Projector Reviews

CEDIA Projectors – New from JVC 3 in 3D and one 2D

Hmm, my next stop was JVC.  I had to hoof it to the Omni hotel next to (a 15 minute walk from the show floor), because they always set up in a real theater or a hotel ballroom each year).

OK, here’s the basics:  And yes, all 3D projectors we talk about, of course do 2D!

Remember the JVC DLA-RS15, RS25, and RS35?  Well, they are still current products but will be replaced shortly by the JVC DLA-RS40, DLA-RS50, and DLA-RS60 3D home theater projectors. (Yes, 2D too, of course.)

The new RS40, RS50, and RS60 sport a center mounted lens, but where they look different fromt he older ones, is when you fire them up, and put on some active 3D glasses (2 pair provided with each projector).

If you aren’t aware, JVC has a Pro, and a Consumer division. They sell, essentially identical projectors under different model numbers, through two different distribution models).  The RS (reference standard) are from the pro group, while the equivalent DLA-X3, DLA-X7, and DLA-X9).  In previous generations, there were only slight cosmetic differences between the two line-ups.

Cosmetic differences – who cares?  What did they look like when working?

OK – I’ll get back to the other stuff later.  Only one was up and doing 3D.  It looked really good.  I watched it for a good 10+ minutes.  Yeah, there are some artifacts, some crossover (not bad, but who wants any crossover at all), but, on the bright side, JVC still has a few months to go.  I’m told you will be able to get one in time to put under your Christmas tree, Hannukah bush, etc. come the holidays.  In other words – officially end of November.

As I said the 3D looked fairly good, but not quite ready for prime-time.  Trust me, miracles happen in a couple of months, when it comes to working with firmware issues, such as refining the 3D aspects.  My regular readers over the years, have seen some major reworks to correct some launch day flaws of a number of projectors.  Most seem to come up with a fix in less than 60 days, such as fixing a CFI (smooth motion), or dynamic iris action. In fact some of my favorite projectors, haven’t been at their best on first shipments.  Fortunately most manufacturers are really good on support.

When I say 3D looked good, I’m talking about the 3D itself.  The JVC otherwise, looked superb. With the similar if not punchier skin tones and black levels that cause me to use an RS20 in my main theater.

Because these new models are 3D, they need more lumens, JVC solves this with a new lamp, and a lumen Jump from 900 to 1300.  I hope that will be enough. Figure 3D is going to suck away at least 60 percent of your brightness.   In other words, 2000 lumens would have been better, but, this is going to be an issue for most 3D home theater projectors in the under $10K range.

JVC tells me that it will probably be  right before Thanksgiving or later before they can get me a projector to review… I can’t wait!

Pricing – wow:
JVC DLA-RS40:  $4495
JVC DLA-RS50:  $7995
JVC DLA-RS60:  $12,995

The key wow’s are for the RS40 – you get 3D, better contrast, and more lumens, and the glasses) for the same price as last year.  The RS50 plays out the same way.  The RS60, though, jumps $3000.  I’ll have to ask them why exactly.  It may be that the RS35 far outsold its expectations as a “RS25 built from the best of all the components”.  It may be other reasons.  From what I saw on the show floor so far, though, including the Sony (at $10K), JVC’s got the Sony straddled between the RS50 and RS60. We’ll have to see who “wins”.

JVC is now using black frame insertion (I’ll have to write something about the advantages…), for their 120hz smooth motion.

(The X3, X7, and X9 pricing should be the same as the three above – my contacts are all on the Pro side, so I never work with the X projectors.)

Let’s talk black level performance.  As always, I can’t make any really accurate statements, from viewing in these “strange and wondrous” caves of rooms, and blacked out ballroom partitions, but I can anticipate what to expect when they finally arrive for review.

Better blacks on the RS50 and RS60 (native contrast of 70,000:1 and 100,000:1 with no dynamic irises, or other dynamic features, in part come from the addition of a lamp aperture (16 step) in addition to the 16 step lens aperture.  The RS40 only has the lens aperture (manual iris), but increased the steps from 3 to 16.

Overall, the new JVC’s could prove to be downright awesome.  (to paraphrase Fifth Element): “Perfect – can’t wait to meet them.”   No, they won’t be perfect – I’ve already seen more expensive things at CEDIA that will blow the JVC’s away, at least in sheer horsepower (lumens) for handling 3D, but that’s a blog or two away yet.

JVC wasn’t done with just three, they also showed a lower cost 2D projector at – what?  $2995.  It wasn’t well set up, it was in an outer area that was modestly lit (not quite moderately lit?).

Called the JVC HD250Pro (who thinks up these names):  if these manufacturers would use names like:  Fireball, or Nova, or Revelation… first, I could put out more reviews (I hate having to type all those long number/capital letter combinations, it slows me down), and second, we’d all be happier.  (thanks to a blog commenter, to make that point about the cockamamie numbers and letters).

Back to the JVC HD250 Pro (I really hope they don’t throw the DLA in front of that as well):  It claims 1000 lumens and a 25,000:1 contrast ratio.  It is a 2D only folks, but it means that JVC has decided to play in the higher volume under $3000 market segment.  That means they are looking for some real volume (we’ll see if they modify their sales channel for this projector – not likely – yet, at any rate).

And it means they have followed Sony down to that price point who arrived last year, with their VW40 projector at $2795 I believe.   Interesting…

The setup there was terrible for judging their “entry level” model, but, from a spec standpoint, it’s roughly last year’s RS15 in performance, but for an extra claimed 100 lumens, and contrast just a little below last year’s $5495 RS15.  The HD250 PRO claims 25,000:1 native contrast, vs. the older RS15’s 32,000:1 (a relatively insignificant change).

OK, they are about to throw me out of the hotel, and I have to still walk the show, and have meetings with some of the big guys from europe.  projectiondesign, and Digital Projection.

Next blog (written on the plane) will go into the Sony, Runco, SIM2 visits, then another for Optoma, Vivitek…

OK people, later! -art

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