Projector Reviews

Runner-Up: Best in Class ($3500-$10,000+): JVC DLA-RS4910/X500R/RS49

It’s been a long time since I reviewed the JVC DLA-X500R.  This one is perhaps my favorite JVC in their lineup.  For two and a half time this JVC’s price you can have their flagship RS6710 which shares this award.  Personally, the X500R and it’s RS equivalents are the by far the better value, although, of course the RS6710 ultimately has the superior image.  The difference in performance for most of us is a lot less than the $7000 difference in price.

The X500R is graced with outstanding black level performance even if a step down from the flagship.  About the only two projectors that can compete with it in terms of blacks are the the Epson LS9600 and LS1000, although they don’t use dynamic irises.

Overall picture quality handling 2D, 1080p content is excellent all around.  It certainly rivals the Epson LS10000 and has a touch more natural image.

The DLA-X500R is a nice step up in performance than the best of the projectors in the $2000 – $3500, with better black levels than the Sony VPL-HW55ES, BenQ W7500 or Epson 5030UB/6030UB.  Few projectors can seriously compete.


Like all but the entry level JVC projector, the RS4910/X500R/RS49 offers eShift3, and the ability to handle noncommercial 4K content, such as from a good personal or pro camera.  The pictures above are showing the JVC handling that type of 4K content.  If only it would be able to handle Blu-ray HD which is coming out in the next couple of months.

The JVC though, is best at putting a great 2D 1080p picture up on the screen for the $4999 – $5499 price range, arguably the best for the price.

Back to 4K for a moment.  Of the competition under $9999, only the Epson LS10000 will handle Blu-ray UHD.  That makes this JVC closer to Epson’s LS9600 which is similar to the LS10K, but without the 4K capabilities and slightly less bright.  Of the two, when I considered this award, I favored the JVC for the slightly more purist type 2D 1080p picture, but both are very good.

The JVC has a great feature set – a 2:1 zoom with motorized lens shift, great if you want to go widescreen.  It, of course, offers 3D. JVC, like all but DLP’s has some crosstalk and I would say 3D isn’t a strength, but it’s there, and fun.

Of the three versions, which represent three different distribution channel, the RS4910 is $500 more than the others, coming with an extra year of warranty and some other goodies from one group of local authorized dealers.

Competitively speaking, the decision for you would be whether to go with this fine traditional 2K projector, or spend a couple thousand more for a laser powered projector that will be able to handle true 4K content, even if only being a pixel shifting 1080p projector like this one.

It would be interesting if there was a first class single chip DLP projector to try to do battle (even if the JVC will easily win black levels), but I haven’t found anything, as most of those DLP’s cost far less and are not competitive, or are entry level products from very high end players, who are not “selling” the picture quality as much as the brand and support.

If around $5K is your limit, and you don’t want to wait perhaps a couple more years before 4K projectors reach your price point, and you don’t see a projector that is still fundamentally a 1080p projector but one that works with 4K Blu-ray, as one worth spending more on.  Then the JVC is a great choice, with a great 2K picture.  And as I said, it’s the best value in the JVC line-up.