JVC DLA-NX5 4K D-ILA Projector
Projector Central Editor's Choice Award

Editor's Choice Award

Our Editor's Choice award goes to products that dramatically exceed expectations for performance, value, or cutting-edge design.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Pros
  • Crisp, bright, dynamic picture
  • Extensive (if sometimes complex) adjustability
  • Excellent black level and shadow detail
Cons
  • Challenging HDR calibration
Our Take

It may be pricey as consumer projectors go, even as JVC's cheapest native 4K model, but the DLA-NX5 continues the company's long history of producing some of the best home theater projectors on the market.

As editor Rob Sabin noted in his review of the $8,999 JVC DLA-NX7 last year, JVC has only one or two serious competitors in the expensive but not obscenely-priced front projector market ($5000-$10,000). JVC has long set the mark for black levels, a parameter critical for producing rich, saturated images. That remains true even now, but the big JVC news lately is the NX line's native 4K resolution, replacing JVC's previous lineup featuring e-shifted 4K from native 1080p imagers. Yes, the DLA-NX9 (also known as the DLA-RS3000), at the top of JVC's current NX lineup, does offer a form of e-shift by changing a native 4K input to a pixel-shifted 8K (7680x4320)! This isn't true 8K of course; that projector's three 0.69" D-ILA (LCoS) imaging chips are essentially the same as those used in the DLA-NX5. But the NX9 can pixel shift a 3840x2160 consumer video source to a simulation of 8K in the same way that those earlier JVC projectors shifted 1920x1080 HD up to 3840x2160.

But that's a story for another day; the NX9 will set you back $18,000! Our subject for now is the $5,999 DLA-NX5—the least expensive of JVC's native 4K projectors.

Like the others in JVC's 2020 lineup, the NX-5's three imaging chips have a native resolution of 4096x2160. Home video 4K sources are really Ultra HD resolution, with a slightly smaller 3840x2160 grid. This will leave a 256-pixel sliver of the JVC's horizontal resolution unused, but once you adjust the image to fit the screen you'll never notice. Having full-size digital cinema-standard 4K imagers also serves areas of the pro market that require it, such as 4K movie theaters and film production. This is more efficient than developing and producing two separate imager designs. (Why the consumer market decided on 3840x2160 as its standard instead of 4096x2160 is a story involving content producers and TV makers, who had settled on the 16:9 aspect ratio long before anyone considered 4K. But I digress...)

JVC DLA NX5 main

Leaving aside JVC's laser-driven flagship, the DLA-RS4500 at $24,999, JVC's model names can be a bit bizarre. In addition to three models in the DLA-NX series there are three other models offered by JVC's Pro division which are identical in both retail price and design. The only difference is the color of the trim ring around the lens! The DLA-NX5, for example, is the same projector as the Pro Series' DLA-RS1000 sold through integrators. The model we had in for review is actually a DLA-RS1000, but we're referring to it here as the DLA-NX5 since DIYers will more often encounter that model at consumer retail sources. Our review is interchangeable for both models.

Features

The NX5, like its NX-stablemates, is larger than JVC's prior designs, particularly in height and weight (the latter a substantial 43 pounds). On the front are two exhaust ports, the remote sensor, the on/off indicator, and the 65mm, 17-element, all-glass lens. A plastic lens cover is provided, but unlike some of JVC's earlier designs the NX-series doesn't offer automated lens covers. The lens provides wide vertical and horizontal lens shifting (± 80% vertical; ±34% horizontal) plus powered zoom (2x), focus, and lens memories. The latter can be used for retaining constant image height (CIH) for either 16:9 or 2.4:1 widescreen images on a 'Scope style screen, and can be linked into a 9-setting Installation Mode that can also include your custom picture settings.

JVC DLA NX5 Front

On the back are the power connector, two HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2) ports, and a jack for the 3D synchro emitter (purchased separately) to link up with your 3D glasses (also optional)— yes, JVC projectors still do 3D. There's also a 12V trigger to activate a retractable screen, a USB port for updates, and several items most owners won't use—a manual adjustment keypad plus RS-232 and LAN connections for IP control. The 265W projection lamp, claimed to offer 1,800 lumens, is rated for a lifetime of 4,500 hours (to half brightness) in the Low lamp mode. (We measured a maximum brightness of 1,619 lumens in the projector's Frame Adapt HDR mode, which is just at the 10% ANSI tolerance.) The NX5 has a mechanical aperture (iris) that may be set to either a fixed setting or one of two dynamic Auto settings.

Both HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range are supported, but not Dolby Vision. No consumer projector we know of can do the latter. But since Dolby Vision has an HDR10 base layer, the JVC will use that to display Dolby Vision sources without utilizing the dynamic metadata that is Dolby Vision's claim to fame. Still, the NX5 has you covered there with its own Auto and Frame Adapt tone mapping features, about which we'll say more below. Like most good HDR projectors, the JVC will automatically switch to its appropriate viewing mode when the source material changes from SDR to HDR10 or HLG, including your custom settings for those modes.

The NX5 is rated for screen sizes of 60-200 inches (diagonal). There are also unusual controls for inserting your screen size and gain into the projector's memory, and a picture mode designed specifically for use with the Panasonic DP-UB9000 Ultra HD disc player. In the latter case (not tested here), the Pana_PQ picture mode on the JVC makes use of the Panasonic's own adaptive tone-mapping instead of the JVCs.

JVC's remote control has been redesigned for their current line of projectors. It's prettier and smaller than before, but I much prefer the old one, particularly for doing a calibration. Besides being easier to physically handle with its raised, wider-spaced buttons, it provides direct access to a broader range of adjustments.

Frame Adapt HDR

The peak brightness found on HDR 4K Blu-ray discs varies from title to title, but is often more than a given display can achieve. This is particularly true of projectors, which rarely reach the peak brightness of even a modest 4K flat screen TV. To get around this limitation a technique called tone-mapping is used, rounding off the peak output in a way that can make use of it without simply cutting it off (which would produce hard video clipping and total loss of peak brightness detail). If a display can, for example, reach a peak output of 1,000 nits (candelas/square meter), it can handle everything at or below that level without tone-mapping. If not, details brighter than the set's capabilities are tone-mapped. There are no standards for tone-mapping; display-makers are on their own in how they do it.

JVC DLA NX5 Remote

If content producers are correctly following the rules (they don't always), the maximum peak brightness levels on a given HDR source are accurately encoded into that source's data stream as metadata. The specific parameters provided are MaxCLL (maximum content light level) and MaxFALL (maximum frame average light level). Many projectors ignore these numbers entirely and just provide a range of tone-map settings, typically in the form of an "HDR Brightness" or similar control, to account for the different brightness levels found from program to program. An auto tone-mapping solution, such as the one JVC originally initiated for its NX series projectors, looks at the metadata values in the content and uses them to adjust the program material to the display's output capabilities, eliminating or at least minimizing peak-level clipping. (A small percentage of HDR sources lack this metadata, leaving the display on its own to do a best-guess). But typically this is a one-time adjustment; the metadata is static and the same correction factor is applied across the entire source, whether a specific frame or scene needs it or not.

When in its HDR10 picture mode, the JVC can still be set to auto tone-map as described above, relying on the metadata to assist it. But the NX projectors now also offer a more sophisticated approach in their Frame Adapt HDR picture Mode. Using its own internal processing, the projector analyzes the source frame-by-frame (or scene-by-scene at the user's option) and adjusts the image dynamically, as needed, on-the-fly. After first introducing this feature in late 2019, JVC recently upgraded it to include a new Theater Optimizer function that allows users to input factors like their screen size (for 16:9 screens) and gain, which the projector utilizes along with information gleaned from its zoom settings and lamp usage to better predict light output and further improve its dynamic HDR tone-mapping.

A separate Frame Adapt HDR picture mode engages Frame Adapt tone-mapping; in the HDR10 Picture Mode you get only the basic Auto tone-mapping described above. In the HDR10 Picture Mode three controls pop up that are not available in Frame Adapt HDR: Picture Tone, Dark Level, and Bright Level. These allow you to fine-tune the otherwise fixed HDR10 HDR image, in effect altering the gamma (or EOTF) to suite the source. The disadvantage here is that you might find yourself tinkering with these controls from title to title (or even within a given title) to get the best picture. But in theory at least, this shouldn't be needed with the fully dynamic tone-mapping offered in Frame Adapt HDR.

A key difference here between JVC's approach and true Dolby Vision playback is that what you'll see will not necessarily be graded in the way the content creator intended. In a Dolby Vision HDR display, scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame dynamic metadata is locked into the source when the content is mastered by the transfer artist, often working together with the filmmaker. But as mentioned above, no home projector we know of offers Dolby Vision, and the comparisons I've heard of (but haven't yet seen directly) suggest that the difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10 are minor at best—though they might well differ depending on the quality of the HDR10 tone-mapping algorithm used in the display.

Below is a summary of key features for the DLA-NX5.

  • 1,800 lumens rated brightness
  • 40,000:1 Native/400,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Using Single Aperture
  • Three 0.69-inch native 4K D-ILA imagers
  • 17-element, 15-group all-glass 65 mm diameter lens
  • 2.0x motorized zoom with +/-80% vertical and +/- 34% horizontal shift
  • Vertical keystone correction
  • Two 18Gbps HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 Inputs
  • ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) Licensed
  • HDR10/HLG Compatibility with Auto and Frame Adapt HDR Tone-Mapping
  • Clear Motion Drive frame interpolation
  • Multiple Pixel Control (MPC) detail enhancement; works with up to 4K60P (4:4:4) signals
  • Low Latency mode
  • 10 customizable picture modes with independent settings/lens positions
  • 4 Anamorphic Modes for use with third-party anamorphic lenses
  • Remote control via Control4 SDDP / LAN / RS-232C / IR / 12V Screen Trigger Output / 3D Sync Output
  • Full 3D compatible (requires separate PK-EM2 RF emitter, $99, and compatible RF shutter glasses)
  • 265 watt NSH lamp rated for 3,500 hours, 4,500 hours in Eco mode. Lamp replacements (PK-L2618U) cost $599
  • Compatible with free JVC Calibration Software to calibrate gamma, color points, and gamut (requires compatible color sensor)
  • 3 Year Advanced Replacement Warranty
JVC DLA NX5 Top

Performance

The JVC's available picture controls and their potential combinations are so extensive that I urge any owner (or potential owner) to download the projector's recently updated 100-page manual and read it carefully. This isn't a display you'll want to set and forget if you expect to see at its best.

The NX5 offers both grayscale (white balance) and CMS (color management system) adjustments. The grayscale controls are high and low only (gain and offset). More steps would have been helpful here with the tricky midrange of the JVC's pre-calibration grayscale, but I've yet to find a projector that offers the multipoint grayscale adjustments found on premier flat screen sets. [Editor's note: LG's top-end laser models, the HU85LA UST projector and the upcoming HU810A long-throw projector, have carried this feature over from the company's flatpanel TVs and allow 2-point, 11-point, or 22-point grayscale adjustments.—R.S.] JVC also offers free, downloadable auto-calibration software for Windows computers that requires a compatible Datacolor or Xrite color meter, neither of which I had on hand to try it out.

I set up the NX5 on my 96-inch wide, 1.3 gain, 2.35:1, matte-white Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 screen. All measurements were taken with Portrait Displays Calman measurement software, together with Photo Research PR-650 and Klein K-10A color meters and a Fresco Six-G test pattern generator from Murideo/AVPro.

To keep from going off into the picture mode weeds with the JVC's many options, I selected Natural for SDR and (ultimately) Frame Adapt HDR for HDR. There were just under 200 hours on the lamp when I performed the calibrations. For SDR I selected a gamma of 2.4 (though later alternated with 2.2 depending on the source), the D6500 color temp, and the Rec.709 color space.

Most projectors in the home theater market calibrate well in HD/SDR, and the NX5 was no exception. Even before calibration it showed an exceptionally accurate image—in the default SDR lamp setting of Eco, the grayscale Delta Es ranged from a low of 1.28 at 90% brightness to a high of 2.82 at 50%. After calibration the readings showed a low of 0.4 at 80% and a high of 2.8 at 100% (with only this 100% level exceeding 2.0). Similarly, before calibration the color Delta Es ranged from a low of 0.63 in cyan to a high of 2.12 in magenta. After calibration the color Delta Es ranged from 0.26 in cyan to 1.8 in blue. Delta Es of below 3.0 are considered visibly undetectable; some experts loosen this to 4.0.

The JVC's SDR peak white level after calibration was 85.1 nits (24.8 foot-Lamberts) with a fully open Manual Aperture setting. Reducing the Aperture to -8 reduced the peak white level to 62.6 nits (18.3 fL). In the fully open setting the SDR full-on/full-off contrast ratio measured 15,925:1 (black level 0.0054 nits, from an average of nine readings). I used the fully open setting for all of my measurements and most viewing. I did briefly try the dynamic Auto settings for the aperture. They were a mixed bag. They successfully darkened the black level when the screen was fully black, but they were prone to a brief but noticeable lag when the image went suddenly from dark to light.

For HDR, JVC recommends calibrating the NX5 in the HDR10 Picture Mode, with HDR10(Auto) selected for Tone Mapping—not the Frame Adapt (HDR) Picture Mode that will be used for viewing—noting that the dynamic operation of Frame Adapt (HDR) is unfriendly to the metered results. But my measurements in following this recommendation were disappointing to say the least. The grayscale results from this HDR10(Auto) setting were wildly askew in the mid brightness range and uncorrectable with the two adjustment levels available—high (Gain) and low (Offset).

JVC DLA NX5 FrontRightAngle

In an attempt to improve on this I performed a total of four different HDR calibrations on the NX5: Using HDR10(Auto) as recommended plus a second HDR10(Auto) run with different settings to achieve a better match the HDR PQ curve (gamma), a third with HDR (PQ) (a setting not shown in the manual), and a fourth using the not-recommended Frame Adapt (HDR) picture mode.

None of these worked out well, at least from a numbers standpoint. But using the Frame Adapt (HDR) mode, plus a little creative tinkering with the color temp adjustments to balance the colors across most of the brightness range, worked out best—not impressively so on a measured numbers basis but exceptionally well in the eye test.

The numbers first. The average post-calibration grayscale Delta Es averaged 5.5, with a maximum of 13.3. The post-cal color Delta Es averaged 3.3, with a maximum of 5.9 in yellow. The peak white output was 167.6 nits at 100% (62 nits at 50%), the black level was 0.0078 nits (from an average of six readings) for a full-on/full-off contrast ratio of 21,487:1. A Calman color match test (which tests swatches covering a wide range of colors) produced a Delta E average of 1.48 and peak of 5.56, both readings without accounting for luminance (which don't track well for projectors in the Calman software due to their much lower light output than TVs). A P3 sweep (inside BT.2020) had an average Delta E of 5.02 (max 10.07, with green the main offender). The luminance level for a 100% window at various window sizes was more consistent than we usually see, ranging from 160 nits to 166 nits regardless of the window size. The NX5 covered 60.5% of BT.2020 color and 86.3% of P3 color (both measured in the 1976 standard).

The HDR white balance and color deviations discussed here appeared to be largely due to luminance errors. But as noted below, the visible results didn't appear to suffer at all or be reflective of the marginal HDR measurements.

1080p/SDR Viewing. The performance of the JVC was consistently excellent on SDR material, and often outstanding. The Mummy (the 1999 version with Brendan Fraser) is a beautifully photographed film, and on the NX5 it was full of color and crisp resolution with good shadow detail in its dark scenes. The color palette is heavy on red, and I was a little concerned at first that the projector was doing something wrong. But the color tint was clearly in the transfer, which became obvious with other sources. The nearly 50-year old Patton also looked spectacular on the JVC, with natural color including spot-on flesh tones and crisp detail.

The Mummy still NX5
The NX5 showed off the shadow detail in The Mummy well and was full of color. (Photo Credit: Universal Studios)

My Fair Lady is another 50+ year old stunner. I often use it for evaluating color, including flesh tones. The Blu-ray transfer occasionally shows small flaws where the restoration couldn't quite hide the film's age, but they're rare. The scenes in Professor Higgins' study are full of color and the clutter of small, random objects common to post-Victorian English homes. The JVC didn't miss any of it. The Ascot race scene is similarly revealing in a different way; its costumes are awash in multiple shades of white, gray, and black, relieved only by a touch of color that stands out in Eliza's costume. These details were flawless on the JVC.

Another period piece, Victoria & Albert, is a far more recent production, and it too looked spectacular on the NX5. The banquet scene in Buckingham Palace popped with color, particularly the reds, though this, too, was clearly intended, as the colors looked exactly as you would expect.

It's no surprise that animated films can look spectacular, and Frozen is among the most eye-catching. Whatever you think of the film (I like it, even that song, but Tangled is better) it's a stunner for its color and detail. Interestingly, I marginally preferred the SDR version to the HDR as seen on the JVC.

4K/HDR Viewing. While the HDR measurements were disappointing, largely for the reasons explained above, the HDR viewing results were anything but. I did notice at first that the visible resolution was a little less crisp than I see from my resident and last generation JVC, the DLA-X790—a native 1080p projector with e-shift processing. I do mean just a little, but it was enough to have me seek out some subtle enhancement. The closest thing to a conventional Sharpness control on the JVC is the Enhance control, located in the MPC menu. When I first tried it it didn't appear to do much. However, I had been reluctant to turn it higher than 5—sharpness enhancement is generally a bridge too far for video purists. But the maximum is 10, and when I turned the control up to 8, or even to 10, the "problem" cleared up—without adding any sort of crude white-line edge enhancement. The change was subtle, and very hard to see on static sharpness test patterns, but it was nonetheless significant.

Prometheus still NX5
Shadow detail performance of the NX5 was again displayed wonderfully in Prometheus. (Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

With that taken care of, I first fired up Prometheus. Its opening scenes, a flyover in an alien landscape, may be nearly monochrome, but their shades and shadows were brilliantly rendered by the NX5. Shortly thereafter we see the titular spaceship, the Prometheus, gliding silently across a starfield. This was an eye-opener, as the stars stood out brilliantly against the blackness of space. The JVC won't equal the blacks possible from a good OLED or locally dimmed flat-screen set, but no projector can. Nevertheless, this shot was startling in a positive way. The film's later scenes, in the planet's dark caves, continued to show not only the projector's impressive black levels but its convincing performance on HDR highlights. Again, good panel TVs can do this better, but the JVC's peak white level of nearly 168 nits was more than enough for the explorers' helmet lights, flashlights, and other bright details to pop out strikingly in the surrounding gloom. Shadow details in these scenes were also good. And in the film's most visually impressive scene in chapter 23, as David is surrounded by a brilliant hologram, the JVC was a knockout.

Despite the less-than-stellar measurements, I found nothing to complain about in the JVC's impressive color performance. Green was off by the most in those measurements. The green foliage in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, particularly in the opening in-the-game scene, looked nearly fluorescent, but that might have been the intention of the filmmakers—after all, the characters have just been sucked into a video game. Nevertheless, this film was otherwise wildly impressive in its color, resolution, and (in its later scenes) shadow detail.

Many if not most films use creative color to set a mood or enhance the action. This is rarely overt enough to startle the audience or look wrong, but it's common nonetheless. But Ford v Ferrari was awesomely neutral; its images simply looking like the real world (that is, if your real world revolves around fast race cars!). Everything here was relaxingly real and nearly three-dimensional—the latter quality frequently coming to mind for me when viewing well-produced 2D material on the JVC.

For most of my viewing, and all of my measurements, I had set the HDR Theater Optimizer to On-High. But shortly after I turned in my draft I acquired the new 4K/HDR release of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It looked impressively bright in that High setting, but the Mid setting appeared more appropriate for the mood of the film and still plenty amazing. Overall, in fact, it looked nothing short of spectacular on the JVC.

One obvious question is how does the Frame Adapt (HDR) feature compare to the HDR10 setting (which provides basic Auto tone mapping based on program metadata, but not the dynamic adaptive action of the Frame Adapt feature)? That depends on the source material, but using the Spears & Munsil UHD Benchmark test disc helped scope this out. This disc offers a wide selection of peak white settings, from 600 to 10,000 nits. Whatever brightness level you select, it is dutifully reported as MaxCLL and MaxFall metadata to the display.

For this test I chose the brightest scene on the disc's demo track—horses in a near white-out blizzard, and tried it at different brightness levels. Even at the low 600-nit setting the JVC clipped badly in the HDR10 Picture Mode—no home theater projector we know of can put out 600 nits and most max out well below 200 nits. In Frame Adapt, however, much of the white was cleared up and additional detail was visible. Not all of it, but I've never seen this shot look better and don't know if it can.

3D Viewing. While playing a 3D source on the DLA-NX5, none of the adjustment menus are accessible; you can call up the projector's adjustments, including the 3D menu itself, only if you drop out of 3D.

The NX5's 3D images are very dim, unless you choose consistently bright titles. I watched a bit of A Christmas Carol and much of it was unwatchable. I tried dropping out of the source to adjust the menus, but none of them appeared to offer any benefit when I returned to the 3D source. But much of this will depend on the size and gain of your screen and the throw distance you're using. My usual throw distance places the projector near the telephoto end of the projector's zoom range (the smallest image for a given distance). This offers less brightness than a placement that uses the wide end of the zoom range (the largest picture for a given distance). In my situation the StudioTek's specified gain of 1.3 just about balances this out.

Conclusion

While I had some issues with the JVC's HDR, they revolved primarily around the measurements, not the visible result. For watching both HDR and SDR the DLA-NX5 is a stunner. JVC's previous 1080p e-shift projectors were also exceptional, but there's something about native 4K that offers an extra something that's hard to put into words. As noted earlier, perhaps it's what's gives the image the sense of near-3D from a 2D source.

If you do own a late generation JVC e-shifter, like my DLA-X790, whether or not to upgrade so soon might be a tough decision. Much like a new 2019 car vs its 2021 equivalent, the differences aren't world-shattering. But (to mix a metaphor) if your credit card is burning a hole in your pocket, or you're looking for your first serious projector, don't neglect to give the DLA-NX5 a close look.

Measurements

Brightness. The DLA NX-5 measured its brightest output in its HDR modes, where it came in just at the 10% tolerance considered acceptable for its 1,800 ANSI lumen spec. Changing the lamp power setting from High to Low reduced brightness in any mode by approximately 26%.

JVC DLA-NX5 ANSI Lumens

Mode High Low
Frame Adapt(HDR) 1,619 1,046
HDR10 1,613 1,042
Pana_PQ 1,613 1,042
Cinema 1,313 848
Natural 1,586 1,025
User modes 1-6 lamp High 1,594 1,030

Zoom Lens Light Loss. Moving the zoom position from full wide to full telephoto results in a 26.3% measured loss of brightness. This is in keeping with the wide 2.0x range of the zoom. Given such a range, many users will not require the full telephoto capabilities and will therefore come in with a smaller reduction in brightness.

Brightness Uniformity. With the lens set to its widest zoom position, brightness uniformity measured an impressive 92.8%. In the long telephoto position, it dropped to 85.5%.

Fan Noise. In the Low lamp setting the JVC's fan noise was nearly inaudible from 6-feet away. It was higher from the same distance in the High lamp setting used for HDR, but never bothered me even in a quiet room, much less if an audio soundtrack was playing.

Frame Interpolation. JVC's Motion Enhance controls can be used on both SDR and HDR. At their highest settings they'll give you a good taste of the soap opera effect, but you can dial them back to a more useful result if desired. Used in that way I noticed a smoothing of the battle scene a few minutes into The Mummy, but I still prefer to leave such controls off. Motion smoothing can never completely eliminate blur in a film shot at 24 frames per second (which is true of nearly all films), since the motion in each frame is often blurred if the action is fast enough.

Input Lag. I measured a time lag of 40.2 ms with my Bodnar (1080p) meter. There's a Low Lag selection in the Motion Enhance menu, but it made no difference in the reading. There's no Game Picture Mode.

Connections

JVC DLA NX5 Connections
  • HDMI 2.0b/HDCP 2.2 inputs (x2)
  • 3D sync output (Mini Din 3-pin)
  • 12v DC/100ma trigger output (3.5 mm)
  • RS-232C control (D-sub 9-pin)
  • USB (service only)
  • LAN control (RJ-45)

Calibrated Settings

Calibrated image settings from any third-party do not account for the significant potential for sample-to-sample variation, nor the different screen sizes and materials, lighting, lamp usage, or other environmental factors that can affect image quality. Projectors should always be calibrated in the user's own space and tuned for the expected viewing conditions. However, the settings provided here may be a helpful starting point for some. Always record your current settings before making adjustments so you can return to them as desired. Refer to the Performance section for some context for each calibration.

SDR

Content Type: Auto (SDR)

Picture Mode: Natural

More Settings
Lamp Power: Low
Aperture: Manual (full open)
Contrast: 3
Brightness: -2
Color: 0
Tint: 0
Color Profile: See Below
Color Temp.: See Below
Gamma: 2.2 or 2.4
Theater Optimizer: N/A—Screen: As Required
MPC Level
Graphic Mode: High Res
Enhance: 8-10
Smoothing: 0
NR: 0

Motion Control
Low Latency: Off
Clear Motion Drive: Off
Motion Enhance: Off

Input Level: Auto

Color Space: Auto

ECO Mode: Off

High Altitude Mode: Off

Color Profile Auto (SDR)

Red Green Blue Cyan Magenta Yellow
Axis 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hue -6 0 0 0 2 0
Saturation 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brightness -3 0 0 0 -2 0

Color Temp. SDR 6500

Red Green Blue
Gain -3 -3 0
Offset 6 1 -7

HDR

Content Type: Auto (HDR10)

Picture Mode: Frame Adapt HDR

More Settings
Lamp Power: High
Aperture: Manual (full open)
Contrast: 3
Brightness: -2
Color: 0
Tint: 0
Color Profile: See Below
Color Temp.: See Below
Gamma: N/A
Theater Optimizer: On(Mid or High)—Screen: As Required
MPC Level
Graphic Mode: High Res
Enhance: 8-10
Smoothing: 0
NR: 0

Motion Control
Low Latency: Off
Clear Motion Drive: Off
Motion Enhance: Off

Input Level: Auto

Color Space: Auto

ECO Mode: Off

High Altitude Mode: Off

Color Profile BT.2020 (HDR)

Red Green Blue Cyan Magenta Yellow
Axis 0 0 0 0 0 0
Hue 1 14 0 4 7 1
Saturation 13 20 7 12 15 2
Brightness 30 10 30 30 30 30

Color Temp. HDR10

Red Green Blue
Gain -11 -11 -8
Offset 7 -3 -8

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our JVC DLA-NX5 projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.

 
Comments (21) Post a Comment
Tony Posted Dec 21, 2020 6:52 PM PST
Please go back to comparing the projectors your review to those within their price category as well as to the best rated projects in the price categories directly above and below it. Projector performance is largely a relativistic subject matter. Most people want to know how a project performs compared to others within its class or compared to those above or below it so that they can make wise purchasing decision.
Mike Posted Dec 22, 2020 3:30 AM PST
We’re you able to play with the Theater Optimizer at all? What effect did it have compared to the calibrated results?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 3:45 AM PST
Mike, Tom mentioned that Theater Optimizer was on and in its High position for most of his testing, but changing it to its Mid setting definitely changed the HDR tone map. That said, it's really the Frame Adapt function that makes the difference in the JVC's tone-mapping, which Tom found has a pretty profound positive effect. Theater Optimizer is more about fine-tuning that Frame Adapt experience to your specific screen, throw-distance, and lamp-usage.
Phil Posted Dec 22, 2020 6:39 AM PST
It's a little unfair to say that a projector is difficult to calibrate and - only many paragraphs later - say that you didn't use the free automatic calibration software - which is very easy to use - because you didn't have the meters needed on hand, which is why you had to struggle through a manual calibration.

The required meters can be had for a trivial cost compared to the projector, and if the more expensive meter is bought used they cost less than one professional calibration - but can then be used as often as you like as the bulb ages or is replaced.

I manually calibrated my prior 1080p projector and I have much more confidence in the results of the JVC Autocal process, which runs hands-free once you've connected the JVC and your PC to each other through your LAN.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 7:31 AM PST
That's great to know you had a positive experience with the JVC software Phil; thanks for sharing that with our readers. The qualified meters for the JVC software are the DataColor SpyderX Pro or SpyderX Elite, which cost $170 and $270 respectively (which I agree is trivial against the cost of the projector), or the Xrite i1Pro2 (and hopefully the i1Pro3 that recently supplanted it), which is in the $1,000-$1,500 range. Tom has other instruments that aren't compatible with the software so he couldn't try it out, but I regret that we weren't prepared to give this a run. In any event, his manual calibration ended up looking spectacular despite the fact that the Calman calibration software ended up being of limited value in his HDR calibration.
Allan Burr Posted Dec 22, 2020 9:02 AM PST
As you have reviewed both the NX5 and NX7, what obvious performance enhancements does the NX7 offer for another $3,000?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 9:15 AM PST
They use the same basic LCoS chips and lens, Allan, but the NX7 has higher rated contrast ratio/deeper blacks. Also, full 100% DCI-P3 gamut and a Rec.2020 color space/picture mode. But you get a pretty good chunk of the NX7 performance in the NX5.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 11:01 AM PST
I don't know; this is something to perhaps check with JVC on. The website for the software download does not specifically mention that meter, and even if it worked I'd be hesitant to assume you'd get the right results without confirmation.
Phil Posted Dec 22, 2020 5:32 PM PST
It's best to use both meters. The Spyder X is more sensitive to low light levels - needed for gamma - while the i1Pro2 is more accurate for color.

The i1Pro2 is available used on eBay both under its own name and the name i1Pro Rev. E (its real name) and as the EFI ES-2000, which is the same device (it even says X-Rite on the bottom) just not licensed for some of the other X-Rite software not needed to calibrate the projectors.

I got a used EFI ES-2000 for $362 that way, and paid $135 for a new Spyder X Pro at Amazon. I thus paid about $500 for the pair of meters - less than one visit from a calibrator.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 6:32 PM PST
Great tips, Phil. I do understand the reason, as the iPro is a photospectrometer that calibrates to a white standard chip but has poorer accuracy a near black levels, while I gather the Spyder is a standard colorimeter with better low light accuracy. How does that work in practice? Do you need to do one pass for each meter? How does one avoid wiping out the part of the brightness best suited for the other? Can you do only color on one pass and only grayscale/gamma on the other?
Phil Posted Dec 22, 2020 9:36 PM PST
Exactly. You connect the Spyder and tell it to calibrate gamma, then connect the I1Pro2 and tell it to calibrate color. By the way, after the first calibration pass, it writes out two files, one recording the result of that pass and one with the initial state of the projector before the first pass. That one should be copied to as many places as you can think of - I put one in my Dropbox - because - if you mess up the calibration, you can use that file - and only that file - to go back to the way the projector was set before the first calibration.
Samazar Posted Dec 22, 2020 10:58 PM PST
Hi Rob, would the standard non-OEM version of the Xrite i1Display Pro be suitable for use with the JVC NX5-9? - It's a reputable and cost effective meter.

Also, does the NX5 remote control have a button to easily call up the lens memories?
Phil Posted Dec 23, 2020 6:13 AM PST
Exactly. You connect the Spyder and tell it to calibrate gamma, then connect the I1Pro2 and tell it to calibrate color. By the way, after the first calibration pass, it writes out two files, one recording the result of that pass and one with the initial state of the projector before the first pass. That one should be copied to as many places as you can think of - I put one in my Dropbox - because if you mess up the calibration, you can use that file - and only that file - to go back to the way the projector was set before the first calibration.
Phil Posted Dec 23, 2020 7:01 AM PST
PS Since the imagers in this series of JVCs (N5/RS1000, N7/RS2000, N8/RS3000) are actually not 3840x2160 (16x9) but 4096x2160 (1.896:1), they have a Aspect:Zoom setting that digitally zooms the image 6.25% in both directions to fill out the full width of the imagers.

This makes scope images larger with no loss other than shaving off a little of the black letterbox bars above and below the image. On standard 16x9 images it actually shaves off that 6.25% half at the top and half at the bottom of the image, pushing that off the imaging area. On my six foot tall image, that would mean losing four and a half inches of vertical image, which is not right.

On 1.85:1 images, which are not uncommon and are fairly close to the imagers' 1.896:1 aspect ratio, it shaves off a much smaller 2.24% in exchange for an overall larger image, so it's a judgement call.

I'm willing to sacrifice 1.12% top and bottom for an overall 6.25% larger image. On my six foot tall image I sacrifice 0.88" of image top and bottom to gain eight inches of width.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 23, 2020 7:11 AM PST
Great stuff-thank you!
Phil Posted Dec 23, 2020 9:24 AM PST
Lasties for now, on the value proposition of the N5/RS1000 versus the N7/RS2000.

What the 50% extra cost of the N7/RS2000 buys are (1) a second dynamic iris to further lower the black level for more contrast and (2) a "wide color gamut" filter to get more coverage of the HDR color space, at the price of less image brightness. If you're using a large screen, black levels may well be fine on the N5/RS1000, and the loss of brightness from the N7/RS2000's filter may lead you no to use it very often.

I'm very happy with my RS1000.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 23, 2020 9:40 AM PST
Thank you again,Phil.
Phil Posted Dec 24, 2020 1:53 PM PST
Samazar, the button on the remote marked "Setting Memory" (you can see it in the picture of the remote in this review) is the shortcut button you asked about that brings up the list of lens memories. It memorizes more than just the current lens settings, however, so you can create - and name - custom setups.
John Posted Jan 6, 2021 5:19 PM PST
Can you please tell me the throw distance you were using on this screen? I don’t remember seeing it.
Jose Luis Pelaez Posted Apr 14, 2021 5:16 AM PST
I am trying to understand why the previous JVC DLA-X7900 model is rated so low in the Top 10, below projectors with one 0.47" DLP, without motorization or lens memory like the LG810 or NZ3, compared with 3 D-ILA without color or phosphor wheel, better black levels, sharper, 3D, THX certified, still for sale and similarly priced, even the SONY 295 has lower contrast and worse lens, lower build quality and also uses a lamp. But what worries me the most is that you use this projector and you know it well!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 16, 2021 4:30 AM PST
Please read the information at the top of the Top Ten lists. These are generated by an algorithm that measures the web activity on our site. They change all the time based on what our readers are searching for or reading and are not curated lists of our editors favorite projectors.

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