Projector Reviews

Compare Projectors – Epson 6500UB vs. JVC RS20 – 2

Physical Attributes

I’ve been starting off this section with a comment on the physical appearance of the projectors being compared. In this case, the JVC, well, is just a clean, elegant looking unit, with shiny piano finish, and tastefully added gold trim around the lens, and a thin line on the top and sides. It’s hard to argue with the styling. (note, the JVC HD750’s trim is silver not gold, so just as good looking, but perhaps not as classy).

The Epsons are boxier. They’ve made an attempt at styling, but I seriously doubt anyone will give them an award. The 7500UB comes in shiny black finish simillar to the JVCs, but the 6500UB is white with silver trim. The JVC projectors are definitely a size larger than the Epsons.

OK! With that out of the way, we can get into the more important, non-aesthetic differences.

Both brands projectors have their lenses offset from the center. While the JVC lens is recessed, (and hidden behind a motorized door, when the projector is off), the Epsons have a large lens barrel sticking out.

As mentioned above, the JVC has motorized focus, zoom, and lens shift, a nice touch that makes setting it up easier. The Epsons lens is completely manual.

The JVC has its control panel on the top, and it’s nicely laid out. Epson puts theirs on the side (right side if viewing from the front). That’s a minor difference but I prefer the JVC layout.

JVC has their input panel (cable connections) on the right side running from front to past half way back. The Epson panel is in the back. Some folks will favor the back location of the Epson. Most projectors have their input panels on the back. The disadvantage to that is that you need a little extra room behind the projector for cables to stick out. Others will favor the JVCs side solution, but that may depend on your room. If you enter the room from a projector’s side, you’ll prefer that the cables come out of the side you can’t see. In my own setup, we enter the room facing the left side of the JVC, so I like the inputs on the right.

None of these projectors (if ceiling mounted) require that you unmount the projector to change the lamp – a very good thing!

Epson and JVC projectors are designed to work well, whether ceiling mounted, shelf mounted, or on a table top (unlikely as it is that people will put them on a table).

Both projectors have two infra-red sensors for their respective remote controls. The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB and Pro Cinema 7500UB have a well laid out remote control with excellent range. One of my biggest complaints about the JVC DLA-RS20 and HD750 is that their remote control, while also nicely laid out, is underpowered, and has very short range. Getting a good bounce off of your screen to control the projector is a challenge (can you say “nuisance”?) My recommendation – buy a programmable remote, to replace JVC’s provided one, and of course it can also control your other devices.

Both brands of projectors have identical selections of inputs. There are 2 HDMI inputs, fully HDMI 1.3 compatible with support for Deep Color, 24fps, CEC, etc. Both offer one component video input (3 RCA connectors), and an analog computer input that can be instead used as a second component video input. Both have a 12 volt screen trigger.

Top image: JVC DLA-RS20 cable connection area. Lower image: Epson connections

Bottom line

The JVC RS20 looks better than the Epson, and the motorized aspects of the lens are a nice convenience. The preference for where the cable connections are located will be a personal choice. The motorized lens cover keeps dust and cobwebs away from the lens. The weak performance of the JVC remote control, in terms of range, is a pain in the butt!

When it comes to placement, as stated above, both are extremely flexible. The differences are small, and not likely to matter to 98% of buyers. Basically, the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB can be placed about one inch closer to a 100″ screen, or about nine inches further back, but that’s nothing considering that the JVC has a range of 10.2 feet for that sized screen, while the Epson has 11.1 feet.

In terms of lens shift, the two projectors are just a little more different, with the Epsons (for a 100 inch screen) being able to be mounted as high as 22.7 inches above the top of the screen surface (the best we’ve tested can do 24.5 inches). The JVC’s 15 inches is still very generous, but if you have a high ceiling, (and 100 inch screen) that JVC projector will have to hang down an additional 7.7 inches. Hardly a deal breaker (especially since it is prettier)!

Both projectors have filters that require occasional maintanence.

Bottom line: Styling - JVC! Physical placement flexibility

Epson, but by the smallest of margins, Inputs – essentially identical. Size – if smaller is better (maybe in a small room), Epson advantage. Remote controls – all Epson advantage, Erogonomics: JVC (motorized lens functions).

One additional note: The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB does not have internal support for an anamorphic lens, the Pro Cinema 7500UB does. If you believe you will want to buy an anamorphic lens, now, or later, the choice between the two Epson projectors is simple, forget the 6500UB and buy the 7500UB. Since it costs, typically, at least $800 for an external processor to add that capability (units like the DVDO Edge), the 7500UB ends up costing less than a 6500UB with outboard processor.

Moving on to what those considering these projectors really care about – Picture Quality!