Originally Posted by R Harkness
I've never owned the Sharp Z20000K projector but it was one of my favorites and I've tested it out in several different environments (before I decided I can't deal with DLP rainbows and went to LCOS).
Seeing the Sharp on a Stewart Firehawk screen was the first true blow-away projection experience for me, when I realised projection could approach the vividness and richness of flat screens. The images from the Sharp remained as a benchmark for me, for years. For instance, I'd viewed the Star Wars AOTC DVD on the Sharp several times and was astounded as the contrast, particularly in the night city areal chase were the city lights and signs had amazing cut-through-the-darkness brilliance. I found it difficult to find other projectors that replicated what I saw on the Sharp, with it's combination of excellent black levels and high ANSI contrast, not to mention it's amazingly sharp optics.
As I viewed various generations of the JVC projectors, the RS1, then RS2, then RS20 (which I own - I haven't seen the current RS25 or RS35), I always felt the Sharp edged out those projectors in the ultimate "wow" factor, at least on some images. Some other folks have been surprised at how well the Sharp hangs with newer JVC projectors. So in that regard I'd temper your expectations somewhat if you think the JVCs will automatically produce a more satisfying image to you.
That said...my RS20 paired with my Stewart ST-130 Screen in my light controlled room is probably the first time I've got the same "Wow" factor as with the Sharp. When I first put the RS20 into action I put on those old stand-by images from Star Wars AOTC, almost tentatively, wondering if I might be disappointed. But I got a major Holy Cow factor - the image was stunningly vivid in it's contrast. If anything it struck me as actually better than what I remember from the Sharp on those scenes. So I was very, very happy. Sharpness has been fantastic as well, not leaving me wanting. But it also combines these really vivid qualities with what strikes me as a smoother, more film-like look than the Sharp. The Sharp always struck me as a bit more digital or video-like in comparison.
Another huge plus is the brightness. The Sharp was always somewhat lumens-challenged, generally requiring a smallish screen (or higher gain screen for larger images). The RS20 and the newer models can put out significantly more light when calibrated, which is really obvious. I have a 125" wide, 61" tall screen that the RS20 can fill pretty easily when I wish.
So some of whether you might like the JVC projector will have to do with how big your screen is. If you have a smallish screen that allows a vivid image from the Sharp and plan to stick with it, then the brightness advantage of the JVC may not come in to play as much, since you already have a bright enough image with the Sharp. But if you want a brighter or perhaps larger image, I think the JVC will provide a great deal of what you are getting from the Sharp at more flexible image sizes. (And, I'm sure the JVC does somewhat better black levels).