JVC shows off projectors with 4K precision, but not quite 4K pixels

JVC first brought 4K home with its $175k DLA-RS4000 and now it's back with four new models with greater than HD resolution at much easier to swallow prices. You'll note the term used is "with 4K precision", because strictly speaking these don't project over 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution, coming in at a still impressive 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. While this is still about four times the number of a standard HD image, it's less than say, Sony's VPL-VW1000ES. Filling in the difference is JVC's e-Shift technology, which was originally developed for its 8K projector. It works by creating two 1080p frames, with one shifted down diagonally and alternated at 120Hz to create the effect.

The scheme is not far off from the old wobulation technology featured in some "1080p" DLPs once upon a time, but this time there are no moving parts as it's all being done electronically. Shown off with an HD resolution source the upscaled image was still impressively sharp to us, even up close, while it also handles native 4K feed. While JVC may not be winning on raw pixel count, what it does have is a serious price advantage. Sony indicated its hardware would be available for "less than $25,000" but the top of the line JVC has an MSRP of just $12k, while the cheaper model will be $7,999 when they all ship in November. Check out the press release after the break and images in the gallery for details, including those so rarely seen native contrast ratio measurements.

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New JVC Home Theater Projectors Display Images With 4K Precision

Four new models upconvert images to four times the resolution of Full HD.

INDIANAPOLIS, September 8, 2011 – JVC today introduced new home theater projectors that display 2D HD content with full 4K precision. They feature JVC's new e-Shift technology capable of projecting images with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, four times that of full HD. The upconverting technology is available in four of seven new 3D-enabled projectors that boast a wide range of advancements, including higher native contrast than previous models for levels that remain unmatched by any other home theater projector.

The new projectors are the Procision Series DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R and DLA-X30, marketed by JVC's Consumer Electronics Group, and the Reference Series DLA-RS65, DLA-RS55, DLA-RS4800 and DLA-RS45, available through JVC Professional Products Company. JVC's 4K e-Shift technology is featured in the top four models, while all seven new projectors offer other advancements that boost picture quality, improve 3D performance and enhance functionality.

Earlier this year NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories, NHK Engineering Service Inc. and JVC Kenwood Corporation collaborated in the development of a Super High Vision projection system that utilizes e-Shift technology. Now, that technology is available in the DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R, DLA-RS65 and DLA-RS55. Using e-Shift, 2D HD content is upconverted and scaled to a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) and the e-Shift technology displays it at full 4K precision. Compared to a Full HD (1920 x 1080) image, that's twice the horizontal and vertical resolution and four times the number of pixels, or over 8 megapixels. The result is a stunningly detailed image with minimal aliasing artifacts found in standard HD displays.

All seven projectors are 3D-enabled and offer several 3D performance and feature enhancements:
• 2D-to-3D Converter – Converts 2D program material to 3D using technology derived from JVC's professional 2D-to-3D converter. Included are user adjustments for 3D depth and subtitle geometry correction;
• JVC's 3D anamorphic feature combined with an optional anamorphic lens make it possible to enjoy 3D movies in the popular 2:35 scope format;
• Compatibility with a wider range of 3D broadcasts, including 1080p/24 and 720p side-by-side formats;
• Brighter 3D images than previous models are possible through the use of an improved driver that keeps the shutter on the active shutter 3D glasses open longer, thus allowing more light to enter, while at the same time minimizing cross talk;
• A Cross Talk Canceller further reduces cross talk through analysis of the left eye and right eye signals and applying appropriate correction;
• A parallax adjustment allows the user to tailor the 3D image effect;
• Direct access to 3D formats and settings on the remote control.

In addition, the top four models -- DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R, DLA-RS65 and DLA-RS55 – have been designed to achieve THX® 3D certification and are scheduled for testing by THX. During the THX 3D certification process, more than 400 laboratory tests are conducted, evaluating color accuracy, cross-talk, viewing angles and video processing to ensure the superior out-of-the-box 3D and 2D display performance that home theater enthusiasts demand.

Other features shared by these four models include:
• ISF certification;
• Enhanced installation adjustment, including a new 1/16th pixel shift function to precisely tune convergence via 121 adjustment points (11 vertical x 11 horizontal) and an increased number of screen mode preset positions, up to a maximum of 255;
• An upgraded optical engine that further improves black level and native contrast;
• 7-Axis Color Management System;
• ISF and THX Calibration via corresponding software to allow advanced adjustment by certified ISF calibrators;
• Three Xenon lamp color modes that emulate the characteristics of high-end movie projectors.

Other enhancements new for all seven 2012 projectors are:
• Lens memory function – Three memory settings store custom focus, zoom and horizontal/vertical lens shift position. This allows a constant height display of 4:3, 16:9 and 2:35 scope content without an additional anamorphic lens;
• A LAN connection that provides enhanced system control and easy firmware or screen mode updates.

To provide enthusiasts with a true measure of performance, JVC has long focused on native contrast and refused to artificially enhance contrast specifications through the use of a dynamic iris. For 2012, native contrast has been improved across the entire line, ensuring that every frame consistently and faithfully reproduces peak whites and deep blacks.

The new flagship projectors, the DLA-X90R and DLA-RS65, are built using hand-selected, hand-tested components and provide a 120,000:1 native contrast ratio. For 3D viewing, both models come with two pairs of 3D glasses and a PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter. Both projectors also have a three-year warranty.

The DLA-X70R and DLA-RS55 offer 80,000:1 native contrast ratio, while the DLA-X30 and DLA-RS45 offer 50,000:1 native contrast ratio. All four projectors come with a two-year warranty. The DLA-RS4800 is ISF certified, offers a 55,000:1 native contrast ratio, comes with a three-year warranty, and includes a spare lamp. JVC Active Shutter 3D Glasses and the PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter are sold separately.

All seven new projectors feature three 0.7" 1920 x 1080 D-ILA devices and are designed around JVC's third generation D-ILA High Dynamic Range optical engine that is optimized to provide exceptional native contrast ratios without a dynamic iris to artificially enhance contrast specifications. A directed light integration system and wire grid polarizer ensures optimum light uniformity and minimal crosstalk in the light path. In the top four models (DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R, DLA-RS65 and DLA-RS55) a combined 16-step lens and lamp aperture adjustment allow the user to optimize the f-number (relative aperture) of the optics system in all steps. The DLA-X30, DLA-RS45 and DLA-RS4800 feature a 16-step lens aperture.

The new JVC D-ILA home theater projectors will be available in November at the following prices:
DLA-X90R/DLA-RS65 $11,999
DLA-X70R/DLA-RS55 $7,999
DLA-RS4800 $4,995
DLA-X30/DLA-RS45 $3,499

In addition to the JVC PK-AG1 active shutter 3D glasses currently available, JVC announced new glasses – the PK-AG2, which are more compact, lighter and rechargeable. The PK-AG1 glasses remain available and are ideal for use over eyeglasses. Both models are compatible with the currently available PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter.

About JVC Americas Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, JVC Americas Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVC Kenwood Corporation. JVC Americas distributes a complete line of video and audio equipment for the consumer and professional markets. For further product information, visit JVC's website.