JVC DLA-RS1 and Sharp XV-Z20000 Home Theater Projectors: A Comparison Review - Overview
7-22-2007 Art Feierman
Choosing between two great 1080p home theater projectors
For purposes of this comparison, I’ll use our standard five page format: Overview, Image Quality, General Performance, Warranty, and Summary. Since both projectors have full reviews, I certainly won’t go into the full details again, but will concentrate on the differences and similarities. The goal is to help you decide between two truly excellent, under $10,000 projectors, to create you dazzling home theater environment.
JVC RS1 and Sharp Z20000 Home Theatre Projectors - Overview
Both the JVC DLA-RS1, which is also sold as the JVC HD1, with a slightly different styled case, and the Sharp XV-Z20000 produce image quality that would make all but the most fanatical and/or extremely rich people perfectly happy. Yet, there are enough differences that most people considering these two, will find that one definitely will suit their specific needs, wants and room environment, better than the other.
Editor’s note: I will attempt to produce a well balanced, objective comparison, but we all have our “biases”. In this case, I currently use the JVC RS1 in my home theater. I can say, however, that I am as impressed with the Sharp as the JVC. Still, I wanted to make it clear, upfront, that I am a JVC owner.
From a technical standpoint, we have two different technologies in play here. The Sharp, is a classic single chip DLP projector, while the JVC RS1 is a three chip LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) projector. JVC calls their LCOS technology D-ILA (Sony calls their LCOS – SXRD). Traditionally, DLP’s have offered better natural contrast (than LCOS or LCD), and therefore better black levels, and shadow details. Currently most LCOS and LCD projectors have had to rely heavily on “technology”, like dynamic irises and “AI” to enhance black levels and shadow detail, in order to compete with DLP. Doing so, there have been some impressive results, notably Sony’s VW50 Pearl, and some impressive LCD models. This difference, though, between technologies, has seen a major shift, with the JVC RS1, which has redesigned LCOS chips that challenge, no, seem to exceed, the performance of DLP projectors, and doing so without extra technology like dynamic irises.
From a physical standpoint, these projectors are somewhat similar, but, there are still some dramatic differences.
Both are very similar in size and weight. Both have center mounted zoom lenses, both can be shelf mounted if the distances are the same, and finally neither one would be considered a quiet home theater projector, although there is still a notable difference in audible noise levels.
OK, let's get started!
JVC DLA-RS1, Sharp XV-Z20000 1080p Home Theater Projectors, Basic Specs:
JVC DLA-RS1 Home Theater Projector
Technology: 3 Chip LCOS (JVC D-iLA)
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 700 lumens at D65 - best mode - brighter in other modes
Zoom Lens ratio: 2.0:1
Lens shift: Vertical (80%), Horizontal (34%)
Lamp life: 2000 hours
Weight: 25.5 lbs.
Warranty: 2 Years, Parts and Labor
Click here for more complete specifications.
Sharp XV-Z20000 Home Theater Projector
MSRP: $11,999, MAP: $9999
Technology: Single chip DLP
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 1000 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.35:1
Lens shift: Horizontal only
Lamp life: 2000 hours
Weight: 21 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year Parts and Labor, with In-Home service
Click here for more complete specifications.
JVC DLA-RS1 and Sharp XV-Z20000 Projectors Compared: Physical Attributes
JVC DLA-RS1 vs Sharp XV-Z20000: Physical Overview:
Both are fairly large 20+ pound projectors, with roughly the same physical size and shape. The Sharp weighs in at 21 pounds, the JVC at 25 pounds
JVC DLA-RS1 and Sharp XV-Z20000: Room Placement Flexibility
The first place where they differ greatly, is in placement ability. And the differences are not only distance from the srcreen, but also height.
Let’s start with distance. The Sharp has a zoom lens with a very limited 1.35:1 range. Translated, that means the furthest it can be placed from a given sized screen, will be 35% further away, than the closest it can be. The JVC RS1, by comparison has a 2:1 zoom, so the projector can be twice as far back, as its closest position.
[Note: When discussing distances, those distances are always measured from the front of the lens to the screen. For discussion purposes distances will be based on filling a 100 inch, diagonal, 16:9 aspect ratio screen.]
The JVC can be positioned much closer to your screen. For that 100” screen, as close as 9 feet, 10 inches, compared to the Sharp projector’s closest; 13 feet, 5 inches.
If you planning to shelf mount in the rear of your room, the JVC, still has a real advantage; back as far as 19 feet, 10 inches, compared to 18 feet, 2 inches. That extra foot and a half plus, may make a critical difference for a significant number of users' rooms. Of course, those with the Sharp could solve that problem by going to a slightly size larger screen, if practical. Overall, for those preferring shelf mounting (and that usually saves money on installation and wiring, compared to ceiling mounting), think this way: If your room is fairly square, and you like a medium to large screen size for your room, the Sharp probably won’t work on a rear shelf, as it would need to be too far back – further then the depth of the room. In addition, some folks with very long rooms, will find that the RS1 will work on a rear shelf, but the Sharp won’t, as it would need to be closer to the screen. There’s no good way to estimate what percentage of people might find the RS1 a good fit, and the Sharp, as impractical, but, if I had to take a guess, probably twice as many people could work with the JVC, as could work with the Sharp, shelf mounted in their room. It might be something like 45% could fit the Sharp, and 90% the JVC. (This is just my best guess.)
Quicktip; Generally, single chip projectors (DLP), have zoom lenses with limited range, and typically no lens shift, or just vertical, and even when they have lens shift, it is typically less than three chip projectors (LCD, LCOS, and the much more expensive 3 chip DLP projectors).
Both home theater projectors have vertical lens shift, but only the JVC has horizontal. Lacking horizontal is not normally an issue for the large majority, but it does mean that your ceiling mount must be perfectly positioned, left-to-right. Certainly having it, assures the correct image even if you are slightly (or dramatically) off-center.
Comparing vertical lens shift, the JVC DLA-RS1 has a slight, but significant advantage.
The Sharp XV-Z20000 projector can be placed, anywhere, as long as the center of the lens is located no higher than the top of the projector screen surface, and no lower than the bottom. The JVC RS1, though, can be as high as roughly 15 inches above the top, all the way down to 15 inches below the bottom of the screen surface.
If you are ceiling mounting, and have a taller ceiling, the advantage is that the pole supporting the projector, from the ceiling mount can be shorter, and the projector, higher, less noticeable in the room.
If you are shelf mounting, again, higher is less out of the way. As an added benefit, since neither of these projectors are especially quiet, a bit further from your ears, making it a touch quieter.
And, should you be setting your projector on a table, (not likely for people buying a projector in this class of performance), with the JVC, the table wouldn’t have to as tall as the bottom of your projector screen is from the floor. In other words, the JVC will probably work fine on a cocktail table, while the Sharp would need to be higher up.
You may want to stop right here and start thinking about your room.
If you find that placing the Sharp XV-Z20000 where you want/need it, in your room, is not possible, or a major hassle that you don’t want to deal with. And, if the JVC, on the other hand, works well in that same place, then you might want to go with the JVC. There really isn’t a major difference in image quality, so choosing the JVC projector would essentially be giving up nothing, and your life would be simpler placing it in your home theater.
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Sharp XV-Z20000 and JVC DLA-RS1 Inputs and Controls
Here the tide turns a bit, to favor the Z20000. The Sharp simply has more high resolution inputs. The JVC has the better laid out control panel, but I don’t see that as a big thing, you’ll be using the remotes, or 3rd party remote, or a room control system, not the on-board control panel.
Perhaps the only truly annoying thing about the RS1, is its lack of a standard computer input, even though there are workarounds. I’m talking the standard analog input that will allow you to easily hook up a desktop or laptop computer. The Z20000, like virtually every other home theater, has one. Now, if you are like me, and do want the ability to hook up a PC or Mac, it still can be done. However, it certainly complicates things a bit. My solution, using a MacBook Pro, is to output from the laptop’s digital DVI port (it comes with a DVI to HDMI connector), into one of the JVC’s two HDMI inputs. It works! Unfortunately not many computers today come standard with a digital output. If you have a computer without, you can solve the problem with a new graphics card. For a laptop, that means a graphics card in one of your PC card or similar, slots. Then there’s configuring your computer for a new graphics card.
An alternative would be to buy a box that can convert analog to digital, with an HDMI output. These exist and are a couple hundred dollars or more. Lastly, you may be able to output from your standard VGA out, into the JVC’s component video, but that is likely to not work in most cases. (I didn’t try that).
As you can see, there are workarounds, but, geez, JVC had no business leaving that out. Shame! It’s not that the possible solutions are a lot of money – certainly compared to an over $5000 projector, it’s just the hassle for those with computers lacking HDMI output.
OK, I’m done with that rant. Moving right along, The JVC has two HDMI inputs compared to the Sharp’s two HDMI inputs and a third digital, DVI (HDMI compatible input). The Sharp offers two component video inputs, to the JVC’s one, however they both have not just the R,G,B connectors, but two more (each) for syncing with a wider array of devices, and, for example can be used for a typical analog computer input, which is exactly how Sharp would handle a typical computer. It’s just a matter of the right cable.
After all that, things start getting similar, both have an RS-232 port for “command and control” – the ability to run the projector from a computer or room control system. They also both have an S-video and a composite video input.
The last difference, is that the Sharp XV-Z20000 has a 12 volt trigger for controlling a (properly equipped) motorized projector screen. This is a nice touch, but not a significant difference between the two, because, today’s screens, often offer a wireless infra-red or RF option, so those screens can be controlled by their provided remote controls, or a programmable remote or room control system.
Other physical attributes: Neither projector vents hot air out the back, and that makes them suitable for shelf mounting. Both have front and rear Infra-red sensors, and both have adjustable feet for table top useage (or shelf), but you normally wouldn’t use them on a shelf setup.