- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 24 September 2012
The JVC X70 Projector In Use
The first thing anyone wants to know about the JVC X70 is how well the e-Shift works. Aside from better pixel alignment you will notice that pixel fill is perfect. There are no more gaps between pixels or any other issues, no matter how large I made the image. My main concern with e-Shift was if it would introduce artifacts or other issues into the image, since there is no way to permanently disable it. With test patterns I could notice some issues, but with real content I saw nothing at all. In Spears and Munsil there is a panning shot of some skyscrapers that have aliasing along the glass. With e-Shift this aliasing was still there, but it was different. Not better or worse, but a different look to the issue. In my search for all the negatives, I really didn't find any that you would actually see. Below you can see the test patterns with eShift On and Off.
Putting on the Blu-ray of Drive yet again, I put my face up against the screen and couldn't see a single pixel. It looks nice and smooth, just like film, and not at all like a digital image, on a screen size the equivalent of a 130" 16:9 screen. If you can't see pixels here, you will not see them from your seated position. The e-Shift didn't hurt the black levels of the JVC projector, with Drive exhibiting the incredible contrast ratios at night that prior JVC models have shown. So while the e-Shift does make a difference when you examine it closely, you might have to sit really close to be certain of that.
The panel alignment feature that e-Shift allows worked flawlessly, and does provide a noticeable difference. Images were clear and sharp, with a virtual absence of any fringing or other color cues that indicate misalignment. Well-mastered movies, particularly animated films from Pixar, looked amazingly sharp and detailed on screen. Nothing was soft or indistinct at all, even when blowing up a 2.40 image to fill my whole screen. The Incredibles filled the screen with bright, bold colors, but also wonderful shadow detail during cave and nighttime sequences. The lower your black level, the brighter highlights will seem to be, even if they aren't as bright as a different projector. With its almost immeasurably low black levels, the contrast on the JVC X70 delivers.
The one thing you really need a ton of light output for is 3D, and here the JVC falls behind rivals that lead in this category. With active glasses you're only getting around 25% of the light output of the projector, so the image is a bit dull and lacking that pop we saw before. There is also a decent amount of crosstalk visible on the X70 that you might see as a duplicate image and is really noticeable on high contrast image areas. Watching Cars 2 and Tron Legacy the 3D image was always OK, but never exceptional, and is something I'd consider more of a bonus feature than a main reason to buy the X70.
As JVC is known for their deep blacks done without the benefit of a dynamic iris, I put it to the test with Aliens. Full of dark, shadowy content, the film always looked detailed and never broke down into shadowy blobs. The aliens themselves had plenty of texture instead of just being dark, and the shots of outer space were truly deep black with stars set against that void. Watching Haywire also did a wonderful job of showing this off. With a few scenes taking place at night with virtually no lights, every detail of the scene was still visible, with subtle lights and reflections coming across well. Any projector can do a bright daylight scene reasonably well, but putting out the shadow detail the JVC can do is incredibly rare.
Watching films on the JVC is like watching them at your favorite movie theater, only with a better image and no annoying people in the audience. It handles film content better than anything I've used and I continually found myself lost in watching a movie, often finishing a film when I intended to watch 20 minutes or so. 3D leaves a bit to be desired, but as I find 3D to be more gimmicky than an enjoyable way to watch a film, I really didn't care.