JVC DLA-RS2000 Projector Reviewed

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JVC DLA-RS2000 Projector Reviewed

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Out of the box, the RS2000 offers several picture modes that require little to no adjust to get a near reference image. With SDR content, choosing either Natural or one of the custom User modes, while opting for the REC709, D65, and 2.2 gamma preset options, offers respectable out-of-the-box performance. Deficiencies in accuracy remained under five dE in Natural mode. After a quick calibration using the built-in controls, the RS2000 tracked well under three dE, the threshold for perceptible errors, offering a truly reference image.

After calibration, the RS2000 allows up to 1600 lumens of light output. This number can change depending on a number of setup factors, including lamp mode, manual iris position, and the amount of zoom you're using on the lens. Unless you have a massive screen, for 2D SDR content you may want to consider using the manual iris control. Not only will this lower your peak lumen output, as 1,600 lumens may be too bright, but you'll gain an exponential increase in native contrast as you engage the iris more. In my particular setup, on my 120-inch 2.35:1 unity gain screen, I ended up with the -7 iris setting, which sets the iris halfway closed. This offered 2D SDR content a subjective increase in contrast while sacrificing superfluous light output. From here you can choose to enable one of two auto-iris modes that will dynamically adjust the iris below your manual iris setting to further enhance contrast when video content gets dark. Auto Two mode is less aggressive overall and, in general, worked well in my testing. 

Pulling up some test patterns revealed that the RS2000 does most things correct with the default out-of-the-box settings. The RS2000 does proper 1:1 pixel mapping with no overscan issues. For SDR content, leaving the brightness and contrast settings at their default positions, the RS2000 clips and crushes video appropriately.

To test out SDR performance of the RS2000, I chose the film A Quiet Place (2018) on Blu-ray. I first let my Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Blu-ray player upscale the video from 1080p to UHD. Everything looked great, with no apparent artifacts. I turned off the Panasonic's upscaling and let the RS2000 upscale the video. I wasn't particularly impressed by comparison. I witnessed some aliasing artifacts and, overall, the image didn't quite look as defined and resolved as it did via the Panasonic's upscaling. It seemed the upscaling quality is middle of the road. I found these same aliasing artifacts with most content the RS2000 upscaled.

Once I re-engaged the Panasonic's upscaling, I was enamored with what I saw. This is a movie with many scenes that take place at night and in dark rooms. This is where the RS2000's class-leading contrast performance shines. I was treated to inky blacks, thanks in part to the dynamic iris adding a boost of contrast in these scenes, but also brilliant highlights in these scenes that gave me the impression of a lot of dynamic range. Colors looked well-saturated and natural due in part to the RS2000's accuracy in greyscale and color. The image was also tack sharp thanks to the RS2000's excellent lens.

As I said earlier, HDR is a very complicated format in general. It's a format that requires your display to deliver certain levels of image brightness to be able to faithfully reproduce the content. Some displays meet these brightness requirements. But for those who don't, it means the image needs to be attenuated, aka "tone mapped," so the content can look subjectively correct. The RS2000, like most projectors, falls into this latter category. JVC's auto tone mapping feature reads metadata from HDR10 content and sets a global tone map to adjust the image to better suit the real-world dynamic range of the projector. Prior to this, JVC projector owners had to manually adjust settings in the menu to get a relatively good image with HDR10 content.

In general, using my Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Blu-ray player, this automated feature worked well. However, not all UHD Blu-rays have the correct metadata, or any at all, included on the disc, so caution should be taken. In the cases where metadata is incorrect or missing, the RS2000 allows for manual control to adjust the tone map. I would suggest owners read through the user manual on how to set this feature up properly.

The RS2000 includes an optical light filter that can be placed in the light path to broaden the color gamut capabilities of the projector to better match UHD Blu-ray content. Without this filter, the RS2000 reaches 90 percent of the P3 color gamut within the REC2020 gamut. Enabling this filter, I measured coverage up to 99 percent, not over 100 percent as JVC claims. This wider coverage yields subjectively more saturated colors should they be present in the video. However, there is some light loss when using the filter. In high lamp mode, I measured a 10 percent decrease, which is a fair trade off to gain the extra color saturation, in my opinion.

One of my go-to HDR titles is the film Lucy on UHD Blu-ray. Shot on 35-millimeter film, scanned and mastered in 4K, Lucy looks marvelous on the RS2000. This is one of those titles that really shows off the benefits of native 4K and HDR10, revealing subtle details not found on the 1080p Blu-ray. Simply put, the image had a true 'looking through a window' quality I've never seen before from a projector. The extra resolution gave the image a sense of solidity that I've never seen from a 1080p projector. I also found the RS2000's auto tone mapping feature to work well on this disc. Compared to the default HDR10 settings, the metadata augmented settings resulted in a much brighter appearing image overall, with natural looking color and excellent dynamic range. Shadow detail, in particular, was far better than the default HDR settings.

I next tested out the RS2000 to see how well it performed with video games. I have a pretty high-end gaming PC that's able to push relatively high frame rates at 4K resolution, something most gaming consoles struggle to do due to the high pixel count of 4K. The game Metro Exodus is an absolutely gorgeous first-person shooter set in the near future of, mostly, the underground metro system of a dystopian Moscow after nuclear fallout. As you can imagine, the game has a dark and dirty aesthetic that I think perfectly suits the performance capabilities of the RS2000. I used this opportunity to test out the RS2000's motion enhancing software, CMD. This is something that gamers can use to their advantage during game play, allowing you to see things in motion a little bit better. JVC's claims turned out to be true. Not only does this new software work with a 4K 60p image now, but I noticed very few artifacts introduced by the software. Enabling the projector's Low Latency mode also allowed for faster response time between my button presses and the actions taking place on screen. Overall, I'd have to say gamers will love the RS2000.

Here are the measurement charts for the JVC DLA-RS2000 projector, taken using ChromaPure 3 Professional. These measurements show how close the display gets to our current standards. For both gray scale and color, a Delta Error under 10 is considered tolerable, under five is considered good, and under three is considered imperceptible to the human eye.JVC_DLA-RS2000_grayscale.jpg


Using a Minolta CL-200 meter, I measured the RS2000's contrast performance. With the manual iris fully open, lens set to maximum zoom, and lamp mode set to high, I measured 23,450:1 native on/off contrast. With the lens switched to minimum zoom, in high lamp mode, with the iris closed fully, I measured 62,100:1 native on/off contrast, and a maximum dynamic on/off contrast ratio of 176,850:1.

The Downside
While the RS2000 measures and performs well, it is not without flaws. As detailed above, upscaling quality on the RS2000 is middle of the road. I often witnessed issues with aliasing if I let the projector scale 1080p content to UHD. As this is partly a software issue, this might be something JVC can fix with a firmware update. However, as it stands, I would recommend owners use something else to scale their video.

The RS2000's dynamic iris also has some issues that I haven't seen before from previous JVC projectors. I witnessed gamma shifts during some movie scene transitions and clipped whites on certain dark movie content that had brighter elements on screen simultaneously. This is another problem that is based in software, and JVC informed us that a fix is in the works, adding that the gamma shift only happens on certain transition scenes when using the auto iris. Overall, in my opinion, the dynamic iris still works well enough to be left on at all times. Just be aware, in its current state, you may notice it working on occasion.

It's also worth noting that the specified throw range of the lens is a little deceiving. Consumer video content adheres to a 16:9 standard, which 1080p Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray, and broadcast HDTV follows. The issue is that the RS2000 uses true 4K 4096 by 2160 panels, not UHD 3840 by 2160 panels, making the native image 1.89:1. This means that any consumer video format played through the RS2000 will show black bars on the sides. So, the throw ratio is really 6.5 percent less if you are watching video encoded in a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Lastly, as with previous JVC projectors, the RS2000 has issues with bright corners. This issue shows itself as black field nonuniformity and is typically only visible to the eye when the entire image is black, in which case the corners will appear slightly brighter. As this type of content is rare, I didn't encounter many instances of this issue being visible, but it's still something worth noting.

Comparison and Competition
Near the RS2000's price point, only one projector comes to mind that offers true competition to the JVC: the Sony VPL-VW695ES priced at $9,999. Like the RS2000, the Sony is a native 4K HDR capable projector offering, on paper, very similar performance and features. I was fortunate enough to have both of these projectors here at the same time and was able to do a shootout between them. The most obvious difference between these two projectors was in contrast performance on darker video content. The JVC simply has more apparent contrast and a much darker level of black. Beyond that, both projectors looked remarkably similar in terms of image sharpness, native motion handling, shadow detail, and color reproduction. While the Sony gives up a little in ultimate contrast performance, it makes up for it with better video processing. Sony's motion smoothing software, called Motion Flow, offers better subjective performance and more modes over the RS2000. Input lag on the Sony, an important metric for gamers, is more than 10 ms faster. I also think Sony's smart sharpening software, called Reality Creation, does a noticeably better job compared to JVC's smart sharpening software, called Enhance in the MPC menu, for those who like to artificially sharpen the image.

If you're someone who is primarily watching movies, I'd recommend the JVC. If you're someone who plans on gaming or watching a lot of sports, I think the Sony is a better fit. Both projectors offer good performance in all areas; however, each have a small lead in these specific areas. Choosing which to buy ultimately comes down to the type of content you view more.

Those looking to upgrade from a JVC e-shift model will be pleased overall with the RS2000. While falling a little behind in contrast performance from the previous mid-tier models, it's an upgrade in most areas. Even though it's using the same lens found on previous models, I found the increase in native resolution made a large difference in perceived sharpness, image stability and three-dimensionality. Especially with UHD and HDR10 content, the RS2000 possesses a level of image finesse that overtakes anything I've witnessed from previous JVC projectors.

With the RS2000 (aka DLA-NX7), we now have a high-performance home video projector that delivers native 4K resolution, high contrast, and high brightness for under $10,000. It's not perfect, nor the best fit for everyone, but for the most part, the RS2000 lives up to the hype. It shines best with HD or UHD movie or TV show content, while still offering good performance for those who want to game or view sports. It also only requires minor adjustments to get a reference image. For those looking for one of the best performing projectors in the under $10,000 market, you owe it to yourself to check out the RS2000.

Additional Resources
• Visit the JVC Pro website for more product information.
• Check out our Front Projector Reviews category page to read reviews of similar products.
• JVC Crosses the 8K Projector Rubicon with E-Shift at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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