While 4K may make little sense on a tiny television screen, on a projector? Yes, please. Hearing these pleas is JVC, which has dropped not one but three consumer projectors with a 4K-like picture. Prices start at $4,999.
The three consumer models are the DLA-X900R ($11,999), the DLA-X700R ($7,999), and the DLA-X500R ($4,999), which include a new D-ILA device, 4K inputs, e-shift upscaling for 1080p-and-lower sources, and a user-selectable Intelligent Lens Aperture.
The projectors, which according to JVC aren’t technically 4K, use a system called “e-shift” which splits all incoming signals and spits them out to two 1080p panels. The image is then combined using “pixel shift” to emulate a 4K image.
JVC claims the Intelligent Lens Aperture produces deeper blacks while maintaining white levels and is “superior to what’s delivered by competing projectors using a dynamic iris”. The projectors feature an automated lens shift with memory presets for easier setup.
Of most interest is the entry-level DLA-X500R, which is the cheapest (pseudo) 4K projector we’ve seen so far, and half the expected price of the Sony 500ES. It features a 60,000:1 native contrast ratio thanks to a new Clear Black feature that provides local area contrast enhancement.
Pushing contrast levels even further are the DLA-X900R and DLA-X700R capable of 150,000:1 and 120,000:1 ratios, respectively.
The DLA-X900R and the DLA-X700R feature active 3D compatibility with THX 3D certification. The DLA-X900R ships with a 3D transmitter and two pairs of glasses.The new JVC D-ILA home theater projectors will be available November, and meanwhile the excellent 1080p DLA-X35 will stay in the range through 2014.