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JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Calibration and Settings

Posted on October 11, 2013 by Art Feierman

We calibrate each home theater that is reviewed. Normally we just do a basic grayscale calibration, but the JVC DLA-RS25 also needs to have individual colors calibrated in its Color Management System.

The JVC RS25 is not a toy! (OK, it's an expensive toy - an almost $8000 toy.) If you are seriously considering the RS25, keep in mind that this projector is about as good as it's going to get in terms of under $10,000 projectors. While the "out of the box" performance of the JVC DLA-RS25 is rather very good, it definitely improves with a proper calibration. Unlike with most other projectors, the JVC really does require that you calibrate the individual colors using the CMS to obtain the best results. Therefore, as we did last year (when the initial CMS firmware was a mess on the RS20), Mike did calibrate the individual colors. This time he reports it was straightforward. Last year we needed a lot of help from some "experts" on the forums who had already spent too many hours working with their own RS20s.

JVC DLA-RS25 Color Temperature

First, here are the color temperature measurements for the Cinema 2 mode, as well as the THX mode.

Important clarification: Cinema 2, and THX modes are almost identical, but for this important difference. The CMS for THX is already "calibrated" and is not user adjustable. Cinema 2 allows you to use the CMS system.

Out of the box, THX is definitely superior to Cinema 2. The color temp and brightness may be essentially identical, but the THX mode's individual color adjustments (RGBCYM) are better, and you get better skin tones, etc.

Like with last year's, the thing is, we believe, that by our calibrating the CMS for Cinema 2 mode, we end up with something slightly better than the provided THX.

That said, THX is extremely good. One of the best "out of the box" performances we've encountered.

These are the measurements, taken "right out of the box."

Color Temp over IRE Range (Pre calibration):

Cinema 2 THX
30 IRE 6542K 6525K (dark gray)
50 IRE 7006K 7019K (medium gray)
80 IRE 6898K 6891K (light gray)
100 IRE 6878K 6865K (white)

Note: not one temperature range difference between the two modes is greater than 0.3%. Can you say "insignificant?"

For those interested, here are the color temperature measurements (and lumens) for white (100 IRE), for each of the preset modes

Lumen Output and Color Temp at 100 IRE (mid zoom):

Cinema 1 753 @ 6029
Cinema 2 753 @ 6878
Cinema 3 769 @ 8040
Natural 748 @ 6863
Stage 769 @ 8050
Dynamic 853 @ 9586, 862 with Color Sat. set to 0
THX 748 @ 6865
User 1 or 2 753 @ 6860

While "out of the box" color temp in THX and Cinema 2 is a bit cool (too high), it is slight, and easily corrected with calibration. What is signficantly improved are the default CMS settings, resulting in better, over all "out of the box" performance this year with the RS25, than the RS20 last year.

JVC DLA-RS25 Basic Settings

In addition to calibrating Red Green and Blue for a correct grayscale balance (6500K), there are a number of other settings that come into play. Typically Contrast and Brightness (white balance and black balance), need to be done first. Color saturation and gamma also need adjustment.

Our final settings (the default settings for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Tint are all 0, in all modes). Mike made adjustments to these, and the Color Temp settings for each of the seven modes:

Preset Modes Cinema 1 Cinema 2 Cinema 3 Natural Stage Dynamic THX
Contrast = (0) -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Brightness = (0) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Color Sat. = (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) (10) (0)
Tint = (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) (0) (0)
Color Temp = (5800) (6500) (7500) (6500) (7500) (High Bright) (6500)
Gamma = (B) (A) (C) (Normal) (D) (D) (Normal)

Both User modes (1 and 2) have same default and adjusted settings as THX mode
Lamp Mode=High (unless noted otherwise)
Lens aperture fully open
All other settings at default (untouched)

Zoom set at mid-point for all measurements

Note, the JVC does not have User savable settings (you can customize all modes). The RS25 has those two User modes that start out the same as THX. When we say "not savable", understand: If you make changes, the next time you go to that mode, those changes will still be there. But, if you make more changes, the older ones are lost. With a true User Savable memory, once you hit save, you will always get those settings back, unless you make changes and resave the User mode.

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