JVC Projectors

Seymour AV is the only screen manufacturer to have exclusively endorsed a brand of projectors.  We've owned, calibrated, and worked with them all and none of them offer the performance value that JVC projectors do.  We now have local inventory and are adding demonstration theaters in order to show how these incredible machines perform in different environments and even with other models in the line.

In ISF studies, it was found that the four most important aspects of image quality are - in order - contrast, color breadth/saturation, color accuracy, and resolution.  Even when JVC lacked native 4K across most of their line, we still recommended them because they are best in class for the top three attributes.  At CEDIA they released new native 4K chips, which is why we're now fully on board.

Screen Adjustment Mode Table.  While JVC projectors look great out of the box and Seymour AV manufacturers screens that are used as reference materials in the world's leading mastering studios, it's still best to get your projector and screen calibrated.  If you bundle a JVC projector with a Seymour AV screen, we will calibrate YOUR exact projector to YOUR exact screen for free in addition to your bundled savings.  No other screen company offers this service.  If you already have your screen we can still calibrate your new projector to your Seymour screen for free.  Finally, if you don't want a professional calibration or are using another screen material (boo!), we at least recommend using JVC's screen adjustment mode table.  Appologies for their calling us "Saymour," reigniting an old school nickname.

HDR.  Even when listening to industry veterans, HDR seems to primarily mean brightness to them, as if we're suddently increasing our cinema white levels by two to ten fold.  In fact, brightness is the LEAST important attribute of the new HDR mastering specification.  The letters literally mean High Dynamic Range, which is obviously about dynamic range and expanding the gradations and breadth within that larger bucket. 

Dolby incorrectly states that the human eye can see a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.  This is only true in a dynamic sense, meaning that the eye has to open or close the iris for darker or brighter environments, at any which time people can only see about a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.  This means that we're not going to ever be able to see details within a cave at the same time we're making out cloud details on a bright day.  What does this mean in the world of projection and imagery?  You don't need crazy brightness specifications.  The SMPTE recommendation is still 16 FL (55 nits), so we still recommend and calibrate to this as 100% IRE brightness.  Above 17 FL (59 nits), viewer fatigue begins as the eye has to adjust more for the dynamic contrast.  Bias lighting, such as our optional tunable white bias lighting kit, starts to help by keeping the iris closed more, improving black levels and reducing fatigue.  The next milestone is 22 FL (75 nits), which is the IMAX dual-projector white level.  Then for those that enjoy brighter pictures, the THX recommendation is 25 FL (86 nits).  The mastering studios still set SDR and HDR reference white levels to 29 FL (100 nits), no matter how bright your display is.  Anything above this is only for a tiny bit of data alotted for specular highlights, which are of dubious artistic merit.  Just above this is what we'd consider state of the art HDR, from Dolby Cinema.  They calibrate to 31 FL (106 nits) and like IMAX they seek to wow their viewers for the couple hours they have them.  Targeting above these levels are not recommended unless you're strictly talking about flat panels, which we reserve for watching Dr. Phil.  For actual cinema, it's about high dynamic range and what happens within that range is far more important than the torches that blast beyond it. 

The reason that the HDR-10 peak specular goal for OLED is half (146 FL / 500 nits) of LCD (292 FL / 1000 nits) is that OLED black levels are zero.  Coming from zero is infinite at any brightness level, and therefore achieving a high dynamic range is far easier to do when you have nice low black levels.  The eye does not respond linearly, and like the HDR specification's massive dedication to data in the low IRE range we have much higher resolving power in the shadows, because that's where spooky things lurk.  As the projection screen is coupled to the room much like speakers rely on the room's acoustics, we obviously have a lot to say about how to achieve quality black levels. 

Aside from dynamics (which is again unrelated to brightness), the primary benefits of HDR are the wider color ranges, deeper color saturations at higher saturation values, higher bit depth, reduced banding, and a massive increase in the data for shadow details and low-IRE content.  This is why a UHD release in HDR can look so much better than its HD Blu-Ray counterpart, even when (unfortunately common) the master from both versions are from the same 2K digital intermediate.  In your UHD disc, your image dynamics improve even when the resolution doesn't.  But for those releases that are using higher resolution DIs, the new line from JVC finally brings to market what we've been begging from them for years.  JVC has been our go-to recommendation for those top three attributes of image quality, and now they hit a home run with the fourth: bringing native 4K.  Still, if you can't afford the native 4K models from JVC, I can easily prove that their RS540u e-shift can outperform native 4K projectors from other companies, and we're building the demonstration and training theaters to do just that.

HDR Auto Map.  One fantastic feature of the newest JVC NX5, NX7 and NX9 projectors is that they will read the metadata flag in HDR content and adjust their picture tone (mid gamma), dark and bright levels accordingly.  As HDR releases are like the wild west these days, this is a must-have feature in our opinion.  If you can't get into that feature, such as from the other JVC or other projector models, then we recommend the Panasonic UHD player that otherwise auto map to your display's capabilities.

P3 Filter.  In standard dynamic range (SDR), we've lived with a color map called Rec 709.  In the new HDR spec they use a widened color map called Rec 2020, which approaches the limits of human vision.  All UHD content, however is mastered within an intermediate color bucket called P3.  While some direct laser firing projectors can achieve past P3 into the nether regions of 2020, I question the value of that since we don't have any content that's mastered beyond P3.  Therefore, getting to P3 is the current goal.  The top three models in the JVC lineup have a color filter that engages when they detect UHD content.  This filter knocks down the easy wavelength portions of the light engine, allowing for the more difficult to achieve outer boundaries of the P3 color chart.  They can then hit 100% of the P3 color chart, while the lower models perform in the 90s.  The real world difference is a saturation level at these wider color ranges that is simply lovely to watch.

ANSI Contrast.  This is the most important aspect of image quality and the primary reason we are going exclusively with the leaders in this performance metric, JVC.  While performance differences within the line are very subtle, they do exist if your room conditions and screen combination allows for it.  Consult with us for how to get your room to allow for what JVC can do.

8K.  Currently, 8K should be viewed as a performance enhancement of 4K images.  We don't have any content, nor any standard for 8K, so as exciting as it seems it's not the current goal.  As mentioned, most UHD releases are mastered at 2K anyway, so we have a generation of progress to make with the current UHD/4K standard.  The JVC DLA-NX9 will not accept 8K from a computer anyway (as difficult as this is to do), so why would one want this feature?  Their dithering of the pixels to resolve just past what the source material would otherwise allow for improves its ability to resolve a more clean 4K pixel structure.  A couple analogies include the tweeter that can resolve 40 kHz will more cleanly resolve 20 kHz, or the car that is designed to cruise smoothly at 150 mph will be more smooth at 75 mph.  This e-shifting of the 4K signal to an arguable 8K on-screen structure provides a noticeable improvement in detail and clarity.  You can easily toggle the feature and see for yourself.  So as exciting as it sounds, we advise that they're making 4K better, nomenclature aside.

 

Specifications

  DLA-RS4500 DLA-NX9R DLA-NX7R DLA-NX5R DLA-RS540U LX-UH1B
Native resolution 4K 4K e-shift 8K 4K 4K 2K e-shift 4K e-shift 4K
Light Source Laser phosphor Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp
Brightness, lumens 3,000 2,200 1,900 1,800 1,900 2,000
Lens type 100mm glass,
1.28-2.58:1
100mm glass,
1.28-2.58:1
65mm glass,
1.35-2.72:1
65mm glass,
1.35-2.72:1
glass,
1.4-2.8:1
1.36-2.18:1
P3 filter 100% 100% 100% n/a 100% n/a
ANSI contrast unspecified 100,000:1 80,000:1 40,000:1 130,000:1 unspecified
HDR Auto Tone Map no yes yes yes no no
MSRP $35,000 $18,000 $8,000 $6,000 $6,000 $3,000
Manual download download download download download download
Remote codes download download download download download download
External commands download download download download