JVC's DLA-HD100 1080p resolution front projector is the company's new flagship model, while the DLA-HD1 from last year remains in the line at a lower price point. The HD100 adds some improvements that are certainly desirable--including improved black-level performance and contrast ratio--but oddly the color accuracy and light output are both better on the older HD1. Unfortunately, someone at the company decided to radically change the primary color points, making them even more ludicrously wrong on the HD100 than they are on the HD1. Red in particular measures way beyond the HDTV specification, causing severe oversaturation, so you will have to dial the color control down significantly to get pictures to appear reasonably natural. The high-end JVC HD100 does a lot of things right, but given its problems with color accuracy and relatively steep price, the competition offers better options.
As far as appearance goes, the DLA-HD100 looks identical to its older sibling, which is to say relatively understated in terms of design flare and "cool factor." This squarish box has a high-gloss black finish and a relatively small footprint. The lens is centered on the chassis, which both gives it a more symmetrical look over designs in which lenses are near the side of the chassis, and will make ceiling installations easier in terms of aligning it to the screen.
The remote is nicely laid out and colored silver instead of matching black to the projector. The slender clicker arranges the important function buttons and the arrow keys for navigation at the bottom and I was pleased to find that all of the keys are backlit. The internal menu system is identical to the older JVC unit, and is simple and intuitive to navigate.
A 1080p native resolution is becoming standard among projectors these days, and that's a great trend since all those pixels become increasingly important in larger screen sizes. The JVC's three 1080p resolution panels--one each for red, green, and blue--use JVC's proprietary D-ILA technology, a variant of LCoS that's similar to the SXRD panels used in Sony's projectors.
The main additions to the feature package include customizable gamma, electronic Zoom and Focus features, and a Vertical Stretch mode to accommodate an outboard anamorphic lens for 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen applications. Of course, the projector also offers selectable color temperatures, which include Low, Middle, High, Memory 1, and Memory 2. The last two potentially allow for two separate grayscale calibrations, one for color (6,500K) and one for black and white (5,400K) material. The Pixel Adjust lets you to make minor corrections to the panel alignment, which will sharpen up the picture slightly. A Mask feature is very useful in ridding the screen of compression lines created from cable and satellite boxes. However, I do not recommend you use Mask for Blu-ray sources because they require zero overscan to ensure you are getting all the resolution on the screen.
Unlike on most projectors in this category, the DLA-HD100 doesn't have an Iris control or an auto Iris setting, which I consider a good thing--those functions impair the overall picture performance in my experience, and I always leave them turned off.
Connectivity options are reasonably generous. Two HDMI 1.3 compatible inputs head up the list, along with one component video, one S-Video, and one composite video input. Finally, a DLA-HD10032 control port is on tap for touch panel remote control programming purposes.