Ease of Use
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

3D 1080p Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, January 11, 2012


Light output. The X30 is rated at 1300 lumens maximum light output. We obtained a maximum reading of 1275 lumens using 3D mode and the High Bright color temperature preset with the lamp set to High, the lens aperture open, and the lens at its widest angle. With these settings, the image has a marked greenish cast and black level suffers greatly compared to the projector's best performance. Changing color temperature from High Bright to the default 8500K does a lot to improve color and contrast while still producing 1030 lumens. This is the default image mode for 3D display, and its bright output is necessary to keep 3D video from appearing too dim or washed out. It could also be useful in 2D should you need to put a very bright image on the wall -- say, for example, you were picked to host a game-day party and need to wheel the X30 out into the living room.

3D mode is the only stand-out bright preset available; the X30 does not have a Dynamic mode as most other home theater projectors do. However, the projector's other image modes cover a wide range of light outputs. Stage mode produces 902 lumens, has a slight blue cast, and is perfect for rooms with mild ambient light. Animation mode, at 933 lumens, emphasizes sharpness and enables frame interpolation by default in an effort to make cartoons and other animated material look its best. Natural and Cinema modes provide two different takes on the same idea: a higher-contrast, more natural image. These measure 834 and 867 lumens respectively. These modes mainly differ in their handling of gamma.

The last image mode (aside from the projector's five User memory slots) is Film, which became our preferred mode for HD movies and video. At 839 lumens, Film mode provides the highest contrast, the most accurate color, and the most natural image of any of the X30's preset modes. Our preference was to use Normal lamp mode, which reduces light output by 33% to 562 lumens and drastically reduces fan noise. On a 120" diagonal 1.3 gain screen, Film mode with Normal lamp selected is just about perfect.

Contrast. One of the strong points of JVC's home theater projectors has always been their stellar black level, and the X30 is no exception in this regard. The projector has no auto iris, yet manages to put up some of the best black levels we have observed from this year's group. On a black screen, it can be difficult to tell if the projector is on -- there's none of the usual glow that one gets from a projector idling on a black image. In dark scenes, such as nighttime shots or fields of stars, the black level on the X30 trumps every other projector in this year's group. In brighter scenes, such as indoor shots without many extreme shadows or highlights, black level is competitive, if not the stand-out favorite that it is in darker scenes. Bright, highlight-rich scenes show solid black level performance, though not as good as performance with darker content.

As far as dynamic range is concerned, the X30 turns in an impressive performance. Subtle differences in shadow and highlight detail are reproduced accurately, and the image at times looks ready to jump off the screen. The X30's handling of dark scenes is particularly impressive, since there's no auto iris to drag down highlight brightness when black level drops into the basement. A scene such as a field of stars or even just a movie's ending credits will show the projector's maximum potential. When the average illumination level of the scene is higher, dynamic range decreases as black level brightens slightly.

The X30 will be a favorite with those who not only value deep, inky blacks, but also have theaters with the superior light control needed to take advantage of the X30's performance. Ambient light, even a tiny amount, can have a ruinous effect on black level and dynamic range. When shopping for a projector like the X30, it pays to light-proof your theater room before bringing the projector home.

Color. The default color settings on the X30 make the projector look a little warm. By our measurements, the default 6000K setting for Film mode actually puts out between 5400K and 5800K. However, some adjustments using our CalMAN software brought the projector in line with the Rec. 709 standard for HD quite nicely. When it comes to gamut, the X30 is already close to perfect. Our instruments indicate that the default gamut is close enough to the ideal that human eyes cannot tell the difference, so we left this alone.

Color gamut in Film mode.

Color saturation is more subdued than that seen on several other projectors' Cinema modes, but it does not look washed out or faded when viewed on its own. Indeed, the picture produced by the X30 is natural and life-like, though some users may elect to bump saturation up a few pegs according to their tastes. Changing the Color Space from Normal to Wide 1 or Wide 2 increases apparent saturation, but it also gives the image a slightly cartoonish, artificial aspect in some scenes.

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

Reader Comments(14 comments)

Posted Aug 15, 2014 5:22 AM

By Thang Nguyen

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How does it (X30) compare with rs60? Thanks

Posted Jul 30, 2012 12:46 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 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 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 <>. Regards

Posted Apr 18, 2012 7:46 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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