JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS35 Projector: Pros

  • Excellent Color with extremely good skin tones (the tiniest of gold caste, but I’m really quibbling and figure I can eyeball remove that, as I continue to play)
  • Definitely above average brightness in “best” movie mode
  • Superb, and unmatched, black level performance – as close to the Holy Grail (of perfect blacks) as any fixed panel projector I have ever seen.
  • Certainly the sharpest looking image from an LCoS or LCD based projector, that I’ve ever seen
  • Not the most dynamic image (pop and wow) but still rather good at it, on bright scenes. Great blacks give it more “pop and wow” than the competition on any dark scene.
  • Good shadow detail performance, not the best, but more than acceptable.
  • There is a manual iris, for getting your brightness right. It has lots of steps and can be very helpful for those with smaller screens, if things actually get too bright.
  • Good CFI – creative frame interpolation, best for sports, and digital source material. Not as smooth as the best, very minor artifacts at times. Could be improved, but just dandy for 40 hours of Olympics viewing these past two weeks.
  • Outputs 24 frame per second sources at 96 fps
  • Excellent remote control with excellent range, excellent backlight, good organization one of my all time favorite remotes (a great thing, since my RS20′s remote sucks due to limited range – though fine for people with smaller rooms and screens.)

Click to enlarge. SO close

  • Very good color management system, improved over the last generation
  • Almost excellent placement flexibility (2:1 zoom, lens shift), just a little less lens shift than the most shift offered by a few models If you can’t make the RS35 fit in your room, few projectors will.
  • Focus, Zoom and Lens shift all motorized
  • Very good menus
  • Definitely expensive, but it delivers excellent value for those who can appreciate this projector – at least a small step up, over anything else near its price. A pricy projector, yet a really good value proposition. That is, if you can afford, it, you will almost certainly feel it’s worth it.

Note, I’ve received 3 emails now from current RS35 owners, since this was published almost a week ago. The one thing in common all three said, in addition to mentioning a this or that, was that, yes, they all felt the RS35 was definitely worth it. (Obviously it was within their affordable range.) At least two of the three have had at least 1 home theater projector previously.

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JVC DLA-RS35 Projector: Cons

  • A relatively dim “brightest” mode, of 725 (calibrated, midpoint on zoom lens) lumens means it can’t deal with a whole lot of ambient light, at all, unless you have a small screen.
  • CFI not as smooth as the best, but fine for sports. Definitely changes enough to “damage” the director’s intent when watching movies.
  • Slightly less than average lamp life? JVC quotes 2000 hours at full power (the “industry average), but only “slightly better, in low lamp” while most 2000 hour full power projectors quote 3000 in low power.
  • Although most reasonable – audible noise wise, the RS35 could be a little quieter with lamp at full power. Few would consider this an issue though
  • I’m still waiting for truly great documentation, from anyone. JVC’s efforts aren’t bad, but, still leaves many questions about how features work, unanswered.
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JVC DLA-RS35 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Selection of inputs
  • Lamp life is likely typical or below average in life
  • Documentation (I’m still waiting to see a projector that really does provide good explanations of all the menu functions).

My last thoughts: Well, I’d rather have the RS35 over my RS20, if for no other reasons, the sharpness difference and the CFI for sports viewing. Ultimately it’s JVC’s decision to build a limited number of RS35 projectors from the best of the parts that go into RS25s, that provides the extra sharpness and other, subtle improvements, that really make the JVC DLA-RS35 home theater projector, overall, outstanding, without any real image quality issues.

I just looked at my check book balance. It would seem that I will have to get by with my RS20 and it’s slightly softer image, and not quite as excellent blacks, for a while longer.

But, don’t let that stop you. If you’ve got the funds on hand, I’d suggest you either plunk down for the JVC RS35, or, better still, transfer the money into my checking account, and I’ll buy one, and provide you an occasional report on how much I’m enjoying “your” home theater projector. The last image above, was taken with the RS25, not the DLA-RS35 projector. Source, August Rush, Blu-ray.

If you do spring for a JVC DLA-RS35 or DLA-HD990, you really are in for a treat to the eyes and the visual cortex.

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