Posted on November 9, 2020 By Phil Jones
JVC DLA-RS3000 4K Laser Projector – Special Features: 8K E-Shift Technology, Frame Adapt HDR with Theater Optimizer
Many of us have quickly become accustomed to outstanding HDR performance on our flat panel TVs. HDR provides a more realistic image – with more contrast, brightness, and color. Not only more saturated and life-like color, HDR provides a marked improvement in dynamic range, you get more detail in shadows and bright areas.
Historically, this is an area where projectors come up short. HDR content doesn’t look as nice on a projector, especially compared to the quality of a good flat panel TV. On a projector, the HDR picture is typically too dark with blowout, overbright highlights.
However, projector companies are finally starting to focus on HDR reproduction and JVC was one of the first companies to introduce “smart’ HDR mapping. Now, JVC is adding even more precise tone mapping to their NX-Series and RS-Series projectors.
When it comes to HD and standard 4K content, most projectors can get the job done and have sufficient brightness to accurately convey all the information. When viewing HDR content, HDR projectors typically can’t maintain the required brightness to faithfully reproduce the material. Therefore, projector manufacturers rely on tone mapping – which is a compromise between maintaining bright highlight details and delivering full screen brightness.
Unlike some manufacturers who choose to show more highlight detail at the cost of an overall darker picture or other manufacturers who choose to raise the overall brightness of a scene and accept some blown-out highlights, last year JVC introduced an Auto Tone Mapping feature. This new feature automatically adjusts the projector’s HDR settings (tone mapping) to optimize HDR10 image quality. JVC uses the static HDR meta data to make tone mapping adjustments to better use the projector’s brightness capabilities based on the on-screen image.
The Auto Tone mapping feature uses the Max CLL and Max FALL metadata found in most HDR10 content to automatically adjust dark/bright levels to try to optimize the HDR viewing experience. You can still fine-tune the look of HDR to fit your taste by using the projector’s Mapping Level adjustment.
To learn more about JVC’s Auto Tone mapping feature, check out our review of the JVC LX-NZ3.
Auto Tone Mapping is a great step to better HDR, but embedded static MaxCLL and MAXFall is applied throughout the entire movie. Since the MaxFALL or MaxCLL metadata is static, sometimes the tone mapping decisions made by the projector are inaccurate. Based on the average brightness of the brightest frame and brightest pixel in the movie, certain scenes with lower than the average frame level can still appear too dark.
By comparison, modern LCD and OLED TVs measure HDR content on a frame by frame basis to dynamically generate more accurate metadata. JVC determined that it was critical to add the capability to measure HDR metadata to further improve the HDR performance of their projectors.
In January 2019, JVC started shipping the NX7 equipped with both Auto Tone Mapping and Dynamic Tone Mapping. This new combination of technologies did an excellent job of balancing average screen brightness with the need to maintain highlight detail.
The main reason why tone mapping exists is to adapt the brightness found in HDR content to fit the limited brightness of a display. A flat panel TV’s brightness is consistent regardless of the room environment. However, the brightness of a projected image changes depending on things like size of the screen, screen gain, throw distance, and lamp life. To precisely tone map, the projector’s processor needs to account for its exact brightness capability in your specific system.
JVC’s new Theater Optimizer feature combines information provides by the user with the projector’s current status information to provide a more accurate baseline on which to apply dynamic Tone Mapping.
For example, the user can input information like screen size and gain while the projector takes care of settings like lens zoom position, lamp condition and other relevant details. Combining user information and default projector information, the projector can automatically and precisely adjust the projector for optimum tone mapping and brightness.
JVC has combined their new Theater Optimizer smart function with their proven Frame Adapt HDR technology for their native 4K and 8K e-shift home theater projectors to get the most out of their HDR picture.
Theater Optimizer and Frame Adapt HDR results in great-looking HDR10 content while eliminating the hassle of having to constantly make manual Brightness and Contrast adjustments from bright to dark scenes or from movie to movie.
Customers can take advantage of this update with free firmware upgrade (version 3.50) in November 2020 for the following models: DLA-NX5, DLA-NX7, DLA-NX9, DLA-RS1000, DLARS2000, and DLA-RS3000.
In addition to Theater Optimizer, the new firmware also updates the projector’s menu layout and adds additional settings. For example, you may want to sometimes make some adjustments after looking at your HDR content, Frame Adapt HDR now features five Brightness Level Steps instead of three.
JVC Home Theater projectors also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) to ensure that users are ready for live future HDR broadcast. HLG is based on a Gamma curve just like SDR, it does not need to be tone mapped by the projector.
Since most HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content is either backward compatible with or available in HDR10 and JVC projectors also support HLG, you should be able to enjoy 99% of HDR content available on the market now and in the future.
The JVC DLA-RS3000 utilizes JVC’s 0.69inch native 4K D-ILA (4096 x 2160) devices. The RS3000 also utilizes JVC’s proprietary 8K e-shift which shifts pixels diagonally 0.5 pixel to quadruple the projected resolution to 8192 x 4320.
Many manufacturers (including JVC and Epson) sell pixel shifting HD (1,920 x 1,080) projectors. Combined with good image processing, these Pixel Shifting HD projectors do a very nice job emulating the original 4K content. Therefore, the RS3000 should do a good job producing an “8K image”. While the projector does not accept an 8K signal and doesn’t include HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.3) inputs, it can accept HDR signals up to 4K@60P which the unit can upscale to 8K.
While watching 4K content, I switched the e-shift feature and the difference was subtle from my sitting position. Most content just doesn’t have enough detail to realize the benefit of 8K e-shifting.
Continuing from last year, the hottest word in home theater remains “8K.” Most 65” and 75” TVs still don’t show significant 8K benefit, but the additional resolution could make a big difference in a projection system, particularly if you want to sit as close as possible to a big screen. The RS3000 also includes a very good all-glass lens assembly to ensure every ounce of resolution is delivered on-screen.
© 2019 Projector Reviews (V0625)