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JVC DLA-SX21U and Dukane 9017

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
JVC DLA-SX21U Projector JVC DLA-SX21U
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800:1 Contrast Ratio
1500 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

JVC's newest LCOS projector, the DLA-SX21U, finally began shipping in volume last month. This projector is also being marketed by Dukane as the Dukane 9017. After a sparkling debut at CEDIA last September that left everyone with eager anticipation, we were anxious to get it in for a test drive. And we are happy to report that the wait was worth it. JVC's SX21 and the Dukane 9017 will clearly be a formidable competitor in the under $10,000 price class.

Product Overview

The SX21 is based on JVC's unique version of LCOS technology known as D-ILA, or Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier. It is a reflective technology that is somewhat of a hybrid between LCD and DLP. LCD crystals are applied to a reflective surface and as they open and close they allow light either to be reflected or blocked.

The SX21 uses three very high resolution D-ILA panels, one each for red, green, and blue. The physical pixel matrix is 1400 x 1050, which is a native 4:3 format. A 16:9 image is produced using a matrix of 1400 x 788. That's about 27% more pixels than are used by the competing Mustang/HD2 DLP (1280x720) machines currently selling in the same general price range. Since there is a separate chip for each color channel, there is no color wheel used in this (or any) LCOS based projector. So those who are sensitive to DLP rainbow artifacts will be happy to know that they do not exist on this unit.

The SX21 is the most compact of the D-ILA projectors yet produced by JVC. It weighs just 13 lbs. and has a carrying handle that folds into the casework and disappears when not in use, making the SX21 a truly portable machine.

The manual zoom and focus lens has a moderate throw distance. A 100" diagonal 4:3 screen can be filled from a throw distance of about 12 to 16 feet.

The connection panel offers one 15-pin VGA, one DVI-D, one set of five BNCs, one S-video, and one composite video jack. There is also one audio input, a DC trigger, and a set of RS-232C's, one in and one out.

The SX21 will handle computer signals up to UXGA (1600 x 1200), and video in 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i.

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