JVC DLA-X55R Projector Review

No Dynamic Iris, but a Manual One

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 X55R produces excellent blacks, without it, and with more dynamic range than any other under $5000 projector.

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.

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JVC DLA-X55R Projector Slideshow

NFL

RED

Morgan Freeman in RED

DLA-X55R 3D Abilities

JVC has accomplished some significant improvement to 3D since last year where it was considered the one area where the competition really had the JVCs beat handily.  Even $1599 3D projectors like those from Epson and Acer were doing a much cleaner job with 3D content.  After watching at least 8 hours of movie 3D, and a bit of both sports and general HDTV 3D content, I’m very pleased with the improvements.  Crosstalk seems significantly improved, which is good, because last year’s JVCs were way, not good.

JVC X55R 3D active glasses and emitter

For 3D, of course, the X55R 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), which are only $99 each.  JVC’s glasses are reasonably light, and relatively comfortable (more so than Sony’s glasses).

I should mention the emitter for the glasses.  It’s a small affair and I love 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.  This one, being Radio Frequency, doesn’t need to be in the open.  Just figure, though, that if you are shelf mounting, it makes the projector about 3 inches deeper than otherwise.

Third party glasses hopefully will become available.

2D to Simulated 3D on the DLA-X55R

Take it or leave it.  I’m not into it except for home videos.

JVC DLA-X55R Calibration

The DLA-X55R sports a full CMS, allowing for a very good calibration.  Mike (our calibrator), provides the settings his calibration came up with, and some additional commentary from his experience with the X55R projector.

CFI - JVC X55R Creative Frame Interpolation

JVC’s CFI designed to smooth out fast motion works typically well.  I was able to spot a bit more artifacts (haloing players moving around) than I expected in the low setting while watching football.  I do have the MPC (e-Shift), however engaged (HD setting), so I expect any CFI artifacts to be less noticeable with it turned off.  I would expect the same with any other projectors in terms of their dynamic enhancement firmware..

Figure the more dynamic processing being done, the more likely you’ll notice.  Thus the CFI, at least with e-Shift running rarely produces artifacts you’ll easily notice, but it’s not the cleanest.  Even the low setting gives you enough “live digital video” (soap opera) effect for me to say that there are more natural ones.  The Panasonic PT-AE8000U would be a very good example of a less intrusive CFI when viewing a movie.

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