The Great JVC vs. Sony Projector Shootout - Dec. 9 and 10 - No price talk, please! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 729 Old 11-28-2017, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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JVC vs. Sony Shootout RS640 VW385 VW885 RS4500 Dec. 9 /10 - No price talk, please!

Hello all!

Thanks to the powers that be at AVS Forum, I have been given permission to write about and invite all of you to a special shootout between the Sony VPL-VW885ES, JVC DLA-RS4500, Sony VPL-VW385ES, and JVC DLA-RS640. All four projectors will be calibrated by special guest Gregg Loewen, Worldwide Video Calibration Instructor for THX.



Since there is so much interest in how well the JVC eShift5 4K projectors with their high native contrast compare to the Sony projectors with their higher resolution native 4K panels, we thought this would be an ideal time to test four of their finest projectors head to head. Thanks to a special accommodation from Sony, we will have on hand the new Sony VPL-VW885ES native 4K laser projector listed above, one of the first to be shipped here in the US! We will be comparing it to the JVC DLA-RS4500 native 4K laser projector currently hanging in our showroom. It also looks like a participant will also be bringing an Epson 6040 projector to the event on Saturday, December 9.

This shootout is open to the public, though seating is limited. This is not intended to be a sales event, but a fun, relaxed and informative afternoon where these excellent products can be compared in an informal environment. This means no price discussion beyond MSRP in this thread. Gregg will also be on hand both days of the event to answer questions and share calibration tips.

All projectors will be shot out side by side and individually on our 144" Stewart 2.35:1 StudioTek 130 reference masking screen. Some of the testing will be done "blind", where those viewing will not know which projector is being viewed at any given time. The shootout will be held in our residential showroom here in north Colorado Springs, as we have a dark room with total light control - essential for the critical evaluation of projectors. This does mean seating will be limited, so if interested in attending please let me know asap via PM.

In regard to the projectors themselves, it's worth noting that the Sony VPL-VW385ES at $7999 is essentially the same projector as the "4K for $5K" Sony VPL-VW285ES at $4999, only with the benefit of an automatic iris to bump up dynamic picture contrast. Native contrast on the VW285 and VW385 are the same, so we thought the VW385 was an ideal test candidate since it is essentially two projectors in one - one simply needs to turn off the automatic iris and the VW385 essentially becomes a VW285.

Similarly, the JVC DLA-RS640 ($7999) used during our test is practically the same unit as the JVC DLA-RS540 ($5999), only with hand-selected optics and DILA chips for the ultimate "tweaked" performance. However, as you can tell from checking the specs on JVCs site, the RS640 and RS540 have almost identical specs and feature sets. Much like the Sony VW385 served as a stand in for the VW285, the RS640 serves as a stand in for the RS540.

We will be shooting out the projectors with a variety of 4K / HDR content, plus some standard 1080P Blu-ray thrown in as well.

__________________________________________________ ______


For those wishing to jump ahead in this thread to my summation of the results (plus some related commentary), here are the links:


Initial summary:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-dig...l#post55389114

Follow-up discussion as to how visible the extra detail in 4K actually is, with screencaps that demonstrate how important contrast, color, brightness and resolution are in regard to picture quality:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-dig...l#post55669646

More pics, this time "up close and personal" to show the visible differences between native 4K, "faux K," and 1080P using screencaps from native 4K footage:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-dig...l#post55685100

Thoughts on the current state of HDR and projectors:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-dig...l#post55680020

____________________________________


Again, because we are holding the event in my residence, the environment will be ideal but seating will be limited. If interested in attending. please let me know as soon as possible via PM and I will reserve you a spot.

Projector Shootout

Location: North Colorado Springs, CO 80921 (PM for address)

Dates and times: December 9 and December 10, 1 - 6 pm each day

Projectors to be compared:

Sony VPL-VW385ES
JVC DLA-RS640
Sony VPL-VW885ES
JVC DLA-RS4500

Hope to see you there, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!

John Schuermann
The Screening Room Home Theater Sales and Design
JS Music and Sound Film Scoring and Sound Design

Last edited by John Schuermann; 02-26-2018 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Clarify title
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post #2 of 729 Old 11-28-2017, 03:24 PM
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John,

I can't wait to read the report. A few things that I am interested in that might be out of the ordinary. Christmas is coming so I can wish .
1.) Db level of fan in low and high modes
2.) Display lag. I believe both are quoted mid 30 milliseconds
3.) Actual perceived sharpness on screen with the 4k Sony panel vs the 1080P JVC panel with and without e-shift

One note is that the Sony 285 does not have lens memory but the 385 does.

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post #3 of 729 Old 11-28-2017, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by farsider3000 View Post
John,

I can't wait to read the report. A few things that I am interested in that might be out of the ordinary. Christmas is coming so I can wish .
1.) Db level of fan in low and high modes
2.) Display lag. I believe both are quoted mid 30 milliseconds
3.) Actual perceived sharpness on screen with the 4k Sony panel vs the 1080P JVC panel with and without e-shift

One note is that the Sony 285 does not have lens memory but the 385 does.
As mentioned in the other thread, no problem on 1 and 3.

Correct on the lens memory, of course. From a picture quality standpoint, though, once the iris is turned off the 385 and 285 should be the same

Also, I will encourage all who attend to post their thoughts in this thread.

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post #4 of 729 Old 11-29-2017, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Based upon questions and thoughts about the shootout posted in the various JVC and Sony threads:

From a SMPTE study years back, it was found that the most important determiners of picture quality are:

Brightness
Contrast
Color
Resolution

In that order in terms of importance. The argument for brightness, color and contrast is that you can see their benefits from anywhere in a room, where differences in resolution are apparent only from relative viewing distances.

Back in 2007 we did a shootout between the Screenplay 4805, a 480P DLP projector (anyone remember that?) and a Sanyo PLV-Z2 (a 720P LCD projector - anyone remember that either?). We had over 60 people in the room - unanimously they picked the 480P DLP as having the superior picture. The reason? Far superior contrast. The Sanyo LCD just looked flat and soft compared to the higher contrast DLP.

So, higher resolution does not necessarily equal better picture quality. In the case of this shootout, both projectors are high contrast, but the JVC has considerably higher native contrast. It also has a wider color gamut and greater brightness. On the other hand, the Sony is reputed to have better ANSI contrast and of course has a true 4K imager, so greater native resolution.

None of this is meant to disparage either of the projectors we are shooting out, just to illustrate why we feel it absolutely worthwhile to compare the two pieces. Plus we get Sony vs. JVC questions all the time

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post #5 of 729 Old 11-29-2017, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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RE: calibrating projectors using tweaks suggested on this forum. I discussed this with both Gregg Loewen of THX and Kris Deering, and both feel that it makes sense to test both projectors with their default yet calibrated HDR implementations. This is how about 99% of the world will experience them (assuming they have them calibrated) and it also keeps both manufacturers honest, in a way. Both are forced to work with what they were "born with"

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post #6 of 729 Old 11-29-2017, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
RE: calibrating projectors using tweaks suggested on this forum. I discussed this with both Gregg Loewen of THX and Kris Deering, and both feel that it makes sense to test both projectors with their default yet calibrated HDR implementations. This is how about 99% of the world will experience them (assuming they have them calibrated) and it also keeps both manufacturers honest, in a way. Both are forced to work with what they were "born with"
That’s a shame as I would think a calibrator would want to bring out the very best of a unit regardless. Keeping a vendor honest would be communicating their expertise and sharing how they could and should be improving their product.
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post #7 of 729 Old 11-29-2017, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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That’s a shame as I would think a calibrator would want to bring out the very best of a unit regardless. Keeping a vendor honest would be communicating their expertise and sharing how they could and should be improving their product.
Understood, but I think the fact that we are doing a shootout that we hope to be as valuable as possible to the greatest amount of people also needs to be factored in.

If there is time, we may play with some tweaks, but I just don't want to guarantee it.

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Understood, but I think the fact that we are doing a shootout that we hope to be as valuable as possible to the greatest amount of people also needs to be factored in.

If there is time, we may play with some tweaks, but I just don't want to guarantee it.
Fingers crossed and I am excited to read about the shootout regardless! If someone was building or tuning a PC or tuning a car it would just seem to be a sense of pride for engineers to bring the very best out. Just a bit disappointed to hear there is the potential for some insider knowledge and tools being left on the table.

Become a THX Certified Professional and learn how to design and install the ultimate home theater experiences. Register for our hands-on Home Theater and Video Calibration workshops and level-up your audio visual talents with specialized insider-knowledge, tools and techniques to implement the latest technology, choose the right electronics, and more. Use the THX Professional Portal to navigate study guides, course exams, and exclusive certification resources.
http://www.thx.com/av-training/

Looking forward to the shootout.
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post #9 of 729 Old 11-30-2017, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Glad to hear it! As mentioned, I am going to leave the calibrating up to Gregg and the latest info he has. If we have time, then we'll play a little

Looks like there's a good chance the VPL-VW885ES will be here in time for the shootout. Will keep everyone posted.

Also, looks like an attendee will be bringing an Epson 6040 to throw into the mix. I don't think we'll have time to calibrate it, but it'll be good to have it on hand.
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post #10 of 729 Old 12-01-2017, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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CONFIRMED!!! Sony has expedited shipping us a VPL-VW885ES projector just for this event - we should have it middle of next week, in plenty of time for the shootout! Initial post modified.

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post #11 of 729 Old 12-03-2017, 07:20 PM
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This is going to be fun !!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by john schuermann View Post
based upon questions and thoughts about the shootout posted in the various jvc and sony threads:

From a smpte study years back, it was found that the most important determiners of picture quality are:

Brightness
contrast
color
resolution
#5 : Motion
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I would also like to see general image stability compared. Lots of folks have mentioned over the years that Sony has a more calm and stable image vs the JVCs and I'd love to see some comments on this from the shootout as I'm considering switching from my X790 to a 385 for this very reason.
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#5 : Motion
Beast, have you been able to find a link to the study online? It used to be part of my projection presentations back in the 2000s but I haven't been able to find references to it since...

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post #15 of 729 Old 12-04-2017, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I would also like to see general image stability compared. Lots of folks have mentioned over the years that Sony has a more calm and stable image vs the JVCs and I'd love to see some comments on this from the shootout as I'm considering switching from my X790 to a 385 for this very reason.
Can you share a little about how this might manifest itself? I've had a parade of Sonys and JVCs through here over the years and not sure if I have seen what you are referring to. Then again, not sure if we are on the same page - would help if you can clarify.

I am hoping that the attendees will share their impressions here so there will be a variety of opinions / thoughts

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When doing the blind portion of the shootout, will it be with video in motion or freeze frame of pictures? I think it would be most interesting if done in motion, since that is how a projector is used.
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Can you share a little about how this might manifest itself? I've had a parade of Sonys and JVCs through here over the years and not sure if I have seen what you are referring to. Then again, not sure if we are on the same page - would help if you can clarify.

I am hoping that the attendees will share their impressions here so there will be a variety of opinions / thoughts
It's a subtle, but noticeable (to me at least) non even tempo pulsating type quality to the image. It's most easily seen in something brighter or mid level apl where you have a fixed non panning camera scene so it has time to happen. For example, I watched Wind River the other night where you could see the issue pretty frequently due to all the snow scenes in this film. Animated films are a good example as well and of course you can pause a scene to easier see it.

Can also be seen on the internal test patterns in the JVC service menu which eliminates the possibility of a source issue. As my girlfriend described the effect when I brought the 790 over to her house to test (just to take any possible room/equipment issue out of the equation from my HT/house), it looks like a more subtle version of the older Charlie Chaplin films.

I've seen similar behavior on my other JVCs over the years but to a more subtle and less frequent degree which I didn't consider objectionable enough to seriously consider another brand.

I'm hoping to make it down to the shootout this weekend though and would love to see an A/B between the 385 and 620 with a 100 IRE pattern which would be telling to any differences between the two models as far as this goes if possible and time permitting (no worries if you can't squeeze it in!).

Last edited by Toe; 12-04-2017 at 10:26 AM.
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When doing the blind portion of the shootout, will it be with video in motion or freeze frame of pictures? I think it would be most interesting if done in motion, since that is how a projector is used.
Both. We usually just let it play, then stop it on shots were real differences can be seen. We did that during our trial "run-through" with the 640 and 385.

Kind of like Roger Ebert's hosted film showings, where anyone in the audience could call out to freeze the film being shown to discuss a salient point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Can you share a little about how this might manifest itself? I've had a parade of Sonys and JVCs through here over the years and not sure if I have seen what you are referring to. Then again, not sure if we are on the same page - would help if you can clarify.

I am hoping that the attendees will share their impressions here so there will be a variety of opinions / thoughts
If you have the time when calibrating the projectors, just make sure that the MPC settings on the JVC's are turned way down. They are too hot out of the box, and that can result in a noisier picture. I spent several hours comparing my VW600 to my RS600 and found they can look nearly identical if the MPC settings aren't set too high.
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When doing the blind portion of the shootout, will it be with video in motion or freeze frame of pictures? I think it would be most interesting if done in motion, since that is how a projector is used.
Personally, I'd like to see both since evaluating paused frames will make it easier to judge the general image stability between the two (among other things) which is something definitely worth comparing and evaluating.
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If you have the time when calibrating the projectors, just make sure that the MPC settings on the JVC's are turned way down. They are too hot out of the box, and that can result in a noisier picture. I spent several hours comparing my VW600 to my RS600 and found they can look nearly identical if the MPC settings aren't set too high.
Totally agree here - we usually turn the MPC down or off. Since we have 5 hours each day, we hope to have time for experimentation (fingers crossed - depends on how unruly our crowd gets, since we usually have some adult beverages on hand ).
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Beast, have you been able to find a link to the study online? It used to be part of my projection presentations back in the 2000s but I haven't been able to find references to it since...
I have not unfortunately... I do however hope that you guys make sure to focus on panning and motion at least for a specific time period. I know with CMD on, low or high, that the JVC show almost a "Stuttering" that is extremely faint but you can see it if you look for it, and even hear the PJ just slightly when it happens. It's most prevalent on scrolling text like movie credits or the sportcenter scrolling bar. It's like the FI is cruising along fine, but then every 10-20 seconds it has to "Catch up" or something and the effect is a little less smooth. I've seen now on my last three JVC PJ's (4910/500/520).

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I have Chris from JVC stopping by today - I will see if he has any input.

I know I've asked for input from everyone, but I'm starting to worry we are prejudicing the shootout. I deliberately left out my comments from the 640 / 385ES shootout we already did. Of course, when we do the blind testing, we should be able to help mitigate the "expectation factor."

Expectations can really mess with people's perceptions. For example:

We had a HUGE projector shootout in 2006 at the Tech Center Marriott in Denver. Seven projectors, three manufacturer reps, and a room full of people (about 65, IIRC). DLP had the reputation in those days for causing "eye strain," even with 3 chip units, because some thought the mirrors flipping on and off created a discontinuity of image that they could perceive. We also had one of the first JVC DILA 1080P units, a coup at the time. JVC's reputation in those days was that it had a more relaxed, film-like picture.

We were using the new Screenplay 777 three chip DLP at that time for the main PowerPoint presentations. A couple of people in the audience said that it gave them eye strain, once they found out we were using the DLP for the PowerPoints. Then the JVC sales rep did his PowerPoint. Several people in the audience said "wow, my eyes feel more relaxed."

Here's the kicker - we were still using the Screenplay 777 to display the JVC Powerpoint! Amazing how people's perceptions changed, just based on suggestion.

Controlling for variables such as these is going to be difficult at this shootout, but we will do our best. Doing a portion of this blind will be a major factor in controlling for preconceptions.
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Could you get the Fan noise level from the projectors since you will be at elevation where you will need to run the projectors at High Altitude Mode?
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Could you get the Fan noise level from the projectors since you will be at elevation where you will need to run the projectors at High Altitude Mode?
I don't usually run them in high altitude mode, but we can sure turn try it either way.

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Been getting questions about schedules, etc. Current plan:

Identical "presentations" Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, 1 - 6 pm.

I'm sure we'll be starting off with some select clips of our own, and Gregg and I will do a quick presentation. After that, we'll probably open up to requests (as long as they don't get out of hand).

We can have four projectors running at the same time thanks to two 4 UHD Key Digital switchers we will have on hand. One is being loaned by JVC themselves, as they've verified it will pass all the data and metadata.

BTW, Saturday is starting to fill up (though not full yet). Sunday still has openings.

Thanks!

John Schuermann
The Screening Room Home Theater Sales and Design
JS Music and Sound Film Scoring and Sound Design
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post #27 of 729 Old 12-06-2017, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI all, according to tracking the Sony VPL-VW885ES will show up Thursday, in plenty of time for the shootout.

Sony VPL-VW385ES and JVC DLA-RS640 currently on and running so I can get them up to 50 hours on the lamp - necessary for Gregg to properly calibrate them.

So, confirmed for the shootout:

Sony VPL-VW885ES
JVC DLA-RS4500
Sony VPL-VW385ES
JVC DLA-RS640


Plus one of the attendees is offering to bring an Epson 6040 as well.

Please let me know via PM if you'd like to attend!

John Schuermann
The Screening Room Home Theater Sales and Design
JS Music and Sound Film Scoring and Sound Design
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post #28 of 729 Old 12-06-2017, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
FYI all, according to tracking the Sony VPL-VW885ES will show up Thursday, in plenty of time for the shootout.

Sony VPL-VW385ES and JVC DLA-RS640 currently on and running so I can get them up to 50 hours on the lamp - necessary for Gregg to properly calibrate them.

So, confirmed for the shootout:

Sony VPL-VW885ES
JVC DLA-RS4500
Sony VPL-VW385ES
JVC DLA-RS640


Plus one of the attendees is offering to bring an Epson 6040 as well.

Please let me know via PM if you'd like to attend!
Any chance you are willing to live stream or record the event for those of us who are not able to attend? We might not be able to see the same as being there but the commentary/observations being discussed would be interesting.

Knight.
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post #29 of 729 Old 12-06-2017, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knightdriver View Post
Any chance you are willing to live stream or record the event for those of us who are not able to attend? We might not be able to see the same as being there but the commentary/observations being discussed would be interesting.

Knight.
Not planning on live streaming or recording it - for a couple of reasons:

Room will be pitch black most of the time

Possible copyright issues with the film clips we will be showing

However, everyone attending will be encouraged to post in the actual shootout thread

John Schuermann
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JS Music and Sound Film Scoring and Sound Design
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post #30 of 729 Old 12-06-2017, 12:49 PM
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Could you get the Fan noise level from the projectors since you will be at elevation where you will need to run the projectors at High Altitude Mode?
As long as they can make sure the exhaust from one projector isn't being sucked into the air intake of another projector, which will ramp up the fan and the noise levels. If all projectors are spread out, no problem. If they are all stacked together, potential problem and skewed results.
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