JVC DLA-HD100 review:


Overall performance on the DLA-HD100 is a mixed bag. My biggest complaint is the terribly inaccurate primary colors, which causes severe oversaturation. This forced me to back the color way down from where it would normally be. At this level I expect at least some attempt at getting close to either SMPTE or HDTV color references, and the JVC's reds and greens are way off the mark. By way of comparison, the Sony VPL-VW200, although somewhat more expensive, does offer exceptionally accurate color. Blacks and contrast ratio on the DLA-HD100 are impressive indeed, and the projector delivers on its 1080p resolution promise at least with video material. If the company would give us more accurate color reproduction, it would have a real winner on its hands.

The JVC DLA-HD100's blacks appeared compelling and considerably deeper than on last year's HD1. Because of the increased black-level performance, however, the light output is down by just under 20 percent. Speaking of light output, I used the High Lamp mode, which can be found in the Function menu, and achieved 12.7 footlamberts of light output on my 80-inch wide by 45-inch high Stewart Grayhawk RS screen. This setting does make the projector a bit louder, but if it's mounted on the ceiling it shouldn't present too much of a problem.

The excellent Silicon Optix HQV test disc revealed a significant loss of resolution on film based material when fed to the DLA-HD100 via 1080i, although it's not an issue with 1080p sources.

White-field uniformity, as we've seen with many LCD and LCoS projectors, left something to be desired. This issue will show most on bright white scenes like hockey rinks and snow and ice. Take, for example, the beginning of Chapter 5 of The Italian Job, where the guys are celebrating in the Austrian Alps. I noticed that the snow covered mountains had a tinge of blue and red splotching.

The opening sequences of the new "final cut" of Blade Runner on Blu-ray are a testament to the DLA-HD100's exceptional black-level performance. In the very beginning, the text on the black background pops out at you because of the excellent contrast ratio. In fact, most of the movie will serve as an excellent black-level torture test for any projector, and the JVC passes muster in this area handily. The awesome transfer of The Departed on Blu-ray is a good movie to show off the JVC's excellent resolution. The opening scenes, starting with the diner scene and moving to the police academy scenes with Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, looked razor sharp. However, I did find that skin tones in these scenes were exceedingly red, and I was forced to bring down the color level by eight clicks from where it should be set with SMPTE color bars to get skin tone to look natural.

Before color temp (20/80) 6400/7175 Average
After color temp 6075/6750 Poor
Before grayscale variation +/- 553 Average
After grayscale variation +/- 180 Average
Color of red (x/y) 0.685/0.315 Poor
Color of green 0.292/0.694 Poor
Color of blue 0.146/0.043 Average
Overscan 0.0% Good
Black-level retention All patterns stable Good
Defeatable edge enhancement Y Good
480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps Y Good
1080i video resolution Pass Good
1080i film resolution Fail Poor

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