The extra convergence accuracy that seems to boost the JVC DLA-X90’s detail resolution also helps colours enjoy slightly more precision in terms of their blends and edges than you get with the X70, and tones additionally have a fraction more punch on account of the X90’s contrast enhancement.
The fact that the sort of improvements we’re talking about here are being made to a 2D picture performance that already blew the competition out of the water with the X70 almost beggars belief. But, as they say, seeing is believing.
Switching to 3D, the X90 is almost amazing. Though you wouldn’t guess this right away...
First of all, the e-Shifting technology doesn’t work with 3D, so you initially feel a tangible (though thankfully quickly forgotten) sense of sharpness loss in the switch from 2D. Much worse, though, is the fact that the projector bizarrely doesn’t automatically switch to its dedicated 3D picture preset when it detects a 3D input, despite the fact that if you don’t use this preset, 3D images tend to look short of brightness, low on colour and beset by crosstalk ghosting noise to a most unpleasant degree.
Thankfully, engaging the 3D mode - or a tweaked version of this if you wish - instantly makes things look a million times better, as colours become both more natural and more vibrant, while sharpness levels increase dramatically (not least because crosstalk decreases dramatically) and the 3D effect becomes markedly more pronounced.
It’s actually quite scary to think how many people might feel let down by the JVC DLA-X90’s 3D performance just because it doesn’t default to the 3D setting. And it’s sad as well, for with the 3D mode engaged 3D pictures mostly look excellent - especially where detail levels and colour balances are concerned.
Even at their best, though, it has to be said that the X90 betrays a touch more crosstalk than you get with true 3D heroes like Sim2’s Nero models or the Sony VW1000ES. There’s a touch of judder and blurring in the projector’s 3D motion handling too, and a touch more brightness wouldn’t have gone amiss. JVC’s latest 3D glasses are also a step in the wrong direction, as they sit too high on your nose and use over-narrow lenses, which let too much of the world outside your projection screen intrude into your field of view. Despite all this, though, overall it’s the X90’s colour and detail with 3D that still dominate your experience.
The last point to cover is the JVC DLA-X90’s running noise. Which we’re pleased to report is rather impressive, running almost silently with its lamp set low for 2D viewing, but still being pretty subdued and certainly very even with its noise tone when it shifts up a gear for 3D viewing.
All-in-all we guess the JVC DLA-X90’s performance can still only be called an iterative evolution of the X70’s performance. But the degree of evolution is actually greater than we’d expected, and as such there’s ample excuse - provided your home cinema room is good enough - for finding the extra money you need to step up from the mighty X70 to the truly imperious X90.