Thanks. Here is my take on this. I think JVC should really consider these two options very carefully.
1) Clever JVC
: they provide a f/w update for all their clients owning a 2015+ model solving EVERYTHING that can be solved by f/w (ST2084 curve, HDR bright/HDR color, DI enabled in HDR, etc). All this can ALREADY be done on these models with third party software/not so expensive bit of hardware. No one in their right mind is going to upgrade just for these "features", which are simply fixes for stuff that was broken or not enabled for no good reasons. They won't lose any customers doing this. Those who want to upgrade because they want the low lag in game mode or care about the CMD fix, or because they like the new e-shift-5, will still do. But what they will achieve doing this is REWARD their EXISTING customers. Many of these not only buy PJs, they also advise their friends to do so. Then next year, they release a NEW range with laser. Almost everyone will upgrade to these, because that will be a real upgrade, especially if the resale value of their existing model has not plummeted, thanks to the f/w fix. And they won't be afraid to do so with a first gen chassis because they will think that JVC will support their products, and will fix what needs to be fixed. Otherwise some will wait to see what the bugs are, and won't buy until the bugs that matter are fixed.
2) Dumb JVC
: they don't provide the f/w mentioned above for existing models, they keep alienating their customers who won't upgrade anyway as they can see there is no significant upgrade (unless they are gamers or care about CMD). They don't release a PROPER upgrade next year, which is either laser or native 4K, and don't stop the exodus that is going to start this year with many flocking to the appeal of "native 4K" vs "better on/off". This will especially be the case if the new lens on the new Sony model resolve closer to 4K on the screen. I can see where that would end (and I don't hope it will).
My take is that what's new on the Sony side of the street isn't new technology but a dramatic cut in prices (MSRP in EU and street price in the US, let's forget about the SURE price travesty). This is what's going to hurt JVC hard this year, and I hope they will be ready for laser under 10K next year (I doubt 4K under 10K with enough on/off will happen next year, or even in 2 years).
So if you're talking to JVC and if they listen, I would tell them to show good will, treat their existing customer with respect, invest a bit of time in getting these f/w out, and put this laser model on the fast track. If they release another eshift model with bulb without a laser at least as the flagship, I think they'll regret it. There are not enough people understanding the difference between the two technologies to resist the appeal of "native 4K" with just e-shift. A couple of years will be too late. It's next year or they'll be in real trouble, especially if Sony keeps undercutting them on price with "native 4K".
Just to give an example of what I call good product support: I've bought an X7200WA 18 months ago (once it had the HDMI 2.0a fitted in factory, some bought the X7200W a few months earlier because it had an upgrade path to HDMI 2.0a). In 18 months dozens of minor bugs have been fixed, they provided DTS:X support, they provided a layout compatible with all three immersive audio formats, they fixed a bug that prevented playing a track with any upmixer, and a few months before its end of (shelf) life next Spring, three years later, they are going to offer a f/w enabling Dolby Vision pass through. I don't care about DV support personally because I plan to sell my X7200WA immediately afterward, but it will really help its resale value. Which means it makes it easier for me to sell it and buy a new model. This is clever customer support. I will buy the replacement without any hesitation (provided it has HDMI 2.1 out of the box or a full hardware upgrade path to it). I know, when I buy it, that anything that does work on it will be fixed (if technically possible) up until the very end of life of the unit. That gives me three years of peace, knowing I'll be able to get the best technology. Okay, they only do this for so long on the flagship, but to me it's worth the price difference with the lower model, which will only be supported for a year. D&M don't have the same customer support as Lumagen or HD Fury, who are very close to their users, keep implementing new features based on user feedback, fix things even years after the end of life of a product. They can do that because they are smaller. But as a main CE manufacturer, D&M got this right. I didn't feel stupid over the 3 years for having bought the flagship. I felt like it was kept up to date, as much as technically possible, and I didn't feel like more recent and cheaper models had superseded it.
JVC would be inspired to change the way they treat their customers, especially regarding the midrange and flagship models. They should support these much better, even if that means hiring a couple more people in their projector software team (I know it's a very small team, they are probably stretched, I'm certainly not blaming them but that shouldn't be the problem of the customer).
These products are expensive toys. They are not throw away gadgets (at least not to me). I think expecting support over the life of the warranty cover (which happens to be the amount of time between upgrades for me anyway) is not unreasonable. So I would expect 3 years of proper support, and I'd like to see what can be fixed with a f/w update to be fixed over that period of time. It's a win-win if JVC sees this as an investment in customer satisfaction/loyalty, rather than simply as an expense.
I strongly believe that JVC would sell MORE, not LESS if they did this, but I have little hope to see this happen.
Yes, that already happened a while ago (I forgot for which part of the f/w and on which models, but I think it was HDMI related). In the UK, dealers were allowed to do the upgrade because they had the special kit used to update that specific chip. In the U.S. it was a return to base. Looks like the same issue. I agree they need to move to IP/USB update, but I'm not sure it would solve it in this specific case, as they need to update the f/w of a specific chipset/board, rather than the main/sub f/w of the PJ itself, so it's a different (internal) connection.