Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS1 1080p LCOS Home Theater Projector Review – Image Quality 3

Like I said earlier – Wow!

In the last review I congratulated Sony on the great black levels of the VW50 – the Pearl. They claim the same 15,000:1 as the JVC, but, turns out, the Sony isn’t even close when it comes to black levels, and here is the image that “shows all”: I have partially cropped the side by side images.

Note these things: 1. The black background of the star field is much, much darker on the left (RS1). 2. Since the images are overexposed, the bright areas of the satellite are blown out (no detail), but you can just tell, that overall, the satellite is brighter on the left (JVC), as expected, because the JVC is the brighter of the two projectors.

Click enlarge. So close. You can easily see the black level difference in the leterbox area above the stars. You can also see what appears to be a bluish cast to the Sony, whereas the JVC is neutral black.

Lastly, in the enlarged image, you can also see more shadow detail in the darkest parts of the satellite, that the JVC reveals, for the Sony’s brighter blacks wash out that detail. (Look hard!, especially in those vertical “veins” at the top of the satellite. On the JVC you can see almost the full length of all of them, while the Sony loses about half.


Click Image to Enlarge

Taking this side by side image, I measured brightness (you can too, with a program like Photoshop), of a light gray area of the satellite, and found that on the same spot, the JVC was roughly a bit more than 20% brighter. I then measured the blacks and found the JVC measurement to be between 4 and 5% (of pure white), whereas the Sony was 9%.

Combine that data together, and the black levels of the Sony are almost 2 and a half times brighter than the JVC, or you could say, the JVC black levels are 60% lower. And that’s a huge difference, especially between two projectors that both are already about as good as it gets.

OK the next two sequences (from Phantom – HD-DVD, and Lord of the Rings – standard DVD), are designed to reveal shadow detail. In both cases, the first image is normally exposed, so shadow details are lost. The second image is overexposed so that you can see the details. In the Phantom pair look to the darker walls for subtle details, as well as the wall frescos and the horse. I call your attention to the very dark area on the right wall close to the right side. Look carefully, then look and you can see that it is a alcove or window of sorts, look further and you can see others, including the one in what looks to be the fireplace or larger alcove behind to the right, of the horse.

This is the first and only projector that I could determine that these are insets into the wall. On all other projectors there just wasn’t enough detail or depth to make it look like anything but an undefined black area, with one vertical straight line. Now, I’ve only had this frame up on the screen a hundred times in the last year, so it was startling to see new information!

Phantom - Comparison

JVC RS1 Normally Exposed Frame
JVC RS1 Over Exposed Frame
Optoma HD81