D-iLA panels: D-iLA is JVC's name for their own design of LCoS panels. When it comes to native contrast, theirs are the best, resulting in the highest dynamic range and deepest black levels without using an iris.
But three of the four series of current JVC projectors, including this one, now have dynamic irises.
2:1 zoom lens with lens shift, lens memory - provides excellent placement flexibility. Lens shift amounts are very good, but some others offer somewhat more. Still that shouldn't be a problem for most. Lens Memory allows you to choose to go with a widescreen rather than an HDTV shaped 16:9. With the touch of a button and a few seconds the image enlarges or shrinks and moves to fill the screen properly for different aspect ratios.
Panel alignment - there is always some mis-convergence in 3 panel projectors. JVC uses a digital system to compensate. There are limitations with digital systems. As true 1:1 pixel mapping is messed with (one could argue that pixel shifting does the same). JVC's works about typically, compared to those systems on Sony and Epson, Although Sony's seems to do the best job.
Hand Picked Components: For $4000 less, you can purchase essentially the identical projector. So, why spend more? Per JVC, this is a quality control thing. The best components coming from production are pulled aside, including the lens, LCoS panels, and I presume things like the power supply, aspects of the light engine, etc., and from them JVC builds a limited number of these RS67U / RS6710 / X900R projectors. The rest go into the lower series. There are no feature differences, just a slight improvement one would expect in optical clarity, and precision. Is the difference huge - no - is it worth the extra expense? That's your call. If the decision of spending say $8000 vs. $12000 isn't a big thing to you and you are planning years of use, why not. For the frugal, the lower cost series is more practical. Hey, if you are spending $30,000 on furnishings in your home theater, then why skimp on the projector?
Now we get really subjective. If you've worked your way through most of this review, you probably have a good handle on my thinking.
The short version - great projector, but it's by far at its best handling 1080p content - in 2D. This is a purists projector - one for the hard core enthusiast with a serious budget. Although there are brighter projectors, if you don't need that extra oomph, it's hard to think that there's a better basic 1080p projector to consider. If that's what you are looking for, and the rest - including 3D viewing, and handling 4K material is not an issue for you, then go for it. Those black levels just make this JVC a cut above on standard content.
If those are real considerations though, you have alternatives, mostly I count them as three projectors (that we've reviewed). Here's the short versions of the differences. There are also far more expensive 3 chip DLP projectors out there, some 2, 3, or more times as bright too but we don't get to play with those toys for the seriously rich, so can't comment further on those. But we can comment on these three:
Sony VPL-VW1100ES - Sony's flagship projector, first of all is true 4K. It's black level performance is one step down from the JVC but still excellent. The biggest limitation is a $28K price tag. It's also brighter for larger screens, 3D, and sports with ambient light.
At the same price, the Sony is the easy winner, but it's not.
I could spend more time discussing the VW1100ES but you shouldn't have any real problem deciding between these two, coming down, perhaps to the price difference and black levels vs great 4K and "next best" blacks.
Sony VPL-VW600ES - This Sony clocks in at $14,999 so is only $2500 more. It too is a bit brighter (but not as much), but black levels are good "ultra high contrast" which is to say, they meet the minimum threshold before other factors start becoming more of a factor. Those black levels are not a match at all, compared to the JVC and the other two. I tend to favor the Sony (though the blacks disappoint), by virtue of 4K compatibility, but if 1080p is all you care about - JVC for sure.
If I was going more of a media room situation I think I would definitely favor the Sony, but I never was fully satisfied spending $15,000 for a projector who's black level performance is not really any better than the best $2000 - $3500 1080p projectors out there.
Epson LS10000 - This is the most interesting comparison. The Epson's laser light engine sports black levels roughly comparable to the top of the line Sony, so only 1 step down from the JVC. These are black levels I can live with, for sure. Ultimately the JVC will still have a bit more pop on those dark scenes, though. The Epson at $7999 obviously costs less (more comparably price wise to the non-hand picked JVCs). Epson's dual lasers will last 18,000 hours (but JVC does provide a spare lamp with the 6710, to help out on that cost).
I find the Epson's pixel shifting produces a sharper seeming image than the JVC (but with a slightly harder look), but the game here is having that 4K type of sharpness - whether 1080p or 4K content. The Epson has the edge in both. That it's a bit brighter is a plus too.
I consider the Epson the better value proposition, but not the better purist's projector. The real difference for me is that the Epson is already committed to Blu-ray UHD, stating they will support it with updates if there are initial issues, and it already has HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 that the JVC lacks and likely needs for that.
I had both projectors side by side for a week. I definitely favor the Epson, but primarily for 4K and perceived sharpness on 1080p. If, however, JVC had a full commitment to Blu-ray UHD, that could easily affect my decision. That's why I have pestered JVC about their compatibility with 4K content.
The Bottom Line
There are alternatives out there, but the JVC is a projector with an elegant picture, black level performance unmatched, and it has all the amenities such as a 2:1 zoom, lens memory, good brightness, 3D capabilities (with RF glasses) and more. And don't forget - a five year warranty, spare lamp, RF emitter and 3D glasses. Note though, that you don't get those other goodies, and only a 3 year warrany with the RS67U and X900R which are $500 less.When it comes to straight up 2D 1080p content, I can't think of a better projector than one of these.
- Unmatched black level performance and dynamic range
- Very good brightness
- Excellent color post calibration
- Extensive color and picture controls
- Pixel shifting for improved perceived sharpness and detail
- 5 year warranty (RS6710U only)
- 2:1 zoom and lens memory
- Excellent remote control
- Panel Alignment system
- Reasonably quiet at full power, very quiet in Eco
- Outstanding 1080p 2D performance
- 4K capabilities limited by lack of HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 which are expected to be required for Blu-ray HD
- 3D could be further improved
- Definitely could stand having more brightness for 3D viewing
- Limited number of inputs