Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS20 – Competitors5

JVC DLA-RS20 vs. Panasonic PT-AE3000

More so than any other projector, the Panasonic PT-AE3000 is a poor man’s JVC RS20 (or more realistically a poor man’s RS10). The 3LCD Panasonic is smooth and natural looking once properly set up. While it’s black levels can’t match the JVC’s and trail slightly, the Epson 6500UB, the Panasonic is a bit more film like than the more “pop and wow” image of the Epson, and in that regard, more similar to the JVC RS20. The Panasonic relies on a dynamic iris for its extremely good black level performance, and like other such projectors, does compress small bright areas on mostly dark scenes, for a little less dynamic look.

The Panasonic is every bit as good, and perhaps a touch better in shadow detail (in other words, excellent). The Panasonic is very good out of the box. OK, perhaps not as good as the RS20’s THX mode, but very good, none-the-less.

Brightness in best mode definitely favors the JVC, as the Panasonic can’t handle as large a screen, due to having far less lumens in best mode. In brightest mode, however, the two are pretty much equal. While pixel structure is not a real issue with 1080p projectors, the Panasonic is the one projector with even less pixel visibility than the LCoS projectors like the JVC. Sharpness is roughly comparable, with the JVC I have here, having a slight edge over the PT-AE3000 unit I have.

The Panasonic is also slightly quieter in terms of audible noise, and will appeal to those few who are really adverse to any noticeable fan noise.

The Panasonic has a very good creative frame interpolation scheme for 30/60 sources, which the JVC lacks. Sports fans might take note of that. Both take a 24fps image to 96!

The Panasonic has their interesting “pseudo anamorphic lens emulation” (my ridiculous term for describing its ability to work with 2.35:1 “Cinemascope” screens without an anamorphic lens), which makes it an even better price deal for those who want to go real widescreen. (It’s not as good as using an anamorphic lens, but does save thousands!)

If you are looking, overall, for something along the lines of the RS20 (or RS10) but not anywhere near as expensive, but still an excellent projector, the Panasonic is definitely one of the best choices – if you have enough lumens for your room and screen.

Note, while I haven’t taken any side by sides between these two projectors, look for side by sides between the Panasonic and the JVC DLA-RS10 in that JVC’s forthcoming review (due to publish 2/09).

Bottom line: The Panasonic, is, as I mentioned above, well described as a poor man’s JVC. In that, it is similar to the Sony HW10, but even less expensive. The Panasonic is an excellent choice for well less than half the price of the RS20, and it has some nice extras, but it is still a real step below the RS20.