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JVC DLA-X70R Review Summary 1

Posted on March 27, 2012 by Art Feierman

JVC's DLA-X70R projector is most at home in a dedicated home theater, or similarly dark room environment, basically "a cave". Everything this JVC projector does it does very well, making it a top choice for your own theater. As mentioned on the image page, the end result of our photo shoot of scenes using the JVC X70R projector, seems to be images with a bit of extra yellow (and the slightest touch of more red) to them, compared to what was on the screen. So, if you think these images look pretty good, the real thing is WAY better.

The Bottom Line

There's lots to summarize, so let's start with the Physical attributes. JVC's 2:1 zoom lens is motorized (focus, zoom and lens shift). This allows for maximum placement flexibility, and on top of that, the X70R offers Lens Memory, allowing you the option of going widescreen, without the expense of an anamorphic lens (and motorized sled).

On top of the flexibility, the optics themselves appear to be particularly good. Image sharpness (whether e-shift is involved or not) is very good, excellent for a 3 panel device. Also of note, the 2:1 zoom lens doesn't lose the usual 40% or so brightness when placed at maximum distance (telephoto), compared to wide angle. This does mean, that the JVC hangs in better, in terms of brightness should you be mounting it on a rear wall, near the distant end of the lenses range.

Of course, this JVC has some standard features - the lamp can be changed without unmounting the projector. That's probably more noteworthy, since the average lamp life of the JVC projector is shorter than most projectors today, rated 3000 hours in their low power mode. Which they call Normal. The lens is center mounted, simplifying placement calculations.

Creative Frame interpolation has many modes, some have issues, but I found modes 3 and 4, in particular to be better ones, which helps out on sports, rather nicely, with smoother motion.

The remote control is wonderful. One of my favorites. Nice size and balance, nice back light on the buttons, and good range. Not much you can ask for in a remote control. The remote provides direct access to each Preset modes, plus buttons for each source, color temp, gamma, and more. And of course a Lens Control button for access to the power zoom, focus and lens shift.

Color handling, and the naturalness of the image are major strengths. Though there a touch more natural looking skin tones around the price range, some of that may simply relate to the calibration. Some of it has to do with the image itself in terms of softness of the look of skin, etc. Once you start playing with controls like Sharpness, and Detail Enhancement (and MPC?), that naturalness will start going away, but that's to be expected. As soon as you start messing with fancy features, they will take some toll in other aspects of the picture quality. Call it part o the law of unintended consequences. You'll find a demonstration with images, of the effects of the Sharpness and Detail Enhancement controls on the Performance page.

The JVC DLA-X70 is a pleasure to watch 2D movies on. It really does seem natural, doesn't seem to be adding or subtracting anything of note.

What makes this JVC (and it's siblings, the X90R, RS55 and RS65), really special, when it comes to movie viewing are the JVC's unbeatable black level performance. Nothing I've seen can beat it. Oh, the Sony, and a couple of others get close, but they all use a dynamic iris to get there. While all of the best may look good on really dark scenes like the Casino Royale night train scene, there are some mixed scenes, where the X70 really stands out for its still exceptional blacks, where those other projectors must open their irises somewhat for the brighter parts of the scene, resulting in blacks that are no longer close to the X70. Definitely the Black Level champ!

If I wasn't as big a black level fanatic as I am, for example, I probably would favor the Sony VPL-VW95ES over this JVC, overall. It's got more lumens, and its own exceptional performance areas, but I do favor the JVC for movie viewing, primarily due to the blacks.

Though, as you may have just noted in the image above, the skin tones really do look natural!

Click Image to Enlarge

There are many other things to like about this JVC, besides skin tones, and awesome black level performance. The handling of dark shadow detail is most impressive, especially considering the great, dark, black levels. I won't claim that the JVC does the best on dark detail, but it is right up there, with any that are better, being not significantly better. What little might be missing, probably will not be missed.

The two year warranty, while not best in class, is a respectable one. Still I would have liked to see 3 years on a projector of this quality, in this price range. The closest competition does offer 3 years: That would be Sony's VPL-VW95ES, and the Sony's less expensive, as well.

If you have chosen a relatively small screen for your theater (100" or less), you should be able to extend lamp life by running the JVC in Normal - (low power) lamp mode for your movie viewing. That will get you 3000 hours on the lamp. Every little bit helps!

And of course, for movie viewing on larger screens, 748 calibrated lumens is nicely brighter than most other projectors.

Using Lens Memory, I have been routinely watching 2D movies that are 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 filling all of my 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen. With the projector in Best mode, lamp on full power, the JVC X70 has plenty of brightness to fill the entire screen, which is 9.5 feet wide.

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