JVC DLA-X55R Projector Review
JVC DLA-X55R Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports
Let’s start with how the room was setup for the shoot. I’ve already said this is a projector designed for a dedicated home theater / cave. While you could consider the bonus room / family room type environments, I don’t believe this projector would be a good choice.
For our HDTV shoots, we did it two ways. Football images were taken with modest ambient light coming into the room, and the rear seven recessed room lighting turned on. Overall, though we’re letting a good bit less light in from the side and back shuttered windows than we do for brighter projectors, and that definitely includes the Epsons, Sonys, Panasonics…
For all the other HDTV photography, the shutters were closed to the point that drastically less light was entering the room. In the image below it’s easy to see how that extra ambient light hitting in the upper right corner of the screen, has taken it’s toll on the upper right of the image below us.
Since this projector is best in a dedicated home theater or cave, there’s plenty of brightness to do a really nice job on HDTV, and sports in general, as long as you don’t intentionally allow too much ambient light. Keep in mind this is a projector that approaches 1000 lumens at its brightest.
By comparison, the Sony competition is a good 20+% brighter in brightest mode, and the Epsons are about twice as bright! Most of the DLP projectors out there in the general price range, however, are pretty similar in brightness. And, of course, screen size makes a big difference.
With the window shutters almost completely closed you can really see that the blacks in the images are much blacker than the ambient light damaged blacks in the football photos. Of course, even with that much ambient light, football viewing was pretty good. (Although personally I would have closed the shutters more to satisfy my own taste. That said, I prefer to have a projector with more horsepower to begin with.) Clarity is very good, and looks even better with MPC running. The image below is the type where e-Shift gives you sharper looking small text, and minor associated artifacts aren’t important.
Bottom line for HDTV on the JVC DLA-X55R Home Theater Projector
It worked just fine here. For football, I typically more than fill my 124″ screen with DirecTV’s NFL GameCast, showing up to 8 games at once. That gives me a sports bar look with each of the games being almsost 37″ diagonal! With modest ambient light, that’s pushing the JVC a bit hard. I was definitely tempted to switch in an Epson 5020UB for that oversized image, when friends were over to watch. “Tempted” is the magic word. The Epson could have easily done better with twice the lumens, but this JVC was still able to handle the setup reasonably well. True, I didn’t allow as much ambient light as I could with the Epson, but the room was still pretty “social” friendly.
As with Super-Resolution, and Reality Creation from the competition, I enjoyed using MPC and e-Shift. The feel was a very sharp image. And for this year, it seems CFI and e-Shift can be run at the same time, for smoother motion, and a seemingly sharper image.
Very Bottom Line: This JVC DlA-X55R is just great for HDTV type work. Any inherent softness due to a 3 panel system, and misconvergence, can be dynamically compensated with, by using the higher MPC settings. Minor artifacts (such as those from MPC) just aren’t an issue when watching some serious football, but the extra “apparent” sharpness and detail, is appreciated. A really good trade-off in this case.
As long as you have enough lumens to go around with this X55R JVC projector, HDTV and Sports will be just great. The biggest concern should be having enough brightness to allow for whatever ambient light you need to have a nice social experience for “watching TV” as opposed to movie viewing. BTW, movie viewing off of HDTV works well too. Just dial MPC down to Film or turn it off.
More football tomorrow (12/22/12)! Tomorrow we discover another “truth” as I’ll be working with this JVC, but at some point, will be switching over to the BenQ W1070, which should prove to be a nice, very sharp, $1099 single chip DLP projector. The BenQ is far brighter than the JVC, so I’ll get to see audience reaction from my buddies… All that fancy image from the JVC, or a nice, brighter image from a low cost, “almost” entry level home projector. Folks, it’s the movies where we can easily appreciate the X55R. Brightness is a powerful thing. I won’t be too surprised if my guys should decide they prefer the BenQ, for football.
Other than the brightness, though, I think the X55R should easily hold its own! It’s good though to put a $1000 projector up against a $5000 one. It helps keep perspective.
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