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JVC X500 (DLA-X500) 3D D-ILA Projector Review

danny daniell

Well-known Member
Great review Steve

Thanks!
 

jacko5

Active Member
What real advantage would 4k bring to the average home theatre enthusiast like me. I have a 106" wide screen in my lounge, which is almost as wide as I can go, and I sit appx. 1.5 screen widths away. This is an ideal distance for me and I don't enjoy sitting any closer. At this distance, with good source material, the sharpness and clarity of the image is breathtaking on my JVC x90 projector.
The only advantage of 4k would be if I wanted to sit at 1x screen width, or less, which I think only a small minority of pj owners would want to do.
In a previous controlled experiment, the majority of viewers could not detect the difference between 720p and 1080p projected images. I suspect that 4k will prove to be similar compared to 2k at normal viewing distances.
I suspect that the reason that the Sony 1000 made such an impact was as much to do with the quality of its lens and processing power as it is to the fact that it is 4k. I am sure the Sony 500 and 1000 would be amazing projectors had they been native 1080p.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I have a similar sized screen and sit a similar distance away and the increased resolution was noticeable with native 4K content when I was reviewing the VW1000 and VW500. However you're right, I suspect a lot of people wouldn't notice the difference between 1080p and 4K at normal viewing distances and the higher quality lenses probably played a part too. Hopefully the industry will use the move to 4K as an excuse to widen the colour gamut or increase the bit rate because that will have a greater impact on image quality than just increasing the resolution. However I also think it will be a couple of years before we start seeing any high quality 4K content, so I'd stick with your X90 in the meantime.
 

danny daniell

Well-known Member
Steve I am about to buy a new Bluray player to accompany my X500, should the new player incorporate Darbee processing?

Cheers
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Steve I am about to buy a new Bluray player to accompany my X500, should the new player incorporate Darbee processing?

Cheers
No, you don't need Darbee processing and JVC's MPC feature does many of the same things in conjunction with e-shift.
 

Member 518284

Distinguished Member
great review Steve :smashin:

as always very unbiased and I concur with everything you say especially the lack of 4K native panels not being an issue

as you, I don`t use the new dynamic iris feature as I don`t see that I have any reason to in the dark room, also I`m just about getting my vision back to be able to enjoy 3d again as well and only last night we watched Gravity in 3D which looked amazing on my X500, nothing bad to report at all in that department

I`m pretty certain JVC will release a native 4K unit when they are ready, and that will be when we can take advantage of readily available content to watch on it

until then JVC will do what they are great at and that is producing probably the best 1080p images you can get for the money especially when used in a proper dark room
 

HugoFJH

Active Member
I see the point about 4k software not being available but imo its still very valid

I just cant see people who have the best part of £5.500 to spend on a pj wanting to invest now in an HD only pj (even with such great blacks), when they can buy a 4k model for ~ 30 % more.

Yes 4k software inst going to be abbundant for about a year, but on average how long are these level of PJ's installed for (only counting original purchase due to the timeframes being discussed) - I would suggest (apart from a few on here who can afford to do an upgrade every 6~ months), I would guess its generally several years.

I can see people buying £2000 -£3000 HD pj's - especially for those who are going to use it extensively (and therefore get vfm even in approx one year) but nearly double this just seems strange to me

(edit - I will eat my proverbial hat if it takes the BDA etc over 2 years to get extensive 4k software on the market. Remember in a sense they have a direct competitor in high speed broadband now, which wasnt the case when BD originally came out 7 years ago so they -imo- have to push it that much harder)
 
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Member 518284

Distinguished Member
the Sony 500 Hugo here in the UK is actually £3510 more than the X500 so significantly more than 30%, more like 65% more which is quite a leap

I know the Sony 500 is good, its very good, infact its bloody (sorry) great, but in a years time maybe when native 4k material is about (hopefully) it will make sense then to go with a native 4k projector

I`m already tired of the 4k material on my 4k server, that said its being updated on Thursday so hopefully it will come back with a lot more for myself and others to see :smashin:

please don`t eat your hat btw as they really do take some getting down :D
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
I will eat my proverbial hat if it takes the BDA etc over 2 years to get extensive 4k software on the market. Remember in a sense they have a direct competitor in high speed broadband now, which wasnt the case when BD originally came out 7 years ago so they -imo- have to push it that much harder)
Alan has already pointed out the considerable price differential between the X500 and VW500 but as for your comment above, I think you're forgetting a couple of things.

Firstly the BDA is comprised of a lot of different companies all with different agendas and priorities, so it will take a long time for them to agree on anything. It's February 2014 and they still haven't agreed a standard yet, so best case we get an announcement at IFA in September but, more likely, CES in January 2015. That means that we won't start seeing players hitting the street until March/April of next year.

Secondly, just because there's hardware in the marketplace, that doesn't mean the studios will support it. The studios aren't really interested in the disc-based sales model any more and would much rather deliver 4K content via download and streaming. DVD has reached the end of it's lifecycle and Blu-ray is still only a niche product, which most people don't care about and many have never even heard of. I doubt the studios will be quick to release 4K Blu-rays, apart from possibly Sony/Columbia, which means we're looking at Christmas 2015.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love there to be an all-singing, all-dancing 4K Blu-ray system with strong studio support but the BDA only has a limited window of opportunity and they're in serious danger of missing it.
 

Rich H

Active Member
Wha?

I couldn't believe how little significance this review gave the new Intelligent Lens Aperture (Dynamic Iris)!?

It's one of the most significant moves JVC has made - one that many of the most technically informed reviewers and AVSmembers have been calling for, for years. Because, in terms of measured contrast the new JVC's are only a negligible difference from before (as in, in most cases, it shouldn't look different from the previous generation). But the ILA is a way to actually, significantly address the lowest APL scenes which are the ones that give away a projector's black level the most - measurably and perceptibly. And JVC's naturally high native contrast level can allow it to work "better" than in lower native contrast ratio projectors.

Over on AVS virtually everyone is using the ILA and, despite some artifacts here and there, pretty much all of us have loved the new black floor this provides and find it worth using vs leaving it off.

I have a "bat cave" like environment and my JVC projector's (RS20 and RS55), while looking good in mixed scenes, always left me wanting in terms of their projected black level, as dark, low APL scenes, not to mention fade to blacks, left the screen glowing visibly compared to the true black of the surrounding room.
That's when they disappointed me most and I've always wanted some significant improvement.

This year they finally gave me that. Fade to blacks are significantly darker, pitch black for quite a while before my eye adjusts, than my previous projectors. And those low APL scenes that always left me wanting now look SUPERB - deeper, darker, more convincing, less obviously brighter than the rest of my room. It adds up to a more believable and consistent experience throughout a whole movie, especially
for sci-fi and horror fan like me.

ETA: Kris Deering had a forum member bring his new JVC X500 to compare to Kris' JVC X75, stacked, light matched, etc. He wrote:

"So we did a lot of instant comparisons between the two with them essentially stacked. To say that his contrast with the Dynamic Iris in Auto 2 absolutely trounces my contrast with the X75 would be an understatement. Made mine look like a first generation DLP for blacks."

AND: "Gonna be hard to watch mine for a bit now. Anyone that thought the JVC's had good black performance before will be flabbergasted with their performance now."

Which is pretty much how I feel watching my new RS57.

So, I'm just amazed that the significance of the ILA was passed over in this review, as it has been seen pretty much as the defining feature, the most intriguing to many of us, in the new models.

For years I've seen reviews here or there talk in amazement about the JVC's black levels, some saying "looked as dark as the screen frame" and others saying the black levels are now "dark enough" that black levels are no longer a concern, we've reached the necessary black levels in projection and can move on to evaluating other aspects. Which I hate reading because we have been *clearly* far from true "no light" black levels, and hence better picture quality is possible, though not if we throw in the towel as satisfied now.

The review leaves me with the impression that Steven thinks "JVC's native black levels are good enough, so who needs a DI?"

I do.

I'm very thankful for the ability to engage the new ILA. It's performance has me giddy watching the improvement in dark scenes! The same goes for pretty much every other owner who I've seen post about the new models.

Rich
 
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Steve Withers

Reviewer
Rich, a dynamic iris works by physically closing to make the blacks look deeper but in doing so it crushes blacks and reduces shadow detail. JVC have only added the feature to claim higher CR numbers and compete in terms of marketing with the likes of Sony. If you like it that's great but it's not for me and I thought the images produced by the X500 were superb without it.
 

Rich H

Active Member
The iris in "auto 1" is known to crush shadow detail, but not in "auto 2."

A number of people have been putting the ILA through it's paces, looking at it very closely, and I haven't seen any reports of black crush, and in fact some report better detail in low APL scenes (due to combination of active gamma). Cine4home for instance, reported no such shadow detail loss and felt the ILA worked well enough that they actually recommend for next year that JVC put out a higher lumen projector and make up the contrast/black floor difference via the ILA.

I'm not for a moment suggesting that you ought to use or like the new ILA. Some reviewers also briefly tested E-shift when it came out, said "meh" and "I don't like any additional processing of an image" and left it off, while other reviewers and consumers found E-shift more significant.

But adding a DI was a pretty major feature, given JVC's history of sticking to it's native contrast guns.
A number of reviews, and owner shoot-outs, between the Sony 4K projectors and JVC projectors would note that with the Sony DI off, JVCs clearly looked to have better contrast/black levels. With the DI engaged (Sony does one of the better DI implementation) the gap was narrowed considerably, and the advantage for JVC was much reduced. So JVC adding this capability for those who want it is, I and others find, more significant than your review implied.

Again...not that you have to like it, but I think others would have appreciated a bit more detail or attention paid to that particular feature, whether you came down against it's use or not.

Cheers,
 

Dans1210

Well-known Member
I would be all over one of these jvc projectors if they weren't so laggy
 
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Geof G

Novice Member
They've also added more features previously only found on the higher-end models and, for reasons best known to themselves, a dynamic iris.
For reasons best known to themselves? Huh? Seriously?

Have to say I agree with Rich on the ILA part of the review. I think many enthusiasts want to know more about this feature but the review (IMO) was significantly lacking and short sighted in this regard.
 

darinp2

Active Member
Rich, a dynamic iris works by physically closing to make the blacks look deeper but in doing so it crushes blacks and reduces shadow detail.
Steve,

You are mistaken about what a dynamic iris does. Yes, a dynamic iris can be implemented that has all sorts of problems, but that statement is not correct as far as what a dynamic iris does in general. It can in fact increase shadow detail. If you have lights on in your room then you can throw everything off and you could end up with reduced shadow detail due to problems with the room when using the DI, but it wouldn't be right IMO to just claim a DI reduces shadow detail if somebody has problems with their room leading to this.

For the room where you used the projector, if you turn the projector off can you see your screen?

When you tested the DI what kind of material did you use? Did you use the kind of material where a DI helps the most?

I'm also curious about what manual iris position you used (between -15 and 0).

You recommended turning the CMD off. Is your recommendation regardless of whether somebody is watching film material or video material (like sports)?

Thanks,
Darin
 

Rich H

Active Member
Though I have always detested the soap opera effect that most frame interpolation software impart to images, I've found this year's better implementation of CMD both more subtle in "low" mode and cleaner over all. This allows me to use it happily for video broadcast content - it really worked great on the Grammy's for instance, a good example being Pink's acrobatic/spinning performance, which was rendered more smoothly and realistically with CMD on. I've also found it looked good on World War Z, with it's many whipping camera shots, cleaning the image up a bit but not looking egregiously soap opera. Not that others ought to use it, but a wholesale recommendation to turn it off isn't, IMO, helpful.

Back to the ILA, another benefit that you would not have learned from this review is this: Even IF it didn't already lower the black floor for low APL scenes (which it does) it would still be significant in that it allows the user to set the brightness of the image without the contraints of sacrificing darker scenes for brighter scenes. That is: with a manual iris only, you always have the tension between setting it for a bright image
necessary to allow brighter shots (e.g day scenes) to look convincing - opening up the iris - vs setting the iris for the the most convincing, darkest black levels - closing the iris. It's always a compromise and you can't have both with a manual iris (unless we are talking more rare conditions, high gain screens, small enough images to have the iris fully closed while maintaining good overall brightnes..though even then a ILA would benefit darkest scenes).

What the ILA allows us to do is choose the peak brightness we want *without compromising the black levels of dark scenes* because the ILA will close down automatically for the darkest images. I've always had to juggle that compromise "do I want bright scenes to be most convincing or dark scenes?" when choosing an iris setting, and now with the ILA I don't have to, I get it all, and this is a significant, hugely welcomed
feature.
 

Andreas21

Banned
Rich, a dynamic iris works by physically closing to make the blacks look deeper but in doing so it crushes blacks and reduces shadow detail. JVC have only added the feature to claim higher CR numbers and compete in terms of marketing with the likes of Sony. If you like it that's great but it's not for me and I thought the images produced by the X500 were superb without it.
The last couple years Sony DI does not crush blacks if you set up the projector correctly and the same goes for the new JVC models if you set it at Auto 2, Auto 2 makes the JVC X500 look much more dynamic in low APL scenes. But you guys here at AVForums has made up your mind about DI along time ago when they did not work.

The rest of your review I find quite good, but there is some negatives that you completly ignore.
Steve,

You are mistaken about what a dynamic iris does. Yes, a dynamic iris can be implemented that has all sorts of problems, but that statement is not correct as far as what a dynamic iris does in general. It can in fact increase shadow detail. If you have lights on in your room then you can throw everything off and you could end up with reduced shadow detail due to problems with the room when using the DI, but it wouldn't be right IMO to just claim a DI reduces shadow detail if somebody has problems with their room leading to this.

For the room where you used the projector, if you turn the projector off can you see your screen?

When you tested the DI what kind of material did you use? Did you use the kind of material where a DI helps the most?

I'm also curious about what manual iris position you used (between -15 and 0).

You recommended turning the CMD off. Is your recommendation regardless of whether somebody is watching film material or video material (like sports)?

Thanks,
Darin
You are correct about the JVC DI and it works very well and does not crush blacks with the right setting and so does the Sonys.:)
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Well Phil is in the middle of testing the X700 right now, so I'm sure he'll cover the ILA feature in more detail.
 

samhain

Well-known Member
I have yet to see an effective implementation of a DI anywhere, interesting how this 'auto 2' setting is producing such wonderful 'artificial' results. I must get a look at one.

I will be keeping my JVC 1080p projector for a while longer, it's immensely satisfying and providing it continues to provide some more years of good service then I won't need to upgrade.

I suspect though that when I do upgrade it will absolutely be a 4k projector.
 

Rich H

Active Member
Yes, I hope to see more detail on the ILA too. (Though mostly for other members who haven't bought yet, since I'm already enjoying my RS57).

Not to pile on, but just one other correction to the review is, I think, pertinent:

From the review:

"The X500 can even accept 4096 x 2160 at 24p and 3840 x 2160 at up to 60p, so there is a degree of future proofing; although we should stress that the projector down samples the 4K feed to match the 1920 x 1080 panel and then upscales again with the e-shift device."


That is inaccurate. As established in JVC's literature on E-shift/MPC, and re-enforced by JVC's GaryB in talks with JVC's engineers, this year's E-shift 3 does not downscale 4K sources to 1080p. E-shift has always first upscaled 1080p sources to 4K, and used E-shift to create the 4K virtual pixel count, and mapped the new 4K/upscaled image to the new 4K pixels on screen.

For 1080p, of course this means you don't get any more actual image information/resolution than 1080p because there isn't any more to get.

What is different in this year's E-shift/MPC 3 is that, as mentioned in the review, the projectors can accept 4K sources as input. But contrary to what is implied by the above quote, 4K sources are not downscaled to 1080p. Rather, two separate 1080p resolution samples are taken for each 4K frame, each 1080p sample grabbing different picture information. Then those are flashed sequentially and shifted via E-shift to the on-screen 4K resolution. This results in doubling the effective picture information on screen for a 4K source, vs a 1080p source.

Essentially you move 1/2 between 1080p resolution and true 4K resolution - better than 1080p.

People who've reported testing the new JVCs with 4K sources vs the Sony true 4K projectors have described results as one might expect of this process: 4K looks decidedly sharper and higher res
on the new JVCs, though not quite reaching the clarity and resolution of the Sonys, where you get all the 4K content.

I think this is important, as the review implies that you would not see any actual resolution benefit for a 4K input, when that's not the case.

Cheers,

Rich
 

Rich H

Active Member
as you, I don`t use the new dynamic iris feature as I don`t see that I have any reason to in the dark room,
Hi Ideal AV: I'm curious about what you wrote there. When you say you don't see any reason to use the DI in a dark room, why is that? Because a dark room - and the darker the room! - is exactly when a DI should be most useful. It's in not-perfectly-dark rooms where it's usefulness would be compromised.

As I mentioned earlier, it's precisely because my room is so dark, surrounded in black velvet, that the DI (ILA) is proven so beneficial, because without it low APL scenes glow more obviously "gray" against the blackness of my room. The ILA closes more, (and adjusts gamma to retain detail), making black levels lower and more convincing in just those types of dark shots where you need the deepest black levels.

So, I'm just wondering about your reasoning there. Thanks.

I have yet to see an effective implementation of a DI anywhere, interesting how this 'auto 2' setting is producing such wonderful 'artificial' results. I must get a look at one.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "effective."

One reason that some reviewers and some AV enthusiasts have thought JVC should try a DI has to do with
it's already great native contrast. One school of thought was that a DI is exactly what JVC doesn't need, because it already has high native contrast and good black levels. But it's been pointed out, that is also precisely why JVC was in a position to implement a more effective, invisible DI than other manufacturers: because the DI would not have to work in nearly as extreme a range as a projector with poor native contrast. It's when you have a DI, and gamma, having to do really big ranges of change that "pumping" and artifacts tend to become most intrusive. JVC just has to lower the black floor a bit more to make it look really black, so you it's not working as hard and artifacts tend to be less frequent.
And that is exactly the route JVC says they have taken: when they brag about their ILA implementation, they emphasize that their native contrast levels allow for more subtle use of a DI.

(Not that there aren't more caveats involved, but that's the basic idea for why a DI on a JVC isn't automatically the bad idea some people presume).
 

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