The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Home Theater Projectors – JVC DLA-RS60 Arrives – when it rains – it pours

Greetings all,

The floodgates are apparently now open (if 3 months late).  the JVC DLA-RS60 (click for specs) - JVC’s top of the line home theater projector, landed here yesterday 1/28/11.   The DLA-RS60 is a 3D projector (and of course 2D) using JVC’s LCoS panels – which they call D-iLA (Sony calls theirs SXRD, etc.)   This JVC projector uses active LCD shutter glasses when showing 3D.

I should note that there is also a JVC DLA-RS50, which is, essentially, the same projector for two thirds the price.  The MSRP of the RS60 is $11,995, and the RS50 has an MSRP of $7995.

The difference is one of quality control.  Yes $4000 is a lot to pay for quality control, but JVC gives you the best of their power supplies, the best optical engine, cleanest image processing engine, and takes the best of all those and more parts, and assembles a limited number of DLA-RS60s.  Last year, we compared the RS25, with the RS35 (same difference) and there was a clear, and significant difference with the “premium” model.

The JVC RS60 and the RS50, have a lot more lumens than their predecessors, and that is a very good thing, since 3D using active glasses, basically loses a good 75% of the brightness by the time it gets to your eyeballs.  With 1300 lumens now, up from last year’s 900, that’s a healthy jump, but is it enough for 3D.  For those familiar with the older JVC projectors, these new ones – the DLA-RS60 included are a whole size larger. They are similar in depth to the old ones, but much wider.  Cabling is on the back, not the sides like they were the last few generations.

I’ll blog more later in the week, but I can say, during a quick setup last night, I fired up Alice In Wonderland, on Blu-ray 3D.  I hadn’t looked at the manual.  I flipped through a few of the pre set Picture modes, and immediately realized modes like THX and Cinema were going to be useless for 3D.  I settled for Natural, which seemed the brightest.

I didn’t look far enough, there is also a 3D mode, and it turns out that it is the brightest.  I’ll try that later.   Meantime last night, with a friend, we tried to watch Alice in Wonderland.  Hey, it’s a dark movie, overall, and it does not cut it when the image is underpowered.   Projecting onto a 100″ HC light gray (Elite screen – a temporary until next week), it was painfully not bright enough.   I ended up reducing the image size to about 84″ diagonal, and my friend still found it way too dark (I thought it was tolerable at that point.)   As a concession to my friend, we switched to the 2D version for the 2nd half of the movie.   As it was explained to me by her, the 3D in cool, but she’d much rather watch in 2D than have a dim 3D image.   I’m sure that resonates with lots of us.

OK, I took a break and just tried the 3D mode.  It is definitely the brightest mode, but a good deal.  I zoomed back out so Alice is filling the whole 100″ diagonal.  The 3D looks just dandy, but, I fear, the RS60 lacks the lumens to fill this 100″ screen.  Remember this is an old Elite HC Grey screen, one I estimated the gain to be 0.9 when it was reviewed 4+ years ago.

It’s probably not a good choice at all for a 3D screen, even with the active shutter glasses type of 3D.  A new Carada Brilliant White (claimed 1.4 gain, we estimate 1.3), has arrived in Carada’s Masquerade masking system.  If all goes well, that will be mounted and in use next week, in the testing room.  I’ll be sure to see how much better the JVC DLA-RS60 does with a significantly brighter screen.

It is my hope that the jump in brightness will be enough to make the JVC acceptable on 100″ screen sizes.  We can only hope.  Note, I really do believe the manufacturers have to start thinking 2400 to 3000 lumen projectors for 3D!

Brightness notwithstanding the 3D and the movie Alice, are most enjoyable, and rather impressive.  The 3D mode makes a real difference, although the 3D gamma is “interesting”.

I’ll try to do an official First Look Review soon, but don’t count on it.  I need to finish writing up the Viewsonic Pro8200, complete the review of the Sharp XV-Z17000 and the Epson MovieMate 85HD, before this JVC… With luck, both the Pro8200 and the Sharp will be posted before superbowl, and the 85HD too, if possible.  (Best to figure only 2 of the 3).  The JVC DLA-RS60 won’t be far behind the others.

One more thing I’m going to have to look into.  Trying to watch the Winter X games on ESPN3D, the Satellite box tells me that the JVC is not compatible because it needs to be 720p.  I’m investigating… -art

News And Comments

  • Grant

    The Da-lite High Power screen comes into its own with 3D. If your room will accommodate it then this, IMO, is the way to go, especially for 3D! Does it really matter how good an image is if you have to strain to see anything? How about a bright, punchy image for 3D so that you can just sit back and enjoy! I’m using 120″ HP for 3D and it’s really, really good.

    • Lisa Feierman

      I might just have to try one. I’ve never been a fan of high gain screens (much over 1.5), but, you are right – this might be the ticket. My new Stewart Silver 3D screen will be arriving next week, I should have it up and get to check it out with the JVC. -art

  • Ron Jones

    You may want to take a look at the thread we have going on the AVS Forum providing FAQs and discussion on screens for 3D projection. We have found some other things that need to be considered, including the ability of the screen to retain polarization, even for use with projectors such as the JVCs, that use shutter 3D glasses (i.e., do not depend on polarization for right/left image separation). Here is the link:

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Ron,
      Hi Ron,
      Thanks! Actually I scanned your long article re screens for 3D early last month. Nicely done. And very helpful. But I never figured out why some screen have three numbers while others have only 2?

      For example, the Carada Brilliant White showed a 1.4 gain, and the only other number was 0.5? Still no idea what that means… The ones with 3 number sets make sense.

      PS. almost 3700 posts in your decade on AVS? Time perhaps you made a few bucks. I could see you doing some blogging for me. I’m planning to add a few bloggers. With some sort of revenue share, most likely, on the banners that I place in the blogs. email me, if you would like to discuss: thanks -1

  • Ron Jones

    On the subject of compatibility with the ESPN 3D channel provided by Directv – ESPN provides feeds to distributors (cable TV and satellite) in both 720p top/bottom and 720p side-by-side 3D formats. Of those two 3D formats only 720p top/bottom is a required format in the HDMI 1.4a specification while 720p side-by-side is an optional format. JVC has not implemented support for the optional 3D formats defined in the HDMI 1.4a specification. Directv for some unknown reason decided to distribute ESPN 3D using the optional 720 side-by-side format and also they have disabled the abiility of their 3D compatible recievers/DVRs to upscale to 1080i format when a 3D program is being received. While many major brands of 3DTVs have include support for the optional 720p side-by-side format, some other 3DTVs and some HDMI 1.4a equipped AV receivers do not and are thus not compatible with Directv’s feed for ESPN 3D. Some JVC projector owners, myself included, have found ways to trick at least certain models of the Directv HD-DVRs to activate upscaling to output ESPN 3D in 1080i side-by-side format, which is a required format in the HDMI 1.4a specification and is supported by the JVC projectors.

  • Ron Jones

    Art -

    The reason some screens have 3 numbers in the AVS table on 3D screens is became any number that appears in the left column is actually part of the name of the specific screen fabric as listed by the screen manufacturer (and if there is a number it normally is just the screen gain). For example I have listed the three version of the Da-lite “HD progressive” fabric and Da-lite calls these three different fabrics:
    - HD Progressive 0.6
    - HD Progressive 0.9
    - HD Progressive 1.1
    So that’s the way they are listed in the left column of the table.

    The center column in the table lists the manufacturer’s rate screen gain, which in the case of the above 3 cases will be the same number, and fianlly the right column provides a rating (from 0 to 4) that indicates the ability of the screen surface to retain the polarization of the projected light.

    I hope that helps

  • Nick B


    Has anyone tested the RS60 on a SI black diamond 1.4 100″. I am considering on spending a small fortune on this screen.
    There is so much positive promo about the screen but not an actuall honest review.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Nick, I can almost help you with that question. 1 Unfortunately, when I had the BD 1.4 I didn’t have any LCoS 3D capable projectors, so I can’t say.

      I can tell you that the SI folks say their screen is good with active shutter glasses 3D, but not designed for the heavier polarization related stuff needed for passive glasses based 3D. I will have an SI BD1.4 in my testing room, but my requirement calls for a motorized one, and when I spoke with them in early December, it wasn’t ready. Time for me to check back. I have reviewed the screen itself, on the main site, but as a normal 2D screen. I got to compare it directly to my old Firehawk G3, and talk a lot about the two of them. Hope that helps, but it won’t with the 3D question. -art
      PS. we’re really not set up for screen reviews. That’s why it seems like we sort of do one of each type, a HC gray here, a 1.4 gain white, an acoustic… and so on. But our goal is to try to position the different types of screens so you can figure out which type of screen is the one you need.

  • Adrian B

    Do the “Sharp XV-Z17000 – Competitors” section first… PRETTY PLEASE!!!

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Adrian,

      Love to… Problem is, to do a competitor’s page, one needs competitors to write about. I’m posting the Sony VPL-VW90ES today, just working on the summary page, the HDTV section, and a few odds and ends. The JVC review never got finished do to brightness issues. So, from a 3D standpoint… not much to compare to — yet.

      I will work in that page on the weekend, with the Sony done. I’m going to write up the JVC DLA-RS60 review as well. Since I can’t seem to get JVC to let me know if they thing our review unit – producing less than 50% of claim, is typical. From a review standpoint I did everything but take pictures (figuring another unit will arrive.

      So the “Review must go on” When/if, JVC sends another, I will of course update, as we do whenever we find a projector with issues, and the manufacturer lets us know about a significant improvement (issue related).

      And that will make the 3rd 1080p 3D capable. So, I will cobble together some competitive. I even have 3D side by side images between the Sharp and the Sony (no you can’t see them as 3D, but it shows the relative brightness and color handling of the two. Some interesting things there.

  • Anand

    I recently bought JVC RS60, it is an excellent projector, very easy to handle all the settings, excellent quality in all aspects. I give 5 star rating for JVC RS60.

  • Lothar S

    Hi Ron,
    I ran into the ESPN 3D issue with the JVC DLA-RS40U projector.
    What exactly did you do to trick the DirecTV HD-DVR to activate upscaling to 1080i side-by –side?
    And with what models of DirecTV HD-DVRs did that work?
    Anyone run into the same problem with Verizon Fios?
    Hope you can help me.

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  • Lisa Feierman

    Hi, checking into it. You’re the first person to ask, though I always wondered if it was creating an issue out there.
    Yes, I typically check off all the boxes related to the post. We are planning on unifying our blogs so they all look and work the same. That is one thing I’ll definitely address for the “next gen blog”.