1080p D-ILA Home Theater Projector
March 24, 2015
JVC was the first company to try 4K enhancement. Their e-Shift system allows a 1080p projector to display 4K content by physically shifting pixels. While no projector can create detail that isn't present in the source material, the e-Shift system does create a smoothness and richness that isn't present on most 1080p projectors.
The JVC X500R is a member of the third generation of e-Shift projectors. With over a thousand lumens of calibrated light output and super-deep black levels, it can produce deep shadows and sparkling highlights with ease. The e-Shift system removes all pixel structure, creating one of the smoothest images you'll ever see on a 1080p projector. The X500R also includes a fully powered 2.0:1 zoom lens with lens shift, a lens memory system, frame interpolation, and whisper-silent operation, making it a strong value for the home theater enthusiast at $4,999.
The Viewing Experience
JVC has a reputation for making serious home theater projectors, and the X500R follows this tradition. It's not pretty; instead of smooth lines and slick curves, the X500R has a matte black case that appears angular and industrial, giving it an imposing appearance appropriate for its thirty pound weight. It's all function, in other words, which gives it its own weird beauty.
When you fire up the X500R, there's a whisper as the fan engages, then the brilliant white JVC logo appears in the middle of a pitch-black screen. The projector's black level is deeper than deep, to the point where its black level rivals that of solid-state projectors that can turn their light sources completely off. ANSI contrast isn't too shabby either, but on/off is where this projector really shines.
Two other things stand out: sharpness and color. The MPC detail enhancement system is quite aggressive, but once it has been turned down to more moderate levels the projector delivers an image that is life-like and crisp, with tons of fine detail evident in high-quality HD material. The 4K upscaling is just the icing on the cake, as the X500R takes already brilliant HD material and adds that little something extra, giving the picture a smoothness that's hard to describe. As for color, the X500R has comprehensive color controls that are precise and easy to use, and a little effort on our part gave us absolutely perfect performance in both grayscale and gamut for a picture that is 100% reference grade.