JVC DLA-X30 3D LCOS Projector HT Labs Measures

HT Labs Measures

Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 45,100:1

All of the measurements were taken with the projector in the User 1 preset with the lamp in Low mode. The gamma correction preset was selected as Standard. All of the calibration was done with the lens aperture at 0, but the contrast ratio measurements were done in a variety of different modes for the iris, as noted. The lamp had 10 hours on it during the calibration. All viewing and measurements were done on a 120-inch (diagonal) Stewart StudioTek 130 screen (1.3 gain).

The full on/off contrast was measured with a Minolta T-10 meter 9 inches away from the lens face. I tested various configurations in both Normal and ECO lamp mode with the iris in its Normal and Off mode.

The DLA-X30 achieved its highest contrast ratios with the lens aperture (iris) in the closed position, but this may not provide enough brightness for the end user, depending on viewing conditions or the size of the screen. All of the measurements were done at mid-throw, so contrast levels will vary depending on the distance of the projector to the screen. Because the DLA-X30 uses a manual iris, you can dial in the overall brightness you desire using the lens aperture. Because the lowest contrast measurement I obtained was over 20,000:1, onscreen black levels should be exceptional regardless of what you end up using.

The RGB tables were captured from our calibration workflow in CalMAN Version 4.5. As you can see from the results, with the projector in the 6500 preset for color temperature, the out-of-box RGB tracking was only slightly off, with an overall Delta E average of 3. (Delta E is a figure of merit that indicates how closely the result is to the ideal white point of D65. Below 3 is generally considered visibly indistinguishable from a perfect result.) Using the RGB adjustment settings in the User 1 setting, I was able to get the RGB balance much lower, with an average Delta E of 0.7, which is excellent.

With the color preset set to Standard in the user menus, the color gamut was close to the BT.709 (Rec. 709) HD color gamut but exhibited some hue errors from most of the secondaries and some oversaturation from most of the colors. Because the DLA-X30 does not have a CMS, I tried to dial in the colors a bit using the projector’s color control and measuring the luminance values of red. This method is employed by some THX calibrators and has done a good job with other displays I’ve calibrated. I was still not able to dial in a perfect color gamut, but I managed to get an overall Delta E of 2.9, with only the Red and Blue primaries exceeding a Delta E of 3.

Gamma tracking with the preset gamma setting to Normal averaged a 2.27 gamma curve. (There is no reference gamma curve because gamma is a function of the brightness of white at each IRE compared to 100 IRE, and the appropriate gamma curve depends on the room you’re viewing in and the contrast capabilities of your projector). –KRD

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micho09's picture

In your HT Labs Measures of the JVC DLA X30 what was the
the minimun Black level luminance in ft-L.?

Kris Deering's picture
Good question. We did not provide a black level luminance value for this review because we are in the midst of some change in how we report contrast. As the black floor of projectors continues to fall, we have been evaluating the best way to give the readers the most accurate and valuable information possible. Computing the black level luminance is not a cut and dry approach. Measurements are taken at the lens to give you the most light possible for the measurements. This is due to the limitations in low light level handling by the meters. From there you can compute the black floor luminance at the screen with simple math but that only accounts for my specific room/screen/throw/setup conditions. Even the contrast numbers can vary considerably based on setup conditions, calibration, and equipment. We are trying to nail down how we want to approach this going forward and we've had some great discussions on it. Keep an eye out for changes in the HT Labs section coming soon.
micho09's picture

Thanks Kris for your response, I will check later your chances in HT Labs section, and thanks for this great review!
Last question: You think what the black levels of this JVC dla x30 (properly calibrated in a bat cave, totally black walls, ceiling and dark carpet and without windows) will rival the black levels of hdtv's like the Sharp elite or Pioneer Kuro?

Kris Deering's picture
Great question, but really hard to answer. The Kuro is an outstanding plasma (I haven't had the chance to spend any significant time with the Sharp to weigh in on it) but perception of black will be handled quite differently between the Kuro and a projector. First off, the Kuro is a much smaller display. Most people using a front projection system have a much larger screen to fill up. Because of the smaller display the Kuro will be much brighter at any one time. Also, plasma technology lends to a nearly infinite ANSI contrast ratio that no front projection system can match. This will make images seem a bit more contrasty. Overall black floor levels will probably be pretty close in black outs though. I doubt you would see a huge difference, if even a subtle one. But a smaller and brighter image will probably look better to most people in terms of definition, detail and intra-scene contrast. The JVC throws a wonderful image with some of the best blacks I've seen in a front projection setup though, so I doubt you'd be disappointed in it even if you're coming from a Kuro.
micho09's picture

Thanks Kris for your advice and response!!!

Kris Deering's picture
Glad I could help!
randonlargent's picture


Great information. It sounds like this is now the way to go.

What about ambient light? I'm watch a lot of movies, but I also like to watch sports. Could daytime viewing be an issue? Many reviewers tout the Epson 5010 because of the brightness. What do you think?

For this projector, what screen would you suggest in the under $2K range? And what about $2-$3,500 range?

Finally, should I just pull the trigger or - like Apple - are projector roll-outs primarily in the fall?



Kris Deering's picture
HI Randy. Daytime viewing could be an issue with just about every projector out there if the conditions are bad enough. Especially if you want to have a calibrated image in that lighting. The X30 has plenty of light if you want to sacrifice contrast and accuracy, which shouldn't really be an issue if you're talking about the mid-day game. Screens are another matter entirely and there is no clear cut choice based on budget. Choosing a screen is one of the most important things you can do. It effects contrast, total brightness, resolution and sound (depending on if you need a perf screen or not). I have been using a Stewart Studiotek 130 for years now and it fits perfect with my viewing environment. But if you want to compete with ambient light and want a bright image than maybe something like the Firehawk or Black Diamond would be a better fit. If you just want a bright image a high power from DaLite may be a good fit. There are certainly a lot to choose from and one size doesn't fit all. I'm a big fan of Stewart's screens and Carada for the budget minded. But DaLite and Screen Research make some great screens as well. Figure out exactly what your needs are and do some research into what screen will deliver those needs the best. Good luck!
tsand72's picture

Hi Kris,
I am new to the projector world... having recently gutted my home theater room that featured an older pioneer plasma. I have created a true black-out theater... no uncontrolled ambient light and ultra flat black walls. I am primarily interested in 2D movies via blu-ray (80%) and movies from Comcast onDemand HD (20%)... with the possibility of some HD sports from time to time.

I installed a 2.40:1 (108" diagonal) 1.0 gain carada screen and a Panasonic AE 7000U about 13 feet from the screen --- primarily because it has solid reviews all around and has the lens memory capability. I've had the projector about 1 week. I like it. BUT, I can seem to dial in the focus as many movies appear to be slightly out of focus. I find it to be a sticking point. I also find the iris/fan noise to be slightly distracting. Not too bad when the speakers are in full bloom... but the high-pitched whirring sound is a little distracting at times.

I just ordered a JVC RS45 (which I believe is the X30). I'm wondering if you could comment - seeing as though you've obviously played around with a lot of these projectors - about why the RS45 might be a better choice.

A couple of questions:

(1) Do you think I will find a better ability to dial-in the focus on the picture coming from the RS45?

(2) Also, I really like the fact that the Panasonic has a built-in masking system that eliminates black-bar over flow on movies that are zoomed-in to fill the 2.40:1 screen. Does the JVC offer something like that?

(3) Did you notice a blue tinge in dark blacks on the RS45 when you tested it?

I originally dismissed the RS45 because it is slightly more expensive, has a lower lamp life, got dinged on 3D capability (even though that doesn't matter a whole lot to me) and doesn't have complete color management controls. But, it seems like many regard it's 2D capabilities to be really great... so, in a hope that I might gain some control of focus, I'm hoping it is slightly more detailed in the picture department.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

flash11's picture

I’ve been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven't had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!..
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