JVC DLA-X700R: Picture Quality
If the X500R blew our socks off, the X700R pretty much blows our feet off. Its picture quality really is nothing short of sensational.
The heart of this success, predictably enough, is its incredible contrast. Its black level reproduction is as close to perfect as we’ve ever seen from a projector, handling such ultra-dark favourites as the final Harry Potter film and The Dark Knight as if they were the most straightforward bits of video ever filmed.
There’s not a hint of greyness over parts of the picture that should look black – even any black bars you may have left above and below the picture. This is a unique talent that instantly makes dark scenes feel incredibly natural and involving. Especially as the fact that the X700R can deliver its extreme contrast natively means the inky blacks are gorgeously stuffed with the sort of subtle shadow details and greyscaling finesse that give dark scenes depth and make them feel like totally seamless partners to the bright scenes they’ll inevitably exist between.
We’ve long known that good black levels generally lead to good colours that retain their richness during dark as well as bright scenes. So we couldn’t help hoping after clocking its black level response for some truly heroic colours from the X700R. And it doesn’t let us down.
It delivers a truly immaculate combination of rich, punchy colours, infinitely subtle colour blending/toning, and a totally natural feel that remains constant through bright and dark scenes alike.
Particularly striking while analysing colours is how bright they look. As hoped, the sensational contrast performance makes a nonsense out of the relatively lowly quoted 1300 Lumens brightness figure, as pictures appear with a dynamism and ‘pop’ that’s a joy to behold.
The X700R’s pictures are also wonderfully crisp and detailed for the most part. The e-shift system does a startlingly clever, subtle job of making images look more dense and ‘celluloid-like’ – especially when shown at screen sizes of 100in and more – than they do with normal HD projectors. There’s less noise and edge enhancement in evidence with ‘e-shifted’ pictures on the X700R too than there has been on previous e-shift generations.
It’s also true that if you feed native 4K into the X700R it looks ever so slightly cleaner and crisper than HD content. However, a quick head to head with Sony’s native 4K projector star, the VW500ES, instantly reveals that the X700R’s e-shifted version of downscaled 4K sources is no match for the stunning detail, depth and clarity of a true, pixel for pixel 4K projection experience.
But then the VW500ES does cost £1500 more and lags behind the JVC by some margin where contrast is concerned… We’ll come back to this comparison later.
The only small issues we can find with the X700R’s pictures aside from the fact that they’re not truly 4K are a tiny bit of motion blur at times, and the fact that its slightly limited light output prevents it from being an ideal solution for either rooms with some ambient light in them or truly huge (170in or bigger) screens.