Presentation of the JVC DLA-X5000
The JVC DLA-X5000, a high-end home theater projector with 4K E-shift4 technology and compatibility with 4K blu-rays with HDR and REC2020, has now been in a detailed review and we would like to share it with you, dear readers!
The projector JVC DLA-X5000 (also known in the USA as the JVC DLA-RS400 or JVC DLA-X550) was released at the end of the year 2015 and is sold for approximately 4500€.
We already reviewed the predecessor JVC DLA-X500 to provide you a fair comparison of the two. Enjoy! 😉
The JVC DLA-X5000 is a Full HD 3D projector using the 6th generation of D-ILA panels and the 4th generation of the 4K-simulation called E-shift4.
The design of JVC projectors has been the same for many generations and that for a good reason. The design and the cooling associated to it has been proved reliable over all the generations and the metal casing gives a very solid impression and we liked it a lot.
4K E-shift4 Technology
JVC is using a E-shift technology to simulate 4K resolution by moving/shifting in the diagonal direction all the pixels by a half pixel.
The Epson EH-LS10000 reviewed here is using a very similar technology to achieve similar results.
The result is that the number of pixels is doubled in comparison to Full-HD resolution and almost no structure is visible even when looking up close to the screen. However the number of pixels on the screen is still only half of the one of a true 4K-UHD resolution.
The JVC DLA-X5000 can accept 4K content and scales it down to the 2 times full HD resolution. It can also upscale a Full-HD content and display it with twice as many pixels using the E-shift.
The down-side of this technology is that the pixels are never displayed all at the same time and the D-ILA panels need to move very quickly to give the illusion of a higher resolution. In doing so, we can lose some sharpness or intra-picture contrast. We will evaluate those aspects later on.
The only home-theater projectors to display a true 4K resolution out of a full 4K matrice are the higher end Sony projectors like the Sony VPL-VW520ES we reviewed here previously.
The projector’s weight is 15,4 kg and it measures 45,5 x 17,9 x 47,2 cm. It is quite a big projector, but not as big as the Epson EH-LS10000 (the biggest we have ever tested).
The throw ratio, which is the distance of the projector to the screen divided by the picture width, varies between 1,4 – 2,8:1. That means that you can get a picture of width 2,5m with only 3,5m between the lens of the projector and the screen.
The JVC DLA-X5000 has a motorized zoom and lens shift with memory function. As usual with JVC projectors, the range of the lens shift is large: Vertical: 80% max (up and down with horizontal centered), Horizontal: 34% max (left and right with vertical centered). This means that the projector can be set up in every position very easily.
The menu of the projector is accessible with the remote control, but also with a rear panel on the projector. This can be very helpful in order to use the projector if the remote control is not available or even lost.
The projector JVC DLA-X5000 has all connections needed for Full-HD and 4K blu-ray playback with 2 HDMI 2.0a / HDCP 2.2 inputs with full 18Gbps speed. This is actually one of the strengths of the JVC DLA-X5000 to enable compatibility with 4K blu-rays with HDR / REC2020 and 4K60P 4:4:4 signals. There is also an ethernet connection which is very useful to perform the JVC auto-calibration with a laptop and a colorimeter Spyder 4.
The remote control allows for a quick access to all important functionalities like the frame interpolation. Also directly accessible are the controls for the motorized zoom and lens shift. There is also a button to activate the backlight of the remote which is helpful while watching a movie in a dark room. The buttons of the remote control are large enough but the remote stays light and compact and lies easily in the hand.
The projector in action
Full HD Movies in 2D
Our first impression with the JVC X5000 when watching our usual test scenes was the incredibly high brightness even in eco-mode which gives an extra pop to the picture.
In addition the picture was really sharp but stayed natural (without E-shift). The high quality glass lens was for sure one of the reasons combined with relatively good convergence.
The contrast performance of the JVC X5000 is impressive with deep black and very good details in dark scenes, as we are used to with JVC. Furthermore, with the activation of the dynamic iris function, it can achieve very deep black on a totally black picture.
Out of the box the mode “natural” with the color profile “standard” was the closest to the REC 709 norm. A calibration was however necessary to get the best out of the projector.
After activation of the frame interpolation on the setting “low”, the picture motion is smooth even in the most difficult scenes with travelling. However, while for most scenes there are almost no artefacts and the picture stays natural, for some other scenes some vertical bands could be observed, but not as often as with the previous model, the JVC DLA-X500. For the more conservative people, we would suggest to let the frame interpolation desactivated and it will be perfect for a 24p cinema experience.
The activation of the MPC (JVC numerical sharpness improvement) was effective, unlike the MPC of the JVC DLA-X500. We advise you to leave the settings on default. You can also combine it with a Darbee on the setting 35% for blu-rays. The result is a very sharp picture which allows to show all the details of your favorite Blu-rays.
The E-shift4 activates the 4K simulation technology with half a pixel shift to get twice the number of pixels on the screen. With E-shift4 activated, which is very similar to the e-shift3 of the JVC DLA-X500. the pixel structure disappears almost completely, but in the process the picture gets a bit softer and some moving picture noise was also created. We preferred to leave it desactivated with 1080p sources. The JVC DLA-X5000 delivers a very sharp and natural image without E-shift.
We didn’t have the possibility to test the JVC DLA-X5000 with a 4K Blu-ray, because at the time of the review there was no 4K blu-ray player available yet.
Below you can see a few screenshots taken from the Blu-rays “Lucy”, “Mission Impossible”, “Oblivion”, “The Dark Knight” and “Tron Legacy”. You can click on each picture to open it in the original resolution.
Full HD Movies in 3D
We used our favorite 3D Demo Bluray: “Sammy” (a need to have by the way) that we know so well for the evaluation.
The high brightness of the JVC DLA-X5000 also translated in 3D, especially with the high power lamp activated. Actually, it was the first time we saw a projector that bright in 3D that did not give us the urge for more brightness. The beginning scene of Sammy on the beach, with the bright sun and the palm trees was perfectly translated in term of brightness feeling. It was almost too bright. Impressive!
Ghosting was present, for example of the same palm trees but was mostly contained if the rest of the movie.
Those are all very good news for the 3D performance of the JVC DLA-X5000. Congrats to JVC team!
However, we wondered before the review if JVC adressed the flickering problem due to the 96hz refresh rate. The answer came after a few minutes of 3D movie, as our 2 pairs of eyes got tired way too quickly from the 3D show, as the brightest part of the picture were clearly flickering. So JVC engineers, if your hear us, if you adress this last flickering issue with the bluray 3D playback, most probably the JVC projectors will get king of the 3D hill! 😉
Sony projectors have the same 3D 96hz flickering issues by the way (see our review of the Sony VPL-VW520ES). Outside DLP projectors mostly working at a 144hz refresh rate, only Epson projectors (for example the Epson EH-LS10000 or Epson EH-TW9200 reviewed here) are working at a higher resfresh rate of 120hz eliminating most of the indesirable flickering side effects.
All together, the JVC DLA-X5000 provides a pretty nice 3D experience but if 3D is important to you, we encourage you to try out to see if you get tired from the flickering effect before you sign up for the JVC DLA-X5000.
Analysis of the Sharpness
Unlike the DLP projectors, the 3LCD projectors, as the name indicates, possess three color matrices for red, green and blue, which are supposed to be aligned perfectly. Naturally, in reality the overlap of the 3LCD matrices is not perfect, often referred to as convergence problem.
Our exemplar showed very good convergence, that didn’t require any correction. Still, if needed, the numerical correction works well and can be done without much effort.
E-shift4: 4K simulation
If you activate the E-shift function, the panels vibrate (extremely fast) diagonally by half a pixel. The result is an even finer pixel grid with twice as many pixels.
However, we noticed from up-close that activating the E-shift also generated a kind of moving picture noise. Also the the E-shift engine ON makes the picture look a bit softer.
On the pictures below you can see how the E-shift makes effectively the pixels grid disappear but also the associated softness due to its activation:
Left picture: No E-shift // Right picture: E-shift activated
Left picture: No E-shift // Right picture: E-shift activated
Left picture: No E-shift // Right picture: E-shift activated
Sharpness vs. MPC vs E-shift:
Here we make an analysis of the sharpness of the picture with different levels of MPC, the numerical sharpness improvement system of JVC, but also with the activation of the E-shift 4K simulation technology.
On the sharpness test pattern of the reference disc AVS HD 709, we have increased the level of MPC from 0 to 5 to 10 and then switched on the E-shift engine for 4K simulation with MPC from 0 to 5 to 10.
The MPC was clearly improved from the previous generation, that had almost no effect. The new MPC sharpens the picture subtly on level 5 and very few artefacts. Going from 5 to 10 increases the artifacts only little.
Additionally, it is visible that the E-shift activation smoothens the vertical and horizontal lines and makes the picture look softer.
You should click on each picture to open it in the original resolution and zoom in. If you don’t, the resolution of your screen will create some crosses on its own which do no exist in the true picture.
E-Shift ON // MPC on 5
On the screenshot from Oblivion we have compared E-shift OFF and ON with MPC both on 5. Again, the activation of the E-shift makes the picture a bit softer (have a look at the pants or the rock structures).
We advise to desactivate E-shift for 1080p source and put MPC on the setting 5. But you can also turn it off completely because the JVC DLA-X5000 has an excellent native sharpness, so congrats to JVC for that!
Move the mouse over the picture to compare the 2 pictures.
Colors: Out of the box
Out of the box, the projector has 3 predefined modes with 2 color profiles associated to each: Natural + Color Profile Standard or Video, Cinema + Color Profile Standard or Cinema and Animation + Color Profile Standard or Anime. Every mode was analyzed with the colorimeter i1 Display Pro profiled to the spectrophotometer i1 Pro 2 with the software Chromapure. The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The mode that is closest to the norm REC 709 is the mode Natural with the color profile Standard with an average CIE94 dE of 3.6 for the colors (75% saturation & 75% brightness) and 7.2 for the grayscale. The gamma is flat with an average of 2.1. Overall that’s an acceptable performance out of the box. With a calibration, you can get the best out of the projector and correct a push of the blue color for the grayscale (color temperature of 7500K instead of 6500K), adjust the colors and increase the gamma to around 2.2.
Ideally, you would like to have a flat gamma curve of 2.2 and a CIE94 DeltaE under 2 for all colors and the grayscale. Furthermore, you want to adjust the brightness and contrast to the right level. With that, the black will not be crushed, the white levels will not be clipped and the color will be natural and as close to to the movie producer’s choice as possible.
Here are the Chromapure results for the grayscale and the CIE diagram for a saturation of 100% and brightness amplitude of 100%. The projector is positioned with zoom MAX. The lamp had 82 hours.
The picture width projected on the screen was 245 cm for all these measurements.
Out of the box: detailed predefined mode analysis:
Calibration of the projector
The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The calibration is based on the “Natural” mode with the color profile “Standard” and the lamp power put on low.
For the color calibration, we used patterns of 75% saturation and 75% brightness.
- Grayscale & RGB analysis:
The Grayscale after calibration of the preset Cinema shows an excellent behavior with an CIE94 DeltaE average of 1.6.
- CIE and color management analysis:
The colors in the CIE after calibration of the mode Cinema show a perfect behavior with all CIE94 DeltaE values below 2.1 and 1.1 as average for 75% brightness and 75% saturation.
- Gamma analysis:
After calibration the gamma curve is still flat but now with an average of 2.24.
In-depth analysis of all saturation levels after calibration:
For 75% brightness, the JVC DLA-X5000 shows an excellent tracking for the saturations below 75% within the CIE diagramm. For 100% saturation almost all colors are a little over-saturated, but this doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. In fact, we really liked the extra bit of saturation on some scenes, because it stayed natural.
The Color Checker of Chomapure is a collection of the most important colors for movies, including many different skin tones. The JVC DLA-X5000 showed excellent results with many deltaE values below 1 and the maximum at 2.2. This is a proof for JVC’s reference color reproduction after calibration.
The projector JVC DLA-X5000 was easy to calibrate since we only had to adjust the grayscale and increase the gamma a bit. After this the colors didn’t need further adjustment.
The controls were responsive and we especially like the possibility to calibrate the dark end and the bright end of the grayscale & gamma independently of the rest. This gives a 4 points control over the grayscale and this is a rare feature that we really appreciated! In the end, the result was excellent!
The JVC DLA-X5000 has the possibility of an Auto-calibration with a JVC software and the colorimeter Spyder 4. It is known to be able to correct a bad gamma curve to a perfect one. With our exemplar of the JVC DLA-X5000 it was not necessary because the gamma was very good out of the box.
Brightness & Screen size recommandation
The JVC DLA-X5000 is a very bright projector (unlike its predecessor the JVC DLA-X500 reviewed here) capable to light on big screens over 3m width without breaking a sweat.
This high brightness gives also a vivid feeling to the movies. But do not overdo do it or your eyes will tire pretty quickly. You should think about closing the iris to adjust the brightness if it is too much for your screen size.
After calibration in the low lamp mode the JVC DLA-X5000 puts out 971 lumens. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.7m and 3.7m. For smaller screen like the one we used for the review (2m45 width), you should close the iris a bit.
Going from the low lamp to the high lamp mode multiplies the brightness by a factor around 1.4.
Closing the iris from 0 to -15 results in getting around 60% of the original brightness.
The highest number of Lumens is achieved in high power mode with 1400 calibrated Lumens. It could be useful to watch football on a bright day or to light on a very big screen of 4m width!
Advanced contrast measurements
A great number of contrast measurements were made to deliver you results that are unique in the world. Actually, in the different tests of projectors around the world you can often find native contrast measurements (ON-OFF with one picture completely black and one completely white) and sometimes ANSI contrast measurements (checkerboard with 50% white and 50% black).
The problem is that these contrast values are two extremes, but most images from movies are in between.
Have a look at our article where we made a big brightness analysis of 53 movies:
Therefore we have created appropriate patterns in order to give you contrast curves BETWEEN 0% and 50% white in the middle of the screen:
Also our optimized room has the advantage of being transformable into a room with white walls and ceiling. Thus it is easy to compare the contrast performance under very different conditions:
- with opened curtains (comparable to a living room with white walls, reality of home theater in many homes)
- with closed curtains (optimized room with black floor, ceiling and walls)
- measurement at the lens (highest contrast possible, but not reachable in any room)
Illustration of our reversible room:
Left: opened curtains / Right: closed curtains
To visualize these numbers, here the resulting 3 contrast curves.
The scale on the contrast axis is logarithmic to represent the perception of the human eye. For example your eyes will see the same difference between a contrast increase from 1000:1 to 2000:1 and a contrast increase from 10000:1 to 20000:1.
The calibrated contrast numbers confirm the reputation of JVC to have very good black level! The JVC DLA-X5000 has a very good on-off contrast (no dynamic iris activated), which means deep blacks!
However the black are not as deep as with the older brother the JVC DLA-X500 we reviewed previously. There are 2 reasons for that:
- The JVC X5000 is a lot brighter than the JVC DLA-X500, and so for the same contrast, it means that the black are brighter as well.
- The JVC X5000 being brighter is at the cost of contrast. Indeed the ON-OFF contrast of the older JVC DLA-X500 was 20000:1 with zoom max /iris open. Now the new JVC DLA-X5000 is measured at 12000:1 is the same conditions (still excellent though 😉 ).
Before calibration every mode was measuring an ON-OFF contrast of about 13500:1 with Zoom Max / Iris closed. A bit of contrast got loss through the calibration process.
In our optimized room we measured at the screen a modified ANSI contrast value of 235:1 (for 50% ADL). At the lens, the modified ANSI contrast value reaches 257:1. The older JVC DLA-X500 showed similar results.
The ANSI contrast tells you, how good a projector can display black next to white. The JVC DLA-X5000’s ANSI contrast is good, but not the best. That is why we were able to see vertical streaking in the black parts above and below the white squares of our contrast patterns as you can see on the image below. This behavior is common for projectors with a very high on-off contrast. Luckily it is not visible in a movie, except on white writings on black background.
The On-off contrast in the ECO mode was 12000:1 with zoom max (Iris open) and 20000:1 with zoom min (Iris closed). That’s excellent performance! Congrats to JVC for keeping such high On-Off contrast values while increasing the brightness of the projector that much!
Note: the contrast values can vary greatly from one to another projector examplar. The JVC DLA-X5000 we reviewed was more on the low side of the band width.
As you can see in the table above, closing the iris increases the ON-OFF contrast, but also decreases the ANSI contrast. But what happens in between? The following graph gives you the answer:
The gain of contrast by closing the iris is limited to the ON-OFF contrast. The intersection of the two curves is at about 1% white in the picture. For higher ADL the contrast is higher with the iris opened. For example, the ANSI contrast decreases from 257:1 (iris open) to 221:1 (iris closed). The loss of contrast with closed iris is due to internal reflection on the iris back into the light engine.
Remember our results from the ADL analysis (with a gamma of 2.2) of 53 famous movies:
- 90% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 20% (ADL=% of white)
- 80% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 13%
- 50% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 5%
- The average brightness/ADL of all analyzed movies is 8%
Overall we can say that the JVC DLA-X5000 has a very good contrast performance. Especially in dark scenes you can see the potential of the projector with deep black and excellent shadow details. Actually, the contrast performance of the JVC DLA-X5000 is very similar to the one of the Epson EH-LS10000.
The projector JVC DLA-X5000, currently sold for about 4500€, gives a high end home cinema experience with a high brightness, high contrast, good blacks and an excellent native sharpness. Furthermore, the projector has a motorized zoom and lens-shift which makes its installation a breeze. Last but not least, the JVC DLA-X5000 can read the latest bluray 4K and take advantage of the higher resolution, more saturated colors and HDR.
If you are planning to buy a projector in the price class 2500€ – 4500€, the JVC DLA-X5000 is definitely one of the best choices.
The JVC DLA-X5000 like the previous generation JVC DLA-X500, delivers a very sharp picture with a high quality lens and we were really impressed. The convergence was very good. The numerical MPC sharpness improvement engine from JVC was able to bring an additionnal precision to the already sharp picture.
Also, the E-shift4 4K simulation (very similar to the E-shift 3 on the JVC DLA-X500) on 1080p sources, does make the pixel structure disappear, but at the cost of making the picture look a bit softer and creating a weird moving picture noise when looking up close to the screen. In addition the E-shift activation adds a new sound/noise coming from the projector and some people may not like it. We recommend to let E-shift desactivated on 1080p content.
The natural motion handling is good but not the best in class. Also, the JVC frame interpolation while working well on low setting for most scenes, generates a strange banding on some few others which could be distracting. This banding phenomenon is however improved compared to the JVC DLA-X500.
The contrast behaviour is impressive, especially for dark content, with very good blacks and a lot of details. However the older JVC DLA-X500 was even more impressive in the past with higher contrast values. The dynamic iris was also working nicely and provided a contrast boost in dark scenes.
The JVC DLA-X5000 is a quiet projector on low lamp. The high lamp mode is more noisy, but still acceptable if needed. All together very similar to the older JVC DLA-X500.
Out of the box colors & calibration:
Out of the box, our unit showed acceptable colors and very good gamma behaviour. However, the greyscale needed to be corrected, because of a blue push.
Luckily, the projector can be calibrated to the REC709 norm with its responsive controls and we especially liked the 4 points grayscale/gamma control.
Even more impressive was that the calibration only needed adjusting the greyscale since the colors adjusted themselves in the process. After that the colors were tracking very well for all measured saturation levels in the REC709 colorspace. In the end, we achieved with a manual calibration reference results with perfect colors and skin tones which made the movies look absolutely natural and superb!
Brightness & Recommended screen size
The JVC DLA-X5000 is a very bright projector. With a new lamp, there is enough calibrated Lumens in the low power mode to light on a 3.4m screen and still get the 14fL norm! However as the lamp ages, we recommend not to use a 16/9 screen wider than 3m if you plan to use the projector on low lamp mode. For smaller screen, you can adjust the brightness with the manual iris to get perfect brightness.
– High brightness to light up big screens!
– High brightness in 3D movie
– Excellent native sharpness with a high quality lens
– Good convergence out of the box on our reviewed sample
– Very good ON-OFF contrast
– Quiet on low lamp mode
– Motorized lens and lens-shift with memory
– Extensive calibration controls for an easy calibration (gamma, grayscale, colors etc…)
– 4 points control for grayscale calibration (rare!)
– Bluray 4K/ HDR/ REC2020 signals compatibility (with hdmi 2.0a / 18Gbits)
– Numerical MPC sharpness tool giving even a more detailed picture
– Big and heavy (15 kg)
– E-shift softens the picture for 1080p content
– A calibration was necessary to get the best results
– Frame interpolation generates sometimes vertical banding (but less than the previous generation)
– 3D with 96Hz refresh rate tiring for the eyes
– Less contrast than the previous generation JVC DLA-X500
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