The Art of Home Theater Projectors

JVC DLA-RS60 Projector – a quick first look

Greetings to all you home theater projector fans, and especially JVC projector fans…

This isn’t great news about the new JVC DLA-RS60 (specs), or at least our RS60 review.

We’re delayed.  It would seem our review unit has a problem, or, at least, that’s our belief.  I’ve been in email discussions with JVC, and we’ve agreed, that most likely, there’s an issue, and that Mike and I aren’t actually paranoid.  It will ship back to them on Monday.

The problem – is primarily lumens.   Mike picked it up, for measurements and calibration.  This projector should be brighter, or so we believe. Most previously reviewed JVC projectors (except for the old, and least bright RS2), have measured from low 600 lumens to 800 or so, over the years.  All of those projectors but the RS2, claimed 900 lumens.

This new DLA-RS60, Mike could not get to measure more than mid 500 lumens (lens at wide angle), in any mode, and this projector claims 1300 lumens about a 40% increase over its predecessors.

Hopefully it’s just a bad lamp, and we can resume.  JVC will look it over.  I’ll let you know what they tell me, and what’s next, when I hear back from them mid-week.

Beyond that, let me say, overall, it looks like another JVC projector, that is –  color is great, black levels are outstanding.  3D was fun, but totally dim, A friend found it so dim, combined with the dim look of Alice in Wonderland, that she gave up less than half way in, and demanded a nice, bright 2D to finish out the movie.  She liked 3D, just – too dim.  We’ll see how this all works out, soon enough  -art

News And Comments

  • Michael

    Hi Art,

    Too bad your RS60 has a problem. I’ve been biting my nails for your full review.
    Aside from the lumens, how was it on convergence and overall sharpness? Comparable to the RS35 or noticeably better?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Michael,
      Remember I only had the projector a few days. I had to adjust the convergence, red vertical was almost a pixel off, the others too small to improve with an adjustment of 1 pixel. Even before doing that, however, I was stunned by the sharpness. We’re not talking pixels here, but optical sharpness. I reported that the RS35 I had last year, had excellent optics, but this RS60 almost cried out “clarity”.

      That may be the luck of the draw, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything here, optically as sharp. It’s like you realize that any flaws you see are now easier – clearer to see, as well, because the optics are so clean. (I’ve always been into photography.) I wouldn’t now be surprised if there aren’t RS35′s that look as great as this RS60, now that I see what CAN be accomplished.

  • Brandon

    Hi Art,

    I’m sure you did this, but the lamp was defective. When you watched 3D, did you open the iris and use the lamp on high instead of normal. Also, I raise my black levels and put the color temp. to 9500k only on the 3D mode. I use the Natural mode for 3D and also when I and blu ray, but in 3D I use the high lamp but I keep the settings the same as the blu ray movies. It’s just something to compare when watching 3D material. Hope you will have better success with the replacement because the 3D is great and not dim at all.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Brandon,
      OK, Yes, lamp on full power, high brightness on the iris… I don’t recall the color temp Mike was using when calibrating (without checking notes), but he hunts for all the brightest we can find, even when it’s no where’s near 6500K. Thus the best and brightest modes…Anyway, I think my screen may have been a part of the problem. We shall see shortly. You say “not dim at all” so that raises the question of what screen surface, and how large, are you using, and roughly where in the zoom range your lens is. All those things combined can drastically alter the brightness, by a factor of 2x or more. -art

  • Jonathan

    My own lumens measurements shows that what you are finding doesn’t sound that far from abnormal. JVC have misled us all this time. There is ONLY one way to get 1300 lumens out of this projector

    1) Go to a user preset (e.g. user preset 1 or 2)
    2) Set colour temperature to 8500k
    3) Set lamp to high
    4) Ensure aperture is fully open
    5) Set colour profile to OFF (this is the most important one)
    6) Position projector at shortest throw

    Now measure the lumens!! Hopefully you will see the advertised 1300.

    Then go back to your regular THX mode and even with bulb in high and watch those lumens plummet.

  • Matthieu

    Ohohh, I had my hopes set on this JVC.
    Well at least the 40 or 50 than, pricewise.

    Here in Holland the guy’s went crazy with the new Sony VW90.
    So it is a race between the VW90 and the JVC I believe.
    Only I’m scared about the panel degrade for contrast Sony had in the past, which seemed much better by JVC.
    Do you have any experience with that?
    You have your RS20 for a few years now.

    Cannot wait to see your review.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Contrast – blacks looked great – but then of course, I couldn’t see them the RS60 was so dim on my screen… You are right though, blacks are darker by way of light loss, but overall, the RS60 in 3D watching Universe… not a problem. I’d say it’s blacks still looked better than, say an Epson UB’s in 2D. -art

  • David Henderson

    HI Art,
    looking very much forward to your review. Here in Australia JVC has brought this projector out as the DLA-X9 black RRP AUS $9995.
    At present I have the JVC DLA-HD750 and wondered if the RS60/X9 would be brighter and all round better so as to justify the upgrade.
    PS I have been bitten by the 3D bug as well.
    Thanks David

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Ok, the JVC folks down under will shoot me if they can find me… but here’s my take…

      I’d give the 3D another year. I mean you’ve got a hell of a projector already. As I just wrote on another comment – I’m thinking about a $895 720p 3D capable projector, to tide me over. Add to that a box for converting blu-ray hdmi 1.4 so it works, and that provides me “fun with 3D” while I give the manufacturers, and the companies they “buy” a lot of their processing from (Pixelworks, Silicon Optix, etc.) another year to further refine 3D, and hopefully find a way to squeeze still another 50% increase in brightness into the next gen… Hey, even I’m on fence! -art

  • Mark_H

    My RS60 arrived yesterday. I measured my RS35, with 245hrs, as 284lux from my measurement point. Then replaced the RS35 with the RS60 (and using the same lamp/iris/profile settings as the RS35) read 183lux off a brand new bulb.

    As above, the only way to get anywhere near the full brightness is to turn the profile OFF (which is useless for normal use).

    JVC have been very disingenuous with their 1300l claim it seems :/

  • Jason

    Art,

    Hi. Any update on the RS60 replacement? the reason I ask is, a number of us on the AVS forum have measured similar results in regard to low lumen output in the various color modes, myself included on my RS50.

    I had JVC US support send a replacement lamp, but this appears to be more a trend than an exception. I will be installing the lamp this weekend to measure it and see if there is any difference.

    Can you let us know if the RS60 replacement is better?

    thank you!

    Jason

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Jason,

      No, just penned a long email to all my favorite JVC mucky-mucks, over there, though..

      I’m in a bind, it’s going to be a really interesting 2011 (1080p) Home Theater Comparison report this year, if there aren’t JVC’s in it? They’ve been shipping a while already, and the RS60 was the only one I could get… I still haven’t heard back as to whether they have looked and it’s got a problem, or if it’s fine, or they haven’t been able to get to it yet (the guy I work with is always traveling…) I do hope they will be able to provide the RS60 again (or a replacement) or at least an RS50… but it’s got to arrive in the next 3 weeks if it’s going to be in the report. If not, it could be summer time? (I have my other major report – Education projectors back to back with home… So, I’ll go about 6 weeks without reviewing any home projectors, so as to get that other report out.

      I’m trying to light a fire over there at JVC, but I’m just one of many reviewers out there, and very few review units.

      I did point out to them, however, the importance, by way of letting them also know about the numbers in my next blog:

      MIke finished calibrating the Sony VPL-VW90ES, rated 1000 lumens, and every single preset mode on it measured brighter than the brightest mode the RS60 produced. For 3D, the Sony was almost 50% brighter! Either JVC’s got a problem with that RS60 I had, or JVC’s got a problem. If there has been one consistency, these past few years since JVC became a dominant player in this home theater segment, it’s been that JVC’s LCoS projectors have been consistantly brighter than the Sony’s – quite often dramatically brighter. (Though last year they were close.) Hmm, well, I’m wasting words that belong in that next blog. -art

  • Scott

    Art,

    Please add me to the list of people anxiously awaiting the response from JVC. My projector selection has now become the critical path item for completing my theater. I wish JVCs enthusiasm for their new projectors at CEDIA would have translated into a faster response time regarding this issue. At this point I assume no news is bad news.

    Thanks,
    Scott

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Scott,

      Well, I’ve been emailing for a week and a half now, and can’t get anyone to respond. I’m putting in a call today. If I haven’t heard back from them by tomorrow noon, here’s the plan:

      I all considered, I will proceed with the RS60 review assuming that it’s a typical JVC RS60 projector at this point in time. I’ll do a more detailed search of the forums and other reviewers, but all the feedback I’ve been getting so far, from owners of the RS60 and the RS50, is that those that can measure, are all coming up with measurements in the 500 and 600 lumen range. I don’t think anyone yet has said they have heard of anyone getting 750, or 900 or 1200 lumens (1300 claimed).

      The RS60 was already fully measured by Mike (Mike’s a THX certified calibrator), and he did his usual calibration adjustments. After I read his results, I contacted JVC over the low lumens, and they wanted to take a look. (Over a month ago).

      Therefore, it would seem that JVC has a brightness issue/ lamp issue. In our case, the projector never measured more than 566 lumens (3D mode, with zoom at full wide angle). In fact 3D mode which you would expect to be the brightest, was only 10 lumens brighter than THX, Natural, Stage, and the User defaults.

      I did get to spend many hours viewing the JVC, both 3D and 2D. It included several days of viewing before sending it back.

      Unfortunately, I had anticipated either another JVC DLA-RS60 – or a DLA-RS50, to arrive, and I, of course expected it to turn out just slightly different in terms of color. For that reason, I decided not to do the usual photoshoot. In fact, I took no photos. I’m sorry now… I would have at least liked to have taken a few, say a dozen of the most important images – a couple for black levels, a few for skin tones, at least one for sharpness. Still, the RS60 was very much the old RS35, in look and feel.

      The review will have to post as best I can, without new images. I’ll probably seed a few RS35 images (clearly identified) in the review to provide examples of what it should look like.

      I assume, if I don’t piss off JVC too much, that at some later time, they’ll get back to me with another JVC projector – RS50 or RS60, so we can remeasure, and reassess the value of these projectors if they should prove to turn out to be much brighter as they had been expected to be. -art

  • http://www.projectorreviews.com Art

    Greetings all,

    Well, Still no word back from JVC. I know that they are probably all at EHX show in Florida this past week, but I’ve been waiting for any response for weeks.

    I did get to put in some 20 hours of content while I had it. True, probably more than half was 3D content, but I got a very good feel for it. I’ve been getting emails from owners, quoting me brightness of 50′s and 60′s they now own, and I’ve been glancing at the the forums. It seems there are not only brightness issues, but a couple of others. I will do the best review I can, based on what I learned when I had it here… Should publish Monday or Tuesday. -art

  • Michael Lang

    Art,

    I have always wanted to buy a JVC project but have held off because the Intrascene contrast at bright APL levels was not as good as my Sim single chip. JVC has the best on/off contrast but has relatively low 300/1 ANSI contrast which reflects its relatively low performance in Bright scenes. I hope when you review it that you measure the ANSI contrast. Unfortunately, this year it looks like JVC is having production problems because the lumen output at D65 is much lower than expected. also I notice that no one has reviewed this projector and it has been in production for at least 4 months. Art your the best reviewer on the Web and I hope you get to see your review of the R60 soon

    Michael Lang
    Optical engineer

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Michael,

      I’ll have my partial review of the RS60 posted in the next 48 hours, unless distracted. We know where some of the missing lumens are hiding, but they aren’t a whole lot of good to most of us. I’ll discuss the lumen issue in the review, but first thing to note, JVC says 1300 lumens at 8500K, whereas last year, it was 900 lumens at D65.

      I don’t do ansi contrast, I’d really prefer to keep the review more subjective. Besides, with the exception of JVC and some low end products everyone’s using dynamic irises. I see where the info is helpful to you, but, in this case, I’d rather discuss black levels, than the underlying contrast. Even realizing that there are correlations, I’ll stick to the big picture. Believe me, if the manufacturers were all making nice bright home theater projectors, I’d love to stop filling pages with lots of measurements there too. -art

  • Jeff

    I have a question concerning Jonathon’s post. He listed some things to do to achieve greater brightness on the DLA RS60:

    1) Go to a user preset (e.g. user preset 1 or 2)
    2) Set colour temperature to 8500k
    3) Set lamp to high
    4) Ensure aperture is fully open
    5) Set colour profile to OFF (this is the most important one)
    6) Position projector at shortest throw

    If one is using a high end video processor (Anthem D2V), can one use the processor to compensate for turning off the projector’s settings as Jonathan suggests?