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JVC X700 (DLA-X700R) 3D D-ILA Projector Review

Wookii

Active Member
Interesting review guys.

I must admit I was hoping for some direct comparisons of picture quality between the X700 and the Sony model, and also the the lower X500 unit.

Do you have any plans to complete a shootout between the former two, and any comment now on the performance differences between the two JVC models?
 

HugoFJH

Active Member
" Very good 4k playback" - its not 4k but expanded 1080p. (in the same ilk as 720p / Full HD products no doubt)

some reviews are as bad as the misleading marketing (in the same ilk as 720p / Full HD products no doubt)

Credit where its due, the black levels and dynamic ranges are probably as good as JVC always make them and well done to them for that, but try and show a little impartiality
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
The actual quote was: very good 4K playback with eShift3. I point out numerous times throughout the review it is not a native 4K projector, hell even the by-line and pullouts show that to be the case. It does however accept a 4K signal to playback with eShift3.
I explain how eShift works in the review. Did you read the whole thing or just the pros and cons? I also point out how the JVC marketing does them no favours when it comes to eShift and look at the issues with a native Sony projector being very close in price.
I don't know how more unbiased or impartial I can be.
 

Wookii

Active Member
" Very good 4k playback" - its not 4k but expanded 1080p. (in the same ilk as 720p / Full HD products no doubt)

some reviews are as bad as the misleading marketing (in the same ilk as 720p / Full HD products no doubt)


I think you might want to try reading the article properly and making an attempt to understand the tech.

Whilst these JVC PJ's are not native 4K, and it is an annoyance that the JVC marketing department try and label them as such, they do accept, and display, 4K video which is precisely the point the comment you have quoted is referring to. This is completely different to upscaling, which is what you are referring to.
 

darinp2

Active Member
Phil,

Thanks for the review.

Can you provide an example of where you saw reduced shadow detail with Auto 2 along with at least an approximation of what manual iris position you were using at the time? I mention the manual iris position because this can affect the results and I am interested in seeing how the shadow detail was affected.

BTW: I thought this was a fair treatment of the DI. A reviewer looking for both the positives and negatives of a feature with content that is mostly to cause it problems, average content, as well as content where it is mostly likely to provide benefit, then reporting on any negatives or positives, is all that a lot of people are looking for.

Thanks,
Darin
 

eiren

Distinguished Member
Had to make the decision myself recently.. and while I've always had JVC projectors... I went for the Sony this time around purely around it being native 4K.

Movies not such a difference, but with PC gaming I can now game at native 4K (in most games).

Both were stunning projectors when I had a demo.
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Phil,
Can you provide an example of where you saw reduced shadow detail with Auto 2 along with at least an approximation of what manual iris position you were using at the time? I mention the manual iris position because this can affect the results and I am interested in seeing how the shadow detail was affected.
I used a lot of content and also experimented with as many settings as possible in terms of the manual iris with the auto settings. I was as thorough as I could be and the content that highlighted the shadow detail issues the most were Prometheus and Voldemort arriving at Hogwarts. Even wide open, shadow detail was lost in the same scenes tested, as well as with various manual settings using auto 1 and 2. As I say in the review for the majority of content there is no obvious issue, but there are also no obvious stand out benefits, to me anyway, after the testing done.
 

darinp2

Active Member
I was as thorough as I could be and the content that highlighted the shadow detail issues the most were Prometheus and Voldemort arriving at Hogwarts.
Thanks Phil. It will probably be a little while before I will get to do it, but I'll try to take a look at that Hogwarts scene at some point. Sounds like an interesting one.

Some more questions to understand the setup and environment as they relate to this. If you were to feed the projector a full black image and switch between Hide and not would you see a difference? If so, much of one? If you were to turn the projector off and leave everything else as it is during testing in the room would you be able to see the screen?

Thanks,
Darin
 

Cinelover111

Novice Member
I just ordered my Jvc x500 the 700 is just too rich for me at present.The whole 4k thing does not really bother me that much at present as there is not really any great choice in 4k movies etc.I think by the time it really catches on the 4k projectors will be available from most of the big manufacturers and they will be cheaper.It will be interesting to see Jvc's 4k input next year!!:)
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
If you were to feed the projector a full black image and switch between Hide and not would you see a difference? If so, much of one?
Yes, but not a great deal. I set for video levels.
If you were to turn the projector off and leave everything else as it is during testing in the room would you be able to see the screen?
Yes, I can faintly see the screen as it is white and as a dedicated projection screen it reflects what light there may be, however small. Also after a few seconds your eyes get used to the environment and it becomes more obvious, even in a bat cave like my room.
You are never going to get a complete lack of light even for black levels, as you are projecting onto a white (or grey surface), so even the best DI on the best possible projector is not going to improve that, imho.
 

darinp2

Active Member
Yes, but not a great deal. I set for video levels.

Yes, I can faintly see the screen as it is white and as a dedicated projection screen it reflects what light there may be, however small. Also after a few seconds your eyes get used to the environment and it becomes more obvious, even in a bat cave like my room.
You are never going to get a complete lack of light even for black levels, as you are projecting onto a white (or grey surface), so even the best DI on the best possible projector is not going to improve that, imho.
In my black theater room I can sit for a minute with the projector off and not be able to see the screen. I wonder if that along with having a slightly raised brightness may explain that loss of shadow detail and lack of seeing any real improvement with the DI, or whether I would also see loss of shadow detail in my room if I tested that scene (which I can't do at the moment). I really don't know.

I mentioned in a thread here before that one difficulty with a DI is that its purpose is really to lower the light for level 16 without lowering the light for other levels. I'm going to simplify a little bit, but if the projector is setup so that it is treating an input level of 16 as it would video level 18 with 16 set to put out the minimum amount of light, then the DI system may close the iris and raise that black floor up to try to get it to where it was previously. The reason being is that it isn't treating it as black.

I don't know what the JVC does there, but I think this could cause an issue where enabling the DI brings all of the negatives, but doesn't bring any positives. One way to check this would be to feed an all black image and switch between Manual and Auto 2. If the light on the screen doesn't change but the iris shuts down some, then I think a problem like this may be occuring.

Also, if there is light in the room that makes the screen visible when the projector is off this could throw off what a DI is trying to do somewhat also. For JVC's competitors this may not be much of a problem as long as there isn't a lot of other light, but JVC's on/off CR is high enough that it doesn't take much other light in the room to keep the system from actually getting the on/off CR that the JVCs are capable of. Then when a DI closes down an iris I think there could be some assumption in it that the projector is the only thing supplying light to the screen and can take advantage of how our eyes can adjust to different ranges. The other light can then throw this off and make it so that a projector that is providing more intra-image CR by use of a DI is actually providing less system intra-image CR due to the other room lighting.

I don't know if that is a problem with JVC's Auto 2 implementation and wouldn't be with the Planar implementation from what I know about it, but I think it would be with Sony's implementation and likely with JVC's Auto 1 (although I haven't checked it out enough).

Not sure if that made sense, but I'll try an example. It may or may not be even close to the conditions you have for testing.

I'll using something like I think Sony's system works. Let's assume that a projector is providing 10 ft-lamberts for white with 10k:1 on/off CR for about 0.001 ft-lamberts for black. I'll assume the room is adding 0.0005 ft-lamberts for black with the projector off, so system on/off CR is about 6700:1 system on/off CR.

Now I'll assume a dark image like a 5%/0% checkerboard on the 2nd edition of the Spears and Munsil disk. I'll assume the 5% blocks are about 1/700th as bright as white (due to gamma) and there is reasonable ANSI CR, so the intra-image there would be around 14:1 from the projector and about 9:1 from the screen (due to the extra room light).

That is without a DI enabled. Now if we enable a DI and this DI is one that for that image will dim the black 4x and adjust the gamma back 2x the 14:1 from the projector would get closer to 28:1. That is with the 5% rectangles about 1/1400th of the original white point, since they dimmed by 2x (from 4 divided by 2). Here the extra room light is going to hurt the image with the DI on more than with the DI off. With the DI off the room light is adding its 0.0005 to about 0.00025 instead of to 0.001. So that 28:1 from the projector becomes about 9:1 again.

Hopefully I did the math right there. If so, this is a case where just a little bit of room light meant that a DI that would increase the intra-image CR for that dark image from about 14:1 to 28:1 in a room without other lighting actually ended up with it staying about 9:1 off the screen. It would be no surprise if a person did not see any advantages from a DI in such a situation and only saw the negatives of a DI.

One thing these JVCs can do is show how much other light sources in a room matter. I think one good test is to show a full black image, then switch between blocking the projector and not. If there isn't much difference then the other room lighting is likely affecting the system on/off CR greatly. If there is a big visible difference then the room lighting likely isn't having much effect.

--Darin
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Darin,
I think the simple answer is that if you want to answer those questions for yourself, in your room etc. then I'm sure people would be interested in the results.
In terms of the review, the room used for testing is an oppressive place that many wouldn't want to have as their dedicated room, because it is blacked out with black panels on the walls, very dark walls, ceiling and floor (the video was shot with one litepanel at 20w and the lights out in that room, you can see the wall covering, just). I have it like this for reviewing/testing and it is not what the vast majority of projector owners would have. As I said in the review, it was easier to spot things that the DI was doing that were annoying/not good than being able to see any perceivable difference in black levels for the better. And I was being completely objective with the testing, if there was a benefit or even a difference to report, I would have. I can't really give you any more than that.
 

Batdog

Well-known Member
Must admit these new JVC's sound great. I'm not in the situation where I can upgrade very often, so have been soldering on with my trusty HD350 for 4 1/2 years now. In truth though I'm still pretty happy with it, having a batcave helps close the gap and adding a Darblet 18 months ago really helped my perception of sharpness and detail.

Two generations back with the introduction of eshift was the first time the upgrade bug hit. Over time I'd moved my seating back from 1x screen width, to 1.25, then settled on 1.33. I initially loved the 'IMAX' effect, but even with the high fill ratio of LCOS and 1080p resolution, sitting so close left the image feeling slightly digital. Moving to 1.25 made it seem 95% analogue, then the final move back left me feeling like I was watching film. I imagine eshift applied to 1080p would let me sit closer again.

Looking at the compound improvements say an X500 would bring to the table, we have 3D (not really bothered), useable CMD for video material, sharper, brighter, better motion, eshift, twice the native contrast, and finally the ILA. I can't help thinking that this would all add up to a huge improvement, but I hesitate to upgrade now as I imagine that despite accepting a 4k input, these probably won't take a 4k Blu-Ray input whenever that arrives, and maybe 4k machines will finally arrive from JVC this year?

These decisions are horrible, knowing that my upgrades arrive every 4-6 years for me I think now might be the wrong time, then again, going 4k will mean a new player, more expensive discs, a new receiver....it all just adds up. I also like the Darbee effect and would want their 4k version of that eventually too. A big part of me thinks I should just settle for maximising current Blu-Ray with one of these JVC's and put proper 4k out of my mind until the players hit £100 or so (took about 3 years for Blu-Ray).

Or maybe I should just rob a bank?
 
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JonStatt

Well-known Member
There is still a fundamental issue with 4K material that is not being made clear by reviewers. The JVC projector does not support HDCP 2.2 and does not have an HDMI 2.0 interface. It will not be compatible with most 4k material that has copy protection on it and certainly will not be compatible with Blu-ray 4K when the standard is finalised. Therefore I don't really see this as even a half-way step as the only 4K material it will work with will be primarily PC downloaded demo content
 

Rich H

Active Member
Nice review, Phil. The attention paid to the DI was more in line with what I'd expect, and appreciate, in a review of these models since that feature is pretty much the defining new addition (plus, perhaps 4K input capability) that became the talk of enthusiast forums like these.

And it's great to see the 4K input/ E-shift 3 tested with 4K sources. Thanks. (I don't know when I'll get the chance...or bother doing so...with my RS57).

I can certainly understand someone deciding to keep the Intelligent Lens Aperture off. I do see some artifacts - and I'm surprised you didn't mention flickering as one of the artifacts sometimes but as you point out in the review, it's a personal decision as to whether the trade-off seems worth it. And thus far it seems worth it for me, as I see a distinct advantage with the ILA, vs my RS55.

It would be nice if some reviewer, somewhere, would mention and test the new Clear Black feature. I know you, like many reviewers, seem to be in the "don't mess with the picture, leave off any processing" camp. Some reviewers even felt that way about E-shift and MPC settings, whereas most actual users on these forums have found some of the image processing features to be valuable assets. So it can fall to us enthusiast/owners to alert one another "hey..have you tried this feature? Looks great!" For a number of us, Clear Black has been a terrific addition, in terms of adding clarity and depth to the image (on "low").

Yes, but not a great deal. I set for video levels.

Yes, I can faintly see the screen as it is white and as a dedicated projection screen it reflects what light there may be, however small. Also after a few seconds your eyes get used to the environment and it becomes more obvious, even in a bat cave like my room.
You are never going to get a complete lack of light even for black levels, as you are projecting onto a white (or grey surface), so even the best DI on the best possible projector is not going to improve that, imho.
(my emphasis). I'm gonna disagree with Phil on that. Full fade to "blacks" left my screen obviously gray and glowing on my previous JVC RS55. In fact I got very use to just how much the "black" screen glowed because I often use the "hide" feature to keep an image off and get my eyes used to the dark. A quirky habit, but nonetheless, it always amazed me how much "blacks" still glowed "gray" even with the heralded JVC black levels.

I've found the RS57 to make a substantial difference with fades to black (and also with the "hide" button on). The first time I saw it happen I was wowed as I never experienced such a dark black (screen gone for quite a while) in my home theater.
I still sort of suck in my breath when it happens because it's just another league vs my RS55. And
this clearly lower black level when that happens has turned out to be more significant than I thought, as it
makes the sensation of the black levels overall seem more consistently solid and dark - in other words, the black levels are not "revealed" so much to be gray when the screen fades to black or goes to a really low APL image, they look more consistently deep and dark.

So I have found the DI to be a substantial improvement for fade to blacks.
 
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seegs108

Member
A very interesting review Phil. The most interesting thing for me is how many people are reporting better motion handling. I do have specific question about this. Are you referring to better motion resolution or better handling of pans or things like rolling of credits? I'm aware JVC has new DiLA panels this year and could be the root cause for better motion resolution. In your opinion, Phil, is motion now better on JVC's LCoS panels or does Sony still have the better subjective motion?

I have an X90 now. I was thinking about maybe upgrading to either the VW500ES or possibly an X700. I'm now of the opinion that I'd rather not deal with a dynamic iris to get a decent black level. I don't think the Sony can achieve that with the DI dis-engaged. I may wait until CEDIA instead and see if JVC announces a true 4K (or more likely UHD) projector for next year.
 
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Rich H

Active Member
I was intrigued by the mention of motion as well seegs. It was a bit of a throwaway line "And with a noticeable improvement in motion handling over previous generations,.."

But that is pretty significant if it's the case, since motion has been something of an issue with JVC projectors, some people buying Sony over JVC for better motion handling, and not a few JVC owners saying if they could improve something it would be the motion (e.g. less blur).

So I would like to hear more detail on that, how the impression of better motion on the X700 was arrived at.

For my part, I haven't any "objective" tests, but from the moment I started watching my RS57 I kept getting struck by what seemed to be smoother, cleaner motion. When I investigated it with some of my motion torture tests from 2001 Space Odyssey. Ships that either blurred or stuttered on my previous JVCs looked almost perfectly smooth in motion. There is on very distant shot of a shuttle flying over the moonscape. On my previous JVCs it had always been essentially a blurred blob in the distance. On the RS57 for the first time it looked less like a blob, and actually had some detail and definition (still blurring, but certainly more distinct).
 

Batdog

Well-known Member
You know what, as much as I can't afford to upgrade my HD350, I would love to watch one of these things in action just to see how things have evolved over a 5 year period......the number of times I've thought about making the journey to IdealAV, only to then put it out of my mind. Given that I'm still often astounded at what the HD350 can produce on screen, if I was to see one of these in action I know I'd be floored and start having irrational thoughts....like selling the house.....or the wife........
 

Rich H

Active Member
stuart, I guess some envy is unavoidable in some ways.

For instance, when I bought my (now two year old) JVC RS55 projector, I sold my older JVC RS20 (4 year old model now) to my friend. Whenever I go to his place to watch movies I'm still taken aback by how great that image looks. My friend is not a home theater hobbyiest, or perpetual upgrader, and is a natural cheap-skate. In fact he had stuck with a crappy low res business projector for many years, and then a cheap second hand 720p panasonic projector for many years, never thinking of upgrading. He only got the itch by coming to my house and seeing what else was possible in terms of image quality. Once he bought my RS20 the improvement over his Panasonic was so dramatic both he and I figured "well, that's that. You can't really ask for much better, so he's set for many years."

But when my pal learned I wanted to buy this year's JVC projector he immediately asked if I'd sell my RS55 to him. I was totally surprised that he, of all people, would care to buy it. But he'd been to my place enough times to have noticed the difference between it and his projector, so now he feels compelled to upgrade.

No one is safe. :D
 

Batdog

Well-known Member
Hmmm......interesting that he is so keen to upgrade from an RS20 to the X55. I've read numerous comments on these forums to the effect of 'it's surprising how much better the newer JVC's are than the older models'.

Specifically in terms of RS20 vs X55, what would you say are the main factors which make it noticeably better Rich? Off the top of my head, in terms of effects on 2D picture quality, I can think of:

Brighter
Better motion
CMD?
Btter colour accuracy
e-shift
Sharpness?

Which of these makes the real difference in your opinion, or is it impossible to break down the component parts?
 

Batdog

Well-known Member
Here's a question for anyone that has viewed both an eshift model like this, and a true 4k unit like the Sonys.

Now, I know with a true 4k source, the 4k unit is going to reproduce more detail, but in terms of feeding both units 2k, and leaving aside basic differences in quality between units (ie one model may have a better lens), there are 2 factors which interest me:

Fill factor. As I recall, the higher the resolution, the lower the fill factor of the image.....ie more pixels means more back lines around the pixels. I doubt this is an issue, but I'm sure I recall seeing a table highlighting how fill factor reduced as resolution increased (probably not an issue anyway with LCOS/SXRD machines). Any opinions?

Analogue nature of the image. So, I for instance moved my seating from 1x screen width, to 1.33, reason being that at 1x, whilst screen door isn't visible on LCOS machines, with a 1080p image you can still perceive that the image is made up of very small pixels. As an example, at that seating distance, diagonal lines or the curves in a person's face would be made up of very small, yet visible, stairstepping. Having seen eshifted images, it seems to make a huge difference in this respect, with much reduced stairstepping. Has anyone looked at this issue on both an eshift machine and a Sony 4k unit......for some reason I'm thinking the eshift, whilst containing no more detail, may smooth out a digital image into more of an analogue type image, better than just throwing more native pixels at it with a native 4k panel? Could be totally wrong on this though!
 

Member 518284

Distinguished Member
Stuart

you would be very welcome to do some testing here, it's a good point you have raised but one I feel could have a different outcome with different individuals
 

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