Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS600U, X950R Home Theater Projector Review – Performance 2

JVC DLA-RS600U HOME THEATER PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE:   Audible Noise, Image Noise, Issues to Watch Out For, Gaming

Audible Noise

This JVC is reasonably quiet.  JVC’s spec. sheet only lists the noise produced by the projector in low lamp, or Eco, mode and that is a very quiet 21 dB and I believe it, as the RS600U in low lamp mode is very quiet.  In high lamp mode the noise level does increase by a noticeable amount, to a level typical of many home theater projectors in their high lamp mode.  I would estimate the noise level is near 3o dB in this high lamp mode.

The bottom line though is that most will probably have no issues with the JVC RS600U running at full power, as it is still reasonably quiet, unless you are sitting very close to it.   I didn’t object to the noise level in high lamp mode, but the RS600U puts out enough lumens in low lamp mode that it was plenty bright for my home theater setup when viewing 2D video.   I found that high lamp mode was really only needed for viewing 3D movies, where the extra brightness really pays off.

Image Noise

When operating in 1080p mode, without e-Shift4 turned on, there is a very little noise visible in the image when viewed up next to to the screen, but not visible from normal viewing distance.  Last year when Art reveiwed the JVC DLA-RS6710 he noted that e-Shift3 added a little more visible noise, but even up close to the screen I didn’t notice an obvious increase in noise with the RS600U’s next generation e-Shift4 engaged.  Now when viewed up really close to the screen (i.e., a few inches) you will see some noise with just about any video source (e.g., Blu-ray discs, DircTV, over the air, etc.) but just about all of that noise is coming from the source.  Today just about everything’s digital and the digital noise/artifacts introduced by the video encoding and decoding will typically be far greater than any noise being introduced by the projector.

I like to keep the topic of image noise separate from digital artifacts that are caused by the video processing not being able to handle fast motion in the source video.  This can happen at the video encoding stage because the encoding data rate is just not high enough, or it be be introduced because of other issues with the video encoder design.  It can also happen within the video processing being used by the display/projector.  I’ve already mentioned earlier in this review that the RS600U has feature called “Motion Enhance” that appears to not work very well when the incoming video is at the higher 60 frames per second rate.

Also frame interpolation (what JVC calls Clear Motion Drive) can sometimes be tripped up with really fast motion on any display or projector where I’ve used it.  As with other projectors, the digital processing enhancement features can excessively emphasis noise already in the source video and introduce other artifacts to the image if over used.  So the real question comes down to how much image noise does the RS600U add on it own when the projector’s image enhancement features are not over used.  From what I’ve seen so far, added noise per se is not an significant issue with the RS600U, and most digital motion artifacts can be avoided by careful use of the projector’s various video enhancement features.

Sharpness

Last year in his review of the JVC RS6710, Art provided an extensive write-up on JVC’s e-Shift3 and a comparison with Epson’s LS10000 (pixel shifting) projector.  That write-up can be found – HERE.  I suggest you check that out.  At that time Art felt that the Epson LS10000’s pixel shifting and associated image processing produced a somewhat sharper image than did the JVC RS-6710.  However, since that time JVC has introduced their next generation pixel shifting (i.e., e-Shift4) along with improved image enhancement processing and Epson has revised their pixel shifting algorithm via a firmware update to the LS10000.  Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to directly compare the JVC RS600U against the latest iteration of the Epson LS10000 to learn how these now compare for their ability to display sharp and detailed images with either 1080p or native 4K/UHD video sources.

Personally, I view the main benefit for the pixel shifting technique as bringing a affordable solution for displaying images close to true 4K/UHD quality.  I can say that when given a truly high quality 4K/UHD input the resolution and visible details in the displayed image does look noticeably better than normal 108op video when viewed on a large home theater screen.  It also looks better than 1080p video that has been upscaled via pixel shifting to pseudo 4K.  In fact, there is already a mixed opinion among early RS600U owners with some that prefer to display HD video (i.e., 1080p or lower) in the projector’s native 1080p mode as these viewers believe it produces a somewhat sharper looking image than using pixel shifting to upscale to pseudo 4K.  With e-Shift4 engaged the projected image does produce a different look, that to me is a little more “film-like”.

With Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs arriving by March 1st, owners of these pixel shifting projectors should soon have access to a relatively high quality source for 4K/UHD video that will be better able to take full advantage of the RS600U’s 4K/UHD related capabilities.

Issues to Watch Out For

There are a couple of recurring issues that some JVC projector owners have reported with both previous models as well as the new 2016 projector models.

The first is the “Bright Corner” issue that dates back to the DLA-RS1 of nearly a decade ago.  This occurs when you are displaying a fully, on very close to  fully, black image.  One or more corner of the projected black image may appear a little brighter than the center or other corners of image.  With the projector I reviewed, I could display a fully black test image and after my eyes had a few seconds to adjust I could see that two corners were very slightly brighter.  However, when viewing normal program material, including those brief fades to black between scenes, I did not notice any problems.  Based on reports from new RS600U (and RS500U) owners, it appears that some specific units have greater ‘bright corner’ issues than others and in some cases new owners have had JVC replace projectors deemed to have excessively bright corners.

The second issue to watch out for is Vertical Streaking that is most obvious when bright white text is being displayed on a black background, such as during movie credits.  This potential issue did not show up on the RS600U that I reviewed, but a few new RS500U and RS600U owners have reported this issue on their new projectors, as have some owners of older JVC projector models.

An another point, the RS600U I reviewed had excellent out–of-the-box convergence/alignment of the red, blue and green colors.  This appears to be typical for this model based on reports from several new RS600U owners.

Gaming

JVC does not market their projectors as being intended for gaming and they have not included any picture mode offering a low display lag time.  We are talking about typical lag times of upward of 100 ms so if you are a really competitive gamer then these JVC projectors are not what you are looking for.  Of course you could always use a JVC projector for watching movies and TV and add a reasonably priced DLP projector, such as a BenQ HT1075, as a 2nd projector just for gaming.