JVC DLA-X70 3D PROJECTOR REVIEW
So here we go again. I honestly was not planning to look at any JVC models this year. I planned to stay more in "Sony Land" after my latest Reviews of both the 30AES and 95ES. I am very happy I decided to step out and try the X70 (RS55). It has been fun comparing and playing and now it is time to put my thoughts down on paper. For starters the X70 comes with JVC's newest "cool" feature which is e-Shift 4K. Many call it 4K Lite. It does sharpen the image somewhat and truly does add to the overall picture. Of course there is no free lunch here because if you send in a less than stellar image the results can backfire with excessive noise and grain. If you send in a pristine terrific 720p, 1080i or 1080p image the results are astounding. Especially if you reduce Sharpness and Detail Enhancements. There is also a MPC Level adjustment which I seem to like at 3 for the most part. It seems to help make the image look cleaner at either 2 or 3. So what is e-Shift doing? It upconverts the image to 3,840 X 2,160 resolution. I am a fan of this feature and hope in the near future other brands follow suit. So what else makes the X70 different from last year's RS50? Quite honestly not much. Which is not a bad thing more or less. I will say I do like the Pixel Adjust and Picture Tone adjustments. You can really dial in the image to help asure yourself a good alignment and good flesh tones. I will get to more in the next couple of paragraphs but I thought I would start out showing a few set up screen shots...
As you can see (those that are familar with JVC) the menus look about the same. Setting up the X70 was very easy. Using the Remote for screen shifting, focus and zoom makes life easier. Speaking of the Remote I am pleased to say it is still very nice to use. There are direct input buttons for HDMI 1 and 2 as well as Component and PC. It seems Component inputs are starting to go away so do not be surprised if one day they are extinct. We also get 3D Setting and Format selection. That is great news for the 3D fans out there. It makes it easier to tweak instead of having to navigate deep into the set up menu. Then there is a Lens Control and Lens Memory selection. There is also an Anamorphic button too! I was glad to see JVC still kept the Hide button for just in case moments. Now if I can find away to mute the sound at the exact same time! Ha As for picture modes we get Film, Cinema, Anime, Natural, Stage, 3D THX and User. For sports I guess we will have to make s spot in the User Mode. Besides other obvious buttons (Menu, Back etc.) we round out the bottom with Gamma, Color Temp, Color Profile and Pic Adj. Oh and I almost forgot the C.M.D. button which is an awesome addition to the Remote! Kudos to JVC for adding easy selection of their Clear Motion Drive which is cool for Sports!
The JVC DLA-X70's Remote also lights up!!!
So jumping right into one of my favorite viewing habits how does the X70 do with Sports? Let's find out. JVC has always been a leader with Sci Fi or Dark (Scary) movies due to the excellent Black Levels. Their Native Contrast (not using Iris) is rated at 80,000 to 1 on the X70. Sports has always been their weakest link in terms of "Pop" and Motion. The X70 with the e-Shift does seem to enhance the image more and add a little more depth to the image. I am a big fan of it! Motion is still a little behind the Sonys but they are catching up somewhat. As for the Pop it is still not quite there with the Sonys but again I have not seen another projector (beides maybe a good DLP) that is either. Still you will be able to watch sports and have a great time. The added resolution more than makes up for any shortcomings. Now if they would just add a Dynamic mode!
I pretty much just went off last year's settings on the RS60 which seemed to work very well. The big difference was dropping sharpness to 10 and Detail to 0. Color Profile was set to Vivid. Gamma was optimal with C and 7500 for Color Temp. CMD was again at 4. Details were very strong and consistent. JVC really made a stride here with their new e-Shift 4K.
Regular DirecTV viewing also showed benefits with the e-Shift. I was pretty impressed with detail and Black Levels. I used Natural Pic Mode with Color Profile set to Video. Gamma B or C depending on what was on. Again the Sharpness needs to be tuned down as well as Detail. Sharpness was pretty impressive as well. The X70 is pretty versatile with different material. Sports not bad at all, regular TV watching excellent. How does 3D do? Read on...
This is pretty confusing to me. I think JVC took a step back this year. The RS40 and RS60 I had last year were better. Is it a night and day difference? Not at all. It's just there is slightly more Ghosting and for some reason makes your eyes fatigued quicker. Still it is not bad at all but just not as good as last year. If you do not plan to watch 3D then no worries!
Blu ray 2D is where the cowbell is strongest! I SEE why the JVC loyalist love their brand and buy year after year. The scary movies which are usually dark just shine on the X70. Black Levels are top notch and overall with the e-Shift the details are astounding. I had a good time watching Fright Night (1985) and the new one in 3D (on a different PJ). The night time scary scenes looked so lifelike it helped set the mood. FriendWith Benefits also proved to be a strong looking title as well as hilarious. Any movie with Mila Kunis and I'm there! Midnight In Paris also displayed some beautiful images. I like Cinema with Color Profile Xenon 2. Gamma is a "your call" decision since depending on which movie sometimes more "pop" is better. I was happy with whatever I viewed and I think for the most part most owners would be.
FRIGHT NIGHT 1985-Only 3,000 copies made!
And now the complaint department... For some reason we still hear those loud noises when you change Color Profiles. Sounds like a Semi changing gears or a soda fountain machine after you push the lever with your cup! It is a little unsettling and something you have to get used to. Thankfully once you get it set you shouldn't have to change them very often. Speaking of changing... Gamma, for some reason the screen goes completely blank for a few seconds after you switch. Hmm.
This is where the X70 has a hard time justifying its price tag. At a MSRP of 8K you do not get 3D glasses or a 3D Emitter. With the Sony VPL VW95ES at 7K you get two pairs of glasses plus the 3D Emitter is built in. Both the Sony 30AES and 95ES are better at 3D. I used Monstervision 3D glasses during all tests. As for sports the 95 wins again with its superior motion and still superior POP. Granted this year was closer most likely due to the e-Shift on the X70. I will also point out that Black Levels are getting closer and closer. Yes, the X70 has a built in CMS (Color Management System) but I am still having issues (yet again) getting it to work fully. Overall if I had to choose again (or now) I would take the Sony. I had some good friends and family over and we watched half a game with each one. Same for doing some Blu ray demo material in 2D. Now the Blu ray 2D Demo material the crowd split. As for sports well
let's just say the room was asking for the Sony to be put back up halfway through the 3rd quarter! Not saying the X70 is bad just saying that in a direct comparison to the Sony 95 it is still in a losing battle. Sharpness is very close on both models. I think the e-Shift in the X70 helps a significant amount here. I also think the Sony is quieter. I used both all the time in High Lamp mode. Please just trust me when I say that anyone would be super happy with either projector. Both of them are first rate performers. This is a rivalry much like the Celtics verus the Lakers of the 80s. Whichever your taste is you will have a good time with either or. For both myself and Jaclyn we just like the Sony.
Finally... The JVC DLA X70 (RS55) is a terrific projector that is poised for stardom with the JVC crowd. I can't see many not liking it and I think it is in some ways much better than last year. Think RESOLUTION! Now as long as JVC has cleared up their Sudden Lamp Dimming Issues of last gen then maybe they are on to something. If not I expect the Forums to riot again like they did last year. One last "joke" or "poke" when I first turned it on I held my electric razor to my face and everyone agreed it sounded like I was shaving as the Lens door opened. Justification! HaHa. Seriously though if you have JVC in your blood then the X70 will not disappoint. You will have a good time with whatever you watch...
Jaclyn, Tyler and Dexter.
EQUIPMENT USED FOR ALL OR PART OF THIS REVIEW:
JVC DLA-X70 (RS55) 3D Projector,
Sony VPL-VW95ES 3D Projector,
Integra DHC 80.3 Pre-Pro, DirecTV HR24 500, Simplay EDGE GREEN Video Processor, Monster Power HTS 5100, Panasonic BDT 310 3D Blu ray player,Parasound HALO A51 AMP, Sherwood Newcastle A-965 7 Channel AMP, Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar 120.5" screen with a Carada Masquerade Masking System. Pinnacle Speakers- Center BD600, Heights BD500 OWs, Left and Right and Surrounds Super K555s and the KLCR for surround back. Subwoofers- Pinnacle Dig 600, plus four MTX Lolita Low Profiles. 7.6 Sound! Remotes: Harmony 1100. Monster M1000 Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom.
Next Up: The SONY 1000ES 3D 4K Projector
Thanks for stopping by. See you soon.