JVC DLA-X30 vs. DLA-X3

I have an existing home theater that is 19.5x12x8.5 feet. It has two rows of raised seating, one at 11 feet from the screen and the other at 15 feet. The screen is 108 inches diagonal, 16:9, with no gain. The distance from the screen to projector ceiling mount is just over 16 feet. The windows have black-out drapes, so the ambient light is totally controlled. The walls and ceiling are white except for the window wall on the left, which has the black drapes.

I need a new projector. I would like to have 1080p and 3D. I was impressed with HT's review of the JVC DLA-X3, and now I see JVC just came out with the DLA-X30. The X3 was $4500, but now the X30 is $3500, and the same store is selling the X3 for $2500. I am not clear on the improvements of the X30 over the X3 and would appreciate your opinion if they are worth the extra $1000. More importantly, will these projectors be right for my room and seating dimensions?

Steve Schmidt

First of all, I would strongly advise you to paint the walls and ceiling a dark, neutral color—preferably a dark, neutral gray that has no hue at all, which is technically known as Munsell gray. White walls and ceiling in a projection-based home theater can really wash out the image by reflecting light back onto the screen and into your eyes. This alone will improve the picture quality in your theater immensely, especially with a screen of unity gain—that is, a gain of 1.0, which is what I assume you mean by "no gain"). Such a screen reflects light in all directions equally, as opposed to a screen with a gain greater than 1, which reflects more of the light toward the middle of the room and less toward the sides.

As for the difference between the JVC DLA-X30 and X3, the X30 has lens memories, which let you save the zoom, focus, and lens-shift settings for different aspect ratios and call them up as needed for 16:9, 2.35:1, and other images without using an anamorphic lens. If you do have an anamorphic lens, the X30 provides the processing required to use it with 3D content. However, these features are only important if you have a 2.35:1 screen, which you don't. Other new features include 2D-to-3D conversion and brighter 3D images thanks to a new driver for the active-shutter glasses. Are these worth an extra $1000? Brighter 3D might be, since you have a unity-gain screen. Either model will work fine in your room, and even better if you darken the walls and ceiling.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

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COMMENTS
David Vaughn's picture
I would get the X30 because the newer models have improved brightness for both 3D and 2D according to owners over at AVS Forum.
raykkho's picture

In addition to lens memory, 2D to 3D conversion is added to the X30, and a LAN port at the back for firmware update via a connected computer (not internet at least for now), on the other hand the X30 lost the motor lens cover and instead get a plastic cover.

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