JVC DLA-X95R Projector Review

JVC DLA-X95R and DLA-RS66 Menus

JVC added Dark/Bright levels controls and a Picture Tone control last year on their high end projectors but I still have yet to play with them.  They are back again this year. We’ve already seen it in our X55R review, but had plenty of other things to play with, so did not get a good enough look to acertain what that Dark/Bright control “brings to the party”.

Unlike the lowest cost X35 and RS46, the X95R has a THX mode and a second one for 3D, which is discussed elsewhere.

In addition to the Brightness, Contrast, Color Saturation, etc., the Picture menu has a Gamma sub menu, and and Advanced sub-menu.

The Advanced menu shown here, offers control of sharpness, noise, full color management, the lenses manual iris, and lamp power, and, I almost forgot CFI for smooth motion, which JVC calls Clear Motion Drive. MPC is the name of the control for e-Shift2.  That is, it’s the control that ties to the pixel shifting so that JVC can claim 4K resolution.  It isn’t real 4K, but we consider it for the results it brings.

The MPC and e-Shift performance are covered in detail in Special Features and also on the Performance page.

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JVC DLA-X95R and DLA-RS66 Menus Slideshow

Color temp

Lens Control sub-menu

3D Settings

CFI - Creative Frame Interpolation

Display Setup menu

Function Menu

Gamma Presets

Input Signal

Installation Settings

Picture Adjustment

Picture Adjustment 2

This menu is the Color Temp menu for doing the basic grayscale adjustments. The DLA-X95R, also has a full CMS – Color Management System, as one would expect on a projector of this calibre.

Not only can you adjust the gamma of white, but also you can do each primary color separately.  Although Mike did not do individual colors separately for gamma, reader Rob I, points out that the slightly excessive red in the lower IRE regions (20 IRE and below) can be essentially corrected using the gamma control. Thanks Rob.

This JVC X95R comes with “numerous” gamma presets, plus it allows you to save three of your own custom settings. Note also, that when doing so you can adjust each IRE point separately.

I do like having the grayscale provided on the screen (lower right), which gives you a good idea if you are crushing blacks or whites too much, or expanding them the way you want. Mike reports that none of the predefined gammas is on the money, that is, they are all lower than the optimum 2.2 gamma target. He was able to use the custom settings to achieve a really good final gamma.

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 shifting (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, flush with the bottom of your screen).

The X95R 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).

3D Settings

The 3D settings are also located on this menu. Including a choice of Off/On, 2D to 3D conversion, and a control for reducing crosstalk (ghosting) which I never spent enough time with to get the hang of, but it doesn’t seem to do a whole lot in terms of improving existing ghosting.

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.

Len Control Sub Menu

The menu to the right is the Lens Control sub-menu. Here 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 which toggles you through those three controls. Note, I did not reshoot this menu image.  This one here is from last year’s X70R, but they should be essentially identical.

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 settings.

The Pixel Adjust menu allows the JVC to digitally shift the red, green, or blue, for better alignment (no image shown).

CFI – Creative Frame Interpolation – called Clear Motion Drive by JVC.

CFI has two primary settings.  (More comments on the first page of this review).

Display Setup Menu

The Display Setup menu is pretty boring compared to the others, and mostly very obvious features that I won’t need to cover!

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 don’t believe it is smart – that the projector will shut down for lack of an input.. I’m used to setting most projectors to shut down if they don’t have an input. Be careful out there: I put a bunch of extra hours on the lamp, one late night, forgetting to shut off the projector after shutting off the sources. Remember, not only are you using lamp when you forget to power down, but you’ve got a projector that’s likely sucking 300+ watts of power while on. Out here in expensive California, with I think the highest electricity cost in the US, many people are paying over $.35 per kilowatt hour, for incremental electricity.   Figure, in the case of this JVC projector that’s about $.10 an hour running whether you are watching or not.

This JVC also has the usual static Information menu telling you things like resolution, source…  Sorry, no photo.

JVC DLA-X95R Remote Control

I hope to still replace this Remote Control image (it is from last year’s X70R, not the DLA-X95R.  All buttons are the same but for two. Which I note below.  Sadly, I just returned the X95R before realizing I forgot to “shoot” the remote. I will look for an online image, and replace, if I can.

The JVC DLA-X95R projector remote control.I love the feel (and operation) of the JVC remote control for the DLA-X95R – and for that matter the remotes for any of their current projectors..

This remote control is just slightly different than last year’s remote.  Mostly, the Anamorphic button has been replaced with CMD (frame interpolation control), which was located near the bottom last year.  MPC (e-shift2 control) is now located where C.M.D. was in the past.

Basically:

Two power buttons near the top. On on the right, and Off to the left.

Then come two rows of buttons, the first row of three, offers the primary inputs, your HDMI 1 and 2, and a Component video, followed by 3D format, 3D settings, and PC (analog computer input).

Then a row of three.  As in the past, Lens Control, and Lens Memory, and now, as mentioned, C.M.D for frame interpolation.

Next row – two small round buttons, one is a Hide feature, the other is the backlight button.

Then comes the arrow keys and navigation in a round configuration, with a center OK (Enter) button. Below the ring, are Menu and Back, two more small round buttons.

Further down, are nine more buttons in 3 rows, each sporting a different Picture preset like THX, User, Cinema, Stage.. plus the e-shift2 botton labeled MPC.

That leaves only the last four buttons at the bottom of the JVC DLA-X95R, and, from left to right, they provide direct access to controls for:

Gamma, Color Temperature, Color Profiles, and Picture Adjust, which toggles you through all the usual controls like brightness, contrast, sharpness…

Despite the claim of only 7 meters (about 22 feet) max range, we found the X95R remote to do much better, even beating a 30 foot total range, even when bouncing the signal off of my Studiotek 130 screen.

JVC hasn’t figured out everything, but as far as a classic, excellent projector remote goes, so far, it doesn’t get better than this.  It Looks good, feels good in your hand, and is correctly balanced.  Range is very good.  Excellent!

DLA-X95R Lens Throw

The JVC X95′s 2:1 aspect ratio zoom lens provides plenty of placement flexibility to either ceiling or shelf mount. To fill a 100 inch diagonal, 16:9 aspect ratio screen, the front of the projector can be as close as 9 feet, 11 inches, or as far back as 20 feet, 1 inches. Using these measurements for 100 inches, you can figure out the range for any other screen size. These are the same as with last year’s JVC projectors.

DLA-X95R Lens Shift

The X95R has lots of lens shift too, and it’s motorized. For that same 100 inch screen, the projector can be placed anywhere between 15 inches above the top of your screen surface, to 15 inches below the bottom of the screen surface. Those are approximates. JVC doesn’t have exact numbers in its manual, but likely it’s 14 inches and change above and below.

There are some projectors with a bit more lens shift, but that’s pretty good flexibility. The horizontal lens shift allows a maximum of about 30 inches to the left or right of the center point.

Remember, that the two “work together” the more vertical you use, the less horizontal is available, and vice versa. If you have maximum vertical, there is no horizontal lens shift, and so on.

Anamorphic Lens

JVC supports an anamorphic lens and motorized sled for the JVC DLA-X95R.  JVC recommends a Panamorph lens, and sled.  They do not resell the Panamorph to their dealers (no JVC sku/part number), rather their dealers can purchase directly from Panamorph or their distributor.

A motorized sled is optional as there is a second anamorphic mode designed to let you watch 16:9 and 4:3, with the anamorphic lens set permanently in front of the lens. This saves on the expense of the motorized sled.

Still Lens Memory is the way most folks will go, saving all the expense of anamorphic lenses:

With the Lens Memory feature, you can own a 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 screen, and at a touch of a button, fill the screen with your movie, then, one more touch later, and the projector zooms in, and reshifts to fill the vertical of the screen with your 16:9 content, with the letterbox to the left and right. Three ways to choose, but with lens memory, no expensive extra accessories. (Actually, using an anamorphic lens does provide higher actual resolution, but surrenders having 1 to 1 pixel mapping, which provides for a more precise image).

Of particular note, the JVC supports use of an anamorphic lens in 3D mode. That’s a nice touch that some others have skipped. It’s not a really big advantage as it won’t come in handy very often. A year ago, it seemed that very few 3D movies or other 3D content came in 2.35:1 (or one of the other Cinemascope aspect ratios). Of my collection of perhaps 50+ 3D titles, today, perhaps half are widescreen.  (Thank you Hollywood!).

The support for an anamorphic lens for 3D is not just a plus, but an important feature for anyone going the anamorphic lens route (rather than Lens Memory), if they want to be enjoying 3D at all.

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