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My new JVC digital projector (DLA-X75R/DLA-RS56)
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kal
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: My new JVC digital projector (DLA-X75R/DLA-RS56) Reply with quote


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Note: The full JVC name is DLA-RS56 (available through JVC Professional Products Company). It's also available as the DLA-X75R by JVCs Consumer AV Group. Same projector, different market segments.

I thought I'd start a thread for questions/thoughts/impressions and post some pictures too.

I've got the JVC RS56 ceiling mounted now and all I'll say at this point is that I'm very impressed.

I'm at 17'9" throw from a 54x96" screen of 1.1-1.2 gain.

I've had to re-teach myself a few things here as digitals really are different due to fixed pixel nature, single lens (with iris), and how the signal is treated in a 100% digital manner.

For example:

- Don't use keystone at all as it destroys resolution. On a CRT projector the pixels are squished so you never lose any, on a digital it has to throw away pixels instead so you don't want to do any digital manipulation to the resolution at all. Instead you get the projector perfectly level with the screen and then use lens shift to shift down to keep all 1920x1080 pixels. The only exception where this may be ok is on a higher resolution 4K projector that is only used for 1080p content (since you have spare pixels you can throw away without decreasing the source resolution). I suppose they only have keystone adjustments for those really oddball installations where you absolutely must have the projector off to the side and not centered on the screen.

- On a CRT projector you use brightness to set what's considered the colour "black". Don't do that on a digital: Brightness at the default 0 setting is the only correct setting by definition. Any higher and the picture washes out because you're raising the black level. Any lower and you all you do is crush blacks such at above black becomes black. Going lower cannot make the black level darker (the iris does that).

- On a CRT projector you use contrast to set the amount of light output. Don't do that on a digital: Contrast at the default 0 setting is the only correct setting by definition. Any higher and you start to clip whites such that anything lower than 235 (white) becomes the same as white. The light output does not go up as you increase contrast over 0. If you go lower then you do lower the light output. The combination of lamp mode (high or low) and iris should be used to set the amount of light output. Start with low lamp and lower the iris as much as possible while maintaining the amount of light you want on screen (typically 14 ft/L if you follow SMPTE standards).

So how is the actual black level (16)? Better than my Zenith 1200 CRT projector. Yes, that's right. Better. Why? I can get darker with the RS56 without losing low level detail. On the Zenith 1200 (gamma set to around 2.2 or 2.3 if I remember correctly with an RTC2200 box) I have to turn brightness up slightly to avoid losing close to black detail. With a Radiance or something more advanced that provides 20-point gamma adjustment, I may have been able to keep black lower on the CRT without crushing close to black detail. I don't know. So while I say the RS56 has better blacks on my setup, both are fantastic. You don't notice elevated blacks on either. I was worried about black level on the RS56 but my fears are unfounded.

I'm running the lamp on low and the iris is closed down to -10 (goes from -15 [closed] to 0 [open] where 0 is brightest). The more you close the iris the lower the light output but the higher the contrast ratio. The more closed the iris is, the lower your black level is too. You really want to close down the iris as much as you can while trying to keep ~14 ft/L on screen. At -10 it's already brighter than my Zenith 1200 that was set up to do 12-14 ft/L. At -15 I think the RS56 is still a bit brighter but I like the extra punch that -10 provides and the black level is already very low so for now I'll leave it at that until I do a full calibration. EDIT: After calibration I ended up the iris at -6. (Don't assume that yours will be the same - I'm only mentioning this to show how calibration can change settings. Often people will ask "what settings do you use?" because they think that they'll get the same perfect picture if they use those settings with their identical model projector, but that doesn't make any sense: Every projector will require different settings based on how that specific unit performs. If there was only one 'correct' setting for controls, manufacturers wouldn't have controls).

On low lens power (light output) the fan cannot be heard at all unless you get up within a foot or two from the projector. It's extremely quiet. No hushbox needed at all (even for fussy listeners like me) if you stick with low lamp mode. It's quieter than my Zenith 1200 with the hushbox in place. On high lamp mode the R56 is (IMHO for me) too loud to be used as is. I would need a hushbox. That said, it's still quieter than any CRT I've used other than something like a fanless Dwin 500 or the very quiet Dwin 700. It's certainly quieter than my Barco without hushbox, much quieter than any Electrohome CRT projector, and miles quieter than any NEC (which sound like airplanes to me). The projector automatically kicks into high lamp mode when 3D is used. (I did not spend any time trying 3D at all ... yet).

I spent 4 hours looking at test patterns from the free AVS 709 test pattern disc to get it dialled in right (no black/white crush, it's resolving between 16-235 correctly) and then about another 4 at video content.

Seeing excellent inter-scene contrast ratio (where one bright spot doesn't wash out the rest of the screen if it's dark) is confusing to my mind to accept after so many years with CRT even though I have liquid coupled (LC) tubes on the CRT projector that help avoid light scatter. LC helps, but can never get you to very high inter-scene contrast ratio which matters much more than pure on/off contrast ratio.

Dark walls are of course a must. You'll destroy contrast ratio in a white room. I doubt there would be much use in buying a higher end digital (or CRT for that matter) in a room with light walls. So if (for example) you're considering a certain year's model of JVC and they offer 3 versions where the main different is the contrast ratio (in my case these are the RS46/56/66) and don't have good light control with dark walls, save your money and buy the cheapest of the three (RS46). I still need to make the immediate area around the screen completely black on the side walls and ceiling but for now it's dark. This will help too.

Here's the room (CRT projector shown temporarily in place):



Convergence is good with only subtle fringing that can only be seen with your nose up to the screen. Not perfect but not noticeable from the seating distance. Using full-pixel shifting just makes it worse. You can do 1/16 pixel shift across the whole screen so I used this to tweak convergence to very close to perfection across the screen. Also available is zone convergence (similar to NEC's CRT projector point convergence) but I don't need to use it.

I have not done greyscale/colour/gamma calibration on the RS56 yet but it's pretty reasonable out of the box when set to 6500K and all silly enhancement features [other than e-shift] turned off. Gamma is set to "Normal" which is the same as their 2.2 setting. That's about where I like gamma so I left it like that. I'll see how close it actually is to 2.2 once I measure with a meter as I go through the entire calibration.

If you want to mimic something like 48 fps from the Hobbit, you can turn on Clear Motion Drive (CMD). It makes 24 fps film content shockingly smooth, very unnatural looking to someone like me who's used to film content. The smooth motion tends to trick our brains into thinking that the action is moving faster. Almost like an old 1920's movie. I can see using it on sports, live shows, and possibly some nature documentaries, but that's about it. I can't imaging using it with 24 fps film based content. It just looks too unnatural to me.

The THX mode is a joke. It disables a bunch of features and forces certain things on and introduces edge enhancement and other nasties. Instead I run custom with everything off except for e-shift2. E-shift2 does wonders for a CRT owner like me. Pixel structure is no longer seen. It does this by basically displaying the image twice, with one frame shifted down and to the side by 1/2 a pixel. The result is zero pixel structure even with your nose up to the screen. Now, the LCOS technology used by JVC DILA and Sony SXRD projectors already has a really good fill rate (the ratio of pixel size to the space between pixels). This means that seated ~10 feet from my 8 foot wide screen I don't see pixel structure with e-shift2 off. It's not like looking through a screen door like we used to have with other lower end LCD digitals, especially 720p ones. If you get up and walk to towards the screen eventually you'll start to notice that the image is indeed made up of tiny pixels. With e-shift2 on this structure completely goes away so it's just like CRT. There are multiple versions of e-shift2 available, I picked film and then turned down all the settings to 0 as otherwise it does sharpening and other nasty things which introduce edge enhancement.

My unit had a rattle in it when I got it. Something was lose inside so I opened it up and removed a tiny plastic case hinge that had snapped off. After I figured out where it snapped off I knew having it missing would not cause any issues so I wasn't interested in getting the projector "fixed" or replaced, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to get into any of the motors/gears. Pictures below.

The box:



Unpacked (not your typical small digital):



Taking off the sides and top:







Top cover off:









The new DC bulb:







The tab that broke off:



Where the tab came from (top front center):




Kal

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Last edited by kal on Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:21 pm; edited 21 times in total
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice writeup, Kal. Your impressions pretty much mirror mine when I first got my RS45 last June or so, save for e-Shift, since I don't have it. Looking forward to hearing more as you get it calibrated and start watching some movies.

Cheers,
SC
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stridsvognen
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks nice Kal..

First time i seen the top off a JVC projector.

When you get yours calibrated i hope you can help make some cold hot measurement of yours, and show how this new generation of JVC are drifting.

If possible i would also love to see how many hours they hold a decent calibration, and for sure the life span of this new bulb.

Might not be very important for those with autocalibration. But for those paying a pro. Calibrator i think its worth to know how long the calibration investment last.
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stridsvognen wrote:
When you get yours calibrated i hope you can help make some cold hot measurement of yours, and show how this new generation of JVC are drifting.

I know you've mentioned that the color temp can change significantly from cold startup to several hours later or even longer, and that's interesting, and a concern to me, even though I've never measured or noticed it myself, nor read about it anywhere other than where you talk about it.

stridsvognen wrote:
If possible i would also love to see how many hours they hold a decent calibration, and for sure the life span of this new bulb.

Might not be very important for those with autocalibration. But for those paying a pro. Calibrator i think its worth to know how long the calibration investment last.

OK, this I kind of have to take issue with. ALL tungsten/mercury/arc lamps change color temp as they age, so this is an issue with ALL UHP-based projectors, not just with JVC. If a guy is going to be ber-anal and try to stay right at 6500k all the time, then a projector is going to require a calibration touchup every couple of hundred hours, regardless of technology - even CRT.

SC
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even on my RS20 the lamp comes on, not at full illumination, and colder. Naturally I've forgotten about all this by allowing myself to get into the movie I'm watching, but I am reminded each time i turn on the JVC. Now, the Sony VW60 isn't like this, its just cold 100% of the time. But considering I use the JVC for Blu-ray and the Sony for Xbox and Apple TV, I'm happy.
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RVonse



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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for sharing Kal.

I have some questions and I hope you don't mind. How close can you get to your 96" screen before you do in fact see pixel structure? With eshift off or on? Is the screenshot from your first photo from the Zenith or is it from your new JVC? Reason I ask is because it kind of looks like the Zenith tubes are fired up in that shot. How does the new projector compare in terms of focus and sharpness? Was there a specific reason you chose an RS 56 over a 55? Had you seen any dlp's like Cliff just bought before you decided to buy this dila? Sorry to ask so many questions but I am trying to learn as much as I can from you to determine what will best replace the crt I am using.

And another thing I am wondering (which you probably don't have any idea either) is why most all the digitals including this one have such a large throw distance (at least compared to your Zenith)? Could it be that there is some sort of design limit to compromise on lens shift and keystone that crt seems to handle much easier? I continue to hope there is some way to reduce throw distance but I fear you just have to make due with what the digital guys give you. Other than some Titan dlp 3 chip projectors I have seen for sale that can be outfitted with a lens close to u;nity , it seems like most everything out there is at least 1.5.
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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 16486
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RVonse wrote:
I have some questions and I hope you don't mind. How close can you get to your 96" screen before you do in fact see pixel structure? With eshift off or on?


I just tried this... At somewhere between 6-8 feet from the screen I see pixel grid lines with eshift off. With it on you can get within inches of the screen and it's not there.

Quote:
Is the screenshot from your first photo from the Zenith or is it from your new JVC? Reason I ask is because it kind of looks like the Zenith tubes are fired up in that shot.

That's the Zenith. Not a great shot at all of picture quality.

Quote:
How does the new projector compare in terms of focus and sharpness?

No comparison. The RS56 has much more uniform focus and sharpness. How much this difference is visible when watching actual movie/film content is actually debatable. It's mostly noticeable in the status bars (when the movie's paused, time left, etc.) and in the PS3 menus. When the movie is playing sharpness becomes less of an issue. I've always thought that sharpness is the most overrated feature if someone's interest is watching movies.

For what it's worth (and to put it in perspective), my wife doesn't see much of a difference between the two projectors. I find they're very different but then I live and breath this stuff.

I just spent a hour playing with the 1/16th fine convergence (affects the whole screen) and got everything dialed in. I confirmed that this does not affect resolution at all by using 1 on / 1 off pixel patterns to make sure that nothing "funky" is going on under the covers and pixels are being thrown away. I moved both red and blue 1/4 to 1/2 pixel in various directions to get convergence slightly more even. Visible from the seating distance? Nope. Not at all. But I wanted it more perfect. Wink

Quote:
Was there a specific reason you chose an RS 56 over a 55?

Mostly for the new DC bulb but also because the price was the same (R55 ~3 months ago vs RS56 today). I could probably get an RS55 cheaper today of course now that he RS56 is out but I wanted to buy the best projector I could afford. I considered the RS66 for $2K more for a lower black end but in the end I'm glad I didn't. The black level on the RS56 is more than low enough at the settings I use to keep me happy.

Quote:
Had you seen any dlp's like Cliff just bought before you decided to buy this dila?

Nothing recent. I find it very difficult to see any projector properly set up. Stores never do it right. I have to hunt down other forum members (either from here or AVS) who know what they're doing and go see what they have. That said, I knew LCoS was what I wanted based on my image quality priorities. I like the high fill factor. With JVC I like eshift, and no-nonsense approach to image quality with things like NOT even offering a dynamic iris. That speaks volumes to me.

Buying the RS56 was pretty much a blind buy. I saw older (first or second generation) JVC LCoS years ago at a forum member's house and knew they were headed in the right direction at that time. I had no interest in replacing my current projector of course since it worked well and I loved the picture (still do). The lower ceiling are meant that CRT wouldn't work for me (easily) in this new basement.

Quote:
And another thing I am wondering (which you probably don't have any idea either) is why most all the digitals including this one have such a large throw distance (at least compared to your Zenith)?

They don't have to have long throw but you *want* to use long throw to get the best image quality/contrast ratio. The lenses are better if you try and use the center as much as possible and going farther back means you use less of the lens. You're right however that 1x isn't seen much. I've installed mine at slightly more than twice the screen width back (213" throw for a 96" wide screen).

Kal

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kal
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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 16486
Location: Ottawa, Canada

TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned previously that the new bulb is DC but some are saying that it's not actually confirmed.... anyone know?

In case it's hard to read, here is the text that's found on opposite sides of the white bulb base:

One side:

NSHA230JK
QLL0195-001
PCO23413099

Other side:

USHIO
CHINA
CP12860

(Where letter I's may be number 1's and zeros be letter O's - or vice versa - hard to tell)

Googling these does not turn up much.

In case it helps, here are some more pictures of the bulb (slightly larger) as well as the socket:















Kal

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macgyver655



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not finding anything that indicates it's a DC lamp.

But did find that all these use the same lamp:

DLA-X95R/DLA-RS66

DLA-X75R/DLA-RS56

DLA-RS4810

DLA-X55R/DLA-RS48

DLA-X35/DLA-RS46
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macgyver655



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was the DC stuff all about anyways. I don't keep up on lamps. But I do know that after the lamp is lit it uses a DC voltage to remain lit.

Scratch that. Looks like the Small DC is for ballast control. Run voltage to the lamp appears to be an average of 140 Vac.
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kal
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TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are all the new JVC 2013 models. They all use the new lamp along with a redesigned power supply.

Kal

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stridsvognen
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well looks like the lamp would fit the old model.. would be fun to try fit the new lamp in a old RS50.. Its same type of lamp, maybe with some small changes.. Maybe we could find out the voltage of this new model vs. the old.. ill not mind take a look at my X7 / RS50 when i get home.
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RVonse



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
RVonse wrote:
I have some questions and I hope you don't mind. How close can you get to your 96" screen before you do in fact see pixel structure? With eshift off or on?


I just tried this... At somewhere between 6-8 feet from the screen I see pixel grid lines with eshift off. With it on you can get within inches of the screen and it's not there.

Kal
That eshift must be incredible to see.
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RVonse



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Those are all the new JVC 2013 models. They all use the new lamp along with a redesigned power supply.

Kal
So what does the dc lamp do better? If it only lasts longer, I could probably be better off saving money for an RS55 because I already own a couple of good lamps from an older JVC parts machine I still own.

One thing I am already noticing different than crt projectors is that this digital tech sure changes fast. Hard for me to keep up with it.
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Spanky Ham



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the new JVCs are supposed to have the new DC lamp, which isn't supposed to have the same issues as the previous JVC's lamps. I think my Marantz was supposed to go 2000 hours or more with a DC lamp.

R,
Actually, digital tech has slowed down. The last two Cedias have only seen small incremental improvements from most of the manufacturers.
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
All the new JVCs are supposed to have the new DC lamp, which isn't supposed to have the same issues as the previous JVC's lamps. I think my Marantz was supposed to go 2000 hours or more with a DC lamp.

Yep, the 2012 models have a reputation on AVS. Sub-1000 hour lamp life isn't uncommon. I've racked up about 250 hours on my RS45 since June, so I could be replacing my lamp in less than two years, and we're talking about a $300 lamp. Kind of puts a new spin on watching movies when you realize watching a movie and some extras probably costs a dollar.

Spanky Ham wrote:
Actually, digital tech has slowed down. The last two Cedias have only seen small incremental improvements from most of the manufacturers.

I agree. Five or six years ago, every new model year was a huge leap over the previous year, in terms of both picture quality and features. I had zero interest in digital, then. It was either cheap crap, or it was expensive, but regardless, the next year's model would be a lot better.

We're finally at the point now where you can keep a projector for 3 years or more, and not really be missing that much over brand new models unless you're the type that just has to have the latest/greatest.

SC
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WanMan



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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cost of lamps doesn't bother me. Each time I sit down and turn the JVC on I am reminded how much better I have it over the neanderthals in the pillbox theaters. I laugh at their superior intellect.
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kal
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TV/Projector: JVC DLA-RS56


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RVonse wrote:
That eshift must be incredible to see.

I have to say it's pretty neat. It gives a fluidity to the image (when up close) that is extremely CRT like.
It softens pixel edges slightly but in a good way that makes then no longer look "fake". Also helps with any slight misconvergence that might exist. The biggest difference is within objects (not edges): You no longer see the pixel grid structure at all. Interesting to note that if you throw your head around really fast or wave your hand in front of your face very fast you can make the pixel grid structure visible again, similar to how you can see rainbows on DLPs with slower wheels.

I was doing some testing with grid patterns a couple of nights ago off of the AVS 709 test disc with eshift on and off that was very telling on what it does. I should see if I can get some up close screenshots with my macro lens.

RVonse wrote:
So what does the dc lamp do better?

Supposedly lasts longer. 4K hours has been quoted somewhere IIRC. There's a longer warranty on the lamp now too 1000 hrs or 1 year, whichever comes first). I think before it was around 90 days. I don't know if this is because of previous issues people had and they want people to feel "safe" buying JVC, or if it's because of the new bulb, or a combination of both.

The new bulb also supposedly maintains light output better over the duration (doesn't dim as much over time).

Quote:
One thing I am already noticing different than crt projectors is that this digital tech sure changes fast. Hard for me to keep up with it.

Given that there hasn't been any CRT developments in over 10 years, any change seems like more. CRT is static and done. Someone getting into it today learning things doesn't have to keep up with anything as there's no change, other than possibly some third party add-ons offered by people here (mods, HDMI cards, etc).

I haven't been following digital that closely over the years, but still more than what most HT users would be doing, and I agree with the others that it appears to be slowing down. There will still be 4K farther down the road as well as more LED or maybe even laser, but the truth of the matter is that the image quality increases seen year over year are (IMHO) getting less and less. This is similar to what happened with CRT too as we went from:

7" ES -> 7" EM / 8" ES -> 8" EM / 9" ES -> 8" EM LC -> 9" EM LC

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WTS



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on getting your first digital projector Kal. Hope you don't have any problems with the JVC brand.

I just moved from the Sony Hw30 to the VW95 and I must say these higher end projectors do throw a very nice picture. Yhe HW30 was nice but the 95 is several steps above it in many ways.

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J Kildare



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PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review Kal!!

I heard early on that these lamps were DC, but then questions were raised and I don't think it's been confirmed one way or the other. I personally hope it is DC as it remains constant, whereas AC has a peak voltage (120v has a peak of just shy of 170v) which should play apart in reliability.

Nice to hear your happy with the 56. I have a 4810 sitting around while I repair my ceiling where the Marquee once lived.

It sounds like people are really impressed after calibration.
Does the 56 have full CMS or are you planing on using a Lumigen?

Nice setup BTW Mr. Green
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