Kris Deering

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Kris Deering  |  Apr 17, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $18,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fantastic HDR performance
Reference-level optics
Industry leading contrast
Minus
Some dynamic contrast-related artifacts
Noticeable fan noise in High lamp mode

THE VERDICT
JVC’s second-generation 4K beamer sets a new high bar for projector HDR performance. Add industry leading contrast, reference-quality optics, and exceptional usability and you have a projector that punches way above its price point.

It took a while, but JVC has finally updated its full consumer projector lineup to native 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution. Just over two years ago, Sound & Vision reviewed the company's first native 4K model, the $29,995 flagship DLA-RS4500. For this review I am going to cover the flagship model from the new range, the DLA-NX9 (also available as the DLA-RS3000 from JVC's professional division). At $18,000, the NX9 isn't exactly a casual purchase, though it does deliver some new features at a price point we haven't seen before from JVC.

Kris Deering  |  Feb 20, 2019  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $35,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Breathtaking image quality
Reference-level optics
Laser light source
Minus
Low light output for price point
Lacks dedicated picture mode for HDR

THE VERDICT
The Sony VPL-VW995ES delivers reference-level images with all video formats and benefits from a high-end lens that's optimized for 4K playback.

In 2018, I reviewed Sony's VPL-VW885ES 4K laser projector, a $25,000 model that I hoped would be the successor to previous Sound & Vision Top Pick winners from Sony, the VPL-VW1000 and VPL-VW1100ES, but it fell slightly short of expectations. At CEDIA 2018, Sony unveiled its VPL-VW995ES, a next-gen step-up model in the ES projector line that sported the high-end optics missing from the VW885ES plus a few new tricks. The VPL-VW995ES appears to be a true successor to the earlier designs, but at a steep $35,000, does it have the chops to command such a lofty price? Let's find out.

Kris Deering  |  Feb 05, 2019  |  0 comments
My experience covering home video extends back to the early days of DVD. But of all the new technologies and formats I've covered in that time, none has generated as much confusion as high dynamic range (HDR). In this article, I will attempt to demystify the subject of HDR, a technology that I find to be the most significant development to hit home video in years.
Kris Deering  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  8 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Reference-level video performance
In-player tone mapping for HDR and conversion to SDR
Multichannel analog output
Minus
Image enhancement options can be overwhelming
Setup not always intuitive
No 4K/HDR streaming support

THE VERDICT
Panasonic’s UHD Blu-ray player offers reference-level video performance and also sets a new bar for HDR playback with both HDR flat-panel TVs and projectors.

Today’s Ultra HD Blu-ray player market is drastically smaller than the one for the spinning-disc machines of old. In my early days reviewing DVD players, I could literally enter an electronics store, walk out with over a dozen players, and that would only represent a sampling of the available models. But with the massive rise in the popularity of streaming, we’ve seen the player market continue to slim down.

Kris Deering  |  Mar 13, 2018  |  5 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $25,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K (4096 x 2160) SXRD panels
HDR support, including HLG
Laser light engine
Minus
Middling dynamic contrast
Limited HDR adjustments

THE VERDICT
With the new VPL-VW885ES, Sony has added a premium laser model to its consumer projector line, but even at $25,000, it comes with some compromises.

These days, if you want a true native 4K projector (no pixel-shifting required) that doesn't have a Sony badge on it, you'll have to spend $35,000 and up for the privilege. Meanwhile, Sony now has four different models below that mark, starting at $5,000. Since the debut of the VPL-VW1000ES (in 2011!), we've been waiting for other manufacturers to join the native 4K fray—and yet, here we are.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 07, 2017  |  1 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great optics
Accurate color adjustments via CMS
Long-life LED light engine
Minus
Lack of key features
Disappointing contrast performance
No HDR support

THE VERDICT
The BenQ HT9050 has DLP’s latest 4K chip design, but its poor contrast and lack of key features result in an uninspiring package that can't compete with other projectors at or near this price point.

It wasn’t long ago — just 10 years, in fact — that the home projection market was all about DLP. It dominated nearly every price point and was always at the cutting edge of features. But eventually, things changed. Texas Instruments stagnated on DLP development. Meanwhile, new technologies like LCOS emerged, taking onscreen performance to an entirely new level, particularly for native black level and contrast. DLP has stuck around, but it's often found on the budget side of the market, with entry-level home/business designs, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, with cost-no-object three-chip designs.

Kris Deering  |  Oct 03, 2017  |  4 comments
Texas Instruments has upped the DLP game with the recent rollout of their newest digital micromirror device (DMD), claiming full Ultra HD performance. The 0.66-inch chip has nearly the same physical dimensions as the DLP chip found today in many 1080p home theater and business application projectors. It features a native resolution of 2716 x 1528 pixels, which combined with an optical actuator used for pixel shifting, allows for an onscreen image of 8.3 million pixels—roughly the same as a native 3840 x 2160 UHD imaging chip. The chip’s compact size is said to allow for more cost-effective manufacturing—and has resulted in a new $2,000 low price point for at least one Optoma 4K projector.
Kris Deering  |  Feb 27, 2017  |  1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $35,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K (4096 x 2160) D-ILA panels
Improved HDR support including HLG
Reference-quality optics
Minus
Fan noise can be intrusive
HDMI sluggish to sync
Native contrast not quite on par with rest of JVC line

THE VERDICT
While JVC’s first native 4K projector for consumers doesn’t quite deliver the contrast of its 1080p lineup, its projected image is breathtaking with both 1080p and 4K content. With its advanced laser light engine, reference-quality optics, and enough lumens to light up a massive range of screens, you have a true flagship-caliber offering from JVC.

While 4K has become the new norm for the flat-panel industry, its adoption into the home projection market has been slow, to say the least. Until now, Sony has been trailblazing native 4K for the consumer home theater market while others have offered quasi-4K options that use techniques to deliver near4K quality with 1080p imaging systems at more affordable pricing. Among those manufacturers, JVC led the way with their e-shift system, which over time has matured to contend quite convincingly with native 4K designs.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 06, 2016  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,900

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent sonics
Dirac room correction
Minus
Limited setup and connectivity options
Dirac execution unintuitive
Very pricey

THE VERDICT
AudioControl's high-end processor is long on sound quality but comes up a little short on features.

The dwindling audio processor market has been shrinking for quite some time now. More than a year ago, while I was wandering around CEDIA 2015, I stumbled on one enticing option that caught my eye from high-end audio purveyor AudioControl. There were a few reasons it piqued my interest. For one, AudioControl is based out of my backyard in the Pacific Northwest, so they're something akin to my hometown brand. Their AV processor also supported the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio formats, another critical selling point. But perhaps the biggest draw was their inclusion of another hot name in audio circles: Dirac. Dirac's room correction scheme is well respected among audiophiles for its performance and adjustability, and I'd never had a chance to try it out. Finally, after some shop talk, lots of emails and a few months of waiting, the company was nice enough to send us a sample of their $8,900, Maestro M9 flagship.

Kris Deering  |  May 05, 2016  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Twice as bright, same contrast
HDR10 compatible and full P3 color support
HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2
Minus
Black uniformity hit or miss
New HDMI chips slower to sync
Still no native 4K

THE VERDICT
With nearly twice the brightness of its predecessor, big improvements to 3D and 4K playback, and a good dose of UHD future-proofing, the DLA-X750R is more than just a mild refresh.

When new JVC projectors were announced at this past October’s CEDIA, they basically looked the same as the models from two years ago, with only some modest differences visible on paper in the brightness rating plus support for the latest version of HDCP. But in use, the new DLA-X750R features some significant upgrades from the outgoing DLA-X700R. Let’s dive in and see how JVC delivered one of the best projectors I’ve reviewed to date.

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