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JVC DLA-RS35 vs. JVC DLA-RS20, DLA-RS15 and RS25!

Posted on February 4, 2010 by Art Feierman
Let's start with the RS35 vs. the original RS2. The short version is this: The RS35 is dramatically brighter and has better color management, more features, CFI etc.! OK, with that out of the way, let's talk about the RS20 vs. RS35. With the RS20 you now get an improved color management system (compared to the RS2) but that's been further improved with the RS25 and RS35, this year's models. The DLA-RS35 will exhibit slightly better blacks than the RS20, the different between "excellent" and a bit better still. You'll get the same look and feel, but the RS35 will exhibit extra sharpness, a significant improvement, as well as the addition of of creative frame interpolation

JVC has stayed with Silicon Optix Reon-VX processing, which, no doubt, gets improved each year or so, but there were no significant issues with the processing in older JVC projectors for that matter.


That brings us to the RS35 vs. the RS15. I've been working with both now, for a couple of weeks. It is, as you would expect. The RS15 is less than half the price, it's slightly brighter, but overall, looks and cooks the same, with the biggest differences being black levels, sharpness, and color accuracy. The RS15 (and its predecessors), don't have as sophisticated color setup, and I was never, for example, able to get my old RS1 as dead on as my own RS20...

Simply stated, the RS15 is a poor man's RS35. Save about $6000 and you settle for a similar look and feel projector that has the second or 3rd best black level performance around (assuming we count the RS25 and RS35 as a tie.) It won't be as dead on, it won't be quite as sharp, but side by side, there's no question about their lineage, they are so similar when viewing, until you get to really dark scenes.

Since the RS35 is the least bright (by about 10%) of any of the JVC's reviewed since the RS2, that's one slight advantage for the RS15. The other, of course, being price.

Finally that brings us to:

JVC DLA-RS35 vs. JVC DLA-RS25 - The two best under $10K home theater projectors?

One more time. The JVC DLA-RS35 uses exactly the same components inside as the RS25. The difference is that JVC quality controls the components (lens, parts of the light engine, etc.), and puts the best of each component group into making an RS35. Nothing will be radically different, but the end result is a visible improvement, primarily in a sharper feel to the projected image.

I guess that's the theme of this whole review. The JVC DLA-RS25 has already established itself as truly excellent. All you get for your extra $2000 is:

  • The image appears a notch sharper than the RS25 due to better convergence and theoretically slightly better optics.
  • The blacks are probably slightly better too (hard to tell from my image library, and I never had them at the same time)
  • The best of the other classes of components are also placed inthe RS35
  • The "sum of the parts" rule: When the RS25 came in the review was mostly - ahh, just a slightly improved RS20, but not enough (unless you must have CFI) of anything, for example to cause an RS20 owner to trade for the RS25. By comparison, it's very easy to rationalize going from an RS20 to the RS35. I know. I'm dying to. I'd like the CFI, and I'd love the extra sharpness.


When I first asked JVC: Will I really see a difference, with the DLA-RS35 compared to a typical RS25. The answer I hear from JVC is: Yes you will!


JVC DLA-RS35 vs. Sony VPL-HW15, VPL-VW85

The Sony VPL-HW15, with it's $2799 MAP price is another lower cost alternative for those lacking the will or cash to buy a $10,000 projector.

I'm running out of time and energy though, and since it's not a direct competitor I'll leave you with this thought about the HW15. Overall it's similar to the LG CF181D. Thing is, the Sony isn't anywhere bright, and their pretty similar in most other areas, including black level performance. I favor the LG of the two, so check out the RS35 vs. the LG, above.

The Sony VW85 is a whole different story. It's the closest competition the JVC RS25 has seen yet, (other than other JVCs). The JVC's still a significantly but not dramatically brighter, and definitely has better blacks. That makes the RS25 and the Sony the direct competitors, so I'll word the problem this way.

If I'm leaning toward a Sony VW85 for the lower price, compared to the RS25, will the RS35 deliver enough more, to make me go the other way, and spend even more still?

If you chose the Sony over the RS25, then the big appeal of the RS35 becomes the sharpness. The better blacks of the RS25 didn't convince you that the RS25 was worth the difference, it really leaves perceived sharpness as the primariy, or it's the "sum of the parts" for slightly more, the RS25 gives you some advantages, but the combination of more sharpness, in addition to the better blacks and more lumens, may be worth a lot of dinero to many of you.

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