Test Report: JVC DLA-X7 3D D-ILA Projector Page 3

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PERFORMANCE

If you’ve become used to the inferior contrast ratio of most TVs and projectors, looking at the image created by the X7 will ruin all other displays for you forever. It really is that good. There’s a decided “pop” to the picture: Blacks look incredibly dark and deep and are simultaneously matched with bright, punchy whites. There’s also a depth to the image that other displays just can’t match — and that’s without the 3D turned on.

Although JVC’s D-ILA projectors have traditionally been good at contrast ratio, their colors haven’t always been terribly accurate. Not so with the X7. Skin tones, shades of red in lips, green grass, blue sky — all were wonderfully realistic.

The projector’s HQV Reon-VX video processing does an excellent job. There were minimal jaggies with both 480i and 1080i patterns, and on some tests, like the HD rotating bar on the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray, performance was among the best I’ve seen.

The overall amount of detail the JVC delivers is astonishing. With such contrast ratio depths to play with, lines and transitions — the foundations of detail — are much more apparent. Streaming Farscape on Netflix via an AppleTV, I never saw the show look better. Even the AppleTV’s mediocre 720p scaling was forgotten as textures in costumes and detail in the prosthetics popped out like the show was shot in HD. (It wasn’t.)

With actual HD, performance was even better. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is just about as much fun as I’ve had watching a movie in a long time. It’s also a great-looking Blu-ray. The DLA-X7 reproduced all the radiant colors in the special effects shots, along with the contrast between the snow and dark skies.

It was with Avatar, though, that I really got it. Not just how great this projector is, but the whole idea of watching 3D at home. Here was a reasonably bright, but also huge, 3D image. It looked better than when I saw it in the theater (this admittedly isn’t much of a compliment), giving me a whole new appreciation for what Genius Jim did with the movie. So many little things have depth — realistic depth — like reflections in glass or layers in a cockpit. The X7 reproduced all of these wonderfully, with no visible crosstalk. There was occasionally some jerkiness to the motion, but I’ve found this to be the case with most 3D I’ve watched.

One final word on 3D: Though there’s no indication it’s doing it, the projector automatically adjusts when it senses 3D in the THX mode to compensate for the roughly 1,200-kelvin tint of the 3D glasses. I found the separate, non-THX 3D mode to be a little easier to watch, as it had a bit more punch. It did, however, look slightly less accurate.

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