Here are a few thoughts after a day with 3D on the RS40. My most important, overall impression of 3D on the RS40 is OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE, so keep that in mind as you read the following. JVC got it right, guys.
I have a 110" DaLite High Power 2.8 screen. The RS40 was mounted on a telescoping pole behind the seating position (51" high to lens center). Usually I sit about 12 feet away, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 feet off center to the left. This works fine for 3D, but I prefer being dead center. For much of the testing, I moved the seat to the center of the screen, about 8 feet away. (For me, 3D makes any screen seem smaller than it does with 2D.) With this temporary arrangement, I could put my hand up directly above my head just a few inches and create shadow puppets in the projection beam. The HP was providing close to maximum gain. 3D provides a very rewarding experience from either location, though at dead center it's brighter.
First, the easy part of this review: Emitter and Glasses
I plugged in the 3D emitter and placed it on top of the projector, aimed at the screen. It worked. No drama. It doesn't seem to interfere with the operation of my Niles whole house IR system, though the Niles IR indicator light glows slightly when the emitter is on. All other remotes seem to be functioning normally, and I noticed only once (for about a second) that another remote seemed to cause the JVC glasses to lose sync. I couldn't duplicate that, though, in the next few hours of watching. I held down my remotes' buttons longer than normal a few times - nothing.
JVC and Xpand Glasses:
I have both the Xpand 103 and the JVC glasses. Since the High Power screen maintains no polarization, both seem equally bright. I suppose it's possible that there is some measurable difference in color, brightness or contrast, but I can't see it with this setup. I switched back and forth quite a bit, and so far I haven't been able to tell one from the other. I'll do some more testing in the next couple of days with other content, but both seem to work equally well. I prefer the Xpands because they work with my Samsung 3D plasma, too, but I doubt I could pick which ones I was using with the RS40 if I didn't know beforehand.
Gamma, lamp power and aperture:
After some experimenting, I came back to the 3D default settings, except for gamma. I decided to use Gamma A instead of the default Gamma B. I like the colors better, even though Gamma B is brighter. (I'm sure that's why it's the default.) I left the aperture fully open and the lamp on high, the defaults. I'm sure if I were to use Gamma B, I could use low lamp or close down the iris a bit, giving some headroom as the lamp ages. I may end up having to do that. But by using Gamma A along with the other default settings, I get an image with a lot of depth and contrast, and good color accuracy, without significantly crushing blacks. At least, that's the way it seems at this point.
Sharpness and Detail Enhance:
Here's where it gets tricky. I used the default settings (except for gamma) with Avatar last night and it looked phenomenal. For Monsters vs Aliens, I wasn't so happy, and it had to do with the Sharpness and Detail Enhance settings. For 3D, Sharpness defaults to 30, Detail Enhance to 10. For real world content like Avatar and My Bloody Valentine, those settings look really good. I suspect that it may have to do with the fact that 3D reduces contrast on the RS40, and those controls restore some of the "punch" that gets lost. With Monsters vs Aliens, they cause noise (looks a lot like aliasing, or stair stepping) on fine diagonal lines. To get rid of it completely, I had to turn both settings down to near zero. For crisp animations like MvA, this isn't a serious problem, because it's easier to achieve great contrast anyway. I plan to check out this issue with other animated content in the next few days. I'll definitely use the defaults with most content, since they look spectacular.
For me, there is none. Some people are very susceptible to flicker and can see it where others do not. I watched 3D for a couple of hours before it dawned on me that I had not seen any flicker whatsoever. One of my greatest sources of anxiety early on about the JVC turns out to be a complete non-issue. I can see flicker on some content with Sony 96hz 3D LCDs, if I'm looking for it (although it's not serious). I can't see it AT ALL on the RS40. Nuff said.
3:2 Pulldown Judder (total absence of):
Because the JVCs use a 96hz 3D refresh rate (24x2 fps/eye - 96hz total), the new RS projectors have no 3:2 pulldown judder while in 3D mode. Very, very cool. They also have no frame interpolation in 3D mode (like the new Sony 3D projector), but I don't care for FI, so it's not a negative for me. The JVC (and my Samsung and Panasonic displays) all have FI in 2D, and I've never found it satisfying. For me there are artifacts, and I always end up turning it off. Those artifacts are similar with all 3 of my displays. My Samsung plasma uses a 120hz 3D mode, so it introduces 3:2 pulldown for all 3D content. The early Panasonic 3D plasma TVs had a 96hz 3D mode, but it was unusable (for me) because of severe flicker.
Contrast and Black Level:
My main frame of reference for this is my Samsung 3D plasma. The short story is that both contrast and black level are dramatically better on the RS40. Scenes that "flatten out" on the Samsung come to life on the JVC. Although I chose a Samsung 3D plasma over a Panasonic 3D plasma for a variety of reasons, low-light contrast and black level seemed better to me on the Panasonic. They are much, much better than that on the JVC. It's a whole new world in dark areas of the picture with the RS40 for both 2D and 3D content. The improvement is phenomenal.
This is a little more complicated than I was expecting. I've been saying that I would be happy if the RS40 showed no more ghosting than my Samsung plasma. As crunch time approached, I was having some doubts that I would be happy with the kind of ghosting I see on my Samsung, blown up to 110" by the RS40. I kept thinking about the scenes that bother me most in Monsters vs Aliens, namely the space scenes and the interiors of Galaxar's space ship. Some of those shots have very high contrast - a bright planet against the black of space, Galaxar's creamy white tentacles against the inky darkness of his ship. On the Samsung, those shots are very distracting. They pull me right out of the story. I started wondering how distracting they would be if blown up to almost 4x the size of my Samsung 63" plasma. Imagine my surprise when I saw NO ghosting on the RS40 during those scenes! Maybe, if I worked really hard, I could find it. Believe me, I won't.
My Samsung plasma shows moderate ghosting with the high contrast scenes I just referred to. It shows virtually zero ghosting in the Golden Gate Bridge battle scene between our heroine Susan and Galaxar's robot probe. Curiously, the RS40 ghosts similarly to the earliest Samsung LCDs in the battle scene. It's not as bad, but it's definitely there, and it's distracting. Fortunately, this type of ghosting is not nearly as frequent or noticeable as the dark/light overlapping of shots in outer space, or dark interiors. It's not as though they traded dark scene ghosting for bright scene ghosting. It's almost as though the JVC brand of ghosting is more one of contrasting colors - and mainly blue against orange/yellow/brown contrasting colors. And even then, not all colors and scenes ghost equally, and for the most part bright scenes are just fine. Maybe I'll call it blue sky/brown bridge ghosting, until I get a better handle on what seems to be happening. This ghosting seems to be worst with the right combination of bright scene color at the right contrast level.
Another 3D title that exhibits severe ghosting on my Samsung 3D plasma is My Bloody Valentine. It's a torture test that my Samsung fails badly. The RS40 breezes through it. I honestly can't recall a single instance. I remember checking out the full frontal nudity scene very carefully. Come to think of it, though, I wasn't really checking for ghosting there. I'll have to watch that again, just to be sure.
And then there's Grand Canyon Adventure. They had clips of this in the original Panasonic demo disc that played in stores everywhere. There's one shot, as the train leaves the station, which shows ghosting on every 3D TV I've seen. Look at the spokes of the train on the left side of the frame. It has severe ghosting - that is, unless I watch it on the RS40, which has zero ghosting. The opening scene of GCA has computer generated 3D water bubbles that fly around and come out of the screen. Those shots give my Samsung 3D fits - flying ghosts everywhere. Those same shots are ghost-free on the RS40. I remember reading over in the Sony 3D projector thread that people were accusing Grand Canyon for being a bad 3D disc. Ain't the disc, folks. It's the projector. Just ask Jason and Deja Vu. I'd wager those scenes don't ghost on the little Acer DLP projector, either.
And speaking of...
I'm very curious about the differences in ghosting you see between your RS40 and RS50. That is, I'd like to know if your experiences with ghosting mirror mine in any way - and specifically which scenes we might be able to compare for these issues. I'm going to be watching Despicable Me in the next couple of days, and I'd appreciate it if you could point out where you see ghosting (and especially if you can point out specifically how the RS40 and RS50 are different). You don't have Monsters vs Aliens, right? If you get it, look at the Golden Gate Bridge battle scene. The kind of ghosting I see with this RS40 is very obvious - orange cables against a blue sky. Meanwhile, could you give me the time markers for ghosting you see in Despicable Me?
Long story short: I'm floored by 3D on the RS40. JVC got it right, at the right price. My biggest problem right now is that it's going to be hard for me to watch my Samsung 3D plasma anymore. Beside the fact that it looks like a postage stamp in 3D, it's outdone by the JVC in so many other ways. Ironically, the price I paid for both was almost identical. Ridiculous.