PROJECTOR EXPO REPORT
Here it is - the final report on The Screening Room's big Projector Expo event, comparing four of the top 4K UHD projectors from JVC and Sony. Many thanks to those who came out, especially those who traveled great distances to join us!
Despite being exhausted after three weeks of prep, zero days off, and thousands of dollars spent putting on the show, we all had a great time hosting everyone and getting to see these projectors put through their paces. This report is based on my subjective observations and input from both the attendees and our special guests Kris Deering (Sound and Vision magazine, Deep Dive AV), Craig Rounds (CIR Engineering), Chris Deutsch (JVC), and Russell Warnhoff (Kaleidescape).
JVC DLA-RS2000 / DLA-NX7 (MSRP $7999)
Sony VPL-VW695ES (MSRP $9999)
JVC DLA-RS3000 / DLA-NX9 (MSRP $17999)
Sony VPL-VW995ES (MSRP $34999)
Top to bottom - Sony VPL-VW695ES, JVC DLA-RS2000, Sony VPL-VW995ES
All projectors were calibrated by our special guest Kris Deering. Kris is currently a writer/technical editor for Sound and Vision magazine and a calibrator and consultant through his own company, Deep Dive AV. He has also been a writer and editor for various other publications, both in print and online, including Home Theater magazine and Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity. Kris has done work for some of the biggest names in the AV industry, offering a wide range of services including calibration, product development, product testing and training. I have interspersed his comments and measurements in italics.
Kris Deering Calibrates the Projectors
First off, here are some quick notes on the comparisons, updated with the actual measurements. Screen used was a Stewart 120" 16:9 StudioTek130, located in our downtown Colorado Springs showroom - a totally light controlled room with dark walls and ceiling.
The JVC DLA-RS2000 / NX7 and the DLA-RS3000 / NX9 had the best native contrast, and measured almost identically. Both had approximately 2 - 3X the native contrast of the Sonys in their respective best modes. Here are the actual contrast measurements taken by Kris, ranked highest to lowest:
JVC DLA-RS3000 / DLA-RS2000 (tie): 22,000:1 native contrast ratio, high lamp, iris wide open; calibrated contrast 37,000:1 with the manual iris stopped down to hit 22 footlamberts (24 FL on the RS2000)
Sony VPL-VW995ES: 15,000:1 native contrast ratio at peak light output, calibrated contrast 8,800:1 with laser light output reduced to hit 22 footlamberts
Sony VPL-VW695ES: 8800:1 native contrast ratio, high lamp iris wide open, calibrated contrast 10,100:1 with the aperture closed down to hit 22 footlamberts
The Sony VW995ES by a tiny margin had the best lens of all the projectors at the event, with the JVC RS3000 coming in an extremely close second. Pixel definition was outstanding (as it was with the 3000), but keep in mind the difference between these two projectors was only noticeable with a single pixel test pattern right up literally inches away from the screen. A note about this lens – the improvement this lens brings over what can be found in Sony's VW295, VW695 and VW885 is pretty substantial at any seating distance. Sharpness, depth and apparent contrast are considerably improved.
Projectors ranked in brightness: VPL-VW995ES, DLA-RS2000, DLA-RS3000, and VPL-VW695ES. One should not be too surprised by the slightly lower brightness of the RS3000 vs. the 2000 – these are often sample variances. Here are the numbers:
Sony VPL-VW995ES: Peak output 49 footlamberts
JVC DLA-RS2000: Peak output 46 footlamberts (high lamp)
JVC DLA-RS3000: Peak output 41 footlamberts (high lamp)
Sony VPL-VW695ES: Peak output 31 footlamberts (high lamp)
The JVCs had the best color reproduction / saturation, with subtle shadings that were miss