Here's a brief review of the new JVC DLA-RS45U or DLA-X30BU. These are same projectors sold through different JVC retail channels.
For the most part, this projector seems largely unchanged from last year's model. Here are some numbers from my work on the unit.
I quickly determined that the RS45 was just like last year's model in that the Cinema Mode-Standard Color Space provided the most accurate colorimetry. All measurements were taken in this mode.Lumens and contrast
The contrast you would expect under ordinary conditions is 17,660. You can get higher contrast simply by using the High lamp mode, but that derives from a larger peak white value rather than a lower black level. The 52,000:1 figure from the iris fully closed position is an estimate only. The actual value is somewhat higher. From the closest available distance I was not able to get my probe to read anything for black. In any case, this very high figure is achieved only by reducing the light output by nearly half, so most users will use the iris sparingly.Grayscale
As you can see, the 6500K preset is somewhat bluish, suggesting that a setting of 6000K would be more neutral.
After using the built-in custom grayscale and gamma controls, I was able to get the grayscale to below 2 dE from 10-100%. However, even after using the custom grayscale controls, the 10% value was still far too bluish. I was able to resolve this by adjusting the RGB gamma values at 10%. This is a nifty feature that, in essence, provides a multi-point grayscale control for correction at individual points.Colorimetry
Except for the luminance of blue, which considerably too low, the colorimetry of the RS45 in Cinema/Standard was excellent. This is good because the RS45 offers no CMS. With the addition of an external processor, such as a DVDO Duo or Lumagen Radiance, you could get perfect colorimetry at a price that is still lower than the RS55. In fact, the RS45 is a perfect candidate for these external processors that can visibly and measurably improve performance.Gamma
When initially measured, the gamma seemed lower than the 2.2 preset would indicate. However, after changing the gamma value and then going back it measured a nearly perfect 2.2, suggesting that the built-in gamma tables need to be activated by this simple measure to get the best performance. Alternatively, this was just a glitch in this one unit.Convergence
The convergence of the unit I looked at was very good. I made only one small adjustment to the blue vertical pixels in the provided Pixel Adjust feature.Subjective Impressions
I spent some time viewing some program material and what I saw was typical of a well-calibrated JVC projector--excellent depth and dynamic range with good sharpness and color accuracy. If I have any complaint it is only that the RS45 seems little changed from last year's already excellent model.Comparisons
People will no doubt be interested in a comparison between the JVC RS45, Epson 5010, and the Sony VPL-VWPRO1 whose street prices are all at or slightly below the $3,000 point. From my limited exposure to the Sony it was my least favorite of the three based solely on the quality of the optics, which did not seem to resolve inter-pixel detail as well as the other two. Choosing between the JVC and Epson is a little more difficult. Both offer excellent installation flexibility with wide zooms and lens shift. Both provide excellent RGB convergence after making minor adjustments with the provided tools. Both offer a wealth of calibration controls and possess excellent colorimetry, grayscale, and gamma with only minor adjustments.
The JVC's image was somewhat more refined with better depth and a lower black floor. On the other hand, the Epson provided a punchier image, which I attribute solely to its greater light output. Other than that, there was little to choose between them. If you need the higher light output, go with the Epson. If your priorities are with contrast and the silky smooth quality of a LCoS engine go with the JVC. I doubt that many would be disappointed with either.