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JVC RS35 Black Levels & Shadow Detail

Posted on February 10, 2010 by Art Feierman
Are the black levels of the RS35 actually even darker than the RS25? That's a question I just can't answer safely. Even if an RS35 bests some RS25's, the best of those may be as good as the RS35. No way I can know. Still, I have to assume that a DLA-RS35 will have some marginal improvement in blacks, compared to the typical RS25.

What I do know is this: I was able to make out just the slightest difference in black levels between my older RS20 and the RS25 when it was here. Doing the same thing, but with the RS35 instead of the RS25, I'm again detecting the slightest improvement in blacks. I'm telling myself that the blacks on this RS35 are better than the RS25. It's definitely my impression, but I can't be sure. If this RS35 has blacker blacks than the average RS25, I'd need to do side-by-sides to be sure.

Click to enlarge. SO close

I've settled for this conclusion: The RS35 delivers black level performance every bit as good as the RS25, and quite possibly a bit better. Theoretically it should be that bit better, but for a full out determination, I figure I'd need several of each, all at the same time. And that's not going to happen.

In determining the RS25 vs. my RS20, and again, doing the RS35 vs. my RS20, I put both of them up on the screen at the same time (one above the other, in my main theater), I was able to make out the slight difference in blacks. I was mostly able to do it by comparing the two letterbox areas. The difference is not great, but is a visible difference. It's just that without a "side by side" type of setup, you would be hard pressed to convince someone. Take my word for it though, it's there, it's real, and it takes the best black levels and makes them better still.

Click Image to Enlarge

Because the lamp on my JVC now has about 900 hours on it, I had to stop down the manual iris several notches to balance brightness. Technically stopping down the manual iris should improve contrast very slightly, but, the amount of drop in brightness I needed to apply to the RS35, shouldn't result in any visible improvement in contrast or blacks, to the best of my knowledge. (We're talking about only dropping brightness by 20-25%.)

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