Behind a small panel with the rest of the other jacks (which include a 12 volt trigger output and an infrared control port), there’s a mini-USB port that’s there for firmware upgrades, one of which became available during the review period and was accomplished with little fuss (although JVC didn’t actually specify what the upgrade itself actually provided in terms of additional functionality, and I couldn’t ascertain what exactly the upgrade was for).
On Screen Display
Occupying the top left of the screen in the default position, the OSD is well laid out and features crisp and colorful graphics, which include slider bars for picture adjustments as well as numerical indicators. The OSD can be moved to the other screen corners or to center screen, and in the default mode stays on until the Back button is pressed, and there’s a choice in the setup menu that provides for a fifteen second go-away mode.
Curiously, the info screen, which details lamp usage time, input signal format and such, doesn’t provide firmware version information; that information is only available when running the firmware upgrade procedure, which necessitates the use of a PC or laptop
There’s much to like about the projector’s remote control, which features dedicated buttons for just about all of the most needed functions, including buttons for discrete power on and off that are a boon for programming automated start-up and shut-down macros into a system remote control. Dedicated input buttons similarly aid in system remote programming, as well as dedicated buttons for all of the available picture modes, which include three user-programmable picture modes.
The remote is backlit and features soft amber lighting, which is just the ticket for easy adjustment in a properly light-controlled home theater setting.
Right out of the box, the JVC’s default picture mode (Natural) provides an eminently watchable picture, although the default Wide color space puts out too much color emphasis. The Cinema mode seems to do a slightly better job of providing a very good looking picture, although choosing the Standard color space has the DLA-X3 set to the correct HDTV Rec.709 color gamut, and provides for excellent color accuracy.
• Color: 0
• Tint: 0
• Sharpness: 0
• Picture Mode: Cinema
• Detail Enhance: 0
• Color Space: Standard
• Color Temperature: 6500°
• Gamma: Normal
• Clear Motion Drive: Off
• Mask: Off (no cropping – 1:1 pixel mode)
3D Blu-ray Evaluation: How To Train Your Dragon
With 3D content, conventional evaluations for sharpness and detail aren’t so relevant, as the 3D effect has the viewer looking at an image on a focal plane that was previously decided upon by another person. However, using test patterns in 2D, and with the sharpness control dialed down to the minimum, the JVC puts out a crisp 1080p image that is consistent across the entire screen, with no softening at all at the screen edges.
The projector’s default Wide color gamut provides for plenty of color “pop”, but the Standard mode is the one to choose, and provides a theater-like presentation that still looks vivid, but not overly so.
Here’s where JVC’s D-ILA LCoS imaging technology shines. Gorgeous deep blacks, aided by the ability to dial down the projector’s light output via the multi-step iris and dimmed lamp mode allow me to get just the right combination of overall picture brightness along with deep, inky blacks. Even at the dimmed Normal lamp mode, there’s still plenty of brightness, but with the added benefit of improved deep black detail along with lower power consumption and extended lamp life.
An early scene has the movie’s young Viking trapped in a dimly lit cabin, and the JVC easily renders the full details of shadowy effects off to the side.
With 3D, there’s a dichotomy between minimizing flicker and preventing ghosting or shadowing. Ideally, there should be maximum stereoscopic separation between the intended left and right eye images, but with no overlap between the two, which causes ghosting. With the JVC, there’s some noticeable flicker, possibly indicating some dead time between the shuttering back and forth of the left and right images, but the amount of flicker isn’t any more than that seen with the current crop of 3D HDTV flat panels that also use active shutter 3D glasses technology. However, the relatively small amount of flicker seen here is a worthwhile tradeoff for a vivid 3D picture that is completely devoid of ghosting, which is a far greater transgression in my opinion.