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JVC DLA-X7 - Set Up and First Impressions
Plus there’s a fuller colour management system that lets you tweak hue, saturation and brightness levels for not just the usual six key colour components, but also an additional Orange one! The addition of orange is a bit peculiar, to be honest. Though we guess it might feasibly provide a short cut to improving skin tones if they happen to look a touch ‘David Dickinson’ at first.
While the X7’s colour management tools are certainly adequate, they’re not especially user-friendly. So it may be just as well that the X7’s higher cost is more likely to find it being professionally installed, so you can leave the fiddly stuff in the hands of someone who (hopefully!) knows what they’re doing. If you are doing it yourself, though, then at least the mechanised zoom, focus and optical image shifting systems work well. The amount of optical zoom offered is impressively large, too.
A further point of difference between the X7 and the X3 appears in the X7’s connections, meanwhile. For joining the twin v1.4 HDMIs and component video input is a D-Sub PC port for wider computer connectivity.
Potentially the most important physical difference between the X3 and X7, though, is the disconcertingly loud ‘click and hum’ noise that sometimes emerges when you switch between the X7’s picture presets. This noise is, we presume, connected to a dual iris system in the X7 not found in the X3, which puts one aperture right in front of the lamp while another is provided for the lens.
We’ve asked for greater clarification on exactly how these irises work, but JVC’s response hadn’t arrived in time for this review. However, given that the X7 joins the X3 in pushing luminance levels up to a meaty 1,300 ANSI Lumens compared with the 1,000 ANSI Lumens of previous D-ILA projectors, it makes sense for the projector to have as much control as possible over light output levels. After all, the high brightness necessary for 3D viewing - to combat the dimming influence of active shutter 3D glasses - likely won’t suit 2D viewing.
Given that we detected a slight reduction in raw black level depth on the X3 compared with previous equivalent JVC models, it would be great if the dual iris arrangement on the X7 meant we saw the return of more of that legendary JVC D-ILA black level prowess.
And so it proves. Using the excellent THX preset or, if you like more punch to your pictures, a tweaked version of the Cinema1 mode, dark scenes instantly look more dynamic than they do on the X3 thanks to noticeably deeper, richer blacks. In fact, the X7’s abilities in this respect go comfortably beyond our expectations, without crushing out shadow detail.