JVC RS1 vs Optoma HD81and BenQ W10000
The Optoma can crank out a lot more lumens when you need them for sports in rooms with modest ambient lighting. It's outboard processor (Gennum processing, like the RS1) offers oodles (I had to put that in here) of inputs. On the other hand, the Optoma is slightly more expensive (street price), has very limited placement flexibility due to a 1.2:1 zoom (vs 2:1), and no lens shift. The Optoma HD81 produces an excellent, and very sharp image, but the JVC, although not quite as razor sharp, overall produces a much more impressive overall image. The Optoma's black levels and shadow detail, though both good, come up short.
JVC RS1 vs. Panasonic PT-AE1000U
Both projectors have totally invisible pixel structures at any normal seating distance. The Panasonic PT-AE1000u, is the bargain of the 1080p set, with a $3995 MAP price and a $400 rebate, so its thousands less. The Panasonic is no match for the JVC in black levels, shadow detail or overall eye-popping image quality. At barely half the price, however, still most impressive. The Panasonic can't match the brightness of the JVC in high quality modes.
JVC RS1 vs Mitsubishi HC5000
The HC5000 has the most visible pixel structure, (barely detectable at close/normal seating on white areas, and credits) and in part, that is probably why it produces what seems to be the sharpest image. Whether it resolves more detail, I don't know but it looks "razor sharp". The Mitsubishi HC5000, like the Panasonic, can't come close to the JVC in brightness in best modes. The Mitsubishi, although not as inexpensive as the Panasonic PT-AE1000U is still almost $2000 less than the JVC on the street, and is a great "out of the box" projector, especially for the money.
Are things really that bleak for the RS1's competition?
Although it sounds like it, the answer is, no, not really. First of all, understand that the thing that really sets the JVC apart is it's black levels and natural, high contrast. That is ultimately what really creates that wow factor, the rich deep colors, etc. In my theater room (which still has off white walls (a few more months), I can even see how the white walls slightly degrade the overall image.
And that leads to the main point. If even light from the image on the screen, reflecting back off of the walls, can slightly degrade the image, consider what impact having even minimal ambient lighting, like side wall sconces, or even some tiny little 20 watt lamp in the back of the room that doesn't even face the screen, will have.
The JVC stands out in ideal theater room conditions. Any ambient light is going to start diluting that high contrast, and wipe out the deepest shadow details. Of course it does this to any projector, its just that the JVC is so good, that it is affected by the least amount of ambient light. Even as you introduce some ambient light, it should still have the advantage on other projectors, but the amount of advantage will dimish significantly. If you want modest ambient light for sports for example, you probably will have wiped out just about all of the difference that makes the RS1 so good at what it does, and in such a case, you likely would prefer a different, brighter projector.
Time to consider the projector's overall aspects.