Posted on November 13, 2013 By Art Feierman
I’ve touched on this above. The Epson in “best” mode (TheaterBlack 1) measured a very healthy 491 lumens, definitely brighter than average. But, in “best” mode, it’s no match for the JVC RS20’s dazzling 775 measured lumens in its “best” mode.
When you need maximum lumens, the JVC, sadly really doesn’t get noticeably brighter, as we measured it in Dynamic mode at 844 lumens (below average). By comparison, the Epson is a light canon. In LivingRoom mode, it cranks out 1215 lumens, almost 50% more than the JVC. Better still, when you are desparate for every last lumen, the Epson’s Dynamic mode measured 1566 lumens, the brightest of all the projectors we tested (although we believe the Optoma HD8000-LV will easily beat the Epson, as it should produce more than 2000 lumens, based on its predecessor’s performance).
So, a clear win for JVC in terms of “best” mode brightness, and an even bigger win for Epson for “brightest” mode brightness.
Both the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB and the JVC DLA-RS20 fit into the average sharpness category. Both, in reality, have very good sharpness, but there are a few projectors (mostly DLP’s) that we consider “sharper still” such as the InFocus projectors in this review. These two projectors are close enough to be considered tie in terms of sharpness.
Both projectors are quieter than the respective projectors they replaced, and both are roughly comparable. They are now, what I would call on the high side of average when run in the high power lamp modes. Those people who are the most noise adverse, might, that’s MIGHT, have a problem with either of these at full power, and no one will be concerned about either when in low lamp mode.
The rest of us should be fine with the noise levels these produce. I would say both are 4-5 decibles quieter than the noisiest projectors (mostly DLP).
Let’s call this a tie, even though the JVC is probably a db or two quieter overall.
Well, the JVC is pretty thin on special features. It will take a 24fps source, and do a 4:4 to it, to output at 96fps. The Epson can do that too.
The Epson, of course, has a full CFI (creative frame interpolation) suite, although the current version has problems with applying CFI to 24fps sources, so you are best served using it only with 60fps content, such as sports over HDTV, where it creatively takes the 60fps up to 120fps. I must note, that as of right now – mid-March, Epson is promising a much improved CFI implementation. While they can’t pinpoint the date, it sure sounds like dealers will have them in stock, within the month. Epson has also said, to myself and others, that they will have a way for those who have already purchased their Epson, to get the CFI firmware update. Hopefully it will be by download, but if not, it sounds like Epson is prepared to pay to bring units back in, and upgrade them, then ship them back, or something similar.
If you want the great value, the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB and Pro Cinema 7500UB are tough to beat. (Remember, if you are thinking anamorphic lens now, or in the future, go with the Pro Cinema 7500UB because of its internal support for those lenses).
On the other hand, if the JVC DLA-RS20 price tag isn’t out of reach, and, if you already appreciate the value of great black level performance, and want the best there, plus stunning color performance, then, by all means you will get your money’s worth with the even better JVC DLA-RS20. It really is that simple!
One last thought. There is a compromise. You may want to consider the JVC DLA-RS10. It’s priced about half way between the Home Cinema 6500UB and the JVC RS20. True, it can’t match the black levels of the RS20, but it still does slightly better blacks than the Epson. It also can’t match the color accuracy of the RS20, but it comes close, and I would have to consider it, too, to be slightly better than the Epson in this regard. Again, ask yourself, whether you’ll be second guessing your decision in a few months.
Truth is, any of these projectors performs well enough to be a “last projector” for even performance oriented folks. Best way I can put it together for you is this. I love my own RS20’s performance, but, if I had to spend half as much, I would choose the Epson, and I could live pretty happily ever after. As I essentially have one of each, (well, the older Epson 1080 UB, and the RS20), I’m pretty confident about that “pretty happily ever after”. The Epsons may not be quite as refined, but are an excellent solution, nonetheless. You’ll just have to apply your situation to making the best choice for you.
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