Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-X70R Review Summary 2

3D

I think I’ve about beat this topic to death throughout the review, but, afterall, this is the summary.

Though it may not be a “glaring weakness”, this JVC’s most noticeable shortfall in performance is when it is trying to do 3D. Oh it does 3D reasonably well, but not near as well as many other projectors. There’s more crosstalk than on most other projectors, and trying their crosstalk controls didn’t seem to help much. But it’s not just the crosstalk, it’s the brightness + the crosstalk, that never lets me be fully satisfied when watching 3D on this JVC projector. To put it in perspective. I had been watching part of Hugo in 3D the other night. Since it’s 16:9, I was projecting at 96″ diagonal. It was OK, or as I like to say “watchable”. After perhaps a half hour, I through a switch or two, shut down the JVC X70R and continued watching using the Epson Home Cinema 5010. That made for a much more enjoyable difference. At that size, that Epson at (about 1/3 the price), produced a nicely bright 3D image, instead of a slightly dim one, and the crosstalk, while not gone, was also less noticeable overall. I’m sure I would have felt exactly the same way if I had switched to a Panasonic PT-AE7000 had I had one here at the time.

It’s a simple story: the X70 is a great 2D projector, but if 3D’s your thing, the JVC for 3D has to be considered mediocre, especially considering the high price. Oh, it will still have the best blacks (in 3D), but that’s small consolation when your life, when 3D movie viewing seems a bit dim.

With about 750 measured, calibrated lumens its not as bright as the lower cost X30 (aka RS45), which is about 20% brighter. I wanted to point that out, since that extra 20% would really help, for those really into 3D. I think the X70 is a better projector for its price, than the X30 or RS45 is for it’s far lower price, but the X30 would do better on 3D, just by virtue of the extra lumens.

The lower cost JVC might also be better if you don’t have an ideal room. Given a good cave or home theater layout, the JVC DLA-X70 is in its element, where even calibrated, it’s got enough brightness in 2D to handle 130″ diagonal or even a bit larger with a fairly normal gain screen.

The Very Bottom Line

If the JVC X70 was perhaps 50% or 60% brighter, overall, I don’t know what I’d have to complain about. The extra lumens aren’t needed for normal 2D movie viewing, but would come in handy (though not necessary) for things like sports viewing in 2D with intentional ambient light present in a good room. The real need for the extra brightness though, is for 3D. Everything I watched in 3D was “watchable” at a 96″ diagonal (16:9) size, with a 1.3 gain screen. Everything watched at that 96″ diagonal would have been more enjoyable with extra brightness. And a 50%+ boost in brightness would also allow perhaps a 120″ diagonal instead of 96″ with the same brightness. If only the X70R projector could really put a good looking 1300 lumens on the screen (that’s the projector’s claim, uncalibrated).

But other than yearning for extra brightness, there is nothing I can really complain about. Having Lens Shift is a great option. The CFI modes are many, and a couple work really well, though none quite smooth (unnoticeable) enough to allow a real purist to engage CFI while watching a movie. Crosstalk in 3D could be improved somewhat, but I’m not that bothered by crosstalk, I notice it from time to time, but it doesn’t interrupt my viewing pleasure. I realize that some other folks are far more concerned about crosstalk issues.

Overall, color was pretty excellent after calibration. Not the very most natural skin tones, but natural, none the less. Unless you start pumping up controls like Sharpness, MPC, and Detail Enhancement to name a few, which will “harden” the image and skin tones.

For my own personal world I could easily own the X70 home theater projector. If I did, though, since I’m a 3D fan, I’d buy a less expensive second projector with the brightness I demand for 3D (most likely an Epson or a Panasonic). Of course if I had one of those, I’d almost certainly also use it for sports and other viewing with ambient light, since those are all about twice as bright. If I were to do that, and was going to own a Cinemascope shaped screen, I’d consider the Panasonic as the best 2nd projector (it too has lens shift), if going with a 16:9, I might pick the low cost Epson 3010, or splurge on the 5010.

Last Word: As a dedicated projector for viewing 2D movies, you can’t beat this one without spending a lot more (including the X90, the Sony (real) 4K VPL-VW1000ES, and an assortment of even more expensive projectors). For other viewing, though, even in a dedicated theater, if you want a fairly large screen – over 110″ diagonal, you are likely to wish for a few hundred more lumens.