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JVC DLA-G15U Projector JVC DLA-G15U
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350:1 Contrast Ratio
1500 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

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Home Theater Projectors
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JVC DLA-G15U

JVC's DLA-G15 is capable of producing some of the most beautiful high definition digital images you've ever seen. If you are heavy into HDTV with a budget of $10,000 for your projector, and are willing to undertake some extra work to install it, the SXGA-resolution (1365 x 1024) JVC DLA-G15 might be just the ticket.

JVC's line of D-ILA (Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier) projectors use liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) technology which is in a manner of speaking a hybrid between LCD and DLP. It is a reflective technology like DLP, but it uses LCDs on the chip rather than mirrors to modulate the light. The result is a pixel-free image that can be breathtaking with the right sources.

JVC does not ship this product in a condition to deliver its best video out of the box. Unless your dealer is able to perform a special calibration task known as gamma profiling (and most of them can't), you will need to send your unit back to JVC for this all-important piece of work. There is a charge of $550 for this service and it will take two to three weeks. However, don't think about installing this projector in your home theater without having it done as it makes a huge difference in image quality.

Once you get around to installing the G15, keep several things in mind. First, the 440-watt lamp is hot and it will warm up a room that is not adequately air conditioned or ventilated.

Second, in order to keep the lamp cool the projector has two fans running fairly aggressively. So the fan noise from this unit is louder than any other projector we would recommend for home theater. If it didn't produce such a beautiful picture we'd disqualify it on the heat and fan noise issues alone. But if you can construct a ventilated housing or mount the projector behind a false wall to isolate the heat and noise, you will end up with a system that delivers some outstanding HDTV imagery.

A final thing to keep in mind is that the lamp is good for 1000 hours only, and it is $800 a throw to replace it. So this projector is not cheap to operate.

Overall, the JVC DLA-G15 is a unique animal. It is a nuisance to calibrate and install. And it is expensive to buy and operate. However, without question the most stunning HDTV pictures we've seen on digital projectors have come from the DLA-G15. It is not for everyone. But for those that have the bucks, the patience, the access to a lot of HDTV source material, and the desire to achieve the very best picture quality regardless of the effort, the JVC DLA-G15 is worth a very close look.

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