JVC DLA-X35 Projector Review

This tour page almost complete.  It is still missing a picture of the correct remote control, which will be added shortly.

JVC DLA-X35 Physical Appearance

There is, of course, a control panel on the projector. Instead of on top, where a majority of projectors have their control panels, JVC has placed the control panel for the DLA-X35 (and the other new RS and X series projectors) in the center of the back panel of the projector. That’s right next to the inputs and other connectors. For most, that’s just fine. If you are shelf mounting, however, with minimum rear space on your shelf, getting to the control panel will be essentially impossible, so don’t misplace the JVC X35′s excellent remote control.

Control Panel

The X35 and RS46′s control panel are located on the back of the projector, in the center, just to the right of the inputs and connections area.

At the top, is the Power button, with the usual press once for On, press twice for Off.

The Input – source selection is next, followed by the OK, the Enter key.

Then comes the four arrow buttons in a diamond shaped arrangement. It would have been nice to have the OK button in the center, instead of above.

At the bottom you will find the Menu, and (menu) Back buttons. Pretty standard stuff. Of course, we all primarily rely on the remote control, and probably only use the control panel during initial setup, if at all. Especially buried on the back.

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JVC DLA-X35 and DLA-RS46 Projector Input/Output

All of the JVC projector’s connectors are located on the back left side. The top row starts with a pair of HDMI 1.4a connectors. There’s also a LAN connector, and an RS-232 serial port for system control for whole room or whole home systems such as Crestron, Control4, etc. Updates can be accomplished through the LAN port as well.

Next up, are three RCA connectors for the component video input. There are no composite or S-Video inputs. The rear IR sensor for the remote, is to the right of the component video (and hard to see in the image above.)

The bottom row has the sync port (a DIN connector) for the 3D emitter. This year it the emitter itself just plugs in, as seen in this photo. You can, however, use last year’s emitter by plugging in its cable instead. I can’t think of why, however, you would want to. Finally, there is a 12 volt screen trigger for controlling a motorized screen or masking system, and a hard wire for the remote control should the projector be where it can’t “see” the IR signal from the remote (usually a rear screen setup).

If there’s one really missed input, that would be a traditional analog computer input (HD15 connector) to connect to most computers.

Now many computer users, have HDMI which is the easy solution. For analog signals there are work arounds of course. With external boxes you can convert to HDMI, or feed it in as a component video signal. Without the analog computer input, providing a 3rd HDMI input would have been a good move. Alas!

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JVC DLA-X35 and DLA-RS46 Menus

As with most advanced projectors, the X35 has tons of sub-menus.  I’m going to show you a whole assortment of them, in part to let you know that they exist, and from there, the type of controls.  But, I will not get into all of them.  Let me note that the JVC manual is pretty detailed.  One of the better offerings these days.

Again JVC has reworked some of its menus, but primarily where new features are concerned.

These menus, however retain the same look and feel as generations of JVC projectors that have come before.

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JVC DLA-X35 and DLA-RS46 Menus Slideshow

Gamma Sub Menu

Besides the usual Brightness, Contrast, Color Saturation, etc., the Picture menu has a Gamma sub menu, and and Advanced sub-menu.

Advanced Menu

The Advanced menu shown here, offers , Gamma, control of the manual aperture, Clear Motion Drive (CFI), and lamp brightness. Again, note please, that JVC calls their nicely quiet eco-mode, NORMAL, and their full power mode HIGH.

Gamma Custom Menu

Definitely an excellent custom Gamma control, even if none of the many preconfigured Gammas is particularly close to the ideal 2.2 gamma.

Clear Motion Drive Sub-menu

Clear Motion Drive Sub-menu (CFI) is shown here, with its settings.

Picture Menu

This image is from the X55R's review, as I did not reshoot this menu: Seen here is one of two new menus/features. Picture Dark/Bright (shown), and Picture Tone controls (not shown). I describe their purpose under special features.

Color temp sub-menu

This is the Color Temp sub-menu, for calibrating the grayscale. Three savable Custom settings are provided.

Input Signal

Moving to the second main menu - the Input Signal, you'll find options for the HDMI 1.4 input ports, the ability to picture shift (picture positioning - digitally move the image up or down, useful for some with cinemascope movies on 16:9 screens, in case you want all the letterboxing to be at the top, and the movie, closer to the bottom of your screen).

Lens Control Menu

You've got the ability to control motorized focus, zoom, and lens shift. There's a black and green lined test pattern that comes up when adjusting.

Function Menu

This allows you to set up the Screen Triggers (or for controlling an anamorphic lens sled) The command and control serial port, a simple timer (One to four hours)

Custom Gamma Menu

Not only can you adjust the gamma of white, but also you can do each primary color separately. Further, the JVC X35 comes with a number of gamma presets, none of which are at the desired 2.2 for movies. But you can create one, The JVC allows you to save three of your own custom settings. Note also, that when doing so you can adjust each IRE point separately.

The grayscale provided on the screen (lower right), which gives you a rough idea if you are crushing blacks or whites too much, or expanding them the way you want. Definitely an excellent custom Gamma control, even if none of the many preconfigured Gammas is particularly close to the ideal 2.2 gamma.

Since the gamma allows you to adjust in grayscale or by individual colors, this provides one nice advantage over many other projectors.  While we can’t measure really dim areas (below 20 IRE), we can, when viewing really dark scenes, see if the darkest grays/blacks are neutral, or shifting to red, blue, or other color.  For example, JVC’s tend to go slightly red in the darkest areas, Epson and Sony, more typically blue.  With individual gamma color controls, one should be able to mostly use the gamma settings in the lowest regions to compensate for much of any color shift.  Nice!

Input Signal

The X35 offers Masking, which I favor over overscan, as it maintains 1:1 pixel mapping, if you have to eliminate to fringe noise around the edge of your signal (not uncommon with TV).

Installation Settings

The Lens Control menu is extensive. You’ve got the ability to control motorized focus, zoom, and lens shift. There’s a black and green lined test pattern that comes up when adjusting.

The Lens Memory allows you to set up the projector to project two different sized images from the same physical location. The assumption here, is that you use a “Cinemascope” wide screen, such as my 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen.

With one setting of Lens Memory, the projector fills my 124″ wide screen (2.35:1). In the other setting I “set up”, the image gets smaller, and fills the height of my screen with a 16:9 image, leaving the letterbox on the left and right. Without zooming out (smaller), 16:9.

As you can see above, you can access the individual controls for Focus, Zoom and Lens Shift. Or, you can do that from the remote with the Lens Control Button.  That button toggles you through those three controls.

The Lens Memory controls to save, and select are near the bottom. You can also assign names to the Lens Memories, such as 2.35:1 Movies, or Sports, or whatever “floats your boat”.

There is also a Lock feature that’s handy, and prevents casual changing of the lens settings.

Not Shown is the Display menu, which includes controls for placement of menus, and other features affecting the overall display.

Function Menu

This allows you to set up the Screen Triggers (or for controlling an anamorphic lens sled) The command and control serial port, a simple timer (One to four hours).  I’m used to setting most projectors to shut down if they don’t have an input. If JVC’s added an option to have it power down after no input signal for a period of time, I didn’t find it.  It’s a feature I like having.

As is pretty much standard on home theater projectors, lastly is an Information menu, (not shown here), which displays items such as resolution, which port is being used…

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