JVC DLA-X35 Projector Review

This image and description is still that of the X55R’s remote, which is slightly different, notably, having a THX mode button.   Of course, the DLA-X35 does not have a THX mode.

I love the feel (and operation) of the JVC remote controls.  The DLA-X35 (and DLA-RS46) are no exception.  There are simply slightly different buttons, as there is no THX mode, MCP for e-shift2…

I still use my JVC RS20′s remote.  The X35′s newer design has a slightly different, (and better) feel to the case, but is definitely based on the older remote.

Basically:

Two power buttons near the top. On on the right, and Off to the left.

Then come two rows of buttons, the first row of three, offers the primary inputs, your HDMI 1 and 2, and a Component video. That’s great, as few will be using other inputs, especially since there isn’t an analog computer input.

The next row has 3D Format and 3D Settings buttons, and on the far right, C.M.D – Clear Motion Drive, aka: creative frame interpolation.

Next row – two small round buttons, one is a Hide feature, the other is the backlight button.  I love this remotes backlight.  It’s my favorite. Buttons are easily readable, without the light being too bright!

Then comes the arrow keys and navigation in a round configuration, with a center OK (Enter) button. Below the ring, are Menu and Back, two more small round buttons.

Further down, you’ll find nine buttons which access the many picture modes such as Cinema and Stage.  The 9th button is MPC, which is JVC’s sharpness/detail control.

That leaves only the last four buttons at the bottom of the JVC DLA-X35, and, from left to right, they provide direct access to controls for:

Gamma, Color Temperature, Color Profiles, and Picture Adjust, which toggles you through all the usual controls like brightness, contrast, sharpness…

Range of the remote is easily very good, exceeding the 7 meter (22 feet) claim, even bouncing the signal off of my screen.

Remotes don’t get much nicer than this. Looks good, feels good in your hand, great backlight, balances well. JVC remotes have been my favorites for several years.  Oh, I also particularly like Epson’s, Sony’s and BenQ remotes, don’t care at all for Mitsubishi’s and Optoma’s etc.  But, if I have to pick just one brand’s remote as my favorite, it’s definitely JVC.

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DLA-X35 Lens Throw

The JVC X35′s 2:1 aspect ratio zoom lens naturally provides a great deal of placement flexibility.  You can either ceiling or shelf mount this JVC projector.  And of course you can set it on a table top, if not planning a permanent setup.  To fill a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 aspect ratio screen, the front of the projector can be as close as 9 feet, 11 inches, or as far back as 20 feet, 1 inches. Using these measurements for 100 inches, you can figure out the range for any other screen size. These are the same as with last year’s JVC projectors.

The X35 has plenty of lens shift.  Both horizontal and vertical lens shift are motorized. For that same 100 inch screen, the projector can be placed anywhere between 15 inches above the top of your screen surface, to 15 inches below the bottom of the screen surface. Those are approximates, JVC doesn’t have exact numbers in its manual, but likely it’s 14 inches and change above and below.  Basically we’re talking about 80% vertical shift!

There are some projectors with a touch more lens shift, but most with lens shift have less range.  The horizontal lens shift allows a maximum of about 30 inches to the left or right of the center point.

The vertical and horizontal lens shift controls affect each other.  The more vertical you use, the less horizontal is available, and vice versa. If you have maximum vertical, there is no horizontal lens shift, and so on.

According to the JVC brochures, the JVC DLA-X35 and DLA-RS46 support use of an anamorphic lens.  JVC recommends a Panamorph lens, and sled, but does not directly offer them.  Some years back, dealers could actually buy the anamorphic lens, sled from JVC, with a custom mounting plate instead of a universal.  No big deal.

A motorized sled is optional as there is a second anamorphic mode designed to let you watch 16:9 and 4:3, with the anamorphic lens set permanently in front of the lens. This saves on the expense of the motorized sled.

JVC supports use of an anamorphic lens in 3D mode. That’s a nice touch that many other manufacturers have skipped. Of course Lens Memory features have likely hobbled the sales of anamorphic lenses to mid priced projectors like this one. Afterall, using Lens Memory adds no additional costs, while a lens and sled are likely going to cost you upward of $3000 extra.

Assuming you’ve decided you want to go 2.35:1 widescreen, Lens Memory is obviously the far less expensive way to go.There are trade-offs. Using an anamorphic lens, let’s you use the projector’s full resolution for a widescreen image.  By comparison, Lens Memory only uses about 80% of the pixels – the same percentage as watching with a letterbox on a 16:9 screen.

Sound like the lens route is better?  Perhaps. Another key difference is that with an anamorphic lens, first you stretch the image making it taller, then the anamorphic lens stretches out the width, for the correct ratios.  That means, though, that you are giving up the accurate 1:1 pixel mapping - one piece of information for each addressable pixel, that is ideal.  In other words each solution for viewing widescreen movies on a wide screen, is less than ideal.

Unless you are buying this projector and already have an anamorphic lens to use, I wouldn’t recommend one.  Why?  Because for well less than a good anamorphic lens, you could upgrade to the DLA-X55R, maybe a DLA-X75R and rely on lens memory.  That really makes more sense to me.

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