JVC DLA-X35 Projector Review

JVC DLA-X35 Projector: Special Features

No Dynamic Iris, but a Manual One

I repeat this review after review: JVC’s exceptional blacks are due, first and foremost, to their LCoS panel design. They simply created a panel that has higher native contrast than the panels coming from Sony or Canon, or any LCD or DLP projectors. As a result, JVC does not need to add a dynamic iris. The JVC X35 produces really good blacks, without relying on a dynamic , and with more dynamic range than any other projector around its price.

There is a manual iris with 16 steps. If you don’t need all the projector’s brightness, stopping down the manual iris will help you get the desired amount. In doing so, there’s also a slight improvement in contrast, but not enough to be making your image dim, just to get a tiny improvement in overall blacks.

DLA-X35 3D Abilities

I am impressed.  JVC dramatically improved 3D performance. This year’s isn’t amazingly good, it’s just that last year’s was a major disappointment.  JVC’s first pass a 3D, as mentioned was not up to most other 3D projectors.  Even $1599 3D projectors like those from Epson and Acer were doing a much cleaner job with 3D content.  And that was true, whether considering last year’s X30, or their $12K X90R.  This time around I’ve watched an awful lot of 3D, from the Avengers to Tron, parts of Hugo… JVC’s 3D still has some issues such as improving color, (true of almost all 3D projectors), but this JVC is now competitive in terms of the picture, color, artifacts, etc.

Brightness is the serious issue relating to 3D and that’s discussed as well, on the Performance page.

JVC X35 3D active glasses and emitter

For 3D, of course, the X35 projector works with optional 3D active glasses which means if you have a lot of friends, more money for glasses. JVC’s got some of the priciest 3D glasses out there, at $179 MSRP.

True, they are RF (not IR), and they are rechargeable, but the same can be said for similar glasses for the Epson projectors (RF and rechargeable – and even lighter), which are only $99 each. JVC’s glasses are reasonably ligh at 38 grams, about 4 grams heavier than the Epson’s and more than 10 grams heavier than the Panasonic’s which are the lightest active glasses I’ve weighed. For those of you not into metrics, the JVC’s glasses weigh in at about one and a third ounces. Comfort was reasonably good.

Note, you could use the old emitter with the older IR glasses from last year. Unless you are upgrading, and already have some of those, definitely go RF. Not only more convenient, but I expect that the older IR glasses won’t prove to be as bright, and may be in part responsible for the less than wonderful 3D last year.

I should mention the emitter for the glasses. It’s a compact a couple inches by a couple, and maybe 1/2 inch thick. I think it’s great that it just plugs into the back of the projector into its connector. Last year the IR remote was at the end of a cable so you could position the emitter for best functionality with glasses. Of course, the RF emitter doesn’t need to be in the open with line of site. If you are shelf mounting, it makes the projector about 3 inches deeper than otherwise.

Look for more affordable 3rd party glasses, but I’ve yet to confirm that 3rd party RF glasses that will work, are out there.

2D to Simulated 3D on the DLA-X35

Nice try.  I’m not sold.  But that reminds me.  I bought I, Robot in 3D.  Now that is a conversion project done by the studio.   The 3D I, Robot exhibited some of the same “flaws” as some of these 2D to 3D converters in projectors.  Usually that is a depth problem with close up shots.  That is, a woman’s hair may seem to extend back behind the head more than it really could.   Also lots of small objects seem to confuse most of these systems slightly.  In other words, I found I, Robot’s 3D to share, but to a lesser degree, some of the same flaws found in 2D to 3D simulations.  I suspect in the movie, that backgrounds though look more real converted than a projector can do, because in that movie, many scenes are digitally created.  In such cases they already have the 3D wireframes, so those background areas are re-rendered in 3D, to be correct.

JVC DLA-X35 Calibration

The DLA-X35 has a limited set of calibration controls.  (See the image controls in menu images found on our Physical Tour page – which is next). This has been the case for all of the X35′s predecessors.  JVC saves a full CMS – color management system – needed for precise calibration – for its more expensive projectors.  That’s too bad, because all the competition has that advantage of being able to get the color, the skin tones, a little more precisely tuned.

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