JVC DLA-HD750 D-ILA Projector Color Me Accurate?

Color Me Accurate?

Color accuracy was the single biggest complaint made against JVC’s previous D-ILA projectors. THX and JVC get it. The Color-Management System (CMS) here allows adjustments for Brightness (luminance), Saturation, and Hue for all six primary and secondary colors. Using the CMS is complicated and requires precision instruments and the know-how to use them. If you don’t have both, you’ll do more harm than good.

Even with the right tools, it takes some work and involves some quirks. Color is far more complicated than any of us suspected just a couple of years ago. In some respects, accurate color points for the primary and secondary colors are just the beginning. The JVC review sample could be dialed in very close to the HD standard color points or to the correct color luminance values, but apparently not to both. The THX mode (Fig. 1) delivers a color gamut that is extraordinarily close to the HD standard color points but subjectively showed a yellowish cast that just didn’t look right with program material. The only potential clue as to why the THX mode’s gamut measured so well but didn’t look as good is that the color luminance values were down, somewhat in red and more in blue.

Contributor Kris Deering did the bulk of the calibration work here. Using the User 2 CMS memory, we had to drop the overall Color setting down dramatically (–30) to get the color points accurate (Fig. 2). Again, the key color luminance values were quite low, which resulted in a drab image that didn’t look nearly as good as its color points measured. The image I liked best was with the Color setting at its default 0 and the color points as close as we could make them in the CMS while still avoiding dramatic dips in the color luminance values. The red, blue, and magenta color points were on the money. While green and yellow were outside the target standards, they weren’t a mile off. The luminance values were very close to standard, and the color looked strikingly natural. The color points of the JVC DLA-HD100 reviewed in April 2008, for example, were off by a lot more in green and especially red, which affects fleshtones noticeably.

The CMS allows infinite variations for someone with test instruments and a lot of patience. This is only what we’ve discovered so far, and sample variation might make your destination different than ours. I’d have preferred the CMS to easily deliver accurate color points and luminance values because I’m wired that way. In reality, this JVC delivered subjective colors that were more natural than any digital projector I’ve yet seen with real-life reference objects like green grass, foliage, and fleshtones. Given more time and patience, it might get better still.