Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-NZ9 D-ILA Laser Projector Review

JVC has announced three new D-ILA home theater projector models. The JVC DLA-NZ9 is an HDR home theater projector that delivers true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160). It is the replacement for the award-winning DLA-NX9/RS3000 which we reviewed a while back. These JVC models all utilize their BLU-Escent laser light source, include 8K e-shift technology and they are the world’s first projectors to offer 48Gbps 8K/60p inputs.

With a retail price of $25,999, the DLA-NZ9 sits at the higher end of JVC’s D-ILA FPJ lineup but its high native contrast combined with 4K resolution results in exceptional performance. Since this is a native 4K unit (unlike a 2K pixel shifting projector), it can faithfully reproduce all 8.8 million pixels found in 4K content.

While there are several 8K flat panels available on the market today but there are very few projectors that can display 8K content. JVC was the first company to offer a projector that could display resolutions higher than 4K. However, JVC’s proprietary 8K e-shift feature which shifts each pixel diagonally 0.5 pixel to increase projected resolution was only available on the higher end NX9/RS3000 ($17,999 SRP). This year 8K e-shift is available on the DLA-NZ7/RS2100 which retails for just $10,999.

In addition, the DLA-NZ9/RS4100 or DLA-NZ8/RS3100 are equipped with the new and improved 8K/e-shiftX which can now shift the image in four directions (up, down, left, and right) to produce over 35.3 million addressable pixels, which is enough to display 8K resolution onscreen. The D-ILA drive device was improved, and it is now possible to display images at a speed equivalent to 240Hz. Faster pixel shifting makes it even more difficult to visually differentiate native 8K from pixel-shited 8K.

The unit’s BLU-Escent laser light source technology can produce brightness up to 3,000lm for 20,000 hours of nearly maintenance-free operation. The NZ9’s high native contrast ratio of 100,000:1 (1,000,000:1 Dynamic) combined with 4K resolution and JVC’s industry-leading black levels result in exceptional picture quality.

JVC DLA-NZ9 Specs
Price$25,999
TechnologyDILA, 3Chip
Native Resolution4,096 x 2,160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3000
Contrast100,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio2.00:1
Lens ShiftYes
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight56
Warranty3 year

OVERVIEW

JVC is one of the premium manufacturers of Home Theater Projectors. Over the years due to their high contrast, great black level, and native 4K resolution, their projectors have won numerous awards.

JVC offers two different series of D-ILA Home Theater Projectors which differ mainly in their cosmetic appearance. Both series are designed for home theater customers and production facilities but sell through different sales channels. For example, NZ (Procision) Series projectors are sold through retailers like BestBuy and Crutchfield, while the RS (Reference) Series models are available through the custom installation dealer network.

Procision Series (DLA-NZ9, DLA-NZ8, DLA-NZ7)

The three new JVC laser projectors are in both the Procision Series and Reference Series lines. The new Procision Series models are the DLA-NZ9, DLA-NZ8, and DLA-NZ7, and the Reference Series equivalents are the DLA-RS4100, DLA-RS3100, and the DLA-RS2100.

Model Price (SRP) Displayed Resolution Brightness Native Contrast Lens
NZ9 / RS4100 $25,999.95 8K/e-shiftX 3,000lm 100,000:1 100mm All Glass
NZ8 / RS3100 $15,999.95 8K/e-shiftX 2,500lm 80,000:1 65mm All Glass
NZ7 / RS2100 $10,999,95 8K/e-shift 2,200lm 40,000:1 65mm All glass
NP5 / RS1100 $6999.95 4K 1,900lm 40,000:1 65mm All glass

At a retail price of $25,999, the JVC DLA-NZ9 / RS4100 is at the top end of the JVC 4K projector lineup. It uses the same 18 Element, 16 Group, All-Glass 100mm Diameter Zoom Lens found in DLA NX9 /RS3000. However, the bulb found in the previous model has been replaced with a BLU-Escent™ (Laser Diode/Phosphor) light source which can deliver higher brightness (3,000 ANSI lumens).

JVC claims the NZ9 has a native contrast ratio of 100,000:1 (Dynamic Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1) which is exceptional. Laser dimming gives the NZ9 a nearly infinite dynamic contrast ratio. In addition, the NZ9 can also deliver rich vibrant colors. JVC also claims that with the Cinema Filter engaged, the NZ9 can reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 color space.

In addition to the new laser light source-equipped 8K e-shift models, JVC also offers the DLA-NP5 /DLA-RS1100. These two native 4K D-ILA models are lamp-based units and do not include 8K e-shift. This helps keep the cost down compared to its laser-equipped big brothers. JVC is offering each of these projectors for $6,999 MSRP.

All the new DILA projectors in JVC’s lineup including the NP5 /RS1000 are equipped with dual 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs designed to accept 8K/60fps and 4K/120fps signals. While the DLA-NP5/DLA-RS1100 can not display 8K, they are a great match with the latest gaming consoles like a PlayStation5 or Xbox Series X. The new 8K-shift equipped projectors like the NZ9 can not only accept but they can display both 8K/60fps and 4K/120fps content.

The NZ9 uses an all-glass 18 element lens in order to ensure that all the resolution provided by these 4K imagers reach the screen. This lens assembly is one finest offered on a Home Theater projector and they are a big reason why the NZ9 commands a premium price over the NZ7.

To maximize the HDR performance of the NZ9, it includes a couple of JVC proprietary technologies. First is Frame Adapt HDR which is dynamic scene-by-scene and frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping of HDR10 content. Next is Theater Optimizer which combines information provided by the user with the unit’s current status to provide a more accurate baseline on which to apply their dynamic tone mapping.

In addition, to supporting the HDR10 format used in UHD Blu-ray and streaming, along with the HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) format used in broadcasting, the NZ9 also supports HDR10+.

Combining 8K e-shift X, laser light source accurate colors, custom install feature with D-ILA’s industry-leading contrast and black level put the NZ9 / RS4100 puts these models head and shoulders above the competition.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New 8K e-shift-X yields 8192 x 4320 projected image
  • 18 element, 16 group all-glass 100mm lens assembly
  • BLU-Escent laser light source technology
  • Three Chip Native 4K D-ILA (4,096 x 2,160)
  • 3000 lumens – bright enough to handle modest ambient light
  • 100,000:1 Native Contrast Ratio (1,000,000:1 Dynamic)
  • Two 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.3) inputs support 8K/60P & 4K/120P
  • Laser light source rated for 20,000 hours (Low Mode)
  • Precise Dynamic HDR Tone Mapping
  • HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG Support
  • Wide Color Gamut (98% of DCI-P3)
  • Anamorphic Lens ready
  • Motorized kens with Lens Memory
    • Motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift
  • Full HD 3D
  • Low Latency Mode to reduce input lag when gaming
  • Up to 10 customizable picture preferences
  • 3-year advanced replacement warranty