The Art of Home Theater Projectors

JVC DLA-RS60 Projector Review – Update

Greetings!
I’ve decided to complete the JVC DLA-RS60 review (click for specs) - also known as the X9, from JVC’s consumer group, based on our original findings. We’ve learned a lot since then, though not from JVC.

Had I known it would take so long for JVC to get back to me, I would have taken all the photos, etc. before returning the RS60 to them. We have full measurements and I believe I racked up more than 20 hours of viewing, I just wish I had it back here, for some of the details.

Look for the JVC DLA-RS60 projector review to post very late tomorrow night, or on Wednesday. Thanks! -art

News And Comments

  • Verners Lejietis

    Its making me mad, waiting for the new projector reviews. Cine4home is also taking for ever for the final review.

    Are the new JVCs when calibrated at least a bit brighter then the old ones? Please add a comparison to the Old series in the review.

    For the same price would you pick a DLA-HD950 or the new DLA-X3 (i think its RS25 and RS40 in US)? 3d doesn’t interest me at all.

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

      No, by most coverage by owners of RS50s and RS60s, and X7, X9s, no, there seems to be variation but no one seems to be seeing much more than 600 lumens in any normal mode. Only by turning the Color Profiles off can you apparently get a real boost. It will be in the review, at least parts of which will go up late Tuesday night (pacific US) – that’s 24 hours. -art

  • Matthieu

    It’s a real downer indeed.
    I was waiting for this review for a very long time, and not hearing anything from JVC is a bad sign.

    I understand the above question tho, because here in Europe we can buy the RS35/HD990 second hand, for around the same price as the RS40.

    But like you, I really want 3D too.
    Since 3D is just inserted into this years projectors, I’m pretty sure, I will go for the next, more grown-up 3D projectors.
    But they still have to be released before the end of this year.
    (I have to invest some money for my company, and I cannot take it to the next year or it will be seen as provid. Difficult to explain)

    So, I really hope it won’t take another 14 months again.
    Till last year, most projectors were released around September.
    Is this moved up permanently?
    I really hope not.

  • Jason

    Art,

    Greeting. With a zero hour lamp, my RS50 measured 550 @ D65 with shortest throw. By comparison, some new RS40 owners are measuring ~750-800 which is ~30% difference. Myself and others with the 50/60/X7/X9 are curious what is going on here since the lumen advertisement was the same for the all models this year at 1300.

    The RS15 was 1000, RS25 @ 900. Neither projector dropped as much as the RS50 does once any of the color profiles are engaged. Shortest throw, I measured ~1080 with color profile=off. With a D65 calibration, ~550. This is nearly a 50% drop in lumens when the color profile is enabled.

    The lamp has also dimmed 35% in 220 hours which is quicker than I would have expected since the marketing info promotes the new 225W UHP lamp, 50% brighter than last year, etc.

    I hope you get a chance to see another RS60 to confirm these observations.

    thanks,

    Jason

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

      Hi Jason,

      Well your first number is about the same as mine. If I considered the THX mode as D65, we’d be 1 lumen apart. With Mike’s adjustments though, looks like you are a few dozen brighter.

      I am hoping for another RS60, or RS50. hey, JVC’s got an issue here. Two people so far who have emailed me, both owners of previous JVC’s say they are going to (or have) returned their RS60 and X9 respectively. I figure it this way, if they don’t send me another RS60, (or the first) or an RS50, that’s pretty much a defacto admission that all the units are performing at rather pathetic brightness levels compared to what we JVC owners (RS20 for me) have come to respect. It’s either a design problem, or a severe, credibility busting marketing disaster, or both. If they can show me some projectors that at least are as bright as the RS1, RS10, RS15, RS20, RS25, RS35 that would be something. I’m sure most first projector owners who have bought are probably extremely pleased with the RS50 and RS60 projectors, but I haven’t heard from a single existing owner, who thinks that a significant drop in brightness to D65 can be anything short of a massive flaw, considering the claims.

      And to think someone was posting nastily about the Viewsonic Pro8200 because it was 25% short of claim, imagine that guy if he bought one of these. Let’s put it this way. JVC touting their 1300 lumens these days, compared to expectations, feels like, say, Toyota claiming their standard Camry is getting 50 mpg. If you bought a Camry with that expectation from the manufacturer, you’d really be pissed when you discovered you were only going to get about 24 mpg.

  • Isaac Rosenthal

    Hi Art,
    Love the reviews.
    I am waiting for your yearly Best in Class Review, trying to buy a projector (In Shanghai China) around 1300$ for a dark room.

    When will your Best in class review be published?
    Thanks

  • Scott

    Hi Art,
    I’m looking to buy a new projector in the next couple months and I have narrowed the choice down to the JVC RS-60 and the Sony 90ES. The local projector specialist store is setting up the RS-60 in his demo room in a couple weeks so I see it first hand, but no-one is demoing the Sony.

    After reading both instruction manuals it looks like there is now anamorphic support in 3D on the RS-60. It states that all zoom, stretch and crop functions are disabled when 3D is active. I can’t find out any information on whether is true on the Sony. Did you test any of these functions?

    And one more question. I did see a demo of 3D on a RS-40 and I noticed that the shutter glasses had a noticable flicker to them. I have used shutter glasses on my PC a few years back and I found that this happened when the monitor refresh rate was about 60 hz. When I bumped up the refresh rate the flickering went away. Are all of the 3D projectors using the same shutter speed rate?

    Thanks, Scott

  • Scott

    Sorry about the above post. It should read “there is NO anamorphic support in 3D”

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

      Hi Scott, thanks – looking into it now, just emailed JVC, although, they haven’t exactly been answering most of my questions, emails and calls the last two months… For example no response at all to multiple emails as to if they are going to send another RS60 (or the first one, if they decided that it was a “good” one), or when I might see one of the other RS (or X) models for review. I’m hoping that the RS40 which I’m hearing is at least brighter than the 50 and 60), is something they might still want reviewed.
      They seem unsure how to treat all this whole issue of brightness, so I suspect they are just being cautious until they have a complete “story” to tell, whatever that may be. We’ve seen this many times in the past, when a serious issue shows up, of the manufacturer pretty much stalling a month or two until they can “solve” the problem, then roll out the admission, with the fix… -art

  • Matthieu

    I’ve seen a RS50 in 3D with Anamorphic lens, and it worked beautyfully.
    This was in a ‘batcave’ enviroment.

    The Anamorphic lens could be continuesly be in place, and in that anamorphic lens they switched from 21:9 to 16:9 with the inside prismalenses.
    (They sold an electric and manual version of that lens)
    It was on a 3 meter wide 21:9 screen, and the picture was very good.
    The 3D effect was impressive, but I would rather had seen a brighter picture overal.
    Even in 2D I would have liked some more lightpower.

    2 years ago, I’ve seen the RS10 there also, and if my memory serves me well, the RS10 was brighter back than.

    From a amateurs point of view.

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

      Hi Matthieu,

      Are you sure, JVC specifically wrote back to me that it won’t. Howevever, it will with an outboard processor. Assuming they know something, perhaps the place you saw it was using an outboard?

  • Scott

    I saw the rs40 on a 133″ da-lite screen (sorry I don’t know which one), in a room with some ambient light. It did look quite bright even in 3D. They were showing Dispicable Me, which is definitely a bright film, but even the darker scenes looked pretty good. When I go in for the RS-60 demo, I will bring my light meter with me and take a measurement for you.

    If the rs40 turns out to be noticeable brighter, then maybe I will get that instead of the RS-60 and then upgrade in a year or so when they sort out the 3D brightness issues. :)

    If I had to guess what the brightness issue is, I think that JVC’s new lamp could only meet the THX certification when they dimmed it down to half brightness. They problably thought that the certification was more important from a sales point of view than having a projector that was bright. After all the lamp does put out 1300 lumens, just not in any color corrected modes.

    Scott

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

      Hi Scott,

      Well, it’s been very consistent. Every person emailing or commenting to me, with a meter, that has seen or bought the RS40 or X3, has reported much brighter numbers for the RS40 than the 50/60/x7/x9. The RS40, it would seem is pretty similar to the older ones like the RS15, in terms of brightness, maybe even a bit brighter at D65. I’ll sort through all those reports when I have one here… But, I’ve heard from at least one person to trade back their 50 or 60 (or X..) for a 40 or X3… They said they were 3D fans, but the RS40 would hold them until things are far more certain re 3D such as universal glasses (that really are), more content, more brightness, less artifacts… -art

  • Isaac Rosenthal

    Hi Art,
    When can we expect your yearly Best in Class article?

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

      Hi Isaac, I answered that on other blog pages. Here’s the skinny. Delayed until late May. Postponed due to still hope of seeing some JVC’s and one or two other projectors that are fairly important to a complete report.

      With the slow delivery of review units of new home theater projectors this year (here, there, everywhere), I’ve had to move up my Education report, which will publish end of this month, then hop back to home theater, with the hope of adding 2-4 more key reviews before it publishes. -art

  • Matthieu

    I know they used the Oppo93, but if that did the tric,…?

    They told me they kept the JVC in Anamorphic the whole time and switched nodes on that stationary Prismasonic HD-5000R anamorphic lens.
    You can choose between Stretch and Pass through by pushing on the remote.
    An incredible solution if you ask me.

    I did not came for that lens, but afterwards I realized how impressive it was.

    I have to say that he did not switched back to 16:9 when he showed me Avatar 3D, so that was stretched when I watched a scene from that movie.
    I think because all the other 3D and 2D movies he showed me where 21:9, and I believe he was searching for his remote.

    But I really watched 3D Polar Express and 3D Legend of the guardians in 21:9

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

      Looking into it, weird because JVC says “No”. But my contact also emailed me that we need to talk. I’m sending him your comments about 3D and anamorphic.. -art

      Hmm, I don’t have either animated you mention, in 3D, but my 2D Polar express I believe is 16:9. It actually reads like on “Guardians…” that there might be two versions, but that’s really weird?

      It would seem that the vast majority of animated films will continue to be 16:9, so no issue with those, nor all that HDTV type Discovery HD like content, since if it’s coming from TV, it’s going to be 16:9. Therefore I primarily conclude it’s a movie only (or almost only) issue, at this time… Not a lot of 2.35:1 in 3D yet… that’s for sure.

  • Scott

    Thanks, Art.

    P.S. I finally heard back from the Sony store about a demo of the 90ES. Basically they said, no. They aren’t bringing in any except for special orders and if they special order it, it will be a final sale. I don’t think I will be getting the Sony then. As good as online reviews are, I really want to look at the projects myself before dropping 10k on one.

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

      Scott, Can’t blame ya for that! -art

  • Jason

    Art,

    Hi, any word from JVC from the NAB event? It’s become evident there is a 30-35% delta in lumen output between the RS40 vs the RS50/RS60. JVC did a number this year on those willing to invest in the midrange and high end models.

    If they don’t acknowledge the difference and offer a resolution soon (refund or swap to an RS40 + refund) they are going to damage their previously positive reputation. This is bordering on false advertising since all 3 models are advertised with the same 1300 lumen output.

    Thank you for reporting on your actual findings. Many so-called ‘professional reviews’ in the magazines do not post the important information one needs to make a wise purchasing decision.

    I am upset as my RS50 isn’t working to my expectations with my current screen size, but my previous RS40 was no problem. I am down to 350 lumens with only 250 hours which is terrible. JVC is going to turn away current and potential customers if they don’t act on this now.

    Thank you,

    Jason

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

      I’m doing a new blog right now, re JVC… posting shortly… -art

  • Dave Bambaloff

    I take it that getting a RS40 and adding a outboard CMS (videoEQ) would get you an RS60 essentially?

    Coming from an RS2 with lumen issues, I’ve considered either a 950 or the RS40.

    My RS2 with 285 hrs has dropped to under 300 lumens. JVC is replacing my light engine block (again) saying it was to dark and admits something is wrong.

    So getting a 950 or RS40(with an external CMS) I think would fix my light issue I hope.

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

      Dave, I can’t guess an answer to that. (RS40+outboard vs RS60…. (And the RS60 still has the best optics, power supply, etc…, so let’s say, RS50) I have no reason, however, to believe that the “guts” of the RS40 are the same, in terms of the panels, or other aspects that would not be part of an outboard solution. It never occurred to me that the RS40 had the same panels as the 50 and 60. I don’t think that’s been the case in the past – with the RS15 vs RS25/RS35, or even RS10 vs my RS20. I worry less about what’s inside, and more about what’s hitting the eyeball, so I apologize for not being sure.

      My guess is you would not get the black level performance. But, from all accounts the RS40 should be the brightest RS that JVC has shipped (barring their use of the RS designation on their big commercial projectors). -art

  • chris

    i just got a demo today of the jvc dila x9 with anamorphic lens on 140 inch grey screen in customised theater at castle hill hi-fi.

    great guys by the way.

    i saw sword fish and despicable 3D and in all modes. Swordfish with john travolta looked fantastic. the contrast and blacks were spot on, sharpest non dlp i have seen. Fast action was smoot, no discernable latency. claimed 2.5ms response. The brightness in a hometheater is perfect i thought. everything looks like solid materials, no sense of being a projection. Colour was very accurate.

    In 3d it has excellent picture. no ghosting or flicker at all I didn’t have issue with brightness on high mode. in thx or normal mode its dimmer but perfectly acceptable. 2D brightness is good, clearly where it was developed for. 3D as a bonus is very good and aslong as you don’t go too big brightness is fine.

    I think in regards to brightness of rs40 vs rs60 etc. The rs40 is only brighter because there is no calibrated thx mode. You’ll loose a bit of brightness for contrast and colour balance. If you turn colour profiles off, leave iris open and leave on high you’ll be on par with rs40.

    x9 is the best film like projector i have seen.

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

      Hi chris,

      Glad to hear it. I’m surprised, of course, regarding your comments about brightness, of the X9. Cnn you clarify, hard sometimes to tell when you are talking about 2D and when, 3D. ie. you said color was very accurate in the paragraph mentioning Sword Fish (2D) and Despicable Me 3D. (BTW what type of screen – brand and surface) And you say brightness is perfect, but again, for Swordfish or Despicable Me. The science of it makes 3D 1/4 the brightness, or worse, so, theoretically, if 3D were bright enough, 2D should be extremely bright. I just had the HC9000D in here, running 3D as large as 124″ on my StudioTek 130, and the brighter Mitsubishi, still didn’t cut it for me, or friends at that size. Down at 100″ the Mits was “decent” at best for 3D. Even if the JVC with colour profiles off, matches the Mitsubishi in brightness, I really have a hard time with the idea of 140″, especially with a grey surfaced screen.

      However, I suspect – just a guess – why you found 3D to be adequately bright at 140″, to be two fold:
      1. Your viewing time in 3D was limited. I’d guess well less than a hour (without interruption), and probably less than 15 minutes.
      2. You only saw an animation. They do far better than “live” in terms of watchability, when it comes to brightness, and it’s always been the case, not just 3d. In aninmations, t’s easy to keep contrast high in scenes and to not have a lot of dark scenes, and dark shadow detail. Even Tron Legacy, a hybrid, is all dark world bright “neon-ish” type lights for contrast… The challenge is watching traditional films with dark scenes. Even Alice was very dim, by my taste, and again, a lot of CG to keep things lively, but, in Alice’s case, “wonderland” is a somewhat dark place.

      So, how was the colour in 3D, with colour profile off? The other’s so far, to comment, who have viewed (including owners) have been saying that the colour really is not good with the profiles off.

      As to the RS40 X3, vs. Naw, the RS40 and X3, have cinema modes very similar to THX, much as the RS60/50/X9/X7 do. While I didn’t get an RS40/X3 to review, there have been plenty of comments from folks who have seen, and in cases, measured one or the other. It sure sounds like the RS40/X3 is brighter? We only were able to measure shy of 550 lumens, and we measure from mid-point. Thus, about 600 lumens maximum in THX (not looking at my review – working from memory), at wide angle. Typically with JVC the difference between best and brightest, is about 25-30%.

      Other readers will be curious, re some of the questions I asked you, and I in particular, about the time you spent (without interruption in the dark watching 3D), and don’t forget more info on the screen. thanks! -art

  • chris

    excuse me while i yell expletives at my cat who just erased 4000 words and 3 hours of typing. “@#^&E#”

    Screen: 140 inch slight grey non accoustic 21:9 1.1 gain.

    Projector: JVC DILA X9 low hours.

    Environment: custom 7.1 surround, low light and dark. Level seating with centre of screen.

    2D movie: Swordfish

    BRIGHTNESS: Excellent with lights off. Lights on still no problem with screen. Dark detail still visible.

    CONTRAST: Never seen better Dark detail and black levels. CRT yes can get absolute black. X9 If you put a hand in front of screen you can barely see an shadow if at all. Considering its dark detail, contrast and brightness. Nothing i have seen comes close to this balance.

    NOISE: negligible to none, hard to tell with anamorphic lens because it has compression. Didn’t see in in native form.
    Time viewed: 10-15 minutes. 50/50 lights on/off.

    COLOUR: THX mode was best. Other modes were ok but THX had more subtly colours and better skin tones. On 140 inch screen and light output on normal brightness was not as issue. You may want more but it didn’t need it. You have to see for yourself to judge colour.

    3D movie: Despicable Me

    BRIGHTNESS: Good in 3D mode setting with bulb in high mode. I had no issue with brightness. It wasn’t bright but it certainly was not dim. 3D mode compensates for the lcd shutter glasses tint giving a comfortable experience on the eyes.

    CONTRAST: excellent in 3D mode, In any other mode it lacked punch. Dark detail although there wasn’t alot, was clear.

    NOISE: None at all but it was an animation, live would be a better way to judge.

    TIME VIEWED: 8 minutes or more

    Overall: I was impressed by the image qaulity over any other aspect. I found 2D a treat on to the eyes. the optical clarity i think is unrivalled for an lcd based unit.

    The 3D performance is very good. Yes it could do with more light output ideally but its got enough light not to feel any discomfort or eye fatigue.

    I am no expert and i use a mere 725 lumen ecp4500 crt projector. So clearly i am not the best reference for whats a bright image.

    Crt has a very intense image. Shine any high lumen projector over it and the crt will shine through easily. To me I prefer a bright image on the screen and lumen output off the screen to be secondary. In regards to picture qaulity. But lumens is important for the eyes otherwise you’ll get eye fatigue.

    For a home theater application the x9 will meet most of your needs on mid size screen. 3D Image qaulity is great. But its not as bright as most would want. But when your watching 3D in 3D mode, the image is so good you’ll be in awe of the qaulity rather than light output.

    Its clearly designed to meet thx standards for 2D. 3D is just a very capable addition that it can handle to say 75% of what you’d expect for qaulity 3D, the other 25% is lack of high light output.

    I think you would need the sim c3x lumis 3d stack or 6000 ansi plus 10 000:1+ contrast projector to meet what your looking for.

    Like i said i am no expert but if you have a relatively short throw distance the brightness will be better at expense of black and contrast.

    Even the guy at castle hill hi fi said the x9 has the best picture they have seen. He said the high end sim 3 chip dlp projectors have more punch due to light output and slightly better handling of fast scenes. Also have triple flash instead of double for 3D. But jvc x9 still has better blacks/contrast.

    It all comes down to application and budget.
    2D is what you buy it for with 3D as a capable bonus. For 3D specifically look elsewhere but expect to pay alot for a projector that retains good 2d picture.

    I could be wrong but i think the 100 000:1 figure might come from the iris being reduced to get the number up in black levels. Otherwise i don’t know.

    Thanks, i apologise for my ramblings and hope i helped a bit.

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

      Hey Chris,

      Thanks for the review. That should be very helpful to many folks. Everything you said made sense, and I have to agree with most of it, but I’ll still take the argument regarding 3D brightness. And one other comment, re Runco and what it might take to beat it…

      OK, I’ll want to hear back from you when you’ve had a chance to watch some non-animated, non super CG enhanced things in 3D. It’s easy with animation, or laying CG on live (such as Tron Legacy), to have things very punchy looking, which definitely helps with the relative dimness of 3D (certainly compared to 2D). Even dark scenes in Alice, we’ve found to be dim and fatiguing, (from several folks), and that’s on a smaller screen than yours.

      But there’s lots of content. It’s not a matter of if it’s watchable. No argument there, at least not from me, it’s whether it’s desireable, or just something you are willing to put up with to view 3D.

      Consider – did you ever once raise those glasses and look at the same content without them, and think, wow, that’s way better? I don’t see how you couldn’t wish for that quadrupling of useable lumens. Every single person to view 3D here on any home projector so far (except the LG), has said, basically: “yep” would be much better if it was the brightness of the image without the glasses”.

      But, enough of that. No question the JVC’s got the best blacks out there (short of a CRT).
      Last year I got to view the RS35 – the X9′s predecessor. And not long after I got to work with the Runco 3 chipper, with 3 times the lumens and excellent – though not as good as the JVC’s blacks”. (and all the more noticeable by being 3x as bright). I liked the extra brightness (of the Runco), myself. As much as I’ve written the praises of the JVC’s blacks these past several years, and advanced the importance of black level performance especially as how they affect really dark scenes, offer me the Runco (twice the price) or the JVC, to use, and I have to go with the Runco (I’m just talking brightness). This brings me to the point.

      You said what else might – short of one of those big Runco’s challenge the X9?

      My answer is simple – and note I’m talking challenge, not beat:
      The new Panasonic PT-AE7000 and the “rumored” Epson, which probably won’t be just rumors, even before CEDIA – I don’t see them waiting that long to spill the beans.

      Oh, they won’t match the JVC’s blacks – I’ll presume a new Epson will roughly equal or be very close to the X3, but not the X7/X9 variations. Panasonic will have to up their performance a notch on blacks to get to the same place.

      But these guys are going to likely double (or more) the light output of the X9 when fully calibrated, or using (the presumed Epson’s presumed THX mode – since they’ve had them for years).

      The X9 will still produce a great image, with better blacks, and a clearer image due to better optics, and would be my certain choice (no surprise) almost certainly over those far less expensive projectors, for 2D, but, Either of them should be capable of putting up a 3D image close to as bright as the JVC can do in THX mode, in 2D. So, 3D with roughly, the JVC’s 2D brightness.

      That’s what I’m waiting for, before I buy my next projector. I wouldn’t be surprised, if JVC rolls out new projectors that are 25-50% brighter than the X9, though I have no intel to support that.

      Anyway, enjoy your X9. I had the RS35 long enough last year (and the RS60 briefly this year), to know how much you will enjoy 2D…. -art