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JVC DLA-RS20 Projector - Image Quality8

Posted on January 26, 2009 by Art Feierman

Overall Color & Picture Quality

The RS20 out of the box, as noted, leaves much to be desired in color accuracy and saturation, except in THX mode. THX is very impressive, but to my taste, it's a little lacking in wow factor - a little flat. Don't get me wrong, the RS20 really does look excellent in THX, it's just that it can do better. THX mode also doesn't quite have as dark a black level performance, as we achieved after calibrating. The thing is, to best calibrate the DLA-RS20 requires the color management system, and is tricky. As I've mentioned elsewhere, if you are spending "the big bucks" for an RS20, plan to spend the additional few hundred for a really good calibration, if you want to get the best out of this projector.

After much work here, and help with the CMS from some of the very serious enthusiasts on the forums, we obtained an excellent calibration. (For more about it, see the calibration page.) While the colors are not as dead on as my favorite (for color accuracy), the InFocus IN83, which seems to look about perfect, in terms of colors and skin tones, no matter what you throw at it, the JVC RS20, is close behind. I've got some side by side images, and you can see differences, in some of them, but others look so close you might mistake them for being the same projector.

Skin tones still have the tiniest amount of extra red when the faces, etc., are not well lit. Much better (extremely good) in bright scenes. These are minor things, there's no doubt far more variation in skin tones, from one movie to the next, than the overall amount of shift in the JVC RS20.

The RS20 looks really great in terms of color accuracy- until, you put it side by side with the InFocus. Put it next to an Epson 6500UB, Panasonic PT-AE3000, and it's better overall, as is also true with the Sony HW10, and BenQ W20000. You should get the idea. Let's finish this off by saying, properly calibrated, the overall picture quality, including shadow details and color balance are excellent, but not the best.

But, when you factor in the incredible black level performance of the RS20, then there's no other projector under $10,000, that I've worked with, that I'd rather own. Even the slightly softer sharpness/crispness of the RS20 compared to the absolute sharpest of the 1080p projectors is, by my taste, a very minor thing, in the overall quest for the getting the best possible image on the screen.

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