Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Review

I’ve been looking forward to reviewing the JVC DLA-RS35 home theater projector. The DLA-RS35, or RS35, is identical to the JVC HD990 projector as well. They are simply sold by different reseller channels, but should be identical but for small cosmetic changes.

JVC DLA-RS35 Projector Overview

The JVC RS35, that is, the DLA-RS35 – or the DLA HD990, represents JVC’s top of the line projector for home theater.

The interesting thing about the JVC RS35, is that it is also technically identical to the JVC DLA-RS25 which we reviewed way back in November.

The fundamental differences between the RS25 (and HD950), and the RS35 (and the HD990), lies in that the RS35 is assembled from specially quality controlled components. That means that the light engines are QC’d and the best ones go into the RS35 / HD990. The same would be true for the lens, and, I assume, other major components.

The other difference is that the “standard” projectors, the DLA-RS25 and HD950 have a retail price of $8000, while the superior DLA-RS35 and HD990 retail for $10,000.

All that aside, this JVC projector is one of the brighter projectors around, in “best” movie/picture quality mode. On the other hand, it’s just about average brightness in its “brightest” mode.

Picture quality is what the JVC DLA-RS35 is all about. As we will discuss, black level performance is superb, but color is also excellent. And it offers a very sharp image, as well!

That makes things interesting. The DLA-RS25 is already the successor to the JVC DLA-RS20 (which I own/use in my larger home theater). The RS20 last year took top honors in our 2009 1080p Projector Comparison Report – our Best In Class award, for projectors priced from $3500 to $10,000. This year’s RS25 looks and cooks basically just like an RS20, but for what appears to be the very slightest improvment in black levels (but then, nothing else comes close), the addition of creative frame interpolation, and an improved color management system.

The JVC DLA-RS35 – and HD990, unlike virtually all competition between $3000 and $10,000, except of course for the other JVC LCoS projectors, lacks a dynamic iris to improve blacks.

That’s just fine, considering that the JVC without a dynamic iris, still has better blacks than any other projector under 10 grand. Only the Sony VPL-VW85 comes close, and it’s not really that close. The Sony can get close on the right type of dark scene, but the rest of the time, the RS25, and therefore certainly the RS35, easily has better black level performance, and without compressing (dimming) bright areas, like the competition.