JVC's DLA-HD1 1080p Projector Saint John NB
Saint John, NB
JVC's DLA-HD1 1080p Projector
May 1, 2007 By David Birch-Jones
The first inkling that JVC’s DLA-HD1 might be a top performer comes to me as I load the batteries into the remote control. The remote features discrete on and off buttons, which are de rigueur for upscale automated control systems, yet aren’t provided with many front projectors. The remote’s backlighting feature isn’t innovative, but the designer wisely chose amber backlight coloring, so you can read the lettering without squinting even in a dark home theater. That the remote also features direct access to all the desired picture control adjustments shows intelligent design.
The projector itself is surprisingly compact, given that the optical system is quite complex. The DLA-HD1 sports deluxe optics from studio camera lensmaker Fujinon, with the lens system providing both horizontal and vertical lens shift to aid in installation flexibility.
The input panel around back is both generous and stingy. Two HDMI digital video inputs are provided instead of the usual one, but the lack of a VGA-style port for computer graphics is puzzling—not only might it come in handy for computer users, it would allow me to get true 1080p out of my Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD setup.
During a demonstration at the recent CES show that pitted the DLA-HD1 head-to-head against Sony’s VPL-W50 (another LCoS design), JVC focused on the improvements made in deep black contrast performance due to its new 1080p imaging panel technology, which combines a micro-mesh wire grid with a smoother reflective backplane. The JVC certainly outperformed the Sony in that department at the trade-show demo, providing deep blacks and dark grays that rival those produced by the better DLP projectors.
That certainly proves to be the case when I evaluate the JVC’s deinterlacing—the process of converting interlaced 1080i and 480i video into the progressive-scan video that the 1080p LCoS chips demand. I use a test DVD that features a scene with a businessman in a pinstripe suit drinking coffee and reading a newspaper in a diner, only to be interrupted by a hobo who mooches the newspaper away from him. The businessman’s slate gray pinstripe suit contrasts subtly with the hobo’s black hat, black coat, and black gloves—each slightly different in tone but all of which the JVC presents with no murkiness or loss of detail. I also notice no flicker or moiré artifacts, no doubt due to JVC’s selection of a Gennum VXP video processor chip. The detection and correction of 2:3 film-based cadences is beyond merely quick—it’s instantaneous, so you see no artifacts when you jump from video-based material to film-based material and back again.
The projector’s colorimetry is as good as it gets. Quite often, even if the display presents the red, green, and blue primary colors at the proper values (which itself is somewhat uncommon), the values of one or more of the secondary colors...