Projector Reviews

Compare Projectors – JVC DLA-RS10 vs. RS20 – 2

Picture Quality

Comparing the Projector's Picture Quality

The RS20 comes with a more sophisticated CMS – Color Management System, than the RS10. Interestingly though, the RS10’s performance, right out of the box, is superior. You are spending “the big bucks” on these projectors, and that means that having them calibrated is a relatively small additional cost. Do it! It simply doesn’t make sense to spend for projectors in this class of performance in terms of picture quality, and not get the most out of them. Calibrating the RS20 can be very tricky, as we learned, due to some oddities in their CMS. Be sure to read about calibrating it in our full review, and make sure that the calibrator who works on your RS20, reads it as well.

Below: Two images from the RS10: (Click for larger versions, as you can with most images in this complete report). The first is from Hancock, the second, from Dogma, both off of Blu-ray disc.

Comparing the two, in terms of out of the box performance, the RS20’s Cinema 2 mode – which should be its best controllable mode for movie watching, was a bit disappointing, mostly being too warm (reddish). Despair not, however, the RS20 is THX certified, and that means it has a THX mode (that allows for virtually no adjustments). THX mode is really actually rather excellent, it’s just that a good calibartion of Cinema 2 is better still. The JVC RS10, by comparison, was much better than the RS20 (if you forget about the 20’s THX mode, which the RS10 lacks). Interestingly, the “best” mode for the RS10 is Cinema 1. (Cinema 1 on the RS20 is best used for black and white movies).

The first is again, from Dogma, the second is from the DTS demo disc.

Dark scenes just don’t get any better looking than this IMAX footage from The Dark Knight! (above). Below – As you can see, the college football (over HDTV) I am fanatical about, looks great on the RS20.

After calibration, both projectors produce excellent color accuracy, and a well balanced picture with excellent (RS10) and outstanding (RS20) black levels.

As you would expect they tend to have the same feel to the picture.

Black level performance

Break out the trumpets: Nothing touches the JVC DLA-RS20 (except of course the JVC HD750), when it comes to producing the blackest blacks around. The RS20 and its sibling have no equal, to my knowledge, at any price, with the exception of those old CRT type projectors (which do essentially perfect blacks). Today’s CRT home theater projectors are typically in the esoteric class with prices in the mid five figure to six figure price range, so – basically – “who cares”.

Sad, but true, the JVC RS10 just can’t match the black levels of the RS20, but, the good news is, it is likely the next best out there.

Here are some side by side images that show off the black levels and the differences between these two projectors, in this regard.

For all of these side by side images, the RS10 is on the left, RS20 on the right:

The same image from Space Cowboys (on Blu-ray disc) but more overexposed, to make it easier for you to see the difference in black levels.