A Slight Delay: RS25 Review

UPDATE: The JVC DLA-RS25 review has been posted!

Greetings all,

Well, it seems, as usual, despite the best laid plans, the JVC RS25 review is not going to go live tonight.  Look for it tomorrow, probably late afternoon.  I’ve hit two snags, which is delaying the review one more day:

1.  My daughter Lisa, who handles all my cropping, resizing,  etc. of the images that go into a review, got slammed with both homework, and the high school play she’s in (which opens next week).  As such, she still has about 3/4 of the images to do, but should have them done shortly after school tomorrow (Friday).

2.  Sorry, taking the night off:  I’ve got a concert tonight (had tickets since the spring)  Ian Anderson.  For those not familiar, he’s that first class flutist and star of Jethro Tull.  (Rock trivia tells us that there was never a band member named Jethro Tull.)  Small venue, should be great!

Meantime, I finally got a handle on the black levels compared to the older RS20.  So, since I’m behind on the review, I’ll share that with you now.

Black level performance is improved.  It’s not improved by a lot, but the blacks are blacker.  Stubborn as I am, I hate breaking out the tall ladder and bringing down my RS20 from its shelf.  As a result, I didn’t, and that means I couldn’t do a side by side shoot between the RS20 and RS5.

What I did, instead was use the lens shift to raise the RS20’s image up, so the bottom of the bottom letterbox was just above the center of the screen.  Then, with the RS25 on its table, I lowered it’s image so the top of the top letterbox was ust below the center of the screen.  With full 16:9, the two images almost touch (but for a about 6 inches), but more importantly, with a letterboxed movie, I can see how black the RS20’s letterbox is, how black the RS25’s letterbox is, and I have a relatively thin (6 inch area) of true black, not being hit by either projector.  To get the brightness the same, I closed down the iris of the RS25 rather significantly.  I was able to get them almost identical. I set the gamma of both projectors to Normal.

The drop in blacks from the RS20 to the RS25, is slight.  I would say it’s definitely, significantly less change than going from the RS10 to the RS20.

Still, the improvement is there.  Considering I’m not aware of any projector, from any manufacturer, at any price (ok, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist), that can match or beat the older RS20, and that the closest thing to the RS20 was the RS10, even a small improvement, is a well appreciated one.  We’re still a ways from the true blacks of a CRT projector, but nothing else comes close to the RS25, except the older RS20 it replaces.

There!  Happy?  Gotta get back to writing up the review.  So, to paraphrase the well known song:  “Tomorrow, tomorrow….” You’ll have your RS25 review… tomorrow!” -art

News and Comments

  • Marco

    Art will you be reviewing the JVC rs15 anytime soon?
    Thank you

    • But of course, not sure when, but almost certainly before year end. I’ve got time for maybe 5 more reviews before xmas.

      The mandatories: PT-AE4000 (in progress), Vivitek H1080FD ($999), Mitsubishi HC6800, Sony VPL-VW85, JVC RS15, and if I can find one, BenQ W1000.

      With the JVC, although the RS15 is more important, I might just do the RS35 first if available. (In part because I am considering one for me!)

      Either way, I’m going to try to have the RS15 here within 4 weeks. If nothing else, I could look at RS10 – RS15 differences, and get out a useful “first look” blog.

      Hey, it’s crunch time around here. Usually the JVC’s aren’t even available until January (and often the same for Epson. This year everything is available earlier, so more “crunch” in my life, but the big 1080p comparison report should be earlier this time around, because of it. -art

  • Matthieu

    Well you have to give your daughter more pocket money. ;D

    Wish her good luck with the play.

    About the black level; your RS20 has an older lamp so you probably use it with the iris more open.
    Isn’t that givingf the RS25 the bennefits
    (Some other reviewer wrote about doing so)
    If you put in a new lamp and the iris is the same as the RS25, would it be still better.

    • Greetings,

      Yes, closing down an iris does improve contrast and therefore should slightly affect black levels. That said, when I do that (close down the iris on the RS25) for the images I took (will be posted soon) showing both projectors, I’ve also viewed both projectors with irises wide open. I’d still have to say that the RS25 is a tad better, despite lack of a “spec” improvement.

      Keep in mind that even if I closed down the RS25 iris all the way, we’re talking about a drop in brightness of only about 60%, and that’s about an f-stop, not enough to make a significant difference. So, forgetting all the variations from one unit to the next, I’ll stick with my guns – that there is a very slight improvement in black levels. And that, at the RS25’s range of performance, even very slight is a good thing.

  • Spankey

    Looking forward to the RS15 review and more importantly, settings! Hopefully they will be close to the RS10.

    • NO date yet. Bad news for you, though, if they can do what I asked. I am extremely curious about the hand selected components and higher quality control of the RS35 over the RS25. My contacts there say there really is a difference!

      Which of course would make moving to an RS35 very tempting to an RS20 owner, such as myself.
      Therefore, if I have a choice, I’ll do the RS35 before the RS15.

      Still the RS15 will be another evolutionary upgrade. While there are a few competitors to the RS10/15 – Sony VW85, InFocus’es new 8602? the Planar 8150, etc., most likely the new projector with be just a tad better, than the RS10, which means, if the RS10 is a good choice, the RS15 will be just a touch better choice… And of course, I’m awaiting the 8602 to come back in, and the Sony, etc.

      So, basically I need to get done a number of “higher end” models before I complete picture can be painted. Certainly I’d like to get both JVC’s done by mid-January, and I only have time slots for about 5 projectors between now and after CES in January (mid-month).