Posted on August 5, 2011 By Art Feierman
JVC’s DLA HD250 home theater projector is their first enty priced low enough to compete against some of the much higher volume projectors in the $2000 to $3500 price range. While still near the high point of that range, it’s price is low enough for JVC, to generate some serious sales, if still not in the volume league of the Epson Optoma and Panasonic, projectors. How does it stack up?
Until the DLA-HD250 and it’s identical sibling projector, the JVC DLA-HD250Pro, JVC hasn’t offered a modern home theater projector under $4495. Bingo, these two JVC’s – the one we received to review was the DLA-HD250, from their consumer division. The DLA-HD250Pro is actually an identical projector from their Pro division. The biggest difference, is really the $4 difference in MSRP. This JVC DLA-HD250 is $2995, and the HD250Pro, four dollars more.
In the past, JVC has offered us 3 different models, in each of the last two years. This year, those three projectors from last year, got bigger, and added 3D capability.
Pricing stayed faily similar with the JVC X3 and RS40, still in the $4000s, the X7 (consumer) and RS50 around $8000, and the X9 and RS60 at dollars under $12,000.
So, where did JVC’s HD250 and HD250Pro come from? Really, they are reworked RS15 projectors from last year, or more accurately, the RS10 from the year before. I say that because these JVC DLA-HD250 projectors lack the CFI – smooth motion – which JVC calls Clear Motion. The RS15 had it, the older RS10 didn’t. All are in the same case (although finishes differ). Today’s other new JVC projectors are physically much larger.
Other than that, these two new, low cost JVCs differ primarily by price, compared to their predecessors. Just think, you are getting a projector very similar to the original RS1 or the later RS10, which respectively sold for under $5500 and in the mid-$4000s, respectively
$2995 starts looking awfully impressive, and that’s the point. It may not be the most feature laden (no CFI, no 3D…), but it is a top performing projector in terms of black levels and overall picture quality. The DLA-HD250’s predecessors were top projectors at their price points. That makes these HD250’s a virtual steal, with a 1/3 lower price, at the cost, mostly of just losing CFI! Works for me.
It wasn’t even worth a lot of thought, this HD250 definitely deserves our Hot Product award!
The JVC DLA-HD250 is a larger medium sized projector, but hardly huge. It sports a 2:1 zoom lens, and is fully motorized for zoom, focus and lens shift. The DLA-HD250 has a gray black flat finish, unlike the black shiny piano finish of the older RS15. The lines are clean, but I miss the shiny black. Inputs are along the right side (viewed from the front), instead of in the back. That gives you a little more room, for rear shelf mounting, by not having cables and connectors sticking out the back.
JVC is legendary for their black level performance, and despite the DLA-HD250 being the entry level of JVC home theater projectors, it’s black levels are essentially the equal or better than any other projectors near its price. Want a projector with significantly better blacks – folks that’s going to cost you 2.5x as much, as I can’t think of anything significantly better short of JVC’s own DLA-RS50, at $7999!
This JVC home theater projector has very good color performance, but lacking the more sophisticated controls found on other JVC’s and many other projectors, it can’t be as finely honed as those with full CMS support. None-the-less the JVC puts up some really good skin tones, which is the first thing to look for. If skin tones look right, then almost everything else has to.
This is a projector targeted at home theater enthusiasts, and anyone who just wants a particularly exceptional looking projector, and is shopping in the JVC’s budget range. Having owned it’s “grandfather” the original DLA-RS1, I can attest to the overall picture quality of the even better HD250.
Warning for those who are hard core enthusiasts, and do their own tweaking and calibrating, and normally can’t leave their projector alone without adjusting something for any reasonable time: The lack of a full CMS may take some of the fun out of your “hobby” if that’s going to bother you, look elsewhere. We can’t have you bored.
For those of you who only watch the content, and never “notice” the projector, only that everything looks great, the HD250 is right up your alley, it’s got the performance, without all the gadgets.
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