Review Contents
The Viewing Experience
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
JVC DLA-X30 Projector JVC DLA-X30
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50000:1 Contrast Ratio
1300 Lumens
Full HD 3D
Street Price: n/a
$3,499 MSRP

JVC DLA-X30
3D 1080p Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, January 11, 2012

Years ago, JVC made a splash with the RS1, which was their first 1080p home theater projector in reach of the average consumer. Since then, JVC's home theater offerings have always created a lot of buzz, especially their near-mythical black level performance.

Their newest projector, the DLA-X30, continues in this same tradition. At $3500, the X30 is less expensive than many previous JVC home theater projectors and more in line with the prices of this year's most popular 1080p 3D models. Like its predecessors, it has excellent black level performance and a dynamic, high-contrast picture. But with a lower price comes certain compromises, and these become apparent in side-by-side testing.

This review is a little different from our usual in one important way: we received our X30 from a reader who was interested in seeing our take on it, rather than obtaining a sample from JVC. It is not unusual to run into issues while testing a projector, and indeed this happened with the X30, but we have thus far not received a response from JVC. We will continue to follow up with JVC and update this review with any more information that we uncover.

The Viewing Experience

We put the X30 in our darkened theater space, turned off the lights, and powered it up. For a long moment, we weren't sure if the projector was on at all, but then the stark white D-ILA logo sprang to life. This is what is most immediately striking about the X30: in dark scenes, the projector is capable of amazing contrast. Black level is deep and dark, then suddenly a light will appear, stark white. Black level does not change, as it does on a projector with an auto iris. In brighter scenes, black level comes up somewhat, but it still ranks among the best in its price class when it comes to black level.


The JVC DLA-X30

During testing, we preferred Film mode, which gave the picture its most natural appearance. However, Film mode defaults to the 6000K color temperature preset. Not only is 6000K too warm, but it actually measured more like 5500K on our test unit, so adjustment was necessary. The other thing that needs adjusting is the projector's default gamma, which gives the picture a too-contrasty artificial appearance that crushes shadow detail. This is easier to fix: go into the Custom Gamma options and select the 2.4 preset, which actually measured 2.2 on our projector. Some people may enjoy the overdriven appearance of the default gamma, and it definitely makes the projector look more three-dimensional, but videophiles and those looking for a "pure" experience will want to make the change.

After adjustment, Film mode produced about 550 lumens on our projector, which is about perfect for a 120" diagonal image on a 1.3 gain screen. That's with the lamp at Normal power, too. Boosting up to High lamp gives you over 800 lumens, so it's perfect for really large screens or rooms with ambient light -- though that won't help you regain any of the black level you lose as soon as there's light in the room.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  Shootout Conclusion

Reader Comments(13 comments)

Posted Jul 30, 2012 12:46:47 PM

By Mike Moore

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Thinking about purchasing a JVC-DLA-X30 and would like your input on what brand and type screen would you recommend...The distance from the projector to the screen is approx 13.5 ft.....2D is much more important than 3D right now...Also my center channel would be placed behind the screen so sound transparency is very important.I have been told a Stewart 1.3 might be the answer????...Comments??...Thanks!!!!...Mike

Posted May 16, 2012 11:38:43 PM

By Sam

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I have some questions and will appreciate an answer:-

1. Is the x30 a brighter projector than the x79 and x90 even after calibration ?

2. Is the x30 better at 3D than the x70 and x90 due to its slightly elevated lm ?

3. In terms of overall image quality, how does the Epson 9000 and Panasonic 7000 compare ? Here I am referring to the cinematic image that JVC provides with no screen-door effect.

4. Is there a DLP projector out there that can be compared to the new JVC range in terms of image quality ? - I like DLP for its POP and Sharpness but understand the importance of black levels too, for me POP and sharpness is as important as black levels.

All in all, I do like the new JVC range but I would like a projector that provides the best of both worlds: 2D and 3D. Having said that, I would definitely want a good balance as I am sensitive to image quality. I know Runco does some very nice DLP projectors but they are expensive. One DLP projector that I really grew fond of was the classic InFocus IN83 which I believe was a benchmark back in its time but I have not come across a DLP projector that continues that trend, maybe the people at Projector Central can enlighten me.

The x3 seems to be value for money, please let me know if the 3D issues have been resolved ? Is the 3D capability of the x3 good enough for a light controlled dedicated cinema room ? - I believe it would make sense to couple the x3 with a VideoEQ to gain comprehensive control.

I am not able to demo any of these projectors. Hence, my decision will be based on the insight provided to me here.

Any light that you can throw on the matter will be highly appreciated.

Posted Apr 20, 2012 9:13:40 PM

By Shamim

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Hi, Tom. Thnx for responding to my query. U have added to my knowledge, indeed. Soon, I will buy Panny 7000 or X30.At 62,I have matured enough, at least in getting rid of brand loyality-that caused me damage in past years. I will go for JVC even if its price is at par with panasonic ae7000. I will like to communicate more with you on the issue. If you agree plz send you email add on my add <training205@hotmail.com>. Regards

Posted Apr 18, 2012 7:46:50 AM

By Tom

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Shamim: A ton of people, myself included, were able to pick up this projector or the RS45 (same thing, just in JVC's RS line) for hundreds less than the street price of the Panny. Also, the "premium" for native contrast isn't really that much once factoring in street prices or like I mentioned above, that the JVC could be had for less. Besides, the 50000:1 native JVC contrast trumps the made up 300000:1 Panny dynamic contrast any day. Not picking on the 7000. I was going to get one until I got the great deal on the JVC. I am glad I did, but then again, I don't care for the 3D, and I have a lot of movies with dark scenes that I will enjoy more with the JVC. To each their own.

Posted Feb 17, 2012 9:34:01 PM

By Shamim

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JVC X30 is not 4K2K compliant. May I request experts at PC to give a run down on 4K2K.Is it relevant on 120 inch screen size with viewing distsnce more than 1.5 times the screen width? It appears from reading between the lines of reviews of 4K2K, that the technology truly shows its grit on very large screens and close viewing distance and may be overkill for average home theatres. On small screens , does it enhance substantially the silkiness of image? This info will be extremely usefull in choosing between X30 and X70 for guys like me.Regards for all the folks at PC

Posted Feb 10, 2012 1:09:07 PM

By John Mastroleo

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Why no data concerning how projectors look when viewing black and white movies. This is a true acid test that most 2K to 4K LCD projectors fail. I have been reading reviews on projector central and projector reviews for eight years and there seems to be little information. Black and white movies will show poor uniformity of color,poor convergence of 3 chip devices and uneven light distribution across a screen. Can we start getting some information on how projectors look when viewing B&W movies. Many of your viewers enjoy watching classic movies and most low price projectors have issues with these movies.

Posted Feb 7, 2012 6:08:00 PM

By michael

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Can someone please help me as i have thinking off getting a 3d projector and i have been told that the epson tw 9000 is better than the jvc x30

Posted Feb 2, 2012 2:45:17 AM

By Shamim

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I agree with Craig.No CMS, No 4k e-shift,mediocre 3D and yet the cost is $ 3500. Despite my admiration and loyality for JVC , I am considering Panasonic AE7000.It is high time JVC stops charging premium on native contrast alone. Plz make X70 affordable

Posted Jan 20, 2012 8:12:40 AM

By Craig

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Why doesn't JVC just get rid of this model. Not including a CMS is a dealbreaker. This model is just a crippled RS55. JVC get rid of the RS45\X30 and put the RS55 at this price point. Otherwise I am looking at the SonyHW30ES.

Posted Jan 13, 2012 2:22:21 PM

By Consumer WA

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Nice review and thank you Bill and team! 1. With regard to your observing the X30 color saturation in film mode staying true to Rec. 709 standard vs the 5010 and 7000's boosting saturation in their cinema modes(Shootout at mid-page)I wonder if one can or you were able to adjust up and save as a user profile to a comparably similar saturation level as the 5010/7000? In other words can the X30 be adjusted up to a high color saturation level if desired, and the resulting picture quality appear competitive with the 5010/7000? This quote drives my question: "While there are arguments for each side, it is best to be aware of the difference and make your decision accordingly." 2. Did any of the 4 PJ's appear to have a sharpness edge over the others? Thanks again...

Posted Jan 13, 2012 4:50:11 AM

By zaboks

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Forgot to ask : how about the 2D->3D conversion - compared with the other 4 containders ? THanks in advance

Posted Jan 13, 2012 4:41:29 AM

By Zaboks

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Thanks for your detailed review, as usual. Regarding the pixel adjusment : did you manage to correct the mentioned half blue pixel misaligment ?

Posted Jan 12, 2012 12:09:48 PM

By paul

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I am confused that the black level advantage demonstrated by the x30 over the competition diminishes in scenes with bright portions. I would have thought that since the x30 achieves its high contrast and such excellent black levels without the benefit of an auto iris, it would further distinguish itself in scenes with a wide range of light intensity.

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