

Cinema 1 624 5979
Cinema 2 680 6870
Cinema 3 726 8030
Natural 670 6892
Stage 724 8033
Dynamic 774 @ 10161 781 @ 10143 with Color Sat. set to 0
THX 677 6877
User 1 or 2 677 6891

After doing our calibration of “best mode” we measured Cinema 2 (placed in User 1) at 656 lumens down only 24 lumens from uncalibrated. Mike felt that the color handling and picture quality of Dynamic mode was already good (though lacking in reds), and did not do our basic “quick-cal(ibrate)” of Dynamic because he felt that further improving it would eliminate any additional brightness. Dynamic is best if you need every last lumen, but Stage is my preferred, and at 724 lumens looks better at a cost of only 50 lumens.

The biggest curiosity is the brightness of the projector itself, This RS35 is basically mesuring 70 – 100 lumens less in the various modes, than the RS25, which, of course is the same projector. What might cause that is a question that I hope JVC has an answer for. If and when I do, I’ll rewrite this paragraph.

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 1 mode, for different lens positioning From a percentage standpoint, the differences will be the same for any mode, as you change the lens angle:

Zoom out (closest position – wide-angle) 734 lumens
Mid-zoom 677 lumens
Zoom in 569 lumens (furthest from the screen – tele)

The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:

Low lamp power (“Normal” lamp mode), for THX 466 lumens
High lamp power (“High” lamp mode) for THX 677 lumens

That works out to a drop of 31% in brightness when running the lamp in Normal (low) mode. That same percentage difference should be unchanged, regardless of preset mode. Even in low power, in a “best” mode, the JVC DLA-RS35 and HD990 should be slightly brighter than the average home theater projector running at full power. With the JVC lamp on normal (High) setting, the JVC is one of the brightest serious projectors available under $10,000, when comparing “best” modes.

This fits nicely with my experience with the RS20. The lack of extra brightness in “brightest” mode, is my only real complaint about the RS20 after owning it for a year. (OK, it could be a touch sharper too.)

With the JVC RS35 (like the older RS20), you can also control brightness (and slightly affect contrast) by closing down the manual iris.

Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (THX Mode):

Setting:
0 (maximum opening) 677 lumens
-8 (50% open) 516 lumens
15 (minimum opening) 357 lumens

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