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JVC's New Projectors At CEDIA 2015 - JVC Ups its 4K Game - Update

By Art Feierman
This is a rewrite of yesterday's article. I've been to JVC's VIP "suite" and got a good look at all the new JVC projectors.

Last year JVC had no new entries. Their projectors first announced in 2013 supported limited 4K, but lacked the necessary HDMI 2.0 and HDCP (copy protection) 2.2 needed to support the new 4K Blu-ray UHD format. In other words, until these new models, you could view your own photos in 4K, but you couldn’t download a movie in 4K (from one of the video services and view it.

For the moment, the images above are from last year's flagship X900R, aka, RS6710, now improved into the new DLA-X9000... The last four images show it handling true 4K content.  These will be replaced in the future with images from the new JVCs.

JVC announced these projectors this fall:

DLA-X5000, DLA-X7000 and DLA-X9000. These were first shown at IFA in Germany. I won’t see the US versions until later today at CEDIA. I can talk here, about some of the improvements over the last series, but so far, I only have EU pricing, and it’s impossible to accurately translate that. I will update this article from the show, after Ron and I have our “VIP” tour at their suite.

Note that these new projectors claim to be a few hundred lumens brighter than the 2013 entries, so perhaps they have detuned the contrast in part to gain more brightness. There is a direct correlation between those specs, but nothing we can get into here.

The DLA-X5000, and the likely two other versions – JVC has three distribution channels and provides essentially the same projector to each – with the differences consisting only of some projector trim, and the warranty length -- now claims 1700 lumens. This is the lowest end projector of the three new models. Like its more expensive brethren, it has a dynamic iris to enhance the already great black level performance, although the X5000 isn’t a match for the two more expensive ones when it comes to blacks. The DLA-X5000 interestingly claims lower native contrast than the previous version. But let’s not lose any sleep over that, since JVC does offer the best native contrast around.

If JVC is fairly consistent with pricing, the X5000 and its twins should be priced right around $5000 to $5500. We shall see, soon enough.

Next comes the DLA-X7000. This is one of the two near identical twins. The primary differences between the DLA-X7000 and X9000 are a huge difference in price, and higher quality control and therefore components, in the DLA-X9000 version. We reviewed its predecessor, the DLA-RS6710 / RS67 / DLA-X900R, early in 2015.

The JVC DLA-X7000 claims 1800 lumens, it’s panels deliver higher native contrast (120,000:1), and again, a dynamic iris to further enhance blacks. If prices hold, look for the three variations of the X7000 to be priced between $7999 and $8499. Again, I will update this.

The JVC DLA-X9000 is the “super” X7000. It has the best lenses, power supplies, etc. Otherwise they are the same projector. It just goes to show you that using the best components can make a difference – a visible one. Whether that’s worth the extra $4000 over the X7000 will have to be your decision. JVC’s been doing this “hand picked” components thing for the last 4 or 5 generations. We did, at one point, get to review one of each, so we could “see” whether the hand selected” components version was superior.

Curious? OK! Yes, there was a visible difference. I attributed almost all of the difference to the optics – the better lens. There was simply greater clarity. If you are a photographer and have experienced the difference between good lenses – good “glass” and great ones, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like the better one is exactly the same, but as if a thin film has been removed, allowing that clarity.

These new JVCs support more of the announced set of Blu-ray UHD supported standards than the older Sonys (Sony has new models too), and the Epson LS10000. Included with the JVCs is support for HDR and DCI.   If you have, btw, an Epson LS10000 or the older Sonys, I expect that you will see some firmware upgrades becoming available.

I’m figuring that from a supporting 4K standpoint, all should be fairly equal, but we shall see.

The big question I can’t answer for you just yet about the new JVCs is when they will ship. Normally I expect “early next year”, but since JVC took a year off from releasing new projectors, perhaps it will be sooner. I should know the answer tomorrow.

4K is going to be exciting. I’ve had enough chance to work with 4K to know, to shout – “this is what we’ve been waiting for.” Sorry 1080p, your resolution just doesn’t cut it – you just can’t deliver a really sharp image on a 110” diagonal screen, from 10 or 12 feet away. In other words, about the best 1080p could do, is provide about what you see in a movie theater in the last row.

Now we get to sit a lot closer, and enjoy razor sharp performance. I can’t wait. When I have 4K running in my theater, I typically sit about 8-9 feet back from a 124” 2.35:1 screen for my wide screen moves.   What a difference 4K makes!

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