JVC DLA-HD950 D-ILA Projector HT Labs Measures
Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 12,454:1
All of the measurements were taken with the projector in the THX Picture mode, calibrated and adjusted for the most accurate image. For the above contrast ratio reading, the Lamp Power was in Normal, and the Lens Aperture (iris) was set to –10. The screen was a 78-inch-wide, Stewart Filmscreen Studiotek 130 with a gain of 1.3.
The full-on/full-off contrast ratio above isn’t the best we’ve seen from a JVC. However, it’s still one of the best we have measured from any projector. At these measured black levels, tiny QC variations in the optical path can move the measured results the ten-thousandths of a foot-lambert we’re talking about. This fact may justify the extra cost of JVC’s supposedly hand-selected DLA-HD990 D-ILA projector, which we have not tested.
With the iris set at –6, the peak white level was 19.63 ft-L, the black level was 0.0017 ft-L, and the full-on/full-off contrast ratio was 11,759:1. With the iris set at 0, the peak output was 23.34 ft-L, which increased to 32.7 ft-L with the Lamp Power on High.
The post-calibration color, as shown in the Color Tracking and CIE charts (both for the THX picture mode), is nearly beyond criticism and very close to the Rec. 709 color standard. But it required a rather convoluted calibration procedure to get there, since there are no user gray-scale adjustments in the THX mode. What should a calibrator do? First, select any other picture mode, such as Natural (which one you choose isn’t important, as long as it’s not THX). Set that mode to a 6500K color temperature. Then, enter the service menu, which offers gain controls (but not Offset) for all the fixed color temperature options (5800K, 6500K, 7500K, and 9300K). After you adjust the gains, you’ll need to drop out of the service menu and select the Color Temp adjustments for 6500K in the main menu. This offers offset controls, but not gain. Set the offset there. Then, go back and forth between the two menus until you’re satisfied with the result. Once you’ve done that, the calibrated 6500K will apply across all Picture modes for which 6500K is selected. 6500K is the color temperature that’s fixed for the THX mode, so the THX mode will also be calibrated as well!
If this procedure sounds convoluted, it is. It works, but we’d like to see JVC offer convenient gray-scale adjustments for the THX mode, even if they’re in the service menu.
I used the THX mode for this review because its fixed color gamut (see the CIE chart above) is the most accurate. The projector’s color management system (CMS, which is available in the other modes, but not the THX mode’s main menu) offers a wide range of color gamut adjustments. Like all full-featured CMS systems this one is most effective when used with advanced calibration software. In our sample, the THX mode’s color gamut out of the box was so close to spec that the need to engage the CMS was obviated.—TJN