Projector Review: JVC RS-1

Well, my JVC RS-1 has arrived. I’ve spent five or six hours with it trying different sources and comparing it to my existing Sony HS-20 projector.

This is my mini-review including additional notes I made in December 2007.

The Good

  • excellent convergence!
    • and it’s so nice to have the option to make pixel shifting adjustments
  • much brighter than I was led to believe, even with lens shift
    • can easily handle light in the room when necessary
  • looks great on my Da-Lite Da-Mat (1.0 gain) screen — I don’t see why high gain would be needed
    • after many months, I still swear you’re nuts to add screen gain for this projector: go with 1.0!
      all white scenes are already blinding and you don’t want to brighten the dark scenes!
  • full 1920×1080 resolution is nice but it’s not a stark difference over my old 1388×788 resolution with 1080p video/film sources (at least with the couple of Blu-Ray titles I have and some HDTV recordings)
    • great for sources of fine detail like computer output though
    • deeper dark scenes have a bigger impact than resolution increase
  • much reduced “screen door effect” — you have to be impractically close to still see it
  • deeper blacks — they are certainly much improved but, at least out-of-the-box, you definitely still see where the image frame ends; it’s not like the absence of light, not like you can’t cast an obvious shadow on the black bars
    • perhaps this can be improved with adjustments much as I was able to do with my HS-20
    • yes… much improved now, there’s so little light in the black that I get more light on the screen from an indirect light source several rooms away: bounced off of several walls before reaching my screen!
  • HDMI HDCP handshaking works with this projector when my receiver is in the chain!
    • it wasn’t working with the HS-20 (a Sony projector with a new Sony receiver)
    • yeah! that means I can get HDMI audio to my receiver without having to workaround the problem with a splitter or something

The Not-So-Great

  • light leakage all the way around image and outside my screen frame — very noticeable when scene goes near black (never had to put up with this before)
    • this is now completely invisible with a dark paint wall background — I used to have white walls
  • fan noise is comparable to others (not great, not terrible, certainly quite audible at normal bulb level despite forum comments to the contrary); it’s certainly much louder than my Mac Mini and its external hard drive, even when standing well away from the projector
  • manual zoom and lens shift controls (power zoom would be nice for constant height screen)

The Ugly

  • some distracting “off” colors, but not as bad as I initially thought once I compared to my old projector and tried other sources; perhaps it can be improved with some color adjustments (haven’t done Avia video calibration yet)
    (since doing some adjustments I’m not noticing any problems any more)
  • awful, terrible noise with certain saturated reds — it’s really bad and really noticeable but I’ve only seen it in one scene so far (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Blu-Ray), newscaster on video screen)
    (after many months, I haven’t seen this anywhere else – just a quirk with this particular scene – perhaps the extra resolution makes the intended noise of that newscast feed much more apparent)
  • Something I do keep encountering though: every so often I’m seeing very apparent banding across dark gradients like dark skies. I don’t know if it’s an issue with my Sony Blu-Ray BDP-S1, certain disks or the projector under these circumstances. For an easy example of it, just view the Planet Earth intro sequence of the sun rising over the planet.

Be the First to Comment!