Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS400U, X550R Home Theater Projector Review – Performance

JVC DLA-RS400U HOME THEATER PROJECTOR REVIEW PERFORMANCE Page:  Out-of-the-Box Brightness, Color Temperature, and Post Calibration Results

Out-of-the-Box Brightness Different Modes and Lamp Settings

These brightness numbers below are in low lamp mode, which is the default.  High lamp is about 30% brighter, but check out the calibrated brightness in that section!

 THX 3D**  897**  Not Measured
JVC DLA-RS600U & X950R Brightness, Color Temperature
 Picture Mode Brightness (lumens)* Avg. Color Temp.
 Cinema 1208  6507K
 Natural  1235  6501K
 Animation  1343 (1517 in HB Mode***)  7524K
 User 1-6  1208 66978K

Since JVC has the lamp in low power as the default setting Mike calibrated and did the measurements in low.  The measurements at full power measured just over  30 percent brighter.  So, the uncalibrated Cinema mode outputs right around 1500 lumens at mid-zoom.  Animation, in High Bright mode hit 1978.

At full wide angle on the zoom, Mike only recorded about a 4% increase in brightness, but that would be enough to push the RS400 just a smidgeon over 2000 lumens at its very brightest. (You’ll have a noticeable amount of green added in High Bright, but not by any means horrible.  I found the 4% increase to be unusually small, especially in light of Ron reporting almost 8% difference on his RS600U.

NOTES:  I haven’t had Mike, who has been calibrating most of our home theater projectors for the last decade, measure or calibrate 3D, but Ron recently did measurements and observations with his slightly brighter RS600U.  The RS600U is about 15% brighter depending on modes.  I’ve adapted what he wrote about 3D brightness in the italics below, to more closely reflect how the slightly less bright RS400 would most likely measure up in comparison.

As always, lumens measurements are always with the zoom at mid-point, unless otherwise stated.  The lamp on this projector was at 8 hours when Mike worked with it.

“No 3D picture settings were changed in an attempt to maximize usable 3D brightness.  The following examples would be for using the Cinema 3D default settings.  When projecting onto a 100 inch (16 x 9) screen with a gain of 1.0 in THX 3D mode, the 3D picture viewed through the 3D glasses would have a an effective brightness of just under 9 foot lamberts.  For a 120″ gain 1.0 screen the effective brightness would drop to about 6 foot lambert   The minimum standard for movie theaters is 12 ft lambert for 2D, although the standards are lower for 3D (primarily because they accommodated the first generation of 3D capable cinema projectors, which were pretty dim, in most theaters.  Thus, if you want to use a reasonably large screen when using the projector’s 3D modes, then using a screen material with some gain can help.” 

For example, with a 1.3 gain screen you would – without further tweaking, be just shy of that 12 ft lambert minimum.

Since the RS400U is fairly typical of today’s $2000-$15,000 home theater projectors in brightness, that provides a perspective why I, who have a 1.3 gain screen typically describe my 3D experiences as reasonably bright at 100″ diagonal, and typically report that at my full 124″ diagonal that most projectors I review are definitely a bit dim, but watchable, at that size.

Color Temp:  Cinema Mode – Pre Calibration
IRE (Brightness) Temperature (Kelvin)
100 (white) 6507K
80 6497K
50 (medium grey) 6374K
30 6183K

As I have mentioned elsewhere in the review, you can see the drop off of color temp in the darker ranges, that brings about too much red in the darker areas, and is noticeable on skin tones on dark scenes.

Post Calibration Results

For the RS400U calibration Mike decided to do the measurements for color temperature, for both low power and high.

The RS400U measured a whopping 1749 lumens calibrated.

  • High lamp mode, midpoint on the zoom lens

The RS400U measured 1192 Lumens after calibration

  • Low lamp mode, midpoint on the zoom lens

He saved Low Power configuration into User 1, High Power into User 2


Post Calibration User1, User 2 Picture Modes
IRE (Brightness) User 1: Color Temp
(Low Lamp)
User 2: Color Temp
(High Lamp)
20 6295 6518
30 6451 6418
40 6283 6347
50 6316 6343
60 6433 6433
70 6487 6509
80 6483 6524
90 6559 6546
100 6590 6538
Gamma 2.26 2.2

As you can see from the numbers above, overall, the calibration in high lamp mode proved to be a bit tighter, more accurate.

Although better than pre-calibration, Low lamp in this calibration is still a touch warmer in the dark ranges and slowing cooling off until it tops out just a touch on the blue side with white measuring 6590K.  Still that’s darn good.

On the other hand, with High Lamp, every IRE shown is within a tight 213K range, No wonder the post calibration color in High Lamp looked great.

Comments from Mike:

The 400U was much brighter than the last JVC projector we reviewed (Note: Mike did not get his hands on Ron’s RS400 -art). Cinema, Natural and User modes are all about the same brightness, with Animation topping the list (while also being a bit green). All of the modes were set to Low lamp power by default, but still put out over 1200 lumens with good grayscale by default in low lamp mode. Grayscale in Cinema mode had a little too much red in the lower IREs. Gamma was a little low in the Normal preset, averaging right around 2.14.