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Epson LS10000 vs JVC DLA-RS6710 Performance, 1080p vs 4K

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Art Feierman
Let's get back to basics for the moment, things like brightness and basic feature sets.  But then for the fun, as well display both projectors tackling 4K content.  Understand that we will show you 4K images from videos that are not copy protected so you can see how both projectors perform. I was able to obtain non HDCP 2.2 copy protected content from both Sony and Epson. The additional content that is HDCP 2.2 copy protected was provided by Sony, via the 4K download service.   Note, overall, you'll find that the JVC images look like their colors are oversaturated compared to the Epson.  That's a bit of setup and photographic differences.  The tendency of the Epson when captured was a bit pale compared to the image on screen. We have reported in the past that LED or Laser based projectors tend to photograph a bit differently than lamp ones.  The only setting I ever adjust for these photo shoots, is the saturation, trying to get it acceptable, as it's often too much.  In this case, the JVC is a bit too strong, the Epson, too weak on saturation.  Unfortunately I didn't get to set up a side by side shoot where I get more consistent results. The JVC of course, will be able to show non-copy protected content, and that can include  your own hi resolution photography (we're talking about 9 mega-pixel and higher) and your videos.

Comparing Brightness

There aren't any earth shaking differences between these two projectors when it comes to brightness.

Let's start with measured brightness after calibration.  The Epson LS10000 measured 1198 lumens at mid-point on the zoom.  The JVC RS6710 measured 940 lumens calibrated, also at mid-zoom.

Basically this means the Epson's got enough horsepower to easily handle more than 150" diagonal screen in a proper home theater, while the JVC isn't far behind let's say at least 130" diagonal.  If your screen has some extra gain, of course, you can go even larger.  Generally with a typical screen you only need between 400 and 500 lumens for a reasonably bright picture at a 100" size (in a fully darkened room).  That said, you really do want to have lumens to spare.

Bright modes should be of interest - to those that don't always want to watch in a fully darkened room. That typically means sports viewing and most general HDTV content like sitcoms, crime shows or Jimmy Fallon.  (But you just might want full darkness for Discovery HD, to fully appreciate the photography.)  The Epson, not surprisingly, again is the brighter of the two:  1615 max lumens (mid-zoom) (not great color), but 1215 lumens with very good color.  The JVC measured 1262 in its High Brightness mode (also not great color), and 989 lumens with very good color.

There is one other thing.  Epson's laser engine claims 20,000 hours at mid brightness.  It will lose brightness very slowly over many years.  The JVC uses lamps.  They will dim to about half brightness by the time they need to be replaced, every 4000 hours.

Bottom line, The Epson is typically about 25% brighter than the JVC, calibrated, but also at maximum brightness, and brightest mode with good color.  That's hardly huge, although every lumen is a plus. Since few of us will have screens over 130" diagonal, the brightness difference would most likely be noticed on sports/HDTV viewing, and when viewing 3D.  It's a good win for Epson, but not a critical difference for most people.  Although there's always the argument that brighter is normally better.

4K Content Compared

I do have non copy protected 4K content I was able to shoot using both projectors.  Just remember, most 4K commercial content is expected to be copy protected.

The first five images above were taken of the JVC while the second set of five are the Epson LS10000.

Both projectors are using pixel shifting while handling the 4K content.  My personal assessment, playing with the controls, and using different levels of detail enhancement along with pixel shifting, is that the Epson definitely comes across as the sharper/more detailed of the two projectors, but the Epson image appears a little harder than the JVCs, as a general difference, when the other adjustment efforts are similar.  Now let's take a look at some 1080 content.

1080p and 1080i Content Compared

Once again, when looking at 1080p (or 1080i) content, the various detail enhancement settings matter. For my viewing I primarily would find the settings I felt to be the best combination of detail/sharpness vs artifacts such as a hard looking image.

With either projector you can go way over the top if you want, and get a very enhanced image that seems super sharp, but in reality has a lot of edge contrast, and other things going on that change the image slightly.

Overall, the Epson again, has more perceived sharpness/detail, but again, it looks a little harder - when both look their best/sharpness/detail.

For example, with the Epson I prefer the 2-4K or 3-4K settings, but the 3-4K can definitely be a bit over the top, on some content, but not all.  Then there are the circumstances where the "director's intent" inherently causes that.  Note the closeup of Katnis, with the fire behind her is one that inherently looks grainy.  With such an image the 3-4K setting would emphasize that intentional graininess.  For most content I was happy with the 2-4K setting, but sometimes I used 3-4K.  I never used higher settings for movie viewing, but you can put up one really seemingly sharp image with sports with a higher setting.  If perceived sharpness and detail (note I don't see "real" sharpness and detail), is your goal, the Epson has the advantage on 1080 content.

Black Levels

This section isn't as easy as you would think, but let's start with a simple statement:  I'm not aware of any other projector, at any price that has deeper, blacker blacks on dark scenes than the JVC DLA-RS6710!

Excellent, it's one of the things that make the JVC a true purist's 1080p projector.

But the LS10000 is no slouch either.  Its native contrast isn't up to the JVC but it is pretty close.  It's probably at least the equal of JVC's RS4910, which at $5499 beats virtually every other projector but the more expensive JVCs.

Now the less pricey JVC in previous generations had great blacks but no dynamic iris, making it visibly inferior to the higher end models.  When both got dynamic irises, though, even the RS4910 had virtually black blacks on those darkest scenes, only on brighter scenes can you see the higher end JVC's advantage.

Enter the Epson.  Like the 4910, its black levels are pretty awesome, as long as you didn't know there was the even better RS6710 out there.  The Epson easily beats every other projector I can think of, including all of the Sony 4K projectors except the $28K VW1100ES, which I'd deem comparable.

So, overall, the 6710 is superior in this area, with one exception.  That would be black frames - any frame where there are no colors or grays - just black.  With the Epson, using the recommended option, for those frames, the Epson's lasers turn off!  You get true blackness, theoretically even better than a CRT projector.

On the tunnel scenes in Mockingjay you can appreciate that, the amount of pop to those dark images and flashes is outstanding.  Even the RS6710 can't produce a true black frame.

Overall, though, I still favor the JVC's black levels. Just remember that the Epson isn't far behind, and leaves good projectors like their own UB series, or the JVC X35 or all but the top of the line Sony's in the dust.

BTW I found that the Epson was better on dark shadow detail, although if you are looking at the images above, say the night train scene, the exposure differences is magnifying that.

Conclusions

Of these two projectors, I'll boil it all down to these statements.

If this was 3 years ago, and both projectors were hitting the market, with a decent quantity of true 4K content 4 years out, I'd go purist and buy the JVC.

But that's not the case.  Blu-ray UHD is about to ship, and the 4K download services are gearing up to provide content. Streaming 4K, however limited to pay per view already exists from DirecTV as an example, but the 4K service Sony uses, has significant content today.

I think 4K is wasted on a 50" LCDTV, but it's what we should all have been waiting for, for our large screens.  (8K will be even better.)  To me it makes a huge difference in seating distance which equates to immersion, which is, why we have home theaters to begin with!!!

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So, sign me up for the Epson, no question, the LS10000 is the one I would definitely choose personally.  That's a compelling reason.  Also of note is the Epson's cool long life laser engine, a somewhat brighter picture (better especially for 3D) and for that matter better 3D.

But the JVC will have the slight edge in naturalness on 1080p content.

BTW, when the standards change, the Epson is in place to support some of those enhanced dynamic ranges in brightness and color, such as DCI (which is what you get at the movie theater).

The JVC is awesome, but the Epson is definitely built for the future.

Are you a JVC fanatic?  Don't despair.  In 2016 you will be able to buy JVC models that will support 4K in much the same way the Epson does.  If the announcements in Europe are any indication, however, the next gen JVCs should match the Epson in brightness too, but also may end up costing even more than the $12,549 of the current model here in the US.  Hard to tell from the EU pricing.   We'll know the new US pricing come the CEDIA show in mid-October.

From a cost standpoint, considering JVC still charges a lot for their lamps, that would make the JVC almost twice as expensive.  Of course there are less expensive JVCs.

I only had the JVC here for less than a week, and the Epson for a couple of months, which isn't really fair, but I know I could live with the LS10000 for the next few years, no problem.  I would be frustrated though, as the owner of the RS6710, as 4K content rolls out, as that's something I really want to take maximum advantage of in my personal viewing experience.

My final advice, without getting into a dozen other areas (like warranty), if the Epson makes sense, go for it.  If you  want the purist overall image, though, don't buy the RS6710, hold off, wait for the next generation!  That will probably have you waiting until January or February of 2016, but that too, we'll learn at CEDIA.  Neither JVC nor Epson may be true 4K projectors in terms of using true 4K panels, but the ability of watching 4K content on projectors with good pixel shifting, and image processing is really significant.

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