JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS35 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-RS35 projector (and others) project on the screen. There are color shifts , 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 RS35, the photos are only approximations of skin tone and color accuracy. In some cases, in this review, images from the RS25 are used (and noted), as technically, most images should appear virtually identical but for a touch more sharpness from the DLA-RS35 projector.

DLA-RS35 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click to enlarge. SO close

The THX mode on the JVC DLA-RS35 looks great as expected. 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 RS35 projector’s THX mode is excellent. It has its own CMS settings locked in, and that, essentially, seems how THX differs from Cinema 2.

Click Image to Enlarge

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. That was also true of our calibrating the RS25, although the two look a touch different as that’s how the calibrations turned out. The RS35, to keep things simple, seems to have a tiny amount of gold added to skin tones. They are still gorgeous. I’m still tweaking this unit. At this point, by eyeball. All of you that buy an RS35, 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 should.

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 really good in Dynamic mode when you need all the available lumens. Unlike a number of projectors that can pull a lot of extra lumens out of their hats, but end up with rather poor color in “brightest” mode, the JVC projectors give you very good color and skin tones in “brightes”t mode, they just don’t give you a whole lot more lumens than “best” mode.

Definitely not 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-RS35, 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. The new InFocus replacement, the SP8602, howver is in house. With current settings, I have to give the InFocus the slightest edge in skin tones, for now, but they aren’t as perfect as the older IN83, either. With either projector, we’re still talking about rather excellent skin tones – natural looking!

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. (These were all taken with the RS25 projector.)

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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