JVC DLA-X7000 – 3D Picture Quality
The X7000 is a middling to good rather than a brilliant 3D performer. As with HDR, it could do with putting out a few more lumens of brightness – in this case to counter the dimming effect of the active shutter glasses. Nevertheless, 3D pictures look detailed and the projector’s outstanding contrast plays a big role in helping the projector to deliver a convincing sense of space and scale.
There are fairly frequent traces of crosstalk ghosting noise, however, as well as some slightly uncomfortable-looking motion during camera pans. It’s impossible to fix such issues with the projector’s processing options without leaving the image looking slightly processed.
Other Things To Consider
The X7000 runs exceptionally quietly for such a punchy, contrast-rich projector when using the lamp on its default Low position – which still delivers ample light for standard dynamic range content. Even when I positioned the projector within a foot of my right ear, the noise from its cooling fans didn’t distract me from what I was watching. Nor was I made to feel uncomfortable by excessive heat being jetted into the room.
Note, however, that if you’re watching HDR you’ll need to set the lamp to High in the Advanced picture menu. This leads to the cooling fans having to work harder and more loudly. The noise is still smooth enough not to become a major issue, but if you’re set on using HDR on the X7000 – despite the picture issues – then it would be wise to put some space between it and your seating position.
Input lag measurements, meanwhile, came in at around 130ms. This figure is more than four times as high as we’d like to see from a video display, and will make the X7000 potentially a no-go zone for serious gamers. Or at least serious gamers who like to play online.
Should I buy a JVC DLA-X7000?
With non-HDR material, the X7000 is nothing short of a sensation. The projector may not benefit from the native 4K resolution of the Sony VPL-VW520ES, but it makes up for this in spades with its incredible black level response and gorgeous colour performance.
What’s more, while its e-shift 4K system doesn’t deliver quite so pristine results with native 4K sources as the Sony VW520ES, it achieves an incredibly detailed picture and does an especially startling job of shifting the apparent detail of HD sources up by a couple of gears.
With HD SDR sources, there’s no projector that delivers a better picture than the X7000 – and that includes, to my surprise, the Sony VW520ES. The JVC’s pictures are so consistently beautiful that they turn even the worst films into works of art – good news for Adam Sandler, then. This isn’t bad for a projector that’s more than £3,000 cheaper than the Sony VW520ES.
However, serious gamers will have to think long and hard about whether the X7000’s extremely high input lag figure is too high a price to pay for its amazing picture quality. Sony’s VW520ES, by comparison, enjoys an input lag of just 30ms.
I’d also argue that the X7000’s issues with HDR make it better suited to Blu-ray than Ultra HD Blu-ray – especially as, so far as I’m aware, there’s no way to turn off the HDR part of an Ultra HD Blu-ray image at either the player or projector end of the process.
UPDATE: Since writing the above paragraph, Panasonic has sent me one of its UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray players. And that deck DOES let you turn off the HDR part of the signal. So if you get a UB900 with the X7000, you will at least be able to enjoy the 4K part of Ultra HD Blu-ray’s offering, even if you decide not to also use the HDR part.
If you’re looking for a projector to partner a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player or gaming console, the X7000 is a flawed option thanks to its issues handling HDR and its high input lag. However, the X7000 is so incredibly good with SDR HD and 4K sources that it genuinely raises the question of whether 4K and HDR are even worth worrying about on a half-way affordable projector. And I honestly never thought I hear myself saying that.
Score in detail
2D Image Quality 10
3D Image Quality 8