- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 25 April 2012
The JVC X30 Projector In Use
One film I missed in theaters last year and couldn't wait to see at home was Drive. The film was shot with an Arri Alexa digital camera that has a very high dynamic range that can rival or even best 35mm film. The transfer didn't disappoint is it was not only a fantastic film, but the transfer was also reference quality and brought to life on the JVC. Nighttime aerial shots of LA really showcased what the JVC does best: amazing native contrast. There were deep blacks and bright lights in the same image, but the black floor didn't rise as it could with a dynamic iris. This led to a picture with a huge amount of pop from the wonderful contrast, much better than I had seen on a display in my home before. Daytime scenes had wonderful skin tones, with cheeks that were natural and no red push, and a very natural look. Many of the night scenes had lots of dark shadows and this was not a problem for the JVC at all and the film lacked that digital look that many films have.
Though my viewing room is traditionally pitch black, I did have people over to watch the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl on the X30. For the larger crowd, I setup a high brightness preset that allowed for some ambient light in the room. Driving a 96" white screen with some lights that reflect onto the screen, I could get over 43 ftL of brightness uncalibrated, and around 33 ftL with the image calibrated. Even with some light in the room, this was plenty. In the high lamp mode fan noise was noticeable when there was nothing else in the room, but wasn't noticed during the game. Action looked good with or without CMD engaged, and I left it off for the Super Bowl. Paired with something like a Black Diamond screen, the JVC would do great in a bright living room for watching sports.
People seemed to love or hate Tree of Life, but there would be no disagreement on the technical aspects of the Blu-ray. With possibly the single best transfer I've ever watched, Tree of Life was a visual feast for two hours that was continually jaw dropping. Shots of people show not smooth skin, but the tiny wrinkles and creases on the foot of a newborn baby. Every single scene came to life through the JVC, revealing textures and details that were captured on film. It's not a film most people will choose to show off their home theater, but it should be as the picture quality was unbelievable.
Of course the X30 is the second year of JVCs 3D projectors, though it does not ship with either the emitter or the glasses. Hooking up the emitter was easy once I remembered that the IR signal will reflect off the screen, and the glasses charge with a simple USB cable. I watched a variety of 3D content, but mostly watched Tron Legacy and Cars 2. I felt that Cars 2 performed well with it's punchier palette and style of 3D (into the screen, instead of out of the screen), though crosstalk was clearly visible on the cars eyes and the flyover of Porta Corsa. Tron Legacy also had crosstalk, but the light loss from the 3D glasses caused a duller image and I eventually went back to the 2D version of the film to finish watching it. I didn't have any sync issues with the glasses, and they were reasonably comfortable for watching a film. If I was going to watch a lot of 3D with the JVC, I would consider something like a High Power screen with a gain of 2.0 or more to deal with the light loss from the glasses. It was fine for occasional use, but I am not a big 3D fan anyway.