JVC DLA-HD100 Projector - First Look

JVC DLA-HD100 Projector - First Look

JVC DLA-HD100 Projector - PreviewWhile JVC is probably not the first name that will cross your mind for entertainment projectors, its 2007 DLA-HD1 was an instant hit among enthusiasts and videophiles alike. Most were mesmerized by its 15,000:1 native contrast deep blacks, though the beamer's less-than-perfect sharpness was widely criticized, too. Expectations are running high for its successor, the DLA-HD100. So did the Japanese company get it right this time round? Here are our initial impressions.

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Forget gimmicky dynamic contrast. The DLA-HD100 is way ahead of the number-chasing game with an unadulterated 30,000:1 native equivalent. This represents an impressive two-fold leap, as well as far deeper simultaneous onscreen blacks and whites. To put all these in a layman's perspective, imagine looking out into a pitch-dark sky filled with hundreds of glittery stars. JVC has also apparently resolved the softness issue judging from feedback in forums and A/V exhibitions. It has restored the razor-sharp clarity and visual impact synonymous with native HD content.

Other notable enhancements that will further raise JVC's overall viewing experience are extended color space and a V-Stretch mode. The former promises more natural and vivid colors at 23 and 170 percent improvements over the DLA-HD1 and SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) color standard, respectively, while the latter is ideal for ultra-wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies. V-Stretch vertically expands the projection to remove the top and bottom black borders. When combined with an optional anamorphic (wide-angle) lens, this restores the cinematic-wide pictures as seen in commercial theaters.

Having touched mainly on its new capabilities, we are glad to report that the DLA-HD100 has inherited most of the HD1's existing functions. These include a powerful 2x Fujinon zoom lens to cast a sizeable 100-inch image from a short 3m throw distance, handy wide lens shift capability to compensate for off-center axis installation and value-added motorized controls. In addition, optimized video relay is adequately covered here by a pair of full-featured HDMI 1.3 inputs. Both are well-adapted for the job with film-centric 1080p24 and Deep Color (enhanced color depth) compatibilities.


Most of the time, it's near impossible to enjoy the best of both worlds and the DLA-HD100 is no exception. Its 600 ANSI lumens brightness is one of the lowest among the 1080p cohorts and way below the LCD and DLP's ongoing average. You will probably need good or even full lighting control in your entertainment room to reproduce decent picture quality. This is as good as writing off the usually lit living room for starters even if you are willing to go the extra mile with blackout curtains. Having said that, we doubt it is a realistic option in the first place with its massive 11.6kg bulk.


The S$10,999 (US$7,236.18) JVC DLA-HD100 D-ILA (LCoS-derivative) home theater projector may not be an attractive full-HD offering, price-wise. However, it is one of the rare gems which offers CRT-like blacks, assumingly sharp pictures and handy installation features. If you are willing to cough out good money for your entertainment needs, this is definitely one promising beamer worth an upclose and personal audition.