What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 26 Mar 2012, 5:42pm

JVC DLA-X70R

Tested at £7000
100100
5

Innovative and hugely impressive; the finest sub-£10,000 projector you can buy

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For

  • Staggering image quality, with excellent levels of detail, contrast and colour

Against

  • Its resolution isn’t all it seems
  • the technology doesn’t work with 3D

Resolution isn’t the only measure of picture quality, especially with projectors. Other factors play a part too, such as optical quality and picture processing.

All the same, there’s nothing quite like a headline grabbing statistic to, er, grab the headlines. Hence the furore surrounding the new JVC DLA-X70R, the first comparatively affordable ‘4K’ projector we’ve tested.

Why the inverted commas? Two things: first, the JVC isn’t a 4K2K (4096 x 2160) design, unlike a forthcoming Sony model. In fact, its resolution is a ‘mere’ 3840 x 2160, or precisely four times the overall pixel count of a standard 1080p picture.

Second – and this is the really important bit – the JVC doesn’t actually have a native 3840 x 2160 display panel at all.

Packed with processing power

So what gives? Essentially, the JVC relies on its powerful upscaling technology, dubbed e-Shift, to process the original 1080p picture, scale it into a 3840 x 2160 image, and then display said image as two 1080p ‘subframes’, shown in rapid succession, with the first slightly offset (by 0.5 of a pixel) relative to the first.

It doesn’t work on 3D (because that, too, relies on displaying twin images in rapid succession) and yes, it’s massively complex, but, it must be said, it’s astonishingly effective too.

Even familiar Blu-rays appear razor-sharp, with textural variations and low-light details you’ll seldom see on other projectors.

In fact, we doubt you could better the JVC’s image quality with anything less than a £30,000 SIM2: it really is that good.

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