JVC release 3D-compatible projectors – review by Martin Pipe
The latest range of JVC three-chip D-ILA projectors, intended to replace the highly-regarded DLA-550, 950 and 990 models, provide support for frame-sequential 3D. A PK-EM1 wireless emitter module, which plugs into the rear panel, controls pairs of shuttered glasses worn by each viewer. All three of the new models – the £3,600 DLA-X3, £6,600 DLA-X7 and £9,600 DLA-X9 – include this module, plus a free pair of PK-AG1 3D glasses. Extra pairs, which are made for JVC by XPanD, will sell for £160.
These projectors are compatible with all current 3D transmission formats, including 3D Blu-ray’s frame-packing and the ‘side-by-side’ system as used by Sky. Common to the trio are a finer-pitch D-ILA chip wire grid, newly-designed drive circuitry, a 3000 hour-life 220W UHP lamp and a 3rd-generation optical block with x2 zoom lens that contribute to improved black levels and a maximum brightness of no less than 1,300 lumens. Contrast ratios for the new models are claimed to be 50,000:1, 70,000:1 and 100,000:1 from bottom to top.
The X7 and X9 are THX-certified, can be controlled via a LAN, support Adobe RGB colour-profiling and boast ISF calibration modes – the X9 justifies its premium status by squeezing out the last ounce of performance, through the use of hand-selected, hand-wwwed components. Video processing includes 7-axis colour management system and JVC’s double-speed Clear Motion Drive; thankfully, you won’t find any dodgy 2D-to-3D conversion algorithms here! All of the new PJs offer two HDMI 1.4 ports, a 12V trigger output, component and PC/VGA analogue inputs. JVC told us that fan noise is a mere 20dB.
And judging by the demo we were recently given at JVC’s HQ, the new models are certainly quiet! Pictures can’t be faulted either; a spin of an IMax 3D film (‘Under the Sea’) demonstrated a superb 3D performance – that cod swims tangibly towards you, while specks of detritus could be pinpointed in space. A 3D TV football match broadcast by Sky wasn’t quite as impressive, with a ‘cardboard cutout’ tendency and noticeable ‘fringing’ – although we suspect that the source material is the limitation here. 2D pictures, however, are breathtakingly good. Iron Man 2 was conveyed with razor-sharp detail, a wide dynamic range and vivid colour.