Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS15 – Performance

JVC DLA-RS15 Brightness

No surprises here. The new JVC DLA-RS15 projector is very similar to last year’s RS10 in terms of brightness. In this case, the JVC DLA-RS15 – and, therefore also the JVC HD550 – measured less bright than the older model.

JVC DLA-RS15 Projector - Uncalibrated:

Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):
Cinema 1 711 @ 7142
Cinema 2 722 @ 7165
Cinema 3 751 @ 8504
Natural 721 @ 7183
Stage 751 @ 8297
Dynamic 763 @ 9125
User 1 or 2 721 @ 7180

JVC DLA-RS15 Projector - Calibrated:

User 1 (Cinema 2) 657 lumens
User 2 (Dynamic) 746 lumens

The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness: Our standard measurements reported are done with the zoom at its mid-point. Here are relative numbers from the Cinema 1 mode, for different lens positioning From a percentage standpoint, the differences will be the same for any mode, as you change the lens angle:

The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness:
Zoom out 801 lumens (closest to the screen – wide-angle)
Mid-zoom 721 lumens
Zoom in 592 lumens (furthest from the screen – tele)

The 11% increase in brightness going to wide-angle, in brightest mode, has the RS15 outputting a maximum of about 840 lumens. Figure a bit less lumens if you improve the color a bit for the Dynamic mode.

The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:

Low lamp power (“Normal” lamp mode), Lumen Output (Cinema 2, User 1, 2 or Natural): 482

That’s compared to 720 lumens at High lamp power, so the drop off is about 33%, which will be consistent, regardless of preset modes.

This fits nicely with my own experience with my RS20. The lack of extra brightness in “brightest” mode, is my only real complaint about the RS20 after owning it for a year. (OK, it could be a touch sharper too.)

As noted the JVC RS15 (like the older RS10), you can also control brightness (and slightly effect contrast) by closing down the manual iris. The RS15 has only 3 steps, though, while the more expensive JVCs offer 16 steps.

Effect of Lens Aperture setting on lumen output (User 1 mode):
3 (maximum opening) 721
Column Content (middle) 578
1 (minimum opening) 400


The JVC DLA-RS15, and for that matter, all the JVC LCoS projectors I’ve reviewed in the last three years (except for the RS35) are very typical of 1080p projectors when it comes to sharpness. I consider all of them (but the RS35) to be average in sharpness. This holds for almost all 3 chip projectors (LCoS like the JVC, 3LCD, or even 3 chip DLP projectors). Typically your single chip DLP projector is slightly sharper, be it $1399 or $5999, thanks to not having to converge three different beams of light.

On movies the JVC looks nice and sharp. You can further enhance the appearance of sharpness with the Detail Enhancement control.

When it comes to pure digital content, like the great stuff on Discovery HD, Travel HD, or other high quality content channels, the JVC looks nice and sharp, but the sharpest DLP projectors tend to look “razor sharp” by comparison

For your consideration, our usual close up images

Top left: JVC DLA-RS15, Top Left Center – JVC RS35, Top Right Center – JVC DLA-RS25, Top right – Mitsubishi HC7000

2nd row left: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, left center: Panasonic PT-AE4000, right center: Optoma HD8600, right: InFocus IN83

My original DTS test disc died, for this sharpness demo, we are transitioning to a closeup of the PS3 system screen, showing the Video icon, for the future.

Epson 6500UB
HD 80 HD8000