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JVC DLA-RS46 review

Katharine Byrne
27 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
2,424
inc VAT

Poor 3D and a distracting grain effect hold it back from being a truly first class home cinema projector

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,300 ANSI lumens, 180x450x470mm, 14.8kg

JVC’s DLA-RS46 is a top of the range home cinema projector that uses D-ILA technology. It stands for Direct-Drive Image Light Amplification and is JVC’s own brand of LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology. It has three D-ILA chips – one each for red, blue and green. By combining the light from all three, the projector can create a full-colour image.

JVC DLA-RS46

It’s a huge projector, so you’ll want to mount it to the ceiling, but you don’t need to worry about accessing the top of the unit here, as everything you need is located on the back. There are menu, power, input and direction buttons right next to its wide variety of connections, which include two HDMI inputs. There are also component and VGA inputs for older kit.

JVC DLA-RS46

The Ethernet port is a little unusual, but connect the DLA-RS46 to your home network and you can control it with an iOS device. The app's useful, as you control all of the projector's image settings without anything appearing on screen and obscuring part of the picture.

JVC DLA-RS46 iOS app

Controlling the setting via an iOS app is a nice touch

The projector takes a while to warm up and turn on, but we were pleased to see that it has electronic lens adjustment that lets you control the lens via the remote. This made it much easier to align the projector and fill our screen, not least because of its generous 2x optical zoom and huge amounts of horizontal and vertical lens shift adjustment.

The number of options available on the DLA-RS46 is staggering. There are eleven picture modes in total that cater for almost any type of film, including Natural, Cinema, Stage, Film, Animation, 3D and five customisable User modes. All of them can be tweaked to your liking, though, and you have control over brightness, contrast, colour, tint, colour temperature and gamma settings in its basic menu, as well as sharpness, noise reduction, colour space, lens aperture, lamp power and custom gamma in its advanced menu settings.

IMAGE QUALITY

We found that Natural produced the best colours and contrast, and our initial impressions were extremely promising. Even though it only has a 1,300 ANSI lumen lamp, our 2D test footage looked absolutely stunning. Images were crisp and packed full of detail, colours were rich and vibrant, and blacks were some of the deepest we’d seen.

Unfortunately, we soon discovered that each mode had its own strengths and weaknesses. Animation really brought colours to life in Ice Age 3, but its colour temperature was a tad high for any other type of film. Cinema, on the other hand, struck a good balance between vibrancy and a high contrast, but it also introduced a noticeable amount of grain into the picture, even in animated films.

It wasn’t too much of an intrusion on more sedate scenes, but it grew worse during more intense action sequences and fast camera pans. Backgrounds had a tendency to blur slightly or appear quite jerky as well, but even though we could help smooth out the image using its Clear Motion Drive option, this in turn introduced an unwelcome level of pixellation. Thankfully, it’s less of a problem in other colour modes. The five User modes seemed to offer the best compromise, but we could still see traces of it in all of them and this may not be to everyone’s tastes.

JVC DLA-RS46

THE THIRD DIMENSION

The grain persisted when we watched films in 3D as well, using the bundled pair of glasses. You have control over the 3D format, parallax and crosstalk cancelling, but none of these could erase the small amount of flicker we saw while watching films. It was less noticeable during darker, moodier films, but it was quite distracting in films like Ice Age 3 which have much lighter, brighter scenes and a lot of white on screen.

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