Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS440U Review – A Serious, 4K Capable Home Theater Projector- Hardware

DLA-RS440/X590 Projector Review – Hardware: Overview, Inputs and Connectors, Lens, Lens Throw and Shift

Overview

The JVC DLA-RS440U and its twin, are rather large home theater projectors, easily several times the size of some of the smaller DLP projectors.  It comes finished in black is pretty rectangular with some angles on the front corners for the venting.  This is a projector designed first and foremost for a home theater/cave, so the black finish is the right choice, since most home theaters have dark ceilings.

Let’s take the quick tour, then get into the details of the JVC’s hardware.   From the front:

The recessed, and motorized, 2.1:1 zoom is centered on the front.  Since everything is motorized (including having Lens Memory) there are no physical controls for zoom, focus or lens shift.  Speaking of that, the JVC has a whole lot of vertical and horizontal lens shift, for excellent placement flexibility.

Other than the venting, the only other thing on the front of the JVC projector is the IR sensor for the remote control.  Well, there are three LED indicator lights – the usual Power, Lamp, and Warning!  They are small, of course, located up at the top, and wrap around to the top.  Should their be a problem, there’s a list of warning codes in the manual.

The top of the projector – is black.  No controls. The Control Panel, found on the top of most projectors is located on the back, in the center.

Also located on the back, but to the left of the control panel are all the inputs and related connectors.  To the right of the control panel, is the door for replacing the lamp. Four, screw thread adjustable feet are found on the bottom, for those rear shelf mounting, or setting up on a table top.

The large casing for the JVC helps keep this projector especially quiet, compared to much of the competition, a nice thing to report.

The JVC RS440U and X590U come with a backlit remote control.  We’ll go into full detail about it on the 2nd hardware page.  Also on that page will be photos of most of the projector’s menus, with some appropriate comments on a number of the menus.

Inputs and Connectors

RS440U input panel
Most older "legacy" inputs are gone, relying on the two HDMIs and networking to handle the load.

Let’s start on the far left side (as usual): 

At the top left are a pair of HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2  (If JVC has upgraded to 2.1 they don’t reflect that on their spec pages.   2.1 primarily expands bandwidth and standards for future 8K, so unneeded) for a pixel shifting 1080p projector.

Next over, to the right, is the RJ-45 jack for standard Ethernet networking.  

Below and under the HDMIs is a traditional serial RS-232C port (DB9 connector) for “old school” command and control.  Of course “newer” school command and control can be done over HDMI, etc.

To its right is the rear infra-red sensor for the JVC remote control.  

Next row:  A DIN connector for the optional 3D module, and a single 12 volt trigger, intended for controlling a screen, but could control a lens sled for an anamorphic lens, or even properly equipped motorized shades.

That only leaves the recessed power receptacle, which is lower down.

As is common, many old “legacy” type inputs are gone, including a standard analog computer interface (aka VGA input) or component video, although those can be brought through an HDMI input, when set up properly I believe.  Also not found here – S-Video.  There is no internal speaker, as is traditional for “serious” home theater projectors, and no audio outputs.  That’s fine, lacking the audio out, because this projector does not have a media player, nor can it stream directly, etc., so any audio is coming from sources like an AV receiver, or a blu-ray player / UHD player.  In other words, no problem.

The next page takes a close look at the control panel, the remote control, and the JVC menu system.

Lens & Throw Shift

jvc-rs440

When it comes to placement flexibility, the JVC is definitely first class.  Most projectors for home have zoom lenses with 1.1:1 out to 1.6:1, depending on brand and model. This JVC offers 2.1:1 an excellent amount, and about the maximum zoom range available today.  Others that tend to have that much range are mostly Sonys and Epsons, JVC’s primary competition.

Lens shift is pretty much the same. Lots of range – both vertical and horizontal.  Most 3LCD and LCoS competitors also offer quite a lot, but most DLPs offer very little lens shift if any at all, and rarely offer horizontal shift.  Thus projectors like this JVC, rule when it comes to give you the option to ceiling mount, rear shelf mount or table top the projector.  By comparison, since DLP’s have limited zoom (almost all) they can rarely be placed far enough back to sit on a rear wall shelf, and worse, because of limited lens shift, they can’t be mounted on a high shelf (unless inverted and then normally that would call for a ceiling.

Here’s a lens throw chart for using the HT2550 with a 100” 16:9 screen. And, also, the lens offset, which tells you how far above or below the screen surface the projector lens should be. If you are getting a larger screen, or smaller one, you can calculate the numbers you need, in a few seconds. Example:

Lens Throw Chart for 100,” 16:9 Screen

Zoom Distance (Feet)
Wide Angle 9 feet 10 inches
Telephoto 21 feet 1 inch

If you are going with a 125” diagonal screen and want the closest placement of the projector to the screen, then multiply the 9 feet 10 inches (118”) by 1.25, since your larger screen is 25% larger. That’s 147 inches, which is 12 feet 3 inches, for the closest placement.

Lens Shift:

As usual we report only on vertical lens shift.  The JVC has lots of horizontal if you can’t line up the projector lens with the center of the screen (left to right). Just remember, the more horizontal shift you use, the less vertical. That’s the way it works for JVC and everyone else.

For a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen:  80% shift.  80% of a screen height of approximately 50″ is approximately 40 inches.

Bottom line:  The RS440U and X590 can be placed with the center of the lens as high as about 20 inches above the top of the screen to 20 inches below the bottom, and anywhere in between. That makes rear shelf placement a breeze!

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