While the X70 might be a gargantuan 2D performer for its money, though, it’s a somewhat less successful 3D one.
The main reason we say this is that old active shutter 3D problem of crosstalk. Some of our favourite crosstalk-revealing sequences really do present some problems for the X70. For instance, during the Golden Gate Bridge sequence in Monsters Vs Aliens, the red struts of the bridge against the bright blue sky behind show really quite obvious signs of crosstalk’s double ghosting phenomenon. You can also see shadowy echoes of the towers and spires of the Disney castle that introduces all Disney 3D Blu-rays.
It seemed, too, as if side-by-side 3D material from Sky’s 3D channel is more prone to crosstalk than alternate frame full HD Blu-ray images.
In fact, although we don’t have one of last year’s DLA-X7 models to compare with, it felt to us as if the JVC DLA-X70 maybe suffered slightly more with this sort of dark-object-on-light-background crosstalk than its predecessor. Or it could just be that the arrival of more projectors that hardly suffer with crosstalk at all since last year’s X7 has made us more critical of the issue on the X70.
There is one bit of good news here, though, as the X70 does get to grips very well with light-object-on-dark-background crosstalk. Even the infamous lantern release sequence in Chapter 8 of the Tangled 3D Blu-ray appears with only very minimal amounts of ghosting.
The X70 does carry a crosstalk reduction system for the white, red, green and blue colour elements. However, no amount of tinkering with these settings really tackled the crosstalk problem. In fact, we struggled to see them making any difference to the picture at all!
Another issue with the JVC-DLA-X70’s HD 3D pictures is that they look a tiny bit soft. Some of this might be because e-Shift ‘4k’ technology doesn’t work in 3D mode, and so the image doesn’t look as dense as the projector’s 2D images. But, motion in 3D mode is handled a little uncomfortably, with slightly distracting amounts of judder during camera pans or over very fast moving objects. And you can’t apply the Clear Motion Drive system in 3D mode.
It also seems bizarre to us that the JVC DLA-X70 doesn’t default to its 3D picture preset when it detects a 3D source - especially as all of the other presets tend to leave 3D pictures looking short of brightness, shadow detail and colour ‘pop’. (The projector doesn’t also automatically move away from the 3D preset when you go back to watching 2D.)
There are a couple of practical niggles about the X70’s 3D efforts, too. First, while JVC’s latest 3D glasses sit comfortably enough on your face, their lenses are quite narrow, and they don’t cover your field of vision quite as fulsomely and therefore immersively as we would like. Second, while the projector is whisper quiet with its lamp set to Normal for dark-room 2D viewing, its noise levels do ramp up quite a bit with the lamp set to high for 3D viewing.
On the upside, the X70’s 3D pictures are reasonably bright, richly-coloured, and also naturally toned - following a little tweaking of the provided colour management system. There was an initial slight yellowy green undertone that needed fixing. It also must be stressed that the crosstalk problems noted earlier are by no means omni-present; for a great deal of your 3D viewing time you won’t notice it at all.
With other brands coming on so far with their projectors this year, we had genuine doubts whether JVC would be able to retain the edge that’s served it so well for the past four or five projector generations. But thanks to its new e-Shift technology, the X70 once again delivers a class-leading 2D performance that’s yet another step nearer to the experience of going to a real-life cinema.
The X70 is a mostly-good 3D performer too, though if JVC feels like focusing it’s next round of innovations on reducing 3D crosstalk more, that would suit us just fine.