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JVC DLA-RS35 vs. Planar PD8150 and Optoma HD8600

Posted on February 4, 2010 by Art Feierman
Two excellent pricey projectors, but the Planar is strictly a small screen projector. It produces mid-400 lumens in "best" and only about an extra 150 in "brightest". As a premium single chip DLP, it has a very sharp image that may well still be a touch sharper than the JVC, but I wouldn't worry about the difference. Although the Planar had the best black level performance of any of the DLP projectors, and definitely makes my subjective cut as an "ultra-high contrast" projector, the JVC is still a step up, in terms of black level performance. Both projectors have extremely good color right out of the box. The JVC has better placement flexibility with its 2:1 zoom besting the Planar's 1.3:1, but both have lens shift, and the Planar's though, is a bit longer than most DLP's, so it should rear shelf mount in a lot of peoples rooms.

The JVC wins for black levels, and I'll give it the edge in color accuracy, but more to the point, natural looking skin tones.

If you are doing a small dedicated theater, with, say a 92" diagonal screen, the Planar will really be in its element. Otherwise, overall, the JVC just overpowers or matches the Planar at most things except sharpness.

The Optoma HD8600 is a respectable DLP but still has dynamic iris issues. Optoma's been driving me crazy for years, with noisy or particularly noticeable iris action. A real improvement in iris action would elevate the HD8600 into a serious performer, even for this price range, but, again, it can't match the JVC for blacks, or color, but may have the slightest sharpness advantage - and again, not enough to matter, or so I think.

DLA-RS35 vs. InFocus IN83 and SP8602

Let's start with the InFocus SP8602 (SP is the short form for their old ScreenPlay name for home theater projectors, I assume).

I'm in the midst of the SP8602 projector as we speak. Actually I just shipped it back to them to check out a discrepancy. I'm measuring 570 lumens at "best" mode, and only 750 lumens in "brightest" mode (at the mid-point of the zoom). This InFocus loses more lumens as it goes from wide angle on the zoom (936 maximum to 750 at the mid-zoom point), and about 500 lumens in "brightest" mode, with the zoom at full telephoto.

The SP8602 has made a dramatic improvement in black level performance over the older IN83 (which was not good in that regard), still, it's no match for the JVC. Period. It can't keep up with the Epson UB projectors either. The InFocus seems to be more inline with the Panasonic PT-AE4000 and a little better than the LG CF181D or BenQ W6000 home theater projectors.

For most of the rest, I've pasted in the IN83 vs (older) DLA-RS20 competitor section (I've searched and replaced RS20 with RS35 from January). This is done for two reasons. First, I did a lot of still relevant side by side photos between the IN83 and the RS20. Since the picture quality of the RS35 is virtually the same as the RS20's but for some minor improvement (including black levels), these images are close enough:

Very interesting competition here. The IN83 is an excellent DLP projector with Darkchip4. The IN83 I have here still does the best overall color of any of the current 1080p projectors I've reviewed, doing our normal calibration. Even with the CMS settings we are using for the RS35 (and we didn't do anything but grayscale balance, brightness, contrast and gamma, for the IN83), the InFocus still has the advantage in skin tones and overall color. It's the kind of difference where the RS35 looks great, and everyone is happy, until put side by side with the IN83, then it's - the RS35 looks great, but the IN83 does better.

JVC RS20 vs IN83 MIB spaceships lg
JVC RS20 vs IN83 DarkKnight spaceshipsdar klg

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