JVC DLA-X55R Projector Review

JVC 4K e-Shift 2

I spent a ton of time playing with e-Shift 2, an improved and somewhat different version than last year’s.   If you want to see results from the older system, you’ll find that in last year’s X70R review.

I have already discussed on the first page.  Here I want to comment on the visual differences. I want to also mention that you can run CFI and MPC at the same time.  They do affect each other.  Let’s start with that.

But first, a reminder.  MPC is the image processing for e-Shift (this year the version is e-Shift 2).  If MPC is set to off, there is no e-Shift and it’s a standard 1080p projector.  With it engaged, it’s still not 4K, but it is a viable technique for image detail enhancement.

Let’s look at a closeup of text from Mad Money:  First, the full frame.  Below that we zoom in on the area around Pennsylvania.

Note there’s very little visible distortion around the text of Pennsylvania on the enlarged left image. (That’s CFI on low, and MPC (e-Shift) Off.)  The enlarged version of the one on the right, though shows slignificant distortion around the text.  The same is true around smaller text and symbols lower down, and around objects.  Keep in mind, not all of the distortion from the off image is due to even CFI.  This image is from HDTV over DirecTV so there’s some noise distortion inherent to the broadcast.  The important point is that e-Shift’s higher settings can put out some visible noise.

Remember this is a very small portion of the screen, but it shows that you pick up a significant amount of artifacts in exchange for other benefits!

Now let’s look at a full set, showing all the MPC modes.  This time CFI is not engaged (as would be typical for most people’s movie viewing).

If you want to see all 5 modes (and off), for comparison, revisit the Spiderman images on the first page.

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JVC 4K e-Shift 2

Mad Money

First, the full frame. Below that we zoom in on the area around Pennsylvania.

Mad Money

E-Shift is on

Mad Money

E-Shift is off

MPC Dynamic

MPC HD

MPC Film

MPC e-Shift OFF

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Stage mode)
Zoom out 872
Mid-zoom 793
Zoom in 635

Going from mid-point on the zoom to full wide angle (the closest you can place the projector to your screen), gives you almost exactly 10% more lumens.  Maximum telephoto is almost 26% less bright than closest positioning.

This is really is really good for a 2:1 zoom. Many projectors with that much zoom range see a drop of 30-40%, and on the lower end, the Panasonic PT-AR100U ($999) drops just about 50%! This JVC’s optics are a real plus, if you want to mount in the back of your room, such as on a high shelf, since it’s not that much less bright than with close placement.

JVC refers to full brightness as High, and their “eco-mode” as Normal brightess.

Lumen Output Low Lamp, Cinema: 451 lumens

Color Temp over IRE Range, Best mode (Pre calibration)
30 IRE 6292K
50 IRE 6478K
80 IRE 6487K
100 IRE 6518K

At full power, Cinema measures 712 lumens, so the X55R projector has a drop of about 37%.  That should be pretty consistant regardless of which mode you are in.

Other than the warm – (shift toward red – the 6292K) in the lower ranges of brightness – the starting point for calibration is pretty good.

Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (Stage mode)
0 (maximum opening) 793
-7  (half  open) 523
-15 (minimum opening) 315

If you don’t need all the brightness, please note that the more you close down the iris of this JVC, the higher the contrast. Blacks will get even blacker, both by virtue of the smaller iris opening, and also because of the reduced overall brightness. Of course, the idea is not to starve yourself of brightness, for a very minor improvement in blacks. I think more folks (if you don’t need maximum brightness) would tend to drop the projector to Low power on the lamp, before reducing brightness via the iris.  Afterall, the other way you get a quieter projector and more life out of the lamp.

JVC DLA-X55R Projector - Post Calibration

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration, User 1)
20 IRE 6429K
30 IRE  6343K
40 IRE 6479K
50 IRE 6521K
60 IRE 6612K
70 IRE 6590K
80 IRE 6569K
90 IRE 6604K
100 IRE 6588K

Brightness:

DLA-X55R Best mode- User 1: 703 lumens @ 6588

Average gamma= 2.22

JVC Gamma Control:

Gamma controls are extensive, but all the settings are a below the target of 2.2.  Mike used the custom feature to create a better gamma.  More on that on the calibration page.

Mike’s NOTES: As seems to be somewhat “chronic” for JVC projectors, gamma was too low in any of the presets (Normal was the high with an average gamma of 2.10), so I used the custom gamma.  The custom gamma started with the Normal preset, but I dropped the numbers by 15 up to 70%, and then -10 after that. 

The rest of Mike’s comments are on the Calibration page.  The Calibration page provides the settings we used. That includes basic settings as well as gain and offset.  Mike also calibrated the CMS for this DLA-X55R projector.

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