JVC DLA-X500R Three-Chip D-ILA 3D Projector Review


Setup of the JVC DLA-X500R D-ILA 3D Projector

The X500R was installed right-side-up on a stand behind my seating. I got my first taste of its astounding image quality when I put up a crosshatch pattern for focus and alignment. Squaring and sizing the picture was a breeze thanks to a fully-motorized lens control. Focusing however was a revelation. Normally, I tweak focus until I can clearly see the pixel gap. This projector however has none whatsoever. Even when I got close enough to the screen to leave a grease spot with my nose, I couldn't see any gap at all! It was actually a bit difficult to set focus but after some back and forth tweaking, I had it.

The menu system is quite changed from my 2009-vintage Anthem LTX-500. Let's take a look.

All the important controls are accessed from the Picture Adjust menu starting with the Picture Mode. Selecting that takes you to another screen where you can choose not only the mode but also engage Clear Black (subtle edge enhancement in black transitions), Lamp Power, Lens Aperture (2 Auto modes and Manual), and rename the four User modes. The preset modes include Cinema, Animation, Natural, Stage, and the aforementioned User 1-4. All calibration parameters can be adjusted in all the modes. When a 4K signal is input an additional mode appears called appropriately, 4K. Many adjustments are locked out here including the CMS.

When you switch to 3D, the picture mode appears to stay the same but it is in fact a separate adjustable memory. Once you make your changes they will always be there when you send a 3D signal in that particular mode. Something I've always loved about JVC projectors are the individual memories for color gamut, color temp, and gamma. You can create your own presets for these parameters and call them up in any picture mode you want. This is extremely handy when you want to mix and match standards like say a Rec.601 gamut and D54 white point for black and white movies.

If you're looking for the e-shift controls, they are found in the MPC Level sub-menu. You can turn it off if you like. There are also sliders here for Enhance, Dynamic Contrast, and Smoothing. They make subtle changes to gamma and are best left alone for the sake of accuracy. I never had occasion or need to turn off the e-shift.

Moving downward we have the Clear Motion Drive which is JVC's term for frame interpolation. It has Low, High, or Off settings. Rounding out the menu is Brightness, Contrast, Color, and Tint.

The next menu won't need much attention except for the Input Level option. By default its set to Auto and it will clip signal information above white and below black. If you want to see this detail, you'll have to change it to Enhanced. There's also a Super White setting which restores the above white levels but still clips black below level 16.

The third menu, Installation, is where you'll find the lens memory feature. It allows you to set zoom, shift, and focus options then save them to one of five memory slots. This is perfect for those using a cinemascope screen without an anamorphic lens. Once the movie starts, simply select the memory for widescreen and watch those black bars disappear off the top and bottom of your screen.

The only other thing I checked out in the remaining menus was the Pixel Adjust function. If you see any color tint in a white field pattern, or color fringing around fine image details, you can fix it with this convergence control. While it effectively addresses these issues, it will reduce resolution. My sample had perfect convergence already so I didn't need to make any adjustments.

To calibrate the X500R I chose the Natural mode and created custom setups for color, color temp, and gamma. There is more detail on this in the benchmark section. In my theater, Low lamp power was enough to get me to 18 footLamberts peak output which is plenty of light. It also means there is virtually no fan noise. The High setting increases fan speed but it's still pretty quiet.

JVC included a 3D emitter and a pair of glasses with my press sample. I plugged the emitter into the back of the X500R and charged the glasses via USB from my computer. Pairing the glasses requires two presses of the power button once the projector is in 3D mode.

Now that everything is properly tweaked, let's watch some movies!

Go to Page 4: In Use