Projector Reviews

Compare Projectors – Epson 6500UB vs. JVC RS20

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, 7500UB vs. JVC DLA-RS20, HD750

In this comparison, the winner of our mid-priced class Best In Class award – the Home Cinema 6500UB, as well as the almost identical Home Cinema 7500UB, go up against the Best In Class winner of the premium class – the JVC DLA-RS20 (and it’s amost identical sibling, the JVC HD750).

This is a comparison for those seeking truly superior performance in a home theater projector, who must decide if the far more expensive JVC projectors are worth the difference to them.

Let’s start by defining the differences between the two Epson projectors, then, the differences between the two JVC projectors. From there, we can move forward with how the Epson projectors fare, against the JVC projectors.

The differences between the two Epson projectors, their Home Cinema 6500UB, and the Pro Cinema 7500UB, are slight. Everything the Home Cinema 6500UB is capable of, the Pro Cinema 7500UB does as well, but the 7500UB has some extras.

Let’s start by defining the differences between the two Epson projectors, then, the differences between the two JVC projectors. From there, we can move forward with how the Epson projectors fare, against the JVC projectors.

The differences between the two Epson projectors, their Home Cinema 6500UB, and the Pro Cinema 7500UB, are slight. Everything the Home Cinema 6500UB is capable of, the Pro Cinema 7500UB does as well, but the 7500UB has some extras.

Pro Cinema 7500UB projector - Extras and Differences

Extras:

  • Internal support for an anamorphic lens
  • ISF certification, and two additional settings modes: ISF Day, ISF Night
  • 3 year warranty, with overnight replacement vs. 2 years with overnight replacement
  • Minor changes to the CMS (Color Management System)

That covers the extras.

Differences:

  • Pro Cinema 7500UB finished in black – 6500UB in white
  • Each preset color mode has a different name (than on the 6500UB), but are fundamentally the same
  • Pro Cinema 7500UB sold only through authorized local dealer network, which can provide installation
  • Pro Cinema 7500UB is more expensive, but includes a ceiling mount and spare lamp – Still, the Pro nets out to a higher price than the Home version

OK, with that out of the way, let’s just say that technically, because of distribution methods, the 7500UB is the more direct competitor to either of the JVC projectors.

Still, both Epson projectors cost less than half of the JVC projectors. Are the JVC projectors worth the difference?

I have to weigh in on this one as pretty unbiased. Afterall, I recently purchased a JVC RS20 for my main theater. I have the very similar predecessor to the 6500UB – the Home Cinema 1080 UB, installed in my smaller theater as part of an upgraded Epson Ensemble HD home theater system.

To digress for a moment: The Ensemble HD 1080 received our Outstanding Product of 2008 award (our highest honor), and is discussed elsewhere in this Report, as well as having an extensive review on our site. Note, the Ensemble HD is designed as an “instant” home theater solution, complete with projector motorized screen (with all front speakers built in), cradle for the projector (with rear speakers built in), subwoofer, equipment rack, an AV receiver with DVD player, and a pre-programmed universal remote. It’s designed to be fully installed in less than 5 hours.

Back to business. So as not to continuously have you read “Home Cinema 6500UB and Pro Cinema 7500UB” or JVC DLA-RS20 and JVC HD750, I will focus on the 6500UB and RS20 unless otherwise noted.

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. JVC DLA-RS20 Projector Overview

Let’s start off with how these two significantly different priced projectors are similar, then we’ll get into the differences. The Home Cinema 6500UB currently has a street price of $2500 (after rebate), while the Pro Cinema 7500UB is officially $3500 but includes mount and spare lamp. Both JVC models have an official MSRP of $7495.

Both Epson and JVC projectors are about as flexible in terms of placement in the room, as you will find. Both have at least 2:1 zoom lenses, and extensive lens shift. Both have two year warranties (Epson, though has a replacement program for both years). Both companies are well known for excellent support. Both are exceptional in terms of black level performance, a key demand among those seeking best performance.

Both JVC and Epson projectors are three chip devices. Epson uses 3 of the most advanced LCD chips. (Epson designs and manufactures those LCD panels or “chips”, and also sells them to all the other LCD projector manufacturers). JVC uses LCoS chips (Liquid Crystal on Silicon), so they are still “LC” but their chips are reflective, rather letting the light pass through (transmissive) like the traditional LCD panels. JVC designs and manufactures their LCoS chips which they refer to as D-iLA (Direct Digital Drive Image Light Amplifier) – talk about a mouthful… In our reviews we keep things simple by referring to them as 3LCD and LCoS.

The key differences are: The JVC projectors are definitely brighter than the Epson projectors when comparing best picture modes. When you want to use a brightest mode, for certain viewing, with some ambient light (especially HDTV/sports), the Epsons are almost twice as bright as the JVCs.

The Epsons have exceptional black level performance, but the JVC is the best in this regard. The Epson projectors have manual zoom and focus, while the JVCs are fully motorized.

I’ll stop there, because everything will be covered in more depth below.